On a recent edition of his “My World” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett discussed his tenure at Impact Wrestling in 2017 following the GFW merger, his hiatus due to his alcohol issues, and more.
You can check out some highlights below:
On the budget during this era: “Well, you kind of have to figure out what you’re willing — and I say, pronouns pal! What Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions was wanting to pay per episode. And so when you look at it from a per-episode basis, and let’s just for round numbers — Oh, boy, Conrad. I don’t even know, I think $100 per episode, you know, if you’re just saying that. Well then, you kind of have to look at it. Okay, you caught me off guard here, so me trying to explain this. What you kind of have to do is then extrapolate out and say, ‘What is my budget for the year. And in total production budget, what do you want to spend?’ In their defense, but I’m also convicting them, they hadn’t thought that through and hadn’t really given a number on what [they] wanted to spend over the next 12 months. So we were ebbing and flowing here. And I’m like, ‘Okay, what do you want to spend per episode?’ ‘Well, what do you think we need to spend?’ I said, ‘Well, that’s really not going to get us where we need to be because if you produce, let’s just say four episodes. Two [at] two hours in a night, and come back the next night to two hours in a night. So then, you have your four episodes.’ From a creative perspective, that’s doable. Is it challenging? Yes. Because you’re asking your top stars to go out twice a night if they’re on every episode. And then if you work two days of taping, let’s turn that into fourfour days of taping. So then you get eight two-hour episodes in four days. And then if you do even more, you get 12 episodes in six days.
“You just kind of have to do the math, but it gets more and more challenging from a creative perspective and a talent perspective, because you’re asking guys to work twice in one night or sometimes a pre-tape. But also, your audience is going to see the same talent. So it gets to be an ebb and flow and a matrix. Obviously, best case scenario, if you had unlimited funds, you would do one live hour show a night. Live is spontaneous, there’s a sense of energy. Look, I knew we weren’t in that stratosphere. But in the TNA days, we were doing basically three episodes in two days, an episode and a half per night. And that keeps your audience fresh. But budgeting, you kind of have to have a number for the year, and that’s done off TV contracts. ‘All right, I’m creating, or there is this much revenue that that the content is going to generate.’ So you’ve got X amount of dollars that you’re generating. And obviously, you want some profit, and you’ve got got to run this, and you got to pay your back end, and administrative, and finance, and insurance, and legal, and salaries, and employees, and all the different [costs]. But youkind of have to have that number of total revenue and then back out of it. What can you afford?”
On going on hiatus from Impact following an incident at a Crash event over his alcohol issues: “I kinda doubt, he [Ed Nordham] probably went back to Toronto. So my guess is no, but I don’t remember that particular. I just remember kind of getting home, obviously a complete mess. Nobody is happy with me anywhere in my life. And I want to say it was maybe 24 hours, maybe 48 hours. ‘Hey, Jeff. We’re going to meet at the office.’ So that would have been that date, maybe that whatever date that the announcement was made. And me and Ed met, and it was, ‘Jeff, you need to go get your life in order, and we’ll revisit all of this.’ So, in their defense, when you are in the middle of — and papers, some signed, and I think the formalities of some are not signed. So it was literally right in the middle of the deal. But all the deal points and — again, I don’t want to rehash all the litigated stuff. But you know, we had agreed on everything, but there were still some formalities and some IP exchanges as far as the rights. And it was a mess that I made so messy Conrad. But Ed, they gave me an opportunity to go get my life in order, was the reality. That was kind of the pill that I swallowed.”
On his emotions about the decision: “I knew — you know, as I look at it today, I didn’t know how sick I was. But I knew, ‘Okay.’ It’s what that disease does. ‘Okay, I have an issue, I need to go fix this.’ But that’s just — Lack of a better word, Conrad, ‘Let me just go put a Band-Aid on this,’ or ‘Let me just go get some sutures.’ Or, ‘Let me just go, you know? Fix things my way,’ if you will. And so my solution was six weeks of outpatient…. I cleaned my office out, and they were like, ‘You don’t have to do that.’ And I’m like, ‘No, let’s kind of do a complete reset here.’ I also had in the back of my mind, ‘What are the real ulterior motives?’ I started thinking, ‘Okay, what is really going on here?’”
On thinking they wanted him out of the company: “They wanted me out because they didn’t want to spend the money that I wanted to spend. My mentality, I think clearer, would be, ‘I’ve hung myself. I gave him a rope.’”
On reaching out to WWE’s Brian James (Road Dogg) for treatment: “That was Karen to Brian. And then Brian — we’ll say he worked his magic internally at WWE.”
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In a recent episode of his podcast “My World,” WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett opened up about his time at Impact Wrestling in 2017, his hiatus due to alcohol issues, and more. Jarrett discussed various aspects of his tenure at Impact, including the budget constraints during that era.
Jarrett explained that determining the budget for each episode was a crucial factor. He mentioned that Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, the parent company of Impact Wrestling, had to decide how much they were willing to pay per episode. However, he pointed out that they hadn’t thought through the total production budget for the year, which made it challenging to plan ahead.
From a creative and talent perspective, Jarrett highlighted the difficulties of producing multiple episodes in a short period. He mentioned that they would often tape several episodes over a few days, which meant that top stars had to perform twice in one night or sometimes even pre-tape segments. While this approach allowed them to create more content, it also posed challenges in terms of keeping the audience engaged and ensuring the talent didn’t get overexposed.
Jarrett emphasized the importance of having a clear budget for the year, which could be determined based on TV contracts and projected revenue. He acknowledged that while having unlimited funds would be ideal, it wasn’t a realistic scenario. Therefore, it was crucial to strike a balance between financial considerations and creative aspirations.
The discussion also touched upon Jarrett’s hiatus from Impact Wrestling following an incident at a Crash event related to his alcohol issues. He revealed that he was asked to take time off and get his life in order. Although the decision came during the middle of a deal, Jarrett appreciated the opportunity given to him by Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions.
Reflecting on his emotions at the time, Jarrett admitted that he didn’t fully realize how sick he was. However, he acknowledged the need to address his issues and saw the hiatus as an opportunity to seek treatment and make necessary changes in his life.
Jarrett also shared his initial concerns about the motives behind the decision, suspecting that they wanted him out of the company due to budgetary concerns. However, he later realized that it was more about giving him a chance to focus on his well-being.
During his hiatus, Jarrett reached out to Brian James (Road Dogg) from WWE for treatment. He credited his wife Karen for initiating the conversation, and James played a role in helping him get the necessary support within WWE.
In conclusion, Jeff Jarrett’s interview sheds light on his time at Impact Wrestling, the challenges of managing a budget, and the personal struggles he faced during that period. It serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing mental health issues and seeking help when needed.