WWE CEO and Chairman Vince McMahon once tried to pay the UFC's Mike Goldberg to no-show a UFC event and show up on Monday Night Raw to replace Jim Ross.
The WWE offered Goldberg $500,000 per year for three years to be the lead Raw announcer in 2005, according to prommanow. As part of the deal, he had to no-show UFC 55, and then appear on Monday Night Raw, according to Chael Sonnen.
Goldberg, however, was so offended by the stipulation that he backed out of all talks and stayed with the UFC.
Sonnen told the story on an episode of his podcast, "You're Welcome."
“Vince McMahon contacts Mike Goldberg and he tells Mike Goldberg, ‘I will give you a hundred thousand dollars to no-call, no-show the UFC on Friday (UFC 55). So Goldberg doesn’t get to warn anybody. He just can’t show up and he can’t call in. He just needs to stick them without an announcer. . .Vince tells [Goldberg], ‘This call never happened and I will wire you this money for your work.’ Goldberg calls Dana and says, ‘Here is what just happened.’"
At the time, McMahon was apparently annoyed that The Ultimate Fighter was drawing good ratings, airing after Monday Night Raw on the Spike Network. McMahon wanted UFC President Dana White to move The Ultimate Fighter and when he refused, McMahon tried to snatch Goldberg.
White apparently rewarded Goldberg for his honesty.
“Dana not only gives Mike Goldberg a brand new half a million dollar contract, but right then realized ‘[McMahon] is willing to pay $100,000 for my announcer, who is replaceable, and I’m only paying my main event 18 ($18,000 to show) and 18 ($18,000 to win), I got a problem. This is a level of thinking, of strategy, of business play that I’m just not ready for,'" Sonnen recalled.
Shortly thereafter TUF moved to Wednesday night and it was all because of McMahon's power play, according to Sonnen.
Goldberg said he never regretted the decision.
"The offer was extremely overwhelming," Goldberg told The Wrestling Game. "I had a great affinity for WWE. I'm sure we could have had a lot of fun. WWE is very glamorous. But I'd been in the UFC boat for so long that I really wanted to see where we were going to embark. It also has to do with the friendships and relationships I have there. Turning down the job was one of the most difficult things I had to do. But, in retrospect, it was the greatest decision I've ever made."
The WWE also reportedly wanted to change Goldberg's last name, since McMahon at the time despite Bill Goldberg and didn't want any thought of his name on the show.