Jeff Jarrett talks about the modern wrestling landscape and the opportunities he sees as somebody with a promoter's mind.
Jeff Jarrett, along with his father, Jerry, started TNA Wrestling back in 2002. At the time, wrestling was attempting to fill the void left by WCW and ECW no longer being in business. TNA Wrestling would eventually turn into IMPACT Wrestling, which is still going strong today, but it would never reach the heights that WCW once did.
Now, All Elite Wrestling is in the number two position and is faring better as a competitor to WWE than TNA Wrestling did in the 2000's.
Speaking with Cageside Seats' Shakiel Mahjouri, Jeff Jarrett compared AEW to the company that he founded back in 2002.
“The natural, low-hanging fruit. the most simplistic is the alternative," Jarrett says. “The similarity is that the alternative, at the very end of the day, I truly believe — and I think Vince McMahon would agree with this — it’s the best for business to always have an alternative. It’s just what makes business go around. If you’re the only game in town, you’re not number one because there isn’t a number two.
“The timing when TNA started, coming off the Attitude Era, and the timing when AEW started are radically different worlds. Pre social media world coming off the Attitude Era. When TBS and TNT canceled wrestling, I couldn’t even get a phone call from a network. Fast-forward, the big rights fees with NBC and Fox and the Peacock situation and Sony around the world in India and all the different markets — it’s a completely different playing field of 2002 and 2019 in the launch period. The climate is completely different. The television ratings are completely different. We started on a Saturday night on Spike TV in ‘05 or ‘06. Not prime, off prime. 11 eastern we were getting 700,000 or 800,000 viewers. On a Saturday night at late prime. The numbers were different. It was a pre-streaming world, a pre-social media world. When you factor in all that, it’s a completely different media market.”
Furthermore, Jeff Jarrett would open up about the current status of Ring of Honor and an interview with WrestlingInc, on the Wrestling Inc. Daily, noting that with all of the free agents hitting the market, it's hard for him as a former promoter not to begin thinking about the possibilities that will be available in the free wrestling market soon.
"So the ability to create good high-quality compelling content has never been more readily available. Then pair that with all the talent around the world that is working consistently, then yes, the opportunity is there for me and a lot of others.”
He added, “I am a third-generation promoter, of course, I am,” he confessed. “But look, launching a promotion like we did in 2002 vs. the challenges but also the opportunities today, it’s really not in the same stratosphere. Like I said, MLW, NWA, and IMPACT, the promotions out there, there are so many of them out there. When we got in the game in 2002, we were a distant two, and I stress that, but we were a two. Now, how many is there right now that me and you could go on, right now on YouTube and watch current, content produced in the last 30 days?”
Prior to the pandemic, Jeff Jarrett had been a WWE producer and he was at one point slated to be involved in bringing WWE to India on a more permanent basis. Learn more here.