Jesse Ventura Recalls Vince McMahon Lying During Pre-Trial Discovery

Alleged "hush money" exchanges weren't in the equation when Vince McMahon dealt with Jesse Ventura over royalties payments. Ventura joined Chris Jericho on "Talk Is Jericho", and while a lot of the discussion covered politics and other outside-the-ring ventures, pro wrestling was discussed, including when Ventura beat his old boss in the court of law back in 1991. This all occurred because, according to Ventura, he was the first wrestler to bring an agent in to negotiate with McMahon.


"Every year, my agent would bring up videotape, and every year, Vince would say, 'We don't pay royalties on videotape,' which the WWF (or E as it is today), they have that right. There's no law, but it still ticked me off to the point I was so angry, I said, 'I want him to beat me in court on this.' Because it just don't seem right — I own the copyright of my name and likeness, he's making money off it and not paying me a thing for all that he's making."

Ventura caught McMahon in a lie during the discovery portion of the legal process and it involved the term "quantum merit", which Ventura explains to Jericho.

"If you decide you want to hire me tomorrow to bring me into wrestling, into your group, you and I are going to sit down and we're going to do a negotiation, right? Well, during this negotiation, I am to expect that everything Chris Jericho tells me is the truth, and if Chris Jericho lies to me about something in these face-to-face negotiations, that is quantum merit. That is an argument for the term where you can be victorious in court, you were lied to during the negotiations.


"Well, during discovery, we found out that Vince was lying when he said nobody gets paid for videotapes. Hogan was getting paid, Mr. T was getting paid, Cyndi Lauper was getting paid, all the people from the outside entertainment world were getting videotape royalties from the WWE. The only people not getting it were the wrestlers."

This put McMahon on the spot and Ventura on the stand, who said he would have absolutely not worked for McMahon if he knew others were getting royalties. That's what won him the case. Ventura credits the fact that he had a legitimate negotiation involving an agent that set him up for victory, considering his agent testified on Ventura's behalf during the litigation. Jericho mentions how the landscape of royalties changed due to the WWE Network being bought by NBC. Ventura also added that he couldn't fight McMahon when he sold the Network, but with it currently under new ownership, he has an interest in following up.

"I'm looking at it again now because it's now no longer in the house. See, he was allowed to use my broadcast cause they were in the house: WWE. He has now sold that for money. I should have been paid some royalties," he said.

Wrestling Inc's Raj Giri sat down with Ventura to detail this particular lawsuit, to talk Bruno Sammartino, and more.