Jeff Jarrett Reflects On The Early Years Of TNA/Impact Wrestling

Jeff Jarrett is a supporter of professional wrestling promotions working together. AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling are currently making headlines with their upcoming Forbidden Door pay-per-view, but Jarrett knows the concept is nothing new. Like many fans, Jarrett can remember inter-promotional supershows that were held decades ago.


"I've always been a huge fan of it," Jarrett told The Royal Ramble podcast. "It goes back to the '80s. My father was part of an event called Superclash that AWA and WCCW – basically the Von Erichs in Texas and us in Tennessee. In TNA, we called it an open-door policy. We had a promotional relationship with New Japan for years and years. We worked with independents, we worked with Mexico, both promotions down there."

Jeff Jarrett feels that most fans are aware of the wider world of pro wrestling beyond the promotions they follow most closely. And he feels that promotions working in cooperation have been more prevalent across the industry's history than many realize.

"The fanbase understands that wrestling goes on all over the globe, and so, I've always had that mindset," Jarrett explained. "I certainly didn't come up with it. Only really in the early '90s did it become polarizing. In – we'll call it the Monday Night Wars -  but collaboration has been around forever. And I think it's very, very healthy."


Jeff Jarrett founded his own promotion in 2002 when he launched TNA, known today as Impact Wrestling. The company is celebrating its 20th anniversary at its Slammiversary pay-per-view on June 19. Jarrett reflected on TNA's early years.

"The talent that came through there that I was blessed to just have around and be a part of, to grow and nurture: Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, I mean, we can go on and on with the list," Jarrett recalled. "It was all a lot of fun. Getting the Spike (TV) deal from a growth aspect? Enormous! We did a fast track. We started on Saturday nights for one hour and then we moved to Thursday nights, non-prime as well, and then we went one hour prime and then two hours in prime, all inside a relatively short period of time in the world of Hollywood. The team that we put together, not only on camera but behind the camera, was really, really special. Some of the greatest times of my life."

Jeff Jarrett left Impact Wrestling in 2014. He had this advice for anyone currently considering launching their own start-up wrestling company.

"Create your brand and stay true to it," Jarrett said. "When you look at the landscape, there is a lot of content being produced out there. So what makes you different? What makes you stand out? What makes you connect with your fanbase to say, 'I need to watch this program for reasons x, y, and z.'"


h/t to The Royal Ramble for the transcription.