On a recent edition of his “My World” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett discussed his TNA storyline with Kurt Angle in 2008, Johnny Devine’s time in the promotion, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On having his kids and Angle’s personal issues be mentioned in their storyline for Bound for Glory 2008: “So I had to reread it and research to try to click my brain back into gear. So on the overarching kind of comments that Wade Keller made about this, we talked — and I say ‘we.’ Pronouns, pal! The creative team. And I still am a big believer that look, it’s up to the individual first and foremost. It was up to me. It wasn’t up to the creative team. When you use real life, there’s always a fine line. But the line kind of has to be drawn by the person that that it’s their real life about. I was always — and I went back and forth with this a lot, and had a lot of discussions. Do we ignore it completely? And there’s that old famous saying, ‘Life imitates art, and art imitates life.’ Again, I don’t think there is a right or a wrong decision. I think it’s kind of trying to make the very best decision that you can possibly make at the time. And we chose, ‘Okay, let’s touch on it.’ And look, if I could go back and listen to it, Tenay was — and Don West — were very, very sensitive to all of it. I mean, Mike [Tenay] was here at the house a lot in late 2005, all of 2006, into 2007. And then on, too, but he was around the situation a lot. So Mike knew firsthand kind of — not just me, but the girls and you know, just the entire situation. So he just said, ‘Jeff, I’ll handle it any way, but without question I’m going to be respectful of the situation.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ So we said, ‘Let’s not ignore it, but just don’t go overboard with it.’
“Well, I have to respect Kurt’s feelings. And knowing that, ‘Okay, he’s going to take the same mindset that,’ he knew the situation. Of course, he was sympathetic to the situation. But he’s also going to play the role of an antagonist, and dive into that. So I was totally fine with his comments because I also knew his — you know, Kurt and me had conversations. You know, when he obviously came on board. But through Jill’s illness and all that, I knew where Kurt’s head was at. But when you have [Daily Star columnist] Patrick Lennon [talking about the feud]… look, you can’t just say, or my belief is — and I think this gets into a much broader discussion. It kind of drives me crazy in this day and age when you get into — any kind of journalist today, and you just kind of like, ‘Oh no, it’s all BS. It’s all kidding.’ What is that real upside other than helping that publication get clicks? And I understand that as well. But with that being said, I’m in character with Kurt, period, as it relates to Patrick Lennon. I’m not going to just say, ‘Hey, oh come on guy.’ No, that that wasn’t — and yes, 2007 and 2023, it’s a different landscape. It’s a different world. But go back to my overarching theme that the talent, the next breakout talent of today’s world, will understand social media and use it to its advantage, as opposed to the social media using them to their advantage.”
On Johnny Devine asking for his release: “Johnny’s a hell of a heel, good talent. But this got me thinking, looking through research that everybody in TNA, as far as talent, and the office as well. They knew that we didn’t have unlimited spots. That we really could only have a finite number. And I think they began to understand, kind of the philosophy that was put into place that if you keep the same roster year after year after year, it could get really stale. And it’s like a loaf of bread. If one piece of bread is stale, it kind of permeates through the loaf. And so change is good. And Johnny — and there’s other guys that would come up and say, ‘Hey man, I think I got to go.’ Now others said it differently, whether bitching or angry or ‘Screw this, I’m out of here.’ But end of the day they kind of saw, ‘Okay, the upward mobility.’ There’s X amount of spots that, you look at the top of the AJ Styles of the world that were on top of the homegrown talent. And then you look over, we’ll call it on the established veterans, that ‘Okay, there’s not a spot for me.’ And Johnny was one of those who was smart enough to kind of look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey man, I’ve enjoyed my time, but it’s probably better if I move on.’ That was the reality. And he wasn’t the only one. But it’s not for lack of talent. It’s truly a lack of opportunity. For a lot of guys, the opportunity just wasn’t going to be there. The decisions were continually being made and re-evaluated. We’re going to put our best foot forward.”
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In a recent episode of his podcast “My World,” WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett opened up about his storyline with Kurt Angle in TNA in 2008, as well as Johnny Devine’s departure from the promotion. Let’s dive into some of the highlights from the podcast.
One of the main topics discussed was the use of real-life personal issues in their storyline for Bound for Glory 2008. Jarrett emphasized that the decision to incorporate these issues was ultimately up to the individuals involved. While there is always a fine line when using real-life situations in storytelling, Jarrett believed it was important to make the best decision possible at the time. They chose to touch on the personal issues but not go overboard with it. Jarrett also mentioned that commentators Mike Tenay and Don West were very sensitive to the situation and handled it with respect.
Jarrett acknowledged that Kurt Angle, who played the role of an antagonist in the storyline, had his own personal struggles but understood where his head was at during that time. He also addressed the comments made by Patrick Lennon, a Daily Star columnist, about their feud. Jarrett expressed his frustration with journalists who dismiss wrestling as “all BS” and emphasized that he was in character when responding to Lennon’s comments.
Another topic discussed was Johnny Devine’s request for his release from TNA. Jarrett explained that Devine, a talented heel, understood the philosophy behind keeping the roster fresh and avoiding staleness. Devine recognized that there were limited spots available and decided it was better for him to move on. Jarrett highlighted that Devine was not the only one who made this decision, as other talents also realized that opportunities might not be available for them in the promotion.
The podcast episode also included a video embed of Turning Point 2008, allowing fans to revisit the storyline and gain further insight into the discussed topics.
Overall, Jeff Jarrett’s podcast episode provided an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the TNA storyline with Kurt Angle and shed light on the challenges and decisions involved in incorporating real-life issues into wrestling storylines. It also highlighted the importance of keeping the roster fresh and providing opportunities for talents to grow and succeed.