Double J, Co-Founder of TNA
Vince McMahon hates Jeff Jarrett. As his first act as owner of WCW, McMahon fired Jeff on live television “in character”. Jarrett hadn’t even appeared on the show. This was no angle. McMahon hates Jeff Jarrett.
Across history, Vince McMahon has hated many superstars or been hated by many. Hulk Hogan and Vince don’t get along. Bret Hart stayed away for over ten years.Ultimate Warrior and Jake Roberts both returned after demanding up front payments to perform at large events and still came back. Jeff Jarrett is different.
Yes, he did do exactly what Warrior did. He required massive amounts of money to go on. Jarrett’s contract expired before No Mercy 99, and he refused to go on with a one time payment of 300,000. Which is 1999 is close to one million dollars. A hefty sum.
Yet all this aside, Jarrett exists on his own plane of existence in WWE land. He both has done the greatest offense and is unable to do something very important.
Actually, Jarrett is not a draw. Not in WWE land. Jeff Jarrett can talk, can wrestle well enough and has the ego of Hulk Hogan or Triple H to boot. His ego makes Shane Douglas look adjusted and kind.
Jarrett is a man who is comparable to Vince McMahon in how good he thinks he is. Jarrett’s “worked shoot” in 1998 was brutal and spoke volumes to Jarrett’s dislike of the “system” that pro wrestling came to. He was the voice for the old school. His father Jerry Jarrett never went out of business. Memphis reigned on only in Memphis. And that’s where Jeff Jarrett began.
But he couldn’t stay there and he knew it. In stand-up comedy, we have an expression, “Doesn’t matter if your the best comic in Cleveland, your in Cleveland.” Jarrett moved in 1994 from regional USWA because he knew the WWF was more opportunity.
And his first run was a nightmare. He sadly came in during cartoon character profession days in the 1990s and got saddled with country music singer. Because everyone from Memphis is a country music star.
Jarrett did as well as could be expected and succeeded with IC titles due to his in ring ability and probably some agreement from the get go. Jerry Lawler had Jarrett’s back and he was marginally successful.
And he did this song.
And had a Roadie.
Jarrett quit. He quit because he realized WWF in 1996 was a sinking ship. And he didn’t like his push. Yet, we can all admit, Jeff Jarrett doesn’t fit the mold. He is not a WWE main eventer. Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Brock Lesnar and John Cena all fit a mold. A big, larger than life mastadon. They were all the hand picked. All from the moment of their entry into the organization were groomed for success. Yes, sometimes when necessary, the WWE will push someone else or even throw the company behind a small guy. (Austin, Hart, Michaels). But historically, Jeff Jarrett had a lot going against him to be where he wanted.
Leaving for WCW the first time did nothing for Jeff’s career. He was promised the world by Eric Bischoff and received almost nothing. He was part of the Four Horsemen in 1996, back when everyone was.
The infamous shoot above came after that delightful run for Jarrett. He returned and floundered again. He was the forefront of the extremely unsuccessful NWA invasion of WWF in 1998. (Which also gave us fellow Never Going To be A Famer, Dan Severn) and was highlights by Jarrett losing to women and mid card titles.
Jarrett was never going to get pushed and he finally realized that through his friend and ally Vince Russo. Russo began to use Jarrett, gave him the titles he could and when Russo left, so did Jarrett.
Its funny to think that Jeff Jarrett is a multi-time WCW World Champion. He beat many top WCW stars. All because of Vince Russo. That’s because Russo and Jarrett’s friendship is also mostly a business agreement. Jarrett made friends with the right guy. He was a good politician. (The Kliq liked him, which tells you something.)
Despite WWE owning the WCW library and legacy, Jarrett isn’t somebody they are going to push in any way shape or form. Vince doesn’t need Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett thought he was hot stuff. Vince McMahon didn’t agree. So Jarrett convinced his dad to help him buy and run TNA, which still exists today under different management.
That is Jeff Jarrett’s legacy. He should be in the TNA Hall of Fame for sure and probably will be if they ever do that ceremony again. Yet, when it comes to WWE, Jarrett is persona non grata.
Only Way it Happens
Vince McMahon dies and the company in inherited by Vince Russo due to a loophole.
Is WWE Stupid enough to actually do it?
No. Vince McMahon hates Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Jarrett isn’t Bruno Sammartino. Any headliner who would make WWE money will eventually come back. Warrior, Savage, Sammartino, Owen Hart, Roberts, Bundy, Rude. All these men will eventually be in the Hall.
Chances of induction
1 out of 10