On “Episode 84” of Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru, Cornette recounts the time he talked to Seth Rollins about the contract offer he received from TNA back when Rollins was Tyler Black in ROH.
Transcript credit: @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone.
Jim Cornette on Seth Rollins leaving ROH:
I mean he was somewhat of a prodigy cause I didn’t realize that he had only been in wrestling as long as he had. He was one of those guys that just kind of naturally took to the athletic part of it, but also you could tell that even though his promos weren’t the best, he was a puppy with big paws. He was only like 23 years old, but once again, he was having top-level matches way earlier than he should, et cetera. So I wanted to keep him because I thought he’s gonna be the f—ing guy, he would of the guy in Ring Of Honor, I thought he was going to be one of the guys in the business sooner or later, but he wasn’t staying. He was gonna go to one or the other [WWE or TNA] and I could respect that because he needed to find out…
My pitch to him was “sign for two years in Ring Of Honor and let us feature you heavily and try to increase your value and then maybe you can get more,” and with the style those guys were working, you know, two years can be a f—ing gamble anyway if he could get a good spot, right? So okay.
On contract offer Rollins received from TNA:
And I don’t want to do his business here publicly, but the contract to me would have basically made him indebted to them [TNA] and unable to do anything else better in the business for either a year or two years and tied him up for a number of dates that I didn’t think that they were even going run in that calendar year (and as it turned out I was right about that) so they would have the right to book him out to where God knows where and the money as a minimum guarantee was insulting if they intended to actually feature him in any position, to me. They just instead “we’ll just put him on the card and see what happens.” And we know what happens in TNA! With guys they just put on the card and “see what happens.” Or the top guys for that matter. That’s when I told him for the first time, I said “TNA doesn’t get guys over, they get guys under.” So anyway, he was trying to explain to me the contract, I said, “Can I just see it?” He already told me the money offer, so really I just needed to see the verbiage of how band an indentured servant he was going to be to these people, and I when I saw it, it was pretty f—ing indentured. And I got back with him, I said, “look, change two or three things, just minor things. Basically call Terry Taylor and say, ‘hey, could we do this or do that?'” It wasn’t asking for more money cause I knew they weren’t really gonna do that or they wouldn’t have made him this f—ing offer, but it was valid questions to ask, just to see basically if we could buy him some time. And I said, “make one more call please, God, please.”
And anyway, I haven’t listened to the show in question so I can’t remember, I know he got back with Terry and asked him those questions or asked him if he could change something or whatever, just to make it a little longer cause I knew that would take it awhile cause also those guys weren’t that on the ball those days anyway on getting right back to ya. And I don’t know whether Tyler (Seth) called the WWE office one more time or the serendipity just happened. I think they actually, in the couple of days they just called him, you know, whatever I don’t know, but anyways suddenly, he got the call and “glory hallelujah.”
He calls me, he says, “They just called!” I said, “What did you tell him?” He said, “I told them I’m going!” I said, “Well good! Thank God!”
So anyway I threw my body on him like I used to see when I was a kid watching TV when the live hand grenade would go in, the hero would throw his body on the live grenade to save everyone else. TNA was the grenade and I threw my body on top of it to keep Tyler Black from becoming…”Jack Me Off” in TNA instead of Seth Rollins in the WWE. Just my little contribution.