– On the latest Something to Wrestle With, Bruce Prichard recalled when Sid Vicious threatened to sue WWE in 1997 over their contract dispute. Sid was out of action in the summer of that year due to injury and had been out enough that WWE cancelled his $400,000 a year contract and offered him a new one, which was also for $400,000 put paid out via individual appearances. Sid, who had been in a car accident, had successful neck surgery and threatened to sue the company after which WWE fired him.
Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:
On WWE being skeptical of Sid at that point: “Well you know, I’ll say this. I think that sometimes when, especially in this period, talent would be [makes plaintive sound]. And Sid may have had a legitimate injury. And I’m not questioning his injury, or the fact that he was in a bad car accident or anything of that nature. It’s just that when you try to help someone and you try to figure out what’s going on by using, ‘Hey, have your doctor communicate with us. Have our doctor see if they can help you.’
There’s two sides of every story, and not just the side that people want to put out and the other side doesn’t speak for whatever reason, due to privacy and contracts and all that other s**t. But if you’ve got someone that is constantly injured, you have to be able to protect yourself on the contract side, say ‘Okay, if you’re injured for more than so many days, we can’t continue to do business.'”
On Sid’s contract situation at the time: “The feeling was, was that Sid was ready to come back long before he did, and if he did — if Sid actually worked the number of dates that he should have worked, he would have probably made a lot more than his downside guarantee. Problem is, is Sid chose to sit home for a lot of that. So that’s what I remember on the deal, it just was a situation where ‘Hey, okay. You can’t work, you don’t wanna work, some doctors say you can. You’re finding ones the exact opposite of what Austin is doing.’ You know, Austin is trying to find any doctors to say ‘Yes, you can come back to work today.’ Sid’s trying to find a doctor that’d say ‘No, you can’t.’ And I’m not saying that’s what he did, I’m just giving a comparison. You’ve gotta just go back and look at it: ‘Hey, had you worked all this time, you would have made more than your downside guarantee.’ But that didn’t happen.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.