“Stone Cold” Steve Austin is one of the biggest stars in wrestling history, although he has pulled the “that doesn’t work for me, brother” card a few times in his career.
During his time on the top of the wrestling business, nobody was more popular than Austin. He sold out arenas, flogged millions of t-shirts to the fans and almost single-handedly put WCW out of business.
Feuds with the likes of Vince McMahon and The Rock made for some of the best TV in history, although there were some wrestlers he refused to wrestle with in the WWE.
One of them was Jeff Jarrett in 1997, which killed Double J’s chances of being a main event star in the WWE.
Steve Austin Refused To Wrestle Jeff Jarrett
In October 1997, Jeff Jarrett returned to the WWF, and set his sights on a clash with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin was red hot at the time, and well on his way to becoming the biggest drawing wrestler in history.
Jarrett returned to the WWF and began cutting “worked shoot” promos on Eric Bischoff, Vince McMahon and Steve Austin. Jarrett spoke about Austin, mocking him and calling his “Austin 3:16″ t-shirt’s” “blasphemous”.
That’s right. Saying the word ‘a**’ just to get a reaction. Just to get noticed. Stone Cold, you will always be the Ringmaster. And as far as your blasphemous merchandise, that offends me. Austin 3:16 offends me because what you’re doing is ripping off the Bible to put money in your pockets!Jeff Jarrett on Steve Austin
Jeff Jarrett And Steve Austin Had History Together
Austin was not made aware of the promo, however. He was not expecting Jarrett to run down his character, and felt insulted by the man. However, it wasn’t just the promo which soured Jarrett to Steve Austin, and made him refuse to wrestle him in WWE.
Stone Cold’s hate toward Jarrett went all the way back to when Austin was just starting out. As a young wrestler, Austin worked for Jerry Jarrett, Jeff’s father, in his promotion USWA. It was rumoured that Jerry Jarrett was known for not paying his talent enough money, something which Austin was unfamiliar.
After a show one day, Austin was reportedly looking at the check Jerry had given him for his work. Shocked at the low amount, Austin was in disbelief how much he had been paid. However, a passing Jerry Jarrett made a remark that Austin would never forget.
“You can keep looking at that check but it ain’t gonna get any bigger”
This angered Austin, and he never forgot it. When it came time for Jarrett to work with Austin, who was at the top of the card, Austin refused. He didn’t want to help Jarrett make any money, which he definitely would have working with Austin.
Steve Austin refused to work with him, feeling slighted since all the way back then, and wanting to return the favour to Jarrett by denying him the main event spot, and a main event payout.