Jeff Jarrett Discusses The Importance Of Talent Development

Jeff Jarrett

Jeff Jarrett learned a very valuable lesson by wrestling for a company that didn’t have much money.

Jeff Jarrett is one of the most important and influential American wrestlers of the past thirty years, especially from a business perspective.

He wrestled for both WWE and WCW, and after the Monday Night Wars ended, he founded TNA which, for many people, was considered the closest thing to competition to WWE’s juggernaut until AEW was founded seventeen years later.

Jeff Jarrett’s TNA has been seen as the launching pad for wrestlers like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode, and many other wrestlers. And according to a recent interview on Fightful’s The Wrestling Perspective Podcast with Lars Frederiksen and Dennis Farrell, Jarrett credits this success to lessons he learned in his youth.

When he was younger, he worked for regional promotions, particularly in Tennessee, which didn’t have the financial resources to compete with even bigger regional companies in Texas or North Carolina, much less WWE.

Because the Tennessee territory was less socioeconomically fruitful, Jeff Jarrett and the big names he worked with – Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, and his father Jerry – had to work harder to develop what he called “turnover talent” to help the territory prosper.

“It’s kind of the culture, also, that I was born and raised in the Tennessee territory. [With] the socioeconomic, we couldn’t compete with Charlotte [North Carolina] or the WWE/F just [because] of their dollars and cents. Texas was a lot bigger.

So, my father and Jerry Lawler, and obviously their predecessors, were always looking for new talent and developing new talent. That whole learning tree was that you have to have a turnover talent.

It was Lawler, [Bill] Dundee, and maybe Dutch [Mantel]. Talent came through Road Warriors, Hogan, Savage, you name it, they all came through Tennessee. But, the mindset of cultivating talent was in my DNA, and it still is today in ways. That would probably surprise you, but it’s part of who I am as a businessman, cultivating talent.”

“Then if you fast forward to 2002, June 19th, we launched TNA, and we were the alternative at that time. As Lars pointed out, there weren’t cellphones, Youtube, it was pre-social media, pre all that kind of instantaneous information. So, the internet was just getting its legs under it in a big way.”

h/t Fightful for the transcription