Jeff Jarrett never felt like Dan Severn was “Total Nonstop Action.”
TNA Wrestling, which is now IMPACT Wrestling, began as NWA-TNA, another in a long line of promotions trying to utilize the name of the National Wrestling Alliance to gain automatic prestige and importance.
As such, on their first outing in June of 2002, the promotion crowned a new NWA Champion and Ken Shamrock, who they hoped would set the pace for what the brand was to be in the years that lay ahead. However, at the time, the NWA already had a champion and it was Ken Shamrock’s UFC rival, Dan Severn.
Speaking on a recent episode of his “My World” podcast, Jeff Jarrett revealed that he personally never had any plans for Dan Severn to be in TNA despite the fact that his father, Jerry, stated that Severn was simply unavailable for the first show.
“You're assuming that we were going to have him walk in the door as champion… Dan Severn was not going to be a part of NWA-TNA and I'll stop right there,” said Jeff. “I love Dan from a personal [point of view], but I don't think his promo skills and I don't think he's ‘Total Nonstop Action.’ Kenny had an aura about him. He could go. He had learned the WWF style and I'd been in the ring with him. You know, me and Kenny had a match where he was in a straight jacket. I had a match with a guy in a straight jacket and a lot of people say, ‘Oh, what a great match,’ and I am thinking, ‘Try Kenny on for size. He's having to work a match in a straight jacket.’”
Jeff Jarett continued, “Kenny had a really good skill set. [He was] very believable, and again, going back to ‘context is king’, Kenny was anything but ‘tits and ass.’ That's the Ying and the Yang of the promotion that I wanted to come out of the gate. We are the alternative, and yes we're gonna have girls dancing in cages and yes, we may have Teo and Puppet and little guys, and all that, and some craziness, and Flying Elvis. But we're also going to have a champion that dates back to 1905, and his name is ‘the World's Most Dangerous Man’ Ken Shamrock. So to wrap it back up, No, Dan Severn was never going to be a part of episode one or in my mind, the promotion.”
Ken Shamrock was recently inducted into the IMPACT Hall of Fame in the year 2020, featuring an induction video by Dwayne Johnson. Learn more here.
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