Loss of Jarrett a big blow to wrestling
By Justin LaBar
Published: Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 11:27 p.m.
Jeff Jarrett has resigned from TNA Wrestling. The captain sees the iceberg and doesn't want to suffer.
Jarrett was one of the founders of the wrestling company that became the No. 2 company in North America and Europe behind WWE. There is no way to spin this into good news for TNA.
Rumors of TNA's sale had been hot earlier this summer. While names such as Billy Corgan made the rounds, I figured it seemed likely Jarrett would form a group of his richest country music friends to purchase the company and try to keep it going. Now it seems that would be off the table.
What makes the departure seem even more negative is the silence surrounding it. TNA doesn't want Jarrett talking because he will say nothing positive. Something is wrong in Dixieland. There is never any more emotional or genuine words spoken than when a parent realizes their child has gone down the wrong path.
Jarrett could bring TNA on a session of “Maury” where the military drill sergeant gives the kid a dose of reality. He's the father, TNA's the child and the drill sergeant might arrive too late.
As a wrestler, Jarrett was serviceable to the mid-card at best. He was pushed to the main event in WCW's final days but didn't belong. He was one recognizable names they had left and had friends in the right political places. Reality remains. He was a bigger persona in his mind than he ever drew to be. I believe the saying is a variation of he broke more guitars than dimes he ever drew.
In saying that, I give him more credit than most. He got out, made some money in guaranteed money he was able to ink (difference in getting a guaranteed and actually drawing nightly houses) and then moved into management. Too many guys aren't smart and capable enough to move to management. They had to rely on taking bumps and riding the road.
Jarrett does come from a smart wrestling family. His father, Jerry, might be one of the best wrestling bookers in the history of the business. In fact, Jerry Jarrett was being prepared to take over WWF in 1993 if Vince McMahon had been found guilty by the U.S. government during the steroid trial. That's a huge showing of how good a wrestling mind and trusted body of management he could be.
From all accounts of those who worked with Jeff Jarrett while he had stroke as management, I've heard positive things. Decent booker and nice enough guy. It seems he got out off the ship before he had to hold his breath, but where does he swim to now?
I doubt WWE is an option. His only role would be a lower-level management position, and it's a role they have other options to fill. WWE might not publicly acknowledge TNA as competition, but Jarrett has been one of the leaders of the company for the past decade plus. No need or reason for WWE to toss him a lifeboat after he had to abandon his baby. He doesn't offer them anything they need or can't get from someone else.
Based on Jarrett knowing how to play politics and for retaining employment for as long as he has, I'd assume he isn't financially needing to find a new job tomorrow. His departure can probably best be used a barometer on TNA's stability.
Professional wrestling might not have any other good paying, or as good as he was making, jobs left. WWE is the only other paying game in town which I doubts an option. I can't picture Jarrett picking up the guitar and hitting the independent scene and trying to scratch out $1,000 a show.
Then again, he's married to Kurt Angle's ex-wife who is intriguing in her own ways. Make it $1,300.
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