He goes hey, I got a contract for you. It's waiting down in Stamford. I was like [stammering]. It was like, everything just started spinning and just so many endorphins and adrenaline, it was like everything good inside you just [explosion sound] burst out.
I flew straight from Winnipeg down to Stamford. They had a limo pick me up. Whoa! What is going on here? I just went from an Econoline van where you can see eight inches of ice on the inside of the windows, to… like, I'm in a limo? I've seen a limo [laughter] but I didn't know what it looked like inside, nothing. So number one, my first time flying into New York. I had been through New York once coming back from a hell tour down in the southern states. So I'm in the limo. I'm pulling up to Titan Towers, the WWF logo on the side and everything, I'm just like oh, man. Okay, this is it.
Then they took me to the TV studios and I go in there and you see posters and things like that and I look and there's a ring setup and Michael Hayes is standing there. I'm like, wow that's Michael Hayes. What's going on here? Okay. And he goes, "alright, let's have a match." Oh! Like, I'm right off the plane. I had just flown from Winnipeg, just finished a brutal tour. I was like, okay, alright. So I get my stuff on. I hop in there. We got in and he just got in there and called the match. We had like a ten minute match and he hit me with the stiffest left jab ever and then DDTed me so hard, like just the tightest, stiffest DDT I've ever taken.
So we finish the match or whatever. I didn't complain. I didn't say a word. He just goes, "oh, you okay? Everything good?" I was like, "perfect. Great. A-okay. Thanks very much, that was fun." Then after the fact, I found out that he vouched for me after the match. He said we got something here. I knew enough at that point. Just shut your mouth. Shut your mouth, grit your teeth, and say awesome. Thank you.
So from there I got called up to JR's office and I sat down and he goes, "okay. We got a deal for you. Here it is, and I want to preface this with you will make, and do as much work as you put into this." It was for 210 dollars a week, because after the currency exchange that worked out to 300 Canadian. They said just keep working. There was no farm system. They said just keep working. Keep getting booked. I got signed at the end of '96. I kept working. Bad News and Jerry wanted Jay [Christian] and I to Japan. Cool. Sold. More experience. Awesome. Working guys that can't speak English. This is going to be more experience.
That's what they said. Keep the rest out. We'll call you when we're ready for you. Just keep working. Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling, okay I'm there. Cleveland All Pro, okay I'm there. Southern States, okay I'm there. Grand Prix, okay I'm there. Candela, okay I'm there. I just kept going wherever I could, but now I had 300 bucks, or 210 bucks depending on where I was, to at least eat. That's really what it was. It was like, okay here's a little morsel so you can keep doing your thing.
Then finally when I signed my deal deal, my very first deal, they also paid all of my college fees as a bonus. I think I owed like 40 grand, which they didn't have to do, I always felt was very, very cool of JR to do.Visit Wrestling Inc. He was like we're going to take care of your college, by the way. I was like oh, because that had been hanging over my head while I had been trying to just get somewhere and make it. I was like oh, man. I got this 40 grand that's over my head and I'm making 50 bucks on this show. Cool, now I'm making 210, but that's not going to chip away at 40 grand. So they took care of that when I signed my deal.
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