WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett was on today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman and Jarrett discussed Jarrett’s new podcast, My World with Jeff Jarrett, and Hausman asked Jarrett what it was like to meet Vince McMahon for the first time.
“When he became ‘Mr. McMahon’ but no, when he was coming down on Monday nights is the first time I can remember. Again, my dad was in the regional promotion days back in the early ’80s and late ’70s,” Jarrett said. “He was the kid. He was the young one. Eddie Graham, the Crocketts and Fritz [Von Erich], just the territory promoters. Then Vince Jr. took it national but I can remember they had a relationship and talked on the phone often from time to time, but me actually meeting Vince was when he came to Memphis.
“You got to look at ’90 – ’92 during that era, he was five WrestleMania’s in, and Randy Savage was a guy that I knew as, not part of the family, but our families had worked together since the ’70s and early ’80’s. I’m a junior in high school maybe. Savage loses his ‘loser leaves town’ after a series of great stories, but he goes and then all of a sudden, Savage – [Ricky] Steamboat, and then Savage – [Hulk] Hogan and then Savage – [Ultimate] Warrior.
“And so Randy was a guy that I knew well, and he had gone and worked for Vince. And so to get to see the promoter of Hulk Hogan, the promoter of Randy Savage, the promoter of WrestleMania [and] the promoter of Madison Square Garden. That’s who young Jeff, five years in the business, essentially was like, ‘Wow this is the promoter.’ It’s cool. My dad was my dad, and and [Jerry] Lawler was Lawler, but here comes the promoter from New York who promoted these mega events. It was very cool.”
In the early 1990s, McMahon and WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler engaged in a cross-promotional feud between the then WWF and USWA where McMahon would have his WWF wrestlers take on Lawler in order to dethrone him. Jarrett’s first appearances with WWE came during this feud, and Hausman asked Jarrett how it was adjusting to McMahon’s style of pro wrestling.
“About that time, I’d been working in the territory, in the business for seven years, and so guys [went] in and out,” Jarrett noted. “Shawn [Michaels] and Marty [Jannetty] came to town. They had gone up. Mick Foley had gone to WCW. Master of Pain, now known as Undertaker, he had gone. So lots of talent had come through.
“WCW had wanted me to come, Dusty [Rhodes] in 1990. They wanted me to come to WCW, but I was working Texas and Tennessee. So by the time I finally went and worked for Vince in ’93 full time, I was ready mentally. I was ready to go. Emotionally, I damn sure wanted to go it, not for nothing, make more money. The territory was obviously on its dying days.
“So to get there, to have the opportunity but to look at a booking sheet as opposed to Nashville, Louisville Evansville [and] Memphis that I had seen for seven years. Now you’re looking at Philly, Chicago, LA [and] Honolulu. I remember getting that booking sheet. Oh, then you’re going to go to London, Munich [and] just the travel involved, getting to play different venues, that was all fresh and new and exciting.”
My World with Jeff Jarrett is now available on all major podcast platforms and at AdFreeShows.com. You can find Jeff’s full interview with The Wrestling Inc. Daily, including an appearance by Tony Clifton, via the embedded players below: