Jeff Jarrett has revealed he would have always dropped the Intercontinental title to Chyna during his messy WWE exit in 1999.
Jarrett once held up Vince McMahon for more money before departing to WCW in one of wrestling’s most infamous backstage stories.
The 56-year-old was still WWE’s Intercontinental champion at the time when his contract was expiring in October 1999.
He was scheduled to defend his title against Chyna at the No Mercy pay-per-view, but that was a day after his contract expired.
Jarrett had agreed a lucrative offer to jump ship to rivals WCW but the man himself has admitted he actually never wanted to go.
He exclusively told talkSPORT: “I didn’t wanna leave. I was in a contract negotiation – politics got engaged, like anywhere.
“I felt like I was getting lowballed, I thought my character was red hot, I didn’t like the offer they gave me so I knew I had to go shopping it.
“I knew my contract was going to expire on a Saturday night, the pay-per-view was on Sunday I didn’t know until two weeks out that WCW made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.
“Vince ironically was traveling the globe because he was about to take his company public so he wasn’t at TV. He wasn’t as accessible.
“He had told his team to get the job done and they weren’t getting the job done. The real story is that I did not really want to leave had they matched the offer. They didn’t match the offer.”
Jarrett was out of contract by the time No Mercy rolled around, which put WWE in an awkward position as he remained champion.
Just four years earlier Madusa, formerly known as Alundra Blayze, had humiliated the company when she left WWE for WCW as the reigning Women’s champion and then dropped the belt into a bin on live television.
Jarrett was asked to put over Chyna on his way out to generate headlines as she would become the first woman to hold a male title.
But the guitar-wielding legend used his leverage as a free agent in the hours before the event to negotiate a deal that saw him receive $300,000 instead of $150,000 to wrestle.
The reports that followed were that it caused an intense feud between Jarrett and McMahon as the latter was forced to stump up the cash to avoid looking foolish.
However, Jarrett has since moved to clear up the matter by insisting it was resolved amicably and that he was always going to do the right thing by conceding the title.
He told talkSPORT: “When it came down to it I had a decision – little did they know – I don’t think I would have walked out without doing the honour.
“My grandmother would have smacked the s*** out of me from her grave.
“It’s a bad taste, that probably wouldn’t have happened but also I knew that I had leverage.
“They needed a piece of business done, I needed a piece of business done, we came together.
“The entire essence of the story is all salty and great tabloid fodder but the person who delivered that cheque to me had the biggest smile on his face…handed me a cheque, gave me a big hug…was Vince.
“So that is the real story that, ‘hey man we did business tonight thanks for dropping the title’, Chyna made history – first ever IC Women’s Champion – I got my money, we went our separate ways and on down the pike.”
What happened next is still the stuff of legend though, as McMahon refused to acquire Jarrett’s deal after purchasing WCW two years later.
The billionaire then savagely publicly fired him on live TV in a backstage segment, which Jarrett originally thought was a storyline.
It wasn’t…and he did not return until he received his Hall of Fame induction in 2018.
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