Former TNA Wrestling boss Jeff Jarrett has revealed he held talks with WWE legend Ultimate Warrior during the company’s early days.
The Hall of Famer – who founded the promotion with his dad Jerry in 2002 – has opened up on the discussions he had with the late star, and what they had in mind at that stage in their development as a brand.
Speaking on My World with Jeff Jarrett, he said: ‘I had a couple of conversations with Jim [Hellwig], but very top-level. And to put it in context, I had never done business with him.
‘Our paths really never crossed in WWE. I was not at the WWE at that time. So, me and Jim’s paths never really crossed other than I met him on Thanksgiving Day in 1985. He was in there with Sting in the territory at that time.
‘So, he was more of a business colleague and a friend of my dad’s in this relationship. I reached out and had some conversations, but my dad was doing all the true business negotiations and he was asking me different questions.’
When they were trying to pull a deal together with Warrior that summer, TNA – which has gone onto become IMPACT Wrestling – weren’t running many dates, and they thought the schedule would attract some big names.
Jeff added: ‘[Warrior] was a tremendous name value and going into June of 2002, we were only looking at 26 shows, even if you made every show. So, Jim was only a four, five, six, or whatever, “Hey man, come give us a try.”
‘That was one of the first pitches, but I gave that pitch to a lot of folks over the first year, whether it was Curt Hennig, Rick Steiner, Hacksaw, or The Road Warriors.
‘”We’re not asking you to sign an exclusive deal. We’re not asking you anything other than we’re starting a company, do you want to come work a few shows?” He obviously had the name value, so that was about the extent of my conversation with Jim.’
Meanwhile, Double J himself recently opened up to Metro.co.uk and looked back on one of the more chaotic moments in the promotion’s storied history.
Back at the Hard Justice pay-per-view in 2006, everyone was stunned when a fire broke out at Studio 21 – the official name for the IMPACT! Zone at Universal Studios Florida – in the middle of a match between Johnny Devine and Eric Young.
He told us: ‘One time at TNA, the pyro went off and the pyro went up into the ceiling and it caught fire! We had to evacuate the entire studio on live television, keep it going.’
Jeff admitted the scary moment will be one of many from his career that gets delved into deeper on his AdFreeShows podcast.
‘That’s a part of the podcast I’m gonna have fun with. You’ll think about different pay-per-views where maybe the talent wasn’t quite ready, the match before them finished early and so they’re not ready to go through the curtain so we’re scrambling backstage,’ he laughed.
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