TNA co-founder and Global Force Wrestling (GFW) founder Jeff Jarrett recently spoke with RealSport101.com about his return behind-the-scenes to the Anthem Sports-led Impact Wrestling.
Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On how Vince McMahon and WWE "destroyed" WCW: "Oil and water, if you want to compare the two. Vince McMahon, he's third generation, and his enormous empire, he ran it much like the territories. The buck stopped with him, he made the decisions, that's how a company should be run. Feast or famine, right or wrong, the WWE is driven off his decision making and always has been. WCW was a corporate world. Eric Bischoff, I have a lot of respect for the guy, because he not only survived, but he thrived in a corporate environment that was so difficult to succeed in. Was he the only decision maker? Not at all. It's a corporate entity, and a publicly traded company, so it's really not a knock on Turner and Time Warner and that organisation, but that's the reality. An entertainment property, specifically a wrestling property, you have to have a decision maker. You have to have somebody who sits on top, that is guiding the ship, that makes the decisions. They were polar opposites, and in the end, the WCW money got them in first place for a while, with Eric's leadership and the hot talent, but in the end, Vince destroyed them."
On other wrestling companies using intergender matches: "Obviously in that time [Attitude Era], it was the right time. I think as a constant, it doesn't work, and it hasn't worked. That's been proven over history. But in the right time, in the right circumstance, with the right talent, and in that era, Chyna was one of those characters. She was one of the real personalities that defined the Attitude Era. Stone Cold, Rock, DX – when you think of DX, I immediately think of Road Dogg, his persona just oozed that attitude, and then you look at Chyna. She was the ninth wonder of the world, and everything that went with that. The timing and the situations that we were put together, eighteen years later we're still talking about it, so something was done right."
On seeing former TNA stars like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe succeed in WWE: "I couldn't be more happy for those guys. I saw AJ in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. It was great to see him. We've stayed in contact, obviously through the New Japan relationship I got to see AJ quite a bit. Proud is a word, happy is a word. Going back to AJ debuting at the Royal Rumble, and the reaction he got, it put a huge smile on me and Karen's face, because AJ and his family are a huge part of my professional life, and personal life to a certain degree, from 2002 on. He was a young kid, go back and look at the pictures from North Georgia, that had a – pardon the pun – phenomenal ability in the ring, very athletic, and the matches that we had that are some of the best I ever had, give him the credit. AJ, Bobby [Roode], Samoa Joe, Eric Young's coming in – it's very obvious that I had nothing to do with their departure, and of course from a business point of view it's unfortunate, but also just to follow that up from a business point of view, it's one of the things that energises me most about 2017 and beyond, is who is that next AJ Styles, who is that next Bobby Roode and Samoa Joe. They're out there – they're in this country actually – so that's one of the things that really excites me about the future of Impact and Global Force."