Jim Ross Claims Chyna Demanded Equal Pay to Stone Cold Steve Austin

Jim Ross reveals challenges faced during contract negotiations.

by Noman Rasool
Jim Ross Claims Chyna Demanded Equal Pay to Stone Cold Steve Austin

The year 2003 brought about significant changes in WWE, with the retirement of Steve Austin, the emergence of The Rock's Hollywood career, and the influx of talent from Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) onto the main roster. Jim Ross, who served as WWE's EVP of Talent Relations during that time, embarked on a hiring spree.

One notable returnee was Sable, who had previously sued WWE in 1999, alleging s*xual harassment and unsafe working conditions. Reflecting on Sable's comeback in 2003, Ross drew comparisons to another controversial figure, Chyna, who had parted ways with the company in 2001.

Chyna's Unyielding Contract Demands

Recalling his contract negotiations with Chyna on his podcast "Grilling JR," Ross revealed his difficulties. "Chyna was demanding to make the same money as Austin," Ross explained. However, he considered that request to be unrealistic.

This demand ultimately became the breaking point in their negotiations. Ross clarified that offering Chyna a $1 million guarantee was not feasible, despite her belief that she was a more giant star than Austin due to her gender and unique qualities.

Unlike Sable, Chyna never returned to WWE after failing to secure a new contract with Ross in 2001. Ross praised Sable for her willingness to put aside past conflicts with WWE and for being cooperative during negotiations.

"Rena [Sable] was never difficult to do business with," Ross acknowledged. He believed she had second thoughts about her departure and wanted to mend things. Ross also revealed that Vince McMahon supported the decision to bring Sable back, despite the anger surrounding her exit in 1999.

The contrasting experiences with Sable and Chyna shed light on the complexities of contract negotiations in the wrestling industry. While Sable was willing to reconcile and work towards the company's best interests, Chyna's demands for equal pay to Stone Cold Steve Austin proved insurmountable.

The events of 2003 marked a significant transition period for WWE, with the departure of prominent stars and the rise of new talent. Ross's recollections offer a glimpse into the challenges WWE executives face in managing talent relations and navigating contract negotiations.

Jim Ross Chyna Stone Cold Steve Austin