Jeff Jarrett On Why TNA Lost Fans – “Hulk Hogan Was Everything That TNA Wasn’t”

jeff jarrett tna wrestling

Jeff Jarrett has opened up about why TNA/IMPACT Wrestling business went down after they were having a lot of success as a company.

In the summer of 2002, Jeff Jarrett and his legendary father Jerry Jarrett came up with the idea to create a new wrestling company. It was over one year after WCW had died and while WWE had many talented WCW wrestlers under contract, there were still lot of capable wrestlers that could put on a great show.

For many fans of Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling, those first ten years or so were the best part. Some might point to 2006 to about 2010 as the peak of the company after Kurt Angle joined the company to mix in with the company’s homegrown stars like AJ Styles, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and many others. There was also Samoa Joe, who was a rising star at the time.

While Jeff Jarrett continued to wrestle for TNA as one of the company’s top heels that wrestled major stars like Angle and Sting, he also ran the company from behind the scenes. However, things got complicated when The Carter Family bought TNA and Dixie Carter was running the company even though she didn’t have a background in pro wrestling like Jarrett or many of the people that worked there.

Hulk Hogan signed with TNA in late 2009 and became a dominant figure on screen in 2010 along with Eric Bischoff, the former WCW President. They would end up having a major say in how things were run in TNA/IMPACT during their run that lasted about four years.

On a recent episode of his My World podcast, the WWE & TNA/IMPACT Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett talked about fans becoming negative toward TNA and mentioned Hogan’s influence was a reason why.

“This is obviously about subjective as possible. And I think I look at it through a different lens, but also lived it on a very micro situation from 2002 to essentially 2011. We’ll go to 2010, 2011. A brand was built called TNA Wrestling and it was called TNA Wrestling Presents Impact when the TV show came on on Fox Sports Net and then Spike.”

“And then when it became Impact from day one, it was a six-sided ring. And when it changed to TNA going away and Impact Wrestling and ‘wrestling matters,’ that was 180 degrees different from what the brand had been built on. This is kind of my thought through the journey.”

“Trying to think of an easy way to say this, but there’s not. But [Hulk] Hogan as the centerpiece was everything that TNA wasn’t. TNA, an alternative brand, X-division, four different distinct division, six-sided ring and everything. Impact Wrestling Matters was Hogan — and he’s such a dominant figure in this industry, that’s what Impact became. And that was on Spike TV for two hours until 2014. But it was rebranded Impact.”

As he continued, Jeff Jarrett spoke about going through tough times in the mid-2010s decade.

“I believe the brand of Impact, that name is tainted forever. Hence, tying into this episode, that’s why when I sat down with Ed Nordam and I’m saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got Global Force and you’re calling me and what do you wanna do?’ I said, ‘I truly believe’ — and look, I was at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt when we got down to the nitty-gritty and they said, ‘We have to have the name of the television show at Fox Sports Nets. We’ve gotta start.’”

“Okay, guys, creative room, let’s all get together.’ We probably had 20, 30 names, whatever it may be. But I said, ‘Ed, I was there when Impact was named. So I’ve got an affinity to this. It’s not that I’m vehemently opposed. And on the flip side, yeah I’ve got money invested in Global Force Wrestling. But throw all that out the door’. Impact went through a terrible time from 2013 till 2016, 17. Lawsuits, not paying bills, the payables were a mess.”

While continuing to make his point, Jarrett thinks that the brand is “incredibly tainted” now.

“I believe Impact was a four letter word. Because the four letter word to TNA was X-division, AJ [Styles] and others, Kurt Angle. I mean, just whatever you wanna say in that brand. Then it went the other way, and I just think that entire fanbase it — I mean, look at the numbers. The death spiral happened, they spit in the face of every TNA fan. It eventually, had it not been for Anthem, it’d been out of business.”

“So they bought an asset and I get it. and a huge library. But that brand, if you will, I believe [is] incredibly tainted. And that’s why I was so headstrong on, ‘Guys, we gotta rebrand. You gotta rename it.’ You know, car dealerships do it all the time. There are all kinds of things, people that do it, that when you get asset that’s tainted, you gotta give more than a fresh paint.”

H/T 411Mania