2018 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Jarrett recently had an in-depth conversation with to Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri. Jarrett discussed the final WCW Monday Nitro and his feelings about WCW folding.
Jarrett pointed out that before the rise of WWE and WCW, wrestlers had a slew of organizations to choose to work for. Once those two companies established themselves as the top wrestling organizations, wrestlers had to work for them if they wanted to make a good living.
"In my early formative years, back in the territory days, if a guy didn't get along for whatever reason or didn't get over or things didn't work out or he just wanted to relocate, he had other territories to go to, to make if not the same amount of money, substantially more or less. But still, there were 22 territories alone in North America, then you had Europe, Germany was a hotbed, Japan of course and Puerto Rico. So lots and lots of options," Jarrett said. "When WWF and WCW came along, they weren't the only game in town, but to make a good living you had to work for one of the two organizations. Without a true number-two, there is no such thing as a number-one. You're just it, you're just there."
When Vince McMahon purchased WCW, Jarrett's contract was terminated. He said he believed the wrestling business would suffer without a second world-class promotion. The final WCW Monday Nitro aired on March 26, 2001 from Panama City, Florida while Monday Night RAW broadcast simultaneously from Cleveland, Ohio.
"Without WCW around, I knew that it was gonna be a substantial change immediately in the way the business was done. It's just how things were. So I just knew there was gonna be a huge void in the marketplace and wasn't real sure how it was all gonna shake out," Jarrett said. "The manner in which it went down, it wasn't just WCW changing ownership, because during that time there was a lot of talk of that. That would've been a big enough change, but literally almost overnight the doors were closed... It was just gonna be interesting to see how things shook out. That night in Cleveland and that night in Panama City is the day the business changed forever."
Jarrett was also asked about what he wanted to accomplish when he made his return to TNA last year. He said he wanted to help the company return to its heyday because it enjoyed some success in the late-2000's. His main goal was to help TNA grow internationally because he saw opportunities to improve the way TNA generated revenue.
"There was a time, 2006-2010, where there was a roster full of guys that were making a full-time living and many guys in the six figures, and that's a good loving. Obviously [the goal was] to get back to that, because I had lived it and experienced it, to get back on a footing where that kind of revenue is generated," he said. "Knowing that the business had drastically changed, priority 1-A and 1-B were a TV deal in North America and obviously the international footprint continuing to grow because that's where I truly believe the real growth could be made. That comes not just in television distribution but in touring, merchandising, licensing, and the digital space, there was revenue to be made there. So [I wanted to] grow the brand in multiple ways... In short, grow revenues."
You can listen to the full interview in the video above.