A former WWE star has opened up on the issues that mean he will never sign with them again.
Jonathan Coachman first joined WWE in 1999 and worked in multiple roles including commentator, backstage interviewer, and even the onscreen Raw General Manager. Coach left the company in 2008 to become a presenter and commentator on ESPN.
In 2017, Coachman once again found himself in WWE, but this time he knew it wasn’t where he wanted to be. In a new interview with Chris Van Vliet on his Insight podcast, the star explained that the job came about at a time when he was looking for his next permanent job.
“So I went back in 2017. And I kind of instantly knew. This is not really where I need to be where I want to be. But it was a nice bridge between ESPN and what the next full-time thing was going to be. So in my personal life, I was moving to California. So I didn’t really know what I was going to do next.
While Coachman was finding his new role fun, issues arose around his schedule as he still had other commitments to fulfill.
“So I went back, and it was it was fun. But the people I worked with on the shows, I don’t know what it was, but didn’t really want me to be there.
“So when I got switched to the pre-show, that was fun, because that was just once a month, I had to show up. And that was cool. But then I missed and part of the reason this is so Vince, when they called me and they said, ‘Hey, we’d love for you to come back.’ I said, I’m already doing golf. So I had five events already booked. And I said I’m missing the shows that week. They went ‘Oh, no problem, no problem’ until it was a problem.”
Coachman explained that he disagrees with the schedule WWE expects employees to work, arguing that it’s simply too much to expect from people.
“So, I missed one show in 10 years. In my first run. I missed five shows in the first seven months of my second run. But I think everybody would agree and the schedule has changed now, they were running people into the ground. Nobody should be working 52 weeks a year, nobody. They shouldn’t be having new shows 52 weeks a year, let’s be honest. And everybody inside WWE says it. They just don’t want to admit it. But no company should work that way.”
Jonathan Reveals The Moment He Knew He Had To Leave WWE: “It Was A Slap In The Face”
In 2020, Coachman began working as a host for Vince McMahon’s other company, the XFL, it was while there that he ran into issues.
“But for me what it was, I’ll just be honest with you, Chris, is they came to me and they said XFL 2020. Vince needs somebody there that he trusts that can do it the right way. So I was flying from California to New York every week to do the pre-show. And because they hired a lot of people who never worked for him before. So I trust Vince, implicitly, like I’ve done so much with him. Everybody knows that.
“So you turn in invoices, right? Well, I didn’t turn mine in right away. Because I’d worked for him for 20 years. He had always paid me. Right. So COVID happens. And I have a fairly large check. And I hold on to it for a couple of days. I go put in the bank. It bounces. So, I called or texted a high executive there and I got a response, ‘Oh, that’s a lot of money.’ I said, I agree. I said can you just call Vince let’s take care of this quietly no big deal. Yeah. And ghosted me, absolutely ghosted me.”
Coachman was hit hard by the incident, as he knew McMahon could easily afford to pay what he was owed. Things got worse when he was told that WWE wouldn’t help him as the XFL was a separate entity.
“Vince has the amount of money in his back pocket. You know what I mean? And it really hit me hard. It wasn’t the money, it was the process. I sat there one day and I said man, they really bounced a check to me. Oh, I did get a second text. It was like, ‘Oh, that’s another company. I don’t think there’s anything we can do.’ So basically telling me, people I’ve worked with for 20 years. ‘Oh, that’s the XFL. It’s not the WWE.’
There’s no, but the same guy owns the two. Yeah, right. And he, I mean, everything was a crossover. So that to me was a complete slap in the face. Some people there just don’t care. Even to this day, and anybody who watches this interview will agree with me because it’s true, there are certain people, and they’re usually the ones that get the biggest bonuses that do not care what happens below them.
“I had literally done everything I had ever been asked to do. And this is how you’re going to treat me? And literally, they didn’t care. I even gave it months because they were going through, remember there were no shows. The company’s losing money, I felt for all of that. But then eight months later when you start advertising the biggest year we’ve ever had financially making all this money, and then you can’t make things right.”
Coachman concluded by saying he’s at a point in his life where he won’t work for people who don’t return his loyalty.
“That’s why I’ve never really talked about it. I’ve mentioned it in a couple of interviews, but I can’t at this point in my life, I can’t work for people like that. I cannot work for people who do not care about human beings to the point that in a spot where you really need it. Because we all lost our jobs during COVID. And that’s when you’re going to decide to now let’s just turn our back on a guy who’s been loyal for 20 years, like to a point. The things that I’ve done for that company really bad, you know, would blow your mind. I was 100% loyal, but they were not loyal to me. And that’s it.”
During the same interview, Jonathan Coachman recalled Vince McMahon pushing him to tears of rage.
H/T to Inside The Ropes for the above transcription.