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Wrestling / Jeff Jarrett

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Jeffrey Leonard Jarrett (born July 14, 1967) is an American professional wrestler and professional wrestling promoter, who was active in WCW and WWF, and the co-founder of both TNA and Global Force Wrestling. A third-generation wrestler (being the son of legendary promoter Jerry Jarrett), he opened in 1986 as a babyface country singer; hence his artifact gimmick, that of smashing guitars over peoples' heads. But he had trouble getting over with fans, who dismissed his exposure as pure nepotism.

Jeff responded by turning heel (as unpopular wrestlers are wont to do), and all was well — he went to WWF, then to WCW for a year and to WWF back again, until he left under a cloud after his contract ran out and he demanded a big payday for jobbing to Chyna; it wasn't until 2018, 19 years after Jarrett left, that the two sides publicly reconciled with Jarrett's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and appeared as entry #2 in the 2019 Royal Rumble.

He had better success as a member of WCW's New Blood stable and in TNA's nWo attempt (Immortal). In November 2022 after parting ways with WWE again he signed with All Elite Wrestling as Director of Business Development as well as an active wrestler. As an in-ring performer, he is best known for his smarmy, cowardly nature.

Oh, and he's a 15-time world champion, having held six NWA World Heavyweight Championships, four WCW World Heavyweight Championships, three USWA World Heavyweight Championships, and two AAA Mega Championships.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018.

"The Chosen Tropes":

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: In TNA, he was compared to WWE's Triple H due to being wrestlers who had the clout to push themselves, to the point that detractors of both refer to Jeff as "Triple J" (for Jackass Jeff Jarrett.)
  • Anti-Villain: Jarrett is apparently a loving father of five, including step-children by Karen. There would be a lot of segments on Impact and even the TNA pay per views showing him to be a decent to great dad and husband, so long as no one said anything about Dixie Carter or Kurt Angle.
  • Arch-Enemy: Kurt Angle might be his greatest, by virtue of him ending up with Angle's wife.
  • The Artifact: His signature guitar, which was really only relevant to his country singer gimmick from WWF but has stayed with him through his other characterizations as much as Sting's bat or Triple H's sledgehammer.
  • Attention Whore: TNA was formed to be a stage for Jarrett to dominate. It all but disappeared by 2007, when his first wife Jill died from cancer.
  • Author Appeal: In WCW and TNA, he makes it clear that he is a massive Tennessee Titans fan. He once taunted the Buffalo Bills right after the Music City Miracle (while wearing a Titans jersey, no less), he had Frank Wycheck on TNA shows in the past, and actually got Adam "Pac-Man" Jones signed to TNA, as well.
  • Author Avatar: In TNA and Ring Ka King, though he had much less power in the latter since he did not actually own it.
  • Authority in Name Only: As the "King of Mexico" after winning the AAA Mega Champion's belt, which he called the "Mexican Heavyweight Title" on TNA Impact.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: While a goofy, silly heel most of the time, he's brought it to Kurt Angle, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Sting, AJ Styles, Booker T, Scott Steiner and many other top wrestlers.
  • Bland-Name Product: AAA did not actually approve of Jeff Jarrett showing up on TNA with the AAA Mega Championship, so he created the Mexican Heavyweight Championship/AAA World Heavyweight Championship, a belt that looked just like it, except that it had the colors of the flag of Mexico.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • He and Ray González had a falling out over González winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in 2005. González was immediately stripped of the title, and it was expunged from the NWA's and TNA's records. After the NWA divorced from TNA, though, they did officially recognize that Ray González beat Jarrett for the World Heavyweight Championship.
    • Jarrett is one of the very few wrestlers who's been Unpersoned in the WWF/E since his exit from the company in 1999, due to monetary issues involving his exit. It says something that the only time McMahon mentioned him since was during the Raw/Nitro simulcast to state that, from the WCW wrestlers he was going to bring in, Jarrett was definitely not going to be among them. This policy eventually ended in 2018 with the announcement that Jarrett would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
  • Captain Ersatz: Around the time TNA wrestling secured a deal with Spike TV, "Jeff Jarrett" started showing up in the Spike developed Fire Pro Wrestling games. Coincidence?
  • Catchphrase
    • Loves to call opponents "slap nuts." No idea why.
    • "Ain't I great?" and "That's J, E, double F, J, A, double R, E , double T... I'm double J, Jeff Jarrett!" during his first WWF run.
    • After he had his head shaved by X-Pac, he adapted "DON'T PISS ME OFF!" as his new catchphrase.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Is very adept at cheating, of course, he does have a quarter century of wrestling experience.
  • Cool Old Guy: 46 and busting out Ranas and Missile Dropkicks. Not to mention taking the pinfall in Ric Flair's "Last Match" in 2022 at 55.
  • Crossover: Though they wrestled other people, Main Event Championship Wrestling Arrives was marketed with the pitch that it had "TNA Star" Jeff Jarrett and WWE Star Jerry Lawler on the same card. They occasionally mentioned Chikara star Chuck Taylor as well.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh, he's had his moments. He once walked into the ring with fans chanting "DROP THE TITLE!", and he proceeded to literally do just that.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Lampshaded. He hit a backdrop suplex on Scott Steiner on the June 19, 2000 WCW Monday Nitro and said, "I just suplexed Scott Steiner!"
  • Didn't Think This Through: So at the 2009 Slammiversary, Jeff Jarrett states he has no desire to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and just wants Mick Foley to lose the belt in the night's King of the Mountain match. Considering he's part of TNA's front line of defense against the Main Event Mafia, it's a safe guess he doesn't want Kurt Angle to win either. So what does Jarrett do? Ruin fellow TNA defender AJ Styles' chances to win the belt, even though neither Foley nor Angle was in any position to stop them and obviously would have lost if AJ won. Jeff himself had no desire to win, so why bother?
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Through his heel runs, such as sending Tony Falk to try and convince Big Van Vader to go after someone else in USWA. Though in TNA he was uncharacteristically valiant, willingly standing up to Kevin Nash when it was clear he was not going to listen to reason.
    • Went back to being a coward in his feud with Kurt Angle.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: He actually had been a popular, hardworking Face in the USWA in Dallas around 1989-1990, and bore zero resemblance to the gimmick he's been since 1994.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Jarrett's valet, Debra, ended up deserting him for a big, bald wrestler who was already over (and later married him, oh the irony).
  • Evil Is Petty: In 2008 he could have just fired Kurt Angle but Jeff Jarrett decided to keep him around, hurt Angle and make him look bad to make sure Vince McMahon would not hire him back.
  • Feuding Families: The Jarretts and Harts have always been very close, so when Owen died under McMahon's watch... That was the beginning of the end.
  • Finishing Move: The Stroke, a forward Russian legsweep. The name doubles as a nod to his heel arrogance, abuse of power, etc. ("I'm the one with all the stroke around here!")
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: In AAA, where he insults the Mexican crowd with racial insults. He also thinks that he's the "King of Mexico", much to the ire of the Mexican audience.
  • Glass Jaw Referee: Despite being a wrestler, Jeff was about as fragile as any referee when he wore the stripes. This included his returns to refereeing even after he had an NWA World Heavyweight Championship run to his name!
  • Heartbroken Badass: His high school girlfriend turned wife died of cancer after being married for a long time.
  • The Heavy: In 2004, the Capitol+National Wrestling Alliance-TNA attempted takeover of the International Wrestling Association's Puerto Rican branch used a Big Bad Duumvirate; Ray González (The Mole with shares in the World Wrestling Council, looking to revive its old Capitol trademark) and Panda Energy (suits who were sore about IWA owner Victor Jovica lending money to WWC to prevent them from buying it up). Since none of the Panda suits were wrestlers, the face of the NWA-TNA side was Jarrett, and he had his own agendas.
  • Humiliating Wager: He and Dirty White Girl beat Eric Embry and Miss Texas in a tag team hair vs hair match during their USWA runs.
  • Instrument of Murder: He inherited the Honky Tonk Man's signature cheating style of cracking a guitar over the heads of his opponents.
  • Jerkass: As a Heel.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As a Face.
  • Joker Immunity: Jim Cornette's managed to somewhat rein in valets, even after it was ruled they couldn't be attacked by male wrestlers. He fired Earl Hebner for being a crooked referee. He broke up the largest and most evil version of Team Canada that wrestling had ever seen. He put LAX back to work. But he couldn't take the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Jarrett, which is what people really wanted to see.
  • Miles Gloriosus
    • During his 2010-2011 feuds with Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle, Jarrett started to hype himself up as a prolific MMA fighter and held MMA "training" sessions in the ring where he'd basically use simple MMA holds to torture whatever poor sap was dumb enough to become his lackey. Any real competition from men like Joe or Kurt and Jeff was doing everything possible to worm his way out.
    • Jarrett took over a local kids karate school where he left all the kids laying while talking trash to Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe.
  • The Napoleon: Requested that no one taller than him volunteer for the Double J's Double M A competitions, as he did not want anyone to get hurt. That included kids shorter than him with parents who were taller than him, on the reasoning they had genes that could allow them to surpass his height.
  • Nepotism: It was a well-known fact that TNA was created by Jerry Jarrett to put the spotlight on Jeff (well, and to replace WCW). However, this faded out over time as Jeff lost control of the company to Dixie — whose nepotism far surpasses anything the Jarretts had ever done (nearly killing the company), to the point that Jeff attempted to buy the company back, and when that didn't work, left and started another promotion instead. As much as his detractors resent how he took up the spotlight, they all generally agree that Jeff at least knows how to run a wrestling promotion — much better than Dixie ever has and ever will.
  • Non-Singing Voice: In-universe, in the WWF, Jarrett was exposed as not singing his own theme song. It was done by his manager The Roadie (AKA "Road Dogg" Jesse James, of D-Generation X fame).
  • Pet the Dog: Despite Jeff Jarret's many, many faults, he really did care about Tony Falk in USWA.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in his first WCW run 1996-1997): The Four Horsemen.
    • (in his second WWE run): Jim Cornette's NWA group.
    • (in his second WCW run): Vince Russo's the Powers That Be, the final version of the nWo, the New Blood (led by Russo and Eric Bischoff with Jarrett as the centerpiece before the group fell apart), Ric Flair's The Magnificent Seven.
    • (in TNA): Planet Jarrett, the Kings of Wrestling (with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall), the TNA Front Line, Immortal.
    • (in AAA): La Legión Extranjera (led by Konnan with numerous characters) and La Sociedad.
    • He was briefly a hanger-on to Bullet Club in New Japan.
  • Produce Pelting: Jeff Jarrett occasionally had garbage thrown his way during his successive NWA World Championship runs in TNA.
  • Red Baron: Simply Irresistible (in the USWA in Dallas), Double J, the Chosen One (in WCW), Big Daddy, the TNA Founder, the King of the Mountain, the Last Outlaw.
  • Ring Oldies: An in-career lasting more than 35 years and still going.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With his (actual) wife, Karen Jarrett (nee Smedley, and later Angle).
  • Signature Move:
    • The Jarrett Strut. It's similar to Ric Flair's strut, except that at the end he raises his arms in an "I've got it!" motion. It looks pretty ridiculous, but given his heel character, that was probably the intention.
    • Also "El Kabong", where he slams his guitar over the head of some unlucky schmuck, much as the titular cartoon character would.
  • Smug Snake: He's a very old school, cowardly sneaky heel.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Adding to his sliminess, Jarrett will brag like all hell.
  • Spelling for Emphasis: He's famous for spelling out his name when introducing himself.
  • Still Got It: Like him or hate him, Jarret keeps himself in amazing shape for a guy in his mid-50s, and is still regarded as a solid hand in the ring. Since signing with AEW he's appeared on TV, PPV and even Dark matches because he can still go so reliably.
  • Unperson: He was one of the few wrestlers to be Unpersoned in the WWF/E. The story behind it goes like this: Jeff's contract was set to expire a day before the pay-per-view on which he was booked to lose the Intercontinental Title to Chyna. Under no obligation to work the show and feeling that losing to Chyna would make him look bad, Jeff gave Vince an ultimatum: either he would get paid more money for doing the job, or he would leave the company without dropping the title. Even Chyna, no fan of the McMahons, confirmed that Jarrett took him to the cleaners. McMahon paid him what he asked—which Jeff promptly invested into a rival wrestling company. Vince has held a grudge against Jarrett for it ever since. It is interesting to note that his father, Jerry Jarrett, is a different story; he has a strong relationship with the McMahons, and he revealed in a 2010 interview that Vince McMahon gave his condolences to him after his wife died. It wasn't until 2018, following 19 years of animosity, that Jeff and WWE surprisingly mended the fences with the announcement of Jeff's induction to the WWE Hall of Fame.
    • An example of WWE's pettiness at this time is the fact they included his theme "With My Baby Tonight" on the WWE Anthology CD compilation and credited it solely to Road Dogg. It's true that Road Dogg was the singer (under his old name of The Roadie), which WWF acknowledged - but in the context of the time period, it was very much associated with Jarrett. Significant because this wasn't a mere entrance theme; Jarrett's gimmick then was being a country singer who'd had a hit with this song. He even took part in a performance of it at In Your House 2.
  • Villain Team-Up
    • When Ray González was revealed to be The Mole in IWA Puerto Rico, still owning 16% of WWC's shares and planning to turn the promotion into an extension of the WWC "brand" under it's old "Capitol" name, well to make a long story short, he faced some stiff resistance. When Jeff Jarrett and other NWA-TNA wrestlers intruded upon IWA though, González allied with them.
    • While he was AAA's Mega Champion, he helped Mexican America beat Beer Money for the TNA World Tag Team Championships.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Hit several with a guitar and hit Chyna with about everything that was not nailed down. Also beat the crap out of Alexis Laree during his feud with Raven's Gathering in TNA.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: A Wrestling Country Music Star.
  • Wrestling Family: Third generation wrestler.
  • Writer on Board: In the early days of TNA, Jarrett hogged the NWA title like there was no tomorrow. Fans, annoyed that Jarrett was essentially abusing his power as owner of TNA, screamed "DROP THE TITLE" at him. Even Jim Cornette, who at the time had was all sunshine and roses about every other part of NWA-TNA, said he and Jarrett were going to butt heads over his constant title pushes. Since TNA defected from the NWA and built their own world championship, Jarrett's stayed away from the title scene.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In the September 6, 2000 WCW Thunder, he walked on to the set of Mike Awesome's "Lava Lamp Lounge", and accused Awesome of being a mix of "John Travolta Saturday Night Live and Austin Powers."