Sean Waltman recently detailed how his financial and creative situation within WWE influenced his decision to jump to WCW.
Waltman, who has performed under many aliases including X-Pac, Syxx and 1-2-3 Kid took part in a fan Q&A session on his podcast “X-Pac 12360”. When asked about his decision to leave WWE in 1996 for WCW, Waltman described his frustrations with both his financial and creative situations:
“The money was bad at the time. But I really think if I was creatively satisfied I would have stayed, I wouldn’t have even thought about leaving. I would have just tried to, you know, keep asking for a raise, things like that. I never even thought about leaving when creative was good. Even when money was tough, or bad.”
Sean Waltman debuted with WWE in 1993 as The Kamikaze Kid. Two weeks after his debut, Waltman famously gained a pinfall victory over Razor Ramon, and was subsequently christened The 1-2-3 Kid. This defeat would lead to a brief feud with Ramon before the pair would reconcile on screen, with Razor taking Kid under his wing.
During this initial run with WWE, Waltman would become a fan favourite, often portrayed as an underdog. However, in 1996 Waltman would leave WWE and appear on WCW’s Nitro in September of that year. Waltman would become the sixth member of the nWo, and would perform under the ring name Syxx.
Sean Waltman described the financial lows he felt WWE were experiencing prior to his departures, and the decline in appearance money during that period:
“When business got bad, $200 was the limit you could get. And sometimes, if you didn’t get the $200 draw, you might get $150 on your cheque. So yeah, it was tough like that.”
In his 2020 autobiography ‘Under The Black Hat’, former Head of Talent Relations in WWE Jim Ross briefly describes financial issues he faced with Sean Waltman. JR recalls a moment in time when Waltman, a cruiserweight, asked: “Hey, JR, are you paying me by the fucking pound?”
Sean Waltman remained with WCW until his release in 1998. Following his departure, he would return to WWE as X-Pac, joining D-Generation X and achieving massive success within the company. In 2019, Waltman was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a part of the stable.
Recalling his return to WWE and his relationship with Vince McMahon, Waltman believes that his time in WCW showed the company what he was worth, creatively and financially:
“It definitely took for me to leave, and make my way somewhere else to get Vince in the light that I so desperately wanted, and I really did. And the thing is my good relationship with Vince, he was always open and willing to talk to me, but I was really intimidated at one point, you know, for quite a long time.”
You can hear full episodes of ‘X-Pac 12360 – A Wrestling Podcast’ here.