Jeff Jarrett never got the respect he deserved after his 1999 departure from the then WWF. Not as a performer, not as a headliner and damn sure not as a creative mind in the business. Not only was time in WCW marred with nasty creative choices by then booker Vince Russo, but the failings of the company landed directly on his shoulders; as he was routinely in the headlining seat.
Enter 2002 when he Bob Ryder, Jerry Jarrett and a handful of other financial backers launched the NWA-TNA, now known as IMPACT Wrestling. The plan was to be a pay per view based product for ten dollars a week. This was really the first view at what would become Video on Demand services like Netflix and Amazon. The only problem was the price; $40 compared to $10? That’s party why the product failed to get eyes.
Plus Russo was booking.
Overtime though the company would struggle, and would receive a lifeline that was Dixie Carter, who invested heavily into the promotion. Carter was approached at first as a minority financier due to Jarrett’s past with her – the two were former neighbors in a small apartment complex in their early twenties. Eventually she was named the President after buying a majority of the promotion. This was one of the issues by the way that caused concern for Jerry Jarrett, Jeff’s father.
From 2003 to about 2009 the promotion grew every year, making more money and getting bigger audiences until they peaked in 2009; where they were finally in the black financially. Then Jarrett’s affair with Karen Angle became public. Karen was just finalizing her divorce to the promotions top worker, Kurt Angle. When Kurt found out Jeff and Karen were seeing each other, Kurt threatened to quit. After a meeting with Jeff, Dixie felt Jarrett wasn’t being honest and relieved him of his duties before sending him home.
Then the nightmare began.
Throughout that time Jarrett was in charge, relationships with AAA and NJPW were forged, young stars were given huge opportunities, veterans like Sting, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner and Jerry Lynn wrestled their most inspired work and the idea of “heavyweight’s can only main event” went out the window as the likes of Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Frankie Kazarian, Christian Cage, Low Ki, and others showed the wrestling world what they could do.
Jarrett was a revolutionary that never got the respect he deserved by the wrestling media and fans. Yet, that appears to be a changing. According to Dave Meltzer, the WWE is apparently very high on Jarrett and he could raise up the ranks in the WWE’s hierarchy due to his charm and unique approach to things. Say what you will about the concepts, but Jarrett was the one who gave final approval to use the Ultimate X, King of the Mountain and he pushed himself for the six-sided-ring. All became hallmarks of the promotion during Jarrett’s tenure.
With Jeremy Borash, Abyss, and Road Dogg working backstage, all of whom have great ties to Jarrett, and the promotion signing up slews of former Jarrett wrestlers like Robbie E, Sam Shaw, Trevor Lee, it looks like he’s having an effect on the brand already. Never mind his ties to Styles, Bobby Roode and even Bobby Lashley, all of whom he brought in at one point. It’s pretty clear Jarrett could be just beneath Triple H and Stephanie McMahon once Vince McMahon leaves the promotion.
While Meltzer cites guys like Michael Hayes, Paul Heyman, Dave Kapoor and others who would be ahead of Jarrett still, I’m told that there’s a desire to rid the ranks of Haypes, Heyman and a select few others once Vince steps down. If that happens is one thing we’ll have to wait and see.
Kapoor, the former Ranjin Singh, is considered safe by many as he’s a good worker, with good ideas and isn’t one to cause trouble.
The facts are the facts though, and after running two pro wrestling companies, Jarrett may want to take another swing at things. Whether that means he leaves one day to start or re-start Global Force Wrestling again is one thing. Another idea, now that his girls are all older, may be that Jarrett relocates to German, England or Orlando to run an NXT division.
Jarrett’s rise as a “influential guy” started years ago, it’s good that Meltzer and others are reporting on this stuff, as it should help fans realize what some of us have known all along; when it comes to Jeff Jarrett, he is great.
In Other News…
The Observer is also reporting that new NXT names Eric Bugenhagen and Stacey Ervin Jr. are being raved about behind the scenes of NXT. This isn’t surprising in the least, as the company wants more “NXT” talent to be at the top of WWE cards and not indy talent. I’ve heard rumblings that the more ‘note worthy’ indy names are less likely to be used to any real capacity. Hence why EC3 and Bobby Roode are stuck with table scraps despite at points in their career being seen as pillars of a company.
Hey may like his girls 18 and under (he met Stacey Carter when she was just 18 and was accused of rape of a 15 year old) but give Jerry Lawler credit for this; he loves wrestling. Despite being 69 and in need of double knee replacement surgery, the aging announcer refuses to call it quits in the ring. He revealed on his podcast that;
….I’m just going to suffer through it,
when it came to the pain he dealt with when he wrestled. Lawler’s not necessarily a good man but at least he’s stupid too.
Life isn’t fair. Deontay Wilder is set to make $100 million dollars for THREE FIGHTS if he were to sign with the premium combat sports streaming service DAZN. DAZN also signed Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez to deals as well. The crazy thing is Wilder, GGG and Canelo are three-fourths of the two biggest fights in the last few years. The only piece not apart of that is Tyson Fury, who signed with ESPN’s Top Rank outfit. The plan DAZN was hoping for were the hotly anticipated rematches with GGG vs. Canelo and Wilder vs. Fury. Wilder though still has draw and appeal beyond the rematch, so clearly he’s still worth the money. But damn, $100 million? I got into the wrong sports as a kid.
Quick Hits – Comic nerd and filmmaker Kevin Smith revealed that Chris Jericho would have a role in his upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot film. Roman Reigns spoke to Sports Illustrated Media recently and revealed he wants more of his real personality to be infused into the Reigns gimmick.