Jeff Jarrett Reflects on TNA’s Decision to Repackage Samoa Joe and Sign Jenna Morasca in 2009

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On a recent edition of his “My World” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett discussed TNA’s repackaging of Samoa Joe and signing Jenna Morasca from Survivor in 2009.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On TNA signing Jenna Morasca: “That was — obviously, you’re kind of voicing those opinions [that fans expressed]. It was rampant. And it was a thing that — there was always that kind of discussion. Survivor, yes, it’s a CBS/Paramount product. But she just didn’t hit our demo, if you will. And yes, okay. If she’s not in our demo, we want to go outside it. And yeah, she’s what she said, swimsuit model and Survivor and all that. But bringing value to the product, that was always the question that I’ll just say, the creative room would say, ‘Okay can she –‘ And I’m not saying actually wrestle match, but that’s where we’re heading. ‘What can she do? Can she — what’s her offense, what’s your defense?’ Well, let me backup. ‘Was she physically involved? Can she cut a promo?’ Those are the first two questions. And, bless her heart Connie. No to both.”

On TNA repacking Samoa Joe in 2009: “I remember it as being a group call. And me, as — I call it the leader in the room — I kept kind of telling folks, ‘Nothing is permanent. We can tweak this along the way. We’re probably not going to come out of the gate.’ But we all knew — and again, I’m gonna go back to, when you have a year and a half. That’s a long time that we pushed Joe with never losing a match. And the trilogy that he had with Kurt, and him finally losing. It’s a kind of a natural letdown.

“Well, now here we are — what, two years after that? We were just trying to tweak. And there was never a time creatively that we’re like — I mean Joe, he’s not just good. He’s great, and his facials are good. And we were just trying to tweak it. We knew we didn’t hit a home run coming out of the gate with this on the tweaks and tweaking, if you will, of Joe’s character. No, we had a couple of SNAFUs along the way, to put it lightly.”

In a recent episode of his “My World” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett discussed two significant moments in TNA’s history: the signing of Jenna Morasca from “Survivor” in 2009 and the repackaging of Samoa Joe.

Regarding the signing of Jenna Morasca, Jarrett acknowledged the criticism and fan opinions surrounding the decision. He explained that while Morasca came from the popular CBS/Paramount show “Survivor,” she did not align with TNA’s target demographic. Despite her background as a swimsuit model and reality TV star, the creative team questioned whether she could bring value to the product. They wondered if she could physically get involved in matches or deliver compelling promos. Unfortunately, Morasca did not meet these expectations, leading to disappointment within the company.

Moving on to Samoa Joe, Jarrett discussed the decision to repackage him in 2009. He recalled a group call where he emphasized that nothing was permanent and that they could make adjustments along the way. However, he acknowledged that it would be challenging to replicate Joe’s previous success, considering he had been pushed for a year and a half without losing a match. Jarrett referred to Joe’s trilogy with Kurt Angle and how his first loss marked a natural letdown. The creative team aimed to tweak Joe’s character, recognizing his exceptional talent and facial expressions. However, they faced some missteps and challenges in finding the right direction for his character.

Jarrett’s podcast episode provides insight into the decision-making process behind these two significant moments in TNA’s history. It highlights the importance of considering a wrestler’s potential value to the product and the challenges of rebranding established talents. While both endeavors did not yield the desired results, they serve as valuable lessons in the ever-evolving world of professional wrestling.

Overall, Jarrett’s discussion sheds light on the complexities of talent acquisition and character development in the wrestling industry. It offers fans and aspiring wrestlers a glimpse into the decision-making process behind the scenes and the challenges faced by promotions when attempting to introduce new faces or repackage established stars.