Jeff Jarrett Talks Not Being In The TNA Hall Of Fame, Concern People Have With GFW, Vince Russo The RCWR Show January 5, 2015 Podcasts Lee Sanders and Titus Machiavelli of The RCWR Show interviewed Jeff Jarrett, who was promoting this weekend’s New Japan Pro Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom 9 event from the Tokyo Dome. You can check out the full interview below. Here are some highlights: Lee: Given we’re less than a week away from Global Force Wrestling presenting New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 in the Tokyo Dome. You know, as the anticipation builds, what are your feelings? Are you nervous, scared, all of the above, et cetera? Jeff Jarrett: Oh, no, I’m super excited. You don’t get many opportunities to be a part of this type of mega event, you know, in Tokyo, live, at the dome. They’re on pace to sell 50,000 tickets. This ay-per-view’s the most widely distributed pay-per-view in the history of our business with the Flipps app, it’s all through Canada, all through the United States and then you can download the Flipps app and literally see this with a smartphone and smart TV anywhere in the world. And so what Jim Ross did ringside, this card is stacked from top to bottom. I’m super excited, you know? I’ll be wearing a couple hats this Sunday; being a professional wrestler, I’ll be wrestling in a match but much more importantly, you know, behind the scenes and making sure everything comes off without a hitch, I’m super excited for that. Titus: Jeff, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, as well. As you’re promoting and building Global Force, a lot of people are always talking about the performance center as the way of becoming a professional wrestler and as you’re building this company, have you toured the indies, have you seen talent out there that you’re wanting to see come up to your promotion in the next coming year? Jeff Jarrett: Yes. The short answer is absolutely, but you know, I left TNA about this time last year and a big part of me has the confidence and faith in starting another promotion from scratch but I believe the talent base that’s out there and I don’t like to call it the indie scene anymore, I think it’s almost got a negative connotation from over the years. I truly believe that the free agent is what I like to refer to it as, I look at the free agent market as truly it’s healthy and as hot as it’s ever been. There’s talent all over the world, not just in the United States, but literally, Australia, all through Europe, South Africa. I believe it’s all over the world. Titus: And I love to hear it as a free agent market, ’cause as somebody who works in that market itself, it does have a negative connotation when you say “indie circuit.” And as somebody who works as a manager in this industry and worked in many different promotions myself, you look at other promotions, WWE, Ring of Honor, Ohio Valley Wrestling, they all start to embrace that wrestling manager character once again. TNA doesn’t seem interested in doing so. What do you see as a place for managers in Global Force? Jeff Jarrett: I’ve always, where I was born and raised in the Tennessee area, I cut my teeth at a very young age. Managers and valets have always played a big part. I’ll call it that role, but I believe they’re Jim Cornette and then back in the early Wrestlemania heydays, Miss Elizabeth, Sherri Martel, the list could go on and on. I believe there’s always a very strong role for the serious-minded manager/valet. And from a personal note, my wife Karen. When we go down to Mexico, she’s a big integral part of it and part of the presentation. It’s a part of professional wrestling. Titus: Well, I want to focus on Global Force a little bit more here. Obviously, this is the first event, but what are the long-term plans? What is your hope for 2015 as far as television production goes? Are there any hopes and plans for American TV, additional pay-per-views? What should we look forward to past this Sunday? Jeff Jarrett: You should look forward to some exciting announcements coming up. You know, I’ve been asked that question quite often. And I’ve answered it as much as I would like to at this time, but you know, if I were to make any of those types of announcements that you just touched on, it would definitely take the focus off Sunday and as a promoter, that makes zero sense Although I appreciate and respect the fact that you guys want to know what’s coming up next, when you’re on the other side of events like I am you want to keep everything concentrated on this Sunday. Want this event to come off wildly successful and then the Global Force Wrestling fans can look forward to the next announcement and I can tell you, they’re coming and we are very excited about 2015 on multiple levels and the answers to the questions you just asked will begin. Titus: What do you think that’s going to set Global Force Wrestling apart from everything else that’s out there? It seems that we have a lot of new wrestling companies coming out with Lucha Xtreme and New Japan is talking about a show in the United States. What is it that’s going to set Global Force apart from everything else that’s going to be out there? Jeff Jarrett: Well, I go back to my short answer. Stay tuned and those facts will be revealed but on the other side of that is just the fact that we have a philosophy that is basically 180 degrees different than the current US promotions in that in the years past, promotions didn’t recognize other promotions and quite frankly, if they did, they talked in a negative connotation about it. We believe just the opposite. We want other promotions to try, we’re going to recognize then. The fact that our first event is New Japan Pro Wrestling, us being the executive producers on the pay-per-view market, is truth to that and we’re going to continue to do that because I believe that the world is so connected now. Before we came on the air, we were talking about you’re in DC and I mean, you’re in Denver, and we got somebody in DC, Lee is, and you know, and the technology connects, you know, it connects everybody. More related specifically to professional wrestling, it connects different fan bases and I want to be a part of that. Titus: That’s a very real look at professional wrestling. I love that answer, thank you Jeff. I’m going to ask you one lat question and I’m going to turn it over to Lee. As someone who’s been in the wrestling industry for a few years, and I’ve worked, and I continue to work in independent wrestling promotions, I even tried out for the TNA gut-check challenge myself where I only got to the top three of my bracket. I know that a lot of folks that listen to our show are up and coming professional wrestlers. What is it that you would say to them that would help them get their big break? What should they be focused on, two or three things that they should take seriously from Jeff Jarrett, who has had such a success as a promoter and as a wrestler and an entrepreneur? Jeff Jarrett: You know, when I broke into the business It was rough but the fact that I got to wrestle six and sometimes seven nights a week for the first three, four, five six seven years I was in this business, was a tremendous help in that I got to learn my trade, got to learn my craft. If you tell a basketball player how do you want to get to the next level? All of them will tell you. You got to take a thousand shots a day. You got to practice and practice and practice and practice. Well, that isn’t completely applicable to professional wrestling, but what I tell everybody is do as much possible work as you can. Don’t worry about the money. The money will come later. And I know that’s easy to say, you know, for me who’s been in business so long but still today you got to be trained right, you got to go to a right school, you got to get to right fundamentals about you, and then you got to get in there and do it. And somebody who doesn’t really have a passion for this business, they’ll find out real quick. I’m not into this, I’m going to move on to another profession. But if you really love it, you’ll get up there and get as much work, drive as far as you can drive to get as much work as you possibly can and then really study it. Be who you are, find an extension of your personality, something that’s real down in your gut and expend on that. Lee: Good questions there, Titus. Hey, Jeff, it’s Lee here again. I want to ask you some TNA questions but we’ll definitely go back and forth with the Global Force Wrestling talk. You know, something that’s been a hot topic among hardcore TNA fans over the years has been you and your father getting inducted in the TNA Hall of Fame. I mean, ever since it came to fruition back in 2012, fans have been waiting patiently to hear you and your father’s names announced. Now with all due respect to Sting, Kurt Angle, and Team 3D, many including ourselves have noted that there wouldn’t be a TNA without you and your father and guys like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Bobby Roode, just to name a few. In the past, your wife Karen has taken to Twitter and she’s actually retweeted anyone who advocated for you being in the TNA Hall of Fame. I’ve got a two-part question for you. One, in your eyes, will the TNA Hall of Fame’s legitimacy always be questionable if you and your father aren’t inducted and number two, how much would it mean to you to be acknowledged by TNA and placed in their Hall of Fame? I mean, after all, you and your father founded the company. Jeff Jarrett: Well, the short answer is like I said, about this time last year, I closed the chapter on this book of TNA wrestling. I moved on very excited, have zero regrets about my time there, very grateful and blessed and thankful for my 12 years there. But it was time for me and my family to move on. And so you know, the powers that be at TNA, they choose who they want to choose and more power to them and if that’s their decision and if they believe that’s truly what’s best for TNA business and TNA entertainment, God bless ’em. I moved on and let that sleeping dog lie. Lee: I can understand that. This question comes from a longtime listener of our show, it’s from Robert in Spain. Longtime listener of ours, he actually told me a side story about how he met you a couple of times, Jeff, back in 2007 and in 2009, which as far as he’s concerned, was his favorite TNA years. He wanted to know with regards to Vince Russo, Jim Cornette, and Dutch Mantel, aka WWE’s Zeb Colter, who he notes is his favorite book or part of creative and according to Cornette and Russo, Jim and Dutch did not get along with Russo. He wants to know how were you able to make it all work and why do you think TNA was so successful during what many had described for that time period being in turmoil? Jeff Jarrett: The wrestling business has many, many many different philosophies and Dutch has said it on a number of times that he didn’t have anything personally. There was nothing personal that he had a difference with Vince, but on a professional level and a philosophical level, they were on the opposite ends of the spectrum. I wanted to bring different though processes, different minds, different creative thoughts and visions, all in a room and leave that room with one direction. And we were successful, or I was successful some of the time, not all the time. Jim and Dutch, you know, they got a lifetime of experience with multiple different styles and territories and you know, Jim from the Crocketts, my father’s territory, you know, all that Dutch, Puerto Rico, all across US. You know, Vince came from New York and he only worked for the WWF and then WCW for a brief stint so they come from different backgrounds, different mindsets, and so you know, I don’t know if I’m specifically answering the guy’s question, but me, I like to take a little bit of everybody’s thought processes and meld it into one cohesive vision. Lee: Now you’ve been quoted saying in the pat that wrestling is close again to a boom period, and I would have to think that it is, as it’s been a while since we’ve had one. I mean, I can remember being a kid growing up in the ’80s, when you look at that period of wrestling in particular, mid to late ’80s, it was definitely booming and then in the late 90s into the early 2000s for sure, it was a big boom period. One could make the argument that wrestling has been in a little bit of a stalemate the past five, maybe six years. But when you see situations like Brock Lesnar returning to the WWE, CM Punk’s infamous Summer of Punk, those can stand as a testament that the wrestling industry can be popular again, so much so that it can get mainstream media attention when everything is aligned perfectly. Some would make the argument that the calendar year of 2014 alone has been the worst year in wrestling as a whole, like as far as major promotions in North America, to the point fans have been yearning for wrestling to go back to basics with good storytelling and good entering action. WWE’s NXT brand, also the Lucha Underground promotion, are prime examples of getting it right. Two-part question for you. What do you think has to happen for that next big boom to happen and two, how do you think Global Force Wrestling can be a part of that next big boom? Jeff Jarrett: Well, we want to be a major part of it and I feel and I said it back in January, February, I think’s the first time I went public with it, but I just believe that the industry is poised. The talent, like I said, the free agent fan base is there. And I think that’s a major ingredient to this boom period. But they need, like you reference, Lucha Underground coming to the forefront. We have New Japan having a television deal on Action TV in the United States. You got independent promotions all around the world that are really, really thriving, not just domestically here in the US. And then the WWE network bringing all that wrestling content online and so accessible and then you got Global Force ready poised to take off in 2015. I believe that we’re at the forefront of it and I want to be a major part of bringing like I said earlier in this call, major fan bases connecting together. We just made an announcement last week in South Africa with this enormous show that’s going to be taking place in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in late February, so lots of different things going on on a global basis and I think that just the time’s right, the tide is right for the fan bases. Lee: Now me and Titus, we are huge fans of Matt Striker and Jim Raw so you can imagine how delighted we were to find out along with everybody else the news of Matt Striker and Jim Ross teaming up to provide commentating for this event coming up this Sunday. How’d the opportunity come about to get them on board for this event? Jeff Jarrett: Well, it’s no secret that when Global Force and New Japan made the announcement that we were going to being the Dome Show to pay-per-view, that when those decision’s being made, obviously, we had to decide on who were going to be the English announcers, and when Jim Ross who is this generation’s voice of professional wrestling and the best of the best of the best, and he’s been the best for over 20 years, it was a no-brainer to get him on board and we were very thankful and blessed that we got him on board and then you look to see who’s going to be his partner and they had to complement him and know going in that Jim’s driving this car and steering the bus, and then you also got to have a guy who’s going to know the analytic side of it. Not just the ten matches he’s going to be broadcasting, but the historical situations with certain titles and certain wrestlers and Matt brings that to the table. He’s a student. He knows, he blew us away at his vast knowledge of the product. That team came together and we are so hyped for this Sunday because those guys are really the two individuals that are going to be bringing this product to life with as Jim says, the wrestlers make the music, but they’re going to write the lyrics and I’m super excited as a wrestling fan to be a part of it, to witness it, to watch it. Couldn’t be more excited. Lee: Time for another listener question. This one comes to us from Christopher. Hey, Jeff, Christopher wants to know if the New Japan Pro Wrestling pay-per-view will be available on DVD possibly in stores, like Best buy Target, Wal-Mart, et cetera. I’d like to take that a step further, like as far as will it also be available on the Global Force Wrestling website just in case folks like Christopher aren’t going to be able to catch it on pay-per-view anytime soon? Jeff Jarrett: We are in the middle of those discussions. You know, when we made a determination that we were going to bring this product to market, you have your highest expectations and very optimistic, which also have to be real and you have to gauge interest. The interest level has blown us away and not just in North America but all over the globe. So the short answer is, the DVDs, that’s in discussion. I don’t have an exact answer. The optimistic answer is I certainly hope so. Based on the feedback, that would be another no-brainer decision to make this property available. Lee: Awesome, awesome. I like this next question from Christopher. He wants to know that if the opportunity presented itself would you be willing to work with Vince Russo again? I know right now, and correct me if I’m wrong, Titus, I believe Vince Russo is doing some stuff for a promotion now in the UK. I think it’s Pro Wrestling United Kingdom, is that correct, Titus? Jeff Jarrett: So at this time, I’m not discussing any of those personnel matters again. I’m not going to change the focus. But I’m happy for Vince, let Vince go do his thing. At Global Force, we’re focused on what we’re doing right now. I don’t foresee that happening in the future. Lee: Right, well, I can understand where you’re coming from with regards to that statement. You know, as we close this out, there’s an old saying that goes, it’s okay to make mistakes when you’re younger because it’s part of growing older and gaining more experience, becoming wiser, you know. Being a self entrepreneur, one who started up his own company not once but twice, you have many fans out there that would say as your role in TNA diminish, the product became dramatically different and not in a good way. It expanded even more as time would go on. These same fans may have concern for global force as a result. And I need to stress this with all respect, many of us, including us over here at the RCWR show along with Titus Machiavelli, we want for Global Force Wrestling to succeed, but I’m sure you can understand where some of those fans are coming from. To that, I ask you what do you say to those fans and naysayers? Jeff Jarrett: Stay tuned, you know? Only time will tell. I understand both sides to that question or opinions. I’ve been in this business my entire life. I’m very, very optimistic. I’m very excited. Step by step as we, you know, created brand awareness for Global Force Wrestling, we’re all the sum total of our parts, so the good, the bad, the different, in mine, not just my TNA career, but my entire wrestling career, I hope to think that I’ve tried to learn different things along the way and want to continue to grow this brand. I really feel that we’re on the right track with bringing this event and then the stuff that I’m currently working on, my team’s working on for 2015. We’re very very excited and optimistic about the future. Lee: Good words, Jeff. Good words. One more time, we got to make sure we show some love to Global Force Wrestling as they present New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 in the Tokyo Dome for all information, including how the card is looking to shape up as it’s a very solid card from top to bottom, you all can check it out at Globalforcewrestling.com. One more time, that’s globalforcewrestling.com. It’s going to be on your local cable or satellite provider this Sunday, January 4th. Jeff, I know we’re definitely going to be checking out that pay-per-view this Sunday. I mean, I know for sure I am as I love checking out all forms of wrestling from any and every promotion that’s out there. I do a little bit of writing as a columnist for a couple of wrestling websites, so I’m definitely going to be checking it out as I’m very pumped up for this event and we hope to have you back on the show one day to talk about another global force wrestling event that’s going to be coming up as it was a lot of fun here chatting with you today, definitely, truly, an honor to have you on the show. We really appreciate it. Jeff Jarrett: I’d love to touch base with you guys in 2015. I appreciate all the help, support, promotion. Quite frankly, you guys are waving the Wrestle Kingdom 9, waving the flag for us and we certainly recognize it and appreciate it and I got to ask you: Are you going to watch it live or are you going to watch it Sunday night traditional time slot? Lee: I wanted to watch it live, Jeff, is it going to be live this Sunday? Jeff Jarrett: Oh, it definitely will. It’ll be live. I believe your time slot will be 2 AM Eastern Sunday morning and then with a replay, but if you got the rec or you can DVR these shows. Technology is great. The Flipps app, you can watch it live. In all 24 time zones around the world, you’ll literally be able to watch this show live this Sunday January 4th. So it’s 4 PM local time in Tokyo so wherever you’re at listen to this. Be sure and check it out. It truly has become a can’t-miss event. Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The RCWR Show with Lee Sanders on BlogTalkRadio SPONSORED IN PART BY BREAKINGTHETRUTH.INFO COVERING THE LATEST IN WRESTLING AND ENTERTAINMENT SINCE 2011! The RCWR Show with Lee Sanders is available on various platforms including ITUNES, STITCHER, IPHONE, IPAD, & IPOD TOUCH CLICK HERE FOR IPHONE, IPAD, & IPOD TOUCH CLICK HERE FOR STITCHER CLICK HERE FOR SPREAKER CLICK HERE FOR IHEARTRADIO! CLICK HERE FOR TUNEIN RADIO CLICK HERE FOR OUR STORE!