On the latest episode of the My World Podcast, Jeff Jarrett spoke about the creation of TNA wrestling in the early 2000s.
Jarrett said the reason he and his father, Jerry Jarrett, decided to start a wrestling company is because they noticed a void in the marketplace left by WCW. Speaking about AEW and their current success, Jarrett compared AEW and TNA, saying they both capitalized on a void left in the market.
“I think in a lot of ways, that’s what AEW has capitalized on,” Jarrett said. “They got out on TNT. The void in the marketplace is real, people say they hate change, but they always crave new. Void in the marketplace was something that InDemand specifically latched onto that they knew from their revenue that WCW went away and they wanted to replace that revenue and were willing to do anything they possibly could. Why wouldn’t they? They had no risk involved as well.”
During a previous podcast, Jarrett shared that both he and his father were sending out feelers to stars like Mick Foley and X-PaC to come to TNA. The founder of TNA also shared his conversations with Ultimate Warrior about coming to TNA, saying his father handled all the business negotiations with him.
On the startup of TNA wrestling, one specifically new and innovative concept the company tried to establish, and were very successful at, was the X-Division. The founder of TNA spoke about TNA’s X-Division and why they thought it would be a good idea to debut it.
“There’s a WWF style and that is, it’s the transitions between moves, the rest holds,” Jarrett said. “In the X-Division, when you see these guys, and [Samoa] Joe maybe had been the very best, Joe, AJ [Styles] and [Christopher] Daniels and others are in there. There style, how to put transitions together, you don’t see a guy like Joe, 260, doing a tope between the top or second rope. The style of wrestling and putting together the transitions and the new innovative moves. AJ would do a flying elbow off the top rope that was his own. Their moves were innovative, their skillset was innovative. You see a lot of walking and talking in their matches, their style was different, across the board.”
The WWE Hall of Famer also spoke about how he feels about IMPACT wrestling still being around today, knowing he was the founder of the company. Jarrett said the company really changed once Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff were hired and that’s when TNA changed to IMPACT wrestling.
“I really look at TNA, from 2002 until the day Hulk Hogan was hired,” Jarrett said. “It radically changed in so many ways. You can literally go to the day, fly to Tampa with Dixie, had the conversations, ink wasn’t dried but it looked like it was heading in that direction, Eric [Bischoff] was yes a part of the deal, but only from the Hogan end. The day Hulk got signed, the world changed and I knew it then. Did I know it was going to take the turns that it did? No way. I had some delusional optimism then and it continued. It radically changed.
“I really look at ‘my baby’ or ‘my kid’ or whatever it may be, there were some jokes that people would pass me in the hall before I left about what happened? What happened to that thing? It changed, it changed again and it changed again and it changed again. I wasn’t a part of the Billy Corgan days and the air-lux days, the 2017 component. For it to be still going today, it’s pretty cool, it really is.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit My World with Jeff Jarrett with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.