Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Jeff Jarrett, Barber


Great-ing Gimmicks of the Past: Jeff Jarrett, Barber – WWF, 1998


Jeff Jarrett was not having a good run. He had returned to his traditional character of a flamboyant country singer, and had added a manager – Tennessee Lee (Robert Fuller, WCW’s Colonel Parker). He had even added Southern Justice (Mark Canterbury and Dennis Knight, the former Godwinns) to his stable.

The problems were caused by the fact that Jarrett kept losing. To compound the problem, the losses were caused by Parker’s mistimed interference.

Finally, on the August 9th Heat, Jarrett had had enough. Tennessee Lee tried to have Southern Justice attack Jarrett, but the three joined forces on him instead. Lee was fired and wasn’t seen in the WWF again.

The next night Jarrett made his presence felt. Southern Justice were set to take on the Legion of Doom. Unfortunately, this was during the “drunken Hawk” phase and Hawk fell off the entrance ramp before the match. The referees sent Hawk to the back and Animal was left to face Southern Justice alone. Finally Darren Drozdov came out to take Hawk’s place. Jarrett thanked him for his trouble by blasting him with a guitar shot and cutting some of his hair off.

After D-Generation X representatives Triple H and X-Pac defeated Southern Justice on the next night’s Heat, Jarrett was looking for revenge. He found his opportunity on Raw as DX was taking on the Nation of Domination in a street fight. In the middle of the match, Jarrett and Southern Justice came out and attacked X-Pac, shaving a bit of his hair in the process.

A week later, X-Pac decided to get his own revenge. He pulled a cameraman into a dressing room and took a leak into a pair of cowboy boots.

A livid Jarrett then hit the commentary table as Southern Justice faced off against the New Age Outlaws. He demanded that X-Pac come out and face him while also demanding that the cameraman stop shooting footage of his bare feet. Canterbury finally came out to help Jarrett (leaving Knight to get pinned). In the end, Jarrett grabbed the cameraman (who was ignoring his request) and shaved his head.

Later in the night, X-Pac had a match against Gangrel. Jarrett came out and nailed X-Pac with the acoustic equalizer and then Edge attacked Gangrel.

That brought us to Summerslam. To get the show underway, Jarrett had come out during Sunday Night Heat and shaved Howard Finkel’s head. Finkel took a spot alongside X-Pac in the match. As the match wound down, Finkel jumped up onto the apron to distract Jarrett while X-Pac recovered from a missed bronco buster. That brought out Southern Justice. They tried to use the guitar but X-Pac intercepted and blasted Jarrett with it for the pin. That brought all of Jarrett’s former victims out to hold him while X-Pac wielded the clippers. Afterward, Finkel, Droz, and the Headbangers tried on some of Jarrett’s hair while he covered his head and ran to the back.

Saturday night on a special edition of Raw, X-Pac had a shot at the European title against champion D’Lo Brown. The match was interrupted when Jarrett, sporting a new, shorter haircut, attacked X-Pac.

Later in the night, Jarrett was facing Scorpio when X-Pac attacked. Jarrett was able to clear out before Kane and the Undertaker attacked and took out Scorpio.

On Heat, Road Dogg was set to take on Mark Canterbury. The match had barely gotten started when Jarrett hit the ring to make his presence felt. That brought out X-Pac to attack Jarrett.

The following week’s Raw saw Road Dogg facing off against Jarrett. Needless to say, Southern Justice dragged Road Dogg out of the ring, which prompted a melee. Jarrett was able to get Road Dogg back in the ring and hit him with a guitar to get the win.

Jarrett had Billy Gunn on the next Raw. The referee started the match by sending all DX and Southern Justice representatives back to the back. The match was back and forth until Billy ran into the referee. Jarrett went for his guitar and got caught by the referee, which gave Billy an opportunity to hit a neckbreaker and get the win.

That brought us to the Judgment Day pay-per-view. During the Heat pre-show, Billy Gunn was taking on DOA in a handicap match. At least, that was the plan. Jarrett and Southern Justice attacked Gunn as well, which brought out Road Dogg and X-Pac to try and even the odds. As DOA left, Southern Justice and Jarrett left the DX representatives lying on the mat.

Jarrett and Southern Justice faced off against the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac on the PPV proper. The match started off with Jarrett and Southern Justice in the ring as X-Pac made a solo entrance. It was a ruse, however, as the Outlaws entered through the crowd and jumped them from behind. In the end, Jarrett rolled out of the ring and grabbed his guitar. Billy Gunn stopped him from using it and was winding up for the swing himself when the referee grabbed it and took it away. As Jarrett blasted X-Pac outside the ring, Billy pinned Canterbury for the win. Still, Jarrett got the last laugh as X-Pac appeared to have gotten a shard of wood in his eye.


This angle was necessary. In the “attitude” styled 1998 WWF, Jarrett’s country singer (which he had been doing in some form or fashion since 1993) needed to be revamped. The hair was gone. The goofy looking tights and light-up sunglasses and hat were gone. In its place was a serious competitor who looked ready to fight. Sure, the usefulness of a guitar in a fight is a dubious point, but it could provide a great visual. Regardless of whether it actually hurt or not, the sight of a wrestler’s head going through the guitar looked painful and like it could legitimately knock somebody out. (On a side note, it can. I have a friend who used to run an independent company who gave a guitar shot to a guy once. The guy was completely knocked out and his shoulder (which had actually split the frame of the guitar) hurt for another couple of weeks.)

The angle gets an added level of poignancy when you take into consideration the rumors that Jarrett had requested to lose a hair vs. hair match in order to show support for his wife, who was undergoing chemotherapy at the time and beginning to lose her hair.

Where are they now?

Jeff Jarrett left the WWF to return to WCW in October of 1999. Here, Jarrett finally broke through and won the world title four times. After the WCW buyout, Jarrett headed to Australia for a WWA tour. In 2002, he and his father Jerry Jarrett founded TNA, where he remains today.

X-Pac remained in the WWE until he was released in August of 2002. In September he began appearing for TNA, only to leave there in November. From there, he competed on the indy scene until February of 2005, when he made his return to TNA. He remained there until September, when he left and returned to the indy scene again. X-Pac also competed for the short-lived WSX.