Jeff Jarrett Comments On The Current State Of Impact Wrestling

One of the founding fathers of Impact Wrestling, Jeff Jarrett, has had his say on the longevity of the promotion that began operations over twenty years ago. The WWE SVP of Live Events, along with his father Jerry and Bob Ryder, started the organization as an alternative to WWE once Vince McMahon had gobbled up all of his competition (WCW & ECW) in the early 2000s.

Impact Wrestling celebrated their 20-year anniversary on June 19 with the annual Slammiversary pay-per-view event that took place at The Asylum, better known as The Nashville Fairgrounds in Nashville, TN. It was the same venue that the company filmed a plethora of shows during its inaugural year as a promotion. A handful of former talent appeared on the broadcast, which included video messages from legends such as Kurt Angle, Sting, and AJ Styles, who is currently contracted to WWE.

"As an entity, Ted Turner's [WCW], didn't last 20 years," Jarrett said on After the Bell with Corey Graves. "But also think about the trajectory of the company [IMPACT Wrestling]. It's no secret, there's been a lot of ups, but there were some downs and quite a few downs, but it's still rocking and rolling and creating content, so hats off to that group in so many ways."

Impact, then as TNA, first began airing weekly pay-per-view's before eventually joining the traditional path of having monthly pay-per-views and a network television show. "Impact," which ultimately became the organization's flagship show, debuted in May 2004, before a TV deal was struck with Spike TV the following year. Presenting their action in a six-sided ring, a number of high-profile talent joined the ranks such as Angle, Christian Cage, and Booker T, and the promotion was eventually overhauled in 2009 when then-President Dixie Carter hired Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff behind the scenes.

Although only performing weekly in front of hundreds of fans at a sound stage in Orlando, FL, the company went on to challenge WWE in January 2010 on Monday night's in an attempt to begin a ratings war with "Raw." The idea ultimately failed and "Impact" moved back to its home on Thursday nights.

A lot of changes were made during Hogan and Bischoff's time with the company, with the six-sided ring being changed to the traditional four-sided ring and a lot of veteran talent being signed, such as The Nasty Boys and Ric Flair. The promotion hit financial troubles in the years that followed, as Billy Corgan of the band Smashing Pumpkins joined the company in 2015 to help steady the ship.

The company was ultimately acquired by Anthem Sports & Entertainment in 2017 and was re-branded to Impact Wrestling. As the company sought to rebuild from the ground up as wrestling stalwarts, Don Callis and Scott D'Amore later joined as Executive Vice Presidents.

Impact Wrestling currently airs weekly on AXS TV and hosts regular pay-per-views, with the next major event set for July 1 with Against All Odds as Impact World Champion Josh Alexander defends against Joe Doering.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with Corey Graves with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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