In a new interview, Jeff Jarrett talked extensively of Global Force Wrestling, TNA and more
On TV taping plans: |We just named it Amped, and we are in the discussion of how many episodes so I can’t tell you how many right now. We are going to be shooting on content next Friday, then August 21st, and October 23rd. One thing is for sure, we are starting four tournaments starting next Friday: The Global Championship, the Tag-Team Championship, the Women’s Championship, and the Nex-Gen Championship. We do have Bobby Rude appearing and in my opinion he personifies what GFW in some shape, form, or fashion is all about. He is a wrestler under a contract for another promotion who will be appearing on our program. The number of episodes is a moving target at this point. We are going to go shoot the tournament then we get back who knows? It could be ten episodes, twelve, fourteen, who knows? It’s a work in progress. When you are trying to line up domestic and international, it’s a real challenge to try and please everybody. We are going to do our very best to expose the product to as many wrestling fans as we can.”
Mike Chiari: There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the various GFW championship tournaments that were recently announced, but the one that really caught my eye was the Nex-Gen Championship. Explain the Nex-Gen division, what type of performers we’ll see taking part in it and why you think it’s going to be an asset to GFW.
On the Nex-Gen division: “Nex-Gen is a term we really thought about and studied. When you look at pro-wrestling in 2015, there are certain guys that are going to wrestle like the next generation and they are going to take it to the next level. Whether it be the speed of the Young Bucks or the innovation of the Bullet Club, there are so many different talents that will take it to the next generation. Then you see a guy who is a rookie, brand new in the business, and isn’t a household name today. But in the next generation of household names he will be. It’s a little bit of both, no weight limit, it’s a division of guys who want to get in there and wrestle. They may never have won a title before or it may be their style of wrestling that will give them that first opportunity to wrestle for that Nex-Gen title. It’s not a traditional type of division by any means.”
Brandon Galvin: Hacksaw Jim Duggan recently stated GFW will be a PG, family-friendly product. With WWE also promoting a family-friendly product, what will GFW do, or what would you like to see GFW do, to separate itself from WWE within the PG environment?
On being PG but different than WWE: “It goes without saying that WWE is sports entertainment. They invented the term and they do it better than anybody else. It’s a very lucrative business for them and my hats off to them on how they have created their genre. We are professional wrestling, there are a lot of similarities but we are going to be more docu-style. Are we going to have story lines? Yes. It’s like how you have story lines in a sporting event like a baseball or football game. We are not going to write stories per say, but more along the lines of documenting them. There is a story behind every GFW athlete. Questions like: Why, why did you get into the business, why did you want to be a professional wrestler, why GFW, why do you want to be a Champion, why do you do this in your persona, what makes you tick, what’s going on in your family life? That all affects the business and how you climb the ladder of success. That’s a big difference between writing story lines and documenting story lines.”
On shooting documentary-style vignettes: “If you watch the GFW YouTube channel it will give you a sample. Back at Wrestle Kingdom 9 we documented our journey leading up to it. We also have videos coming out to give you a feel for it with guys like PJ Black, the Bollywood Boys, the Akbars, and Mordetzky. The videos dive into the talent and the wrestler’s lives and what’s really going on in their world. Just recently, we took a real life situation, I went back into TNA with a lot of raw emotion and I don’t want to get to long winded on this, but a non-TNA talent left the promotion with the King of the Mountain title. Eric Young was pretty vocal about it backstage and went on a Twitter rant about it. He said it didn’t have anything to do with it but if you connect the dots you can see it. My hats off to him for being vocal about it. Eric and I have a personal relationship that goes back over ten years. He has been at every 4th of July party at my house except maybe one he missed. We have a real close relationship and I respect him because he didn’t go behind my back about his frustrations. He just made it vocal he didn’t like it. I told him he should come up on the tour and we can talk about it. He took me up on it and came and had a match against Johnny Gargano, local independent superstar, from the AIW. You don’t see that kind of stuff in any other promotion.”
On Eric Young and a potential invasion angle: “The word invasion is kind of been there and done that in my opinion. Certainly you can already see that Bobby Roode is coming to Vegas next Friday for the first ever set of Amped tapings and he is under contract with TNA. Eric Young was just with us this weekend. We are in discussions of the next steps of this business agreement. Global Force Wrestling and TNA wrestling, whether it’s a co-branded show, a co-promoted show, a collaboration, that’s all in discussion right now and I am reporting it in real time as much as I can. As a wrestling fan myself, this kind of stuff excites me because you just don’t see this nowadays. Years ago you had hand shake agreements between promoters, you had Ric Flair as a traveling champion, and Dory Funk working for multiple promotions. Once the territory system went away, you were left with the big two of WWE and WCW. Then you were down to the big one, just being WWE. Then you had had TNA and Ring of Honor come around with every promotion acting like an island. WWE can do that since they have north of 90% of the market share. You have all the smaller promotions fighting and clawing for that brand identity. I believe with GFW and our mission statement, we want to have a working relationship with any and all promotions because rising tides raise all ships. I went out and formed the relationships that I have had over the years and made them more formal with New Japan and Triple A and around the globe with the independent promotions in Europe, South Africa, and Australia.”
On a potential TNA alliance: “End of the day and this may sound cliché, if the wrestling fans benefits, than 9 times out of 10 the promotion will benefit. There was chatter about Karen and I coming back to that promotion, and that created positive chatter for TNA. That fed into the positive chatter for GFW including Bobby and Eric and all of that helps the promotion. As we move along, it helps create brand awareness and creating a little bit of that mystique. End of the day, people want to see fantastic professional wrestling and that should be everyone’s common goal. That’s what we are headed for and that is fantastic professional wrestling.”
On whether he will return to the ring: “Slim and none on the GFW roster. If you caught Impact when I made the surprise appearance, I told them that I don’t know where the disconnect is. You are calling me to come wrestle but I don’t even wrestle for my own promotion. Then we talked through things and it was the King of the Mountain match and Slammiversary. I like to keep myself in shape but I wasn’t anywhere close to in my age and career the shape I wanted to be in. I was happy with the match but I have no plans to be an active wrestler on the GFW roster. As far as the King of the Mountain title we have a call this Friday. We are going to figure out what our next best step is. We have a title, that is not GFW property, it’s in our possession, I could vacate it, have a one night tournament, block A vs. block B, there is just so many ways to go about this and we have to figure that out. It’s pretty exciting just to have the opportunity but what we are going to do with it I am not sure just yet.”
On whether there’s ever been somebody that he were nervous to face: “Well, it goes without saying that I have been blessed to wrestle some of the very, very best. In my early days Jerry Lawler, he had this aura and ability in the ring. Certainly not the Jerry today but the active weekly wrestler that had a presence about him that would put you on edge. I also had a series of matches against Shawn Michaels later on who could be called the best in-ring performer ever. I had another series with Ric Flair and it goes without saying his pedigree. Just a couple of years ago I had multiple, high-profile matches against Kurt Angle. Kurt has so much tenacity, athletic ability, strength, and drive. Still to this day, before I went through the curtain at Slammiversary, I had butterflies and was nervous. That same feeling should never go away and if it does you should get out of the business. I felt it that night and I sure felt it the next day after that.”
Tags: GFW, Jeff Jarrett