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Rewriting history - Jeff Jarrett


tiger_rick

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I know not everyone likes these "What if..." type topics. But they can feel free to ignore it!

 

I've been thinking about something that at the time I considered pretty insignificant. I thought it was a good move for WCW because he was a good talent and the first decent name they'd acquired in what felt like a long time but looking back now, I guess it's more interesting than that.

 

What does wrestling "history" look like if Jeff Jarrett re-signs with the WWF in September 1999? Does it affect the fate of WCW at all? Does Jarrett go on to win World titles in the WWF once the bigger names start to fade away? What becomes of the industry in 2002? Does a WWA or XWF take up the slack? Does ROH become the second company really quickly? Or does the WWE become complacent much earlier in the face of no competition and end up on it's arse? If not, do we get Sting in WWE much earlier?

 

It's easy to forget that in September 1999, Jarrett was in sensational condition. He looked the business walking around in black jeans with Debra and Kitty. If he'd stayed with the WWF I think he'd have got lost in the shuffle initially when the Radicalz came in but a couple of years later, they were looking for something new and if he was still in that shape, I could see him having a reign or two. Especially by 2004 when they were getting increasingly desperate. He could still be working there now in truth. I know you can't predict injuries and whatever but he worked a low impact style and hasn't had many major injuries. He could have worked another ten-twelve years for them. Obviously he had a tough situation with losing his wife which would have put everything in doubt though.

 

It might be a joke now but the industry itself would have suffered without TNA. Dunno if anything would have come along to employ so many guys full time for so long. On the other hand, more guys might have got back into WWE without the TNA stink this past ten years. Certainly don't think it would have been a healthy situation in the mid-2000s if the business was TNA-less. Kurt Angle would be dead by now.

 

That brings us to the key question. Jarrett potentially missed out on a decade of WWE paychecks, title runs and maybe hall of fame status. But he gets to take Karen Angle up the tradesmen's. Winning?

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I could see Jeff morphing into a cross between JBL and Edge by the mid-2000s. A Southern-talking ultimate opportunist-type character, with a lengthy title run where he retains the belt one way or another. Pretty much like Seth Rollins today.

 

I’m not sure what would happen with the likes of WCW, and then in turn say, Sting. Was Jeff leaving the WWF and joining WCW really that instrumental in the latter’s downfall? I feel there were just far too many variables in WCW closing than the acquisition of Jarrett.

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I could see Jeff morphing into a cross between JBL and Edge by the mid-2000s. A Southern-talking ultimate opportunist-type character, with a lengthy title run where he retains the belt one way or another. Pretty much like Seth Rollins today.

 

I’m not sure what would happen with the likes of WCW, and then in turn say, Sting. Was Jeff leaving the WWF and joining WCW really that instrumental in the latter’s downfall? I feel there were just far too many variables in WCW closing than the acquisition of Jarrett.

 

No disrespect to Jarrett, but Russo would have found another pet project to push to the moon.  

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There's only one top tier heel in the WWF in that late '99 spot, and his name was HHH

 

 

True, but was this partly because of lack of alternatives?

 

I watched Armageddon '99 last week for the first time in a while and realised there was a huge '#2 heel' gap. The other recognised top stars were the Rock and Mankind, neither of whom were likely to turn.  Kane was floating around in the mid-card with X-Pac and Big Show/Bossman was a title feud because there wasnt anyone else.  Jericho was fannying around (quite entertainingly) with Chyna and I had no complaints with that, Austin and Undertaker were out, and Angle had only just turned up. They flirted with elevating Billy Gunn after KOTR but that bombed and the Outlaws ended up back together.

 

The alternative prospect was Rikishi.... I loved '99 HHH so had no complaints  but looking back there was definitely something missing and a heel JJ could have been fun coming off the back of his anti-woman angle Chyna he had plenty of heat and seeing him mix it up with Rock/Foley/Jericho could have been fun.

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I think he would've just been pushed down when The Radicalz turned up to be honest and ended up leaving around 2002 after spending a couple of years tagging with someone like Hardcore Holly in some makeshift tag team, doubt very much he'd have ended up having a top feud with anyone, Austin didn't rate him as a top talent and Jarrett's track record suggests he was right not to

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I think JJ is hideously overrated as a wrestler.

 

The guy never moved with the times, had a boring Southern style and benefited from his family position in the business (to be fair alot are guilty of that).

 

He wasn't big enough to be a bruiser, and wasn't a flyer either, just hideously mediocre! (i'm not a fan of Jericho either by the way)  in every aspect!

 

I'm not saying he didn't have his place in the business, however he was never more than a lower mid-carder to me (in my insignifIcant opinion)  who was best served to guys on the way up or Raw fodder for the likes of Razor. I truly think he's lucky to have held any titles at all! , as in the 99 era would he really have looked at any point on Rock, Austin, McMahon, Taker, HHH or Foley's level??????

 

Too boot after somehow getting a title in WCW, thanks to Vince 'Im gonna kill WCW at all costs" Russo,  WWE showed zero interest so he goes and sets up his own fed so he can be the  'champion' and main eventer he always thought (wanted) himself to be. He then holds up the TNA title when there were more 'over' stars and continually put himself in the main event, long, long, long after people had had a gutfull of him (did anyone miss him when he was off TNA tv)! - TNA was basically an excuse for him to be champion. If WWE offered him a run as champ he'd have ditched TNA in a heartbeat (at any point and likely would ditch Global now) 

 

the only good thing i have to say about him is his creation of TNA enabled me to see Sting a few times and the Nash paparazzi production promo's. Outside of that Virgil has had more of an impact for me!

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I'm not saying he didn't have his place in the business, however he was never more than a lower mid-carder to me (in my insignifIcant opinion)  who was best served to guys on the way up or Raw fodder for the likes of Razor. I truly think he's lucky to have held any titles at all! , as in the 99 era would he really have looked at any point on Rock, Austin, McMahon, Taker, HHH or Foley's level??????

 

Too boot after somehow getting a title in WCW, thanks to Vince 'Im gonna kill WCW at all costs" Russo,  WWE showed zero interest so he goes and sets up his own fed so he can be the  'champion' and main eventer he always thought (wanted) himself to be. He then holds up the TNA title when there were more 'over' stars and continually put himself in the main event, long, long, long after people had had a gutfull of him (did anyone miss him when he was off TNA tv)! - TNA was basically an excuse for him to be champion. If WWE offered him a run as champ he'd have ditched TNA in a heartbeat (at any point and likely would ditch Global now)

 

Surely the main reason for that was because he was the biggest name that they knew they could count on? They weren't really in the position to offer long term contracts in the early days, and blokes like Monty Brown didn't want to wrestle full time anyway. Jarrett, as stale as he got, wasn't going to fuck the company over the way others might have. He was certainly out of the title picture pretty quickly after they got the Spike deal and were able to bring in folk like Angle, Christian and Sting (as a full timer). His last reigns were terrible though. I always felt D'Amore had deliberately put the top guys in a bit of a holding pattern, just keeping them warm until he was ready to really pull the trigger on Joe, Styles etc.

 

With that said, I agree that he would've been treading water if he'd stayed in the WWF. There was too much competition from younger, flashier and cheaper guys who had less heat backstage.

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You have to wonder if Jarrett would have still been around much longer than he was anyway? When did Jarrett ever stay in one place unless he was booking the promotion? He never stayed long in either of his WWF runs and his didnt last long in WCW (when all you needed to do was just keep your mouth shut and you'd have a pay cheque for life) in 1996/97 either. If he'd have re-signed, I imagine he'd have been gone the next time his contract was up. He'd have probably left in 2002 anyway. If he'd have stuck around in WCW, he'd have probably been in the Jericho, Benoit bracket until eventually falling into that X-Pac role of wrestling the likes of Tajiri in the under card of PPVs.

 

In a similar topic to the OP, I wonder how long Jarrett would have lasted in a Eric Bischoff ran WCW in 2001? The very nature of wrestling tells you, the former boss' "boy" would have been his stock diminish massively when the take over was completed. Maybe Jerry Jarrett (who was trying to buy WCW in 2000) and Jeff would have still tried to start up TNA anyway.

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It probably would have done more for D'lo Browns career than Jarrett. If I remember correctly D'lo's contract was coming up a few weeks after Jarretts and with D'lo also being chummy with Russo there was a lot a chatter that D'lo was following him to wcw.

 

But as soon as double j stiffs mcmahon over payment to drop the title at the ppv and subsequently departs for Wcw, the office having now witnessed loss of their writing team, a decent hand in Jeff and the Harris boys as well as Dustin Rhodes just before, went into panic mode and and shoved new contracts in everyone's faces that included "non compete" clauses of 3 months following expiry, which is now the norm.

 

So if jarrett had have stayed we probably could have seen a big D'lo push in Wcw with at least a us title run and maybe not the immediate implementation of non compete clauses which may have allowed russo to nick a fee more mates first. Probably would have been better for Wcw in short run but long term not sure it would have mattered a great deal.

 

BTW wasnt there talk of having jarrett go over Austin for a belt back when Russo was still booking in the wwf? But Austin wouldn't do business over some comments jarrett had made about 3:16 being blasphemous? Maybe it was just dirt sheet chatter but if true I can't have seen jarrett breaking into the main event in the fed had he stuck around, at least not for a good few years until they got desperate like when they gave Bradshaw a run.

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It probably would have done more for D'lo Browns career than Jarrett. If I remember correctly D'lo's contract was coming up a few weeks after Jarretts and with D'lo also being chummy with Russo there was a lot a chatter that D'lo was following him to wcw.

 

But as soon as double j stiffs mcmahon over payment to drop the title at the ppv and subsequently departs for Wcw, the office having now witnessed loss of their writing team, a decent hand in Jeff and the Harris boys as well as Dustin Rhodes just before, went into panic mode and and shoved new contracts in everyone's faces that included "non compete" clauses of 3 months following expiry, which is now the norm.

 

So if jarrett had have stayed we probably could have seen a big D'lo push in Wcw with at least a us title run and maybe not the immediate implementation of non compete clauses which may have allowed russo to nick a fee more mates first. Probably would have been better for Wcw in short run but long term not sure it would have mattered a great deal.

 

BTW wasnt there talk of having jarrett go over Austin for a belt back when Russo was still booking in the wwf? But Austin wouldn't do business over some comments jarrett had made about 3:16 being blasphemous? Maybe it was just dirt sheet chatter but if true I can't have seen jarrett breaking into the main event in the fed had he stuck around, at least not for a good few years until they got desperate like when they gave Bradshaw a run.

 

No, it's not. The ninety days is the notice period WWE gives people when they've decided to release them. They are technically still under contract and can even be brought back before it ends (like Bryan was). It doesn't apply when the contract expires because it's hard to enforce an agreement that's expired. Christian, for example, was in TNA just two weeks after his WWE contract expired.

 

Anyway wasn't the D'Lo situation that there was a clause where his contract would automatically rollover if he didn't give his notice in time? I read (somewhere, probably here) that he was bragging about the push he was going to get in WCW and then got stuck in a company with a whole bunch of heat. Even if that's wrong, he'd have had to be a right idiot to just sign a new contract because the WWF asked him to.

 

I don't think anyone was proposing Jarrett beat Austin but a feud was proposed, over Debra, I think, that Austin turned down, because he didn't like Jarrett. Part of it was the Austin 3:16 thing (which is daft since Jarrett's dig was clearly a work) but also because Austin still held a grudge from his days working in Memphis for no money.

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There was a few reasons Austin turned down feuding with Jarrett. One of those was because when he hits the ropes, he "doesnt look like he could crack an egg". Austin felt if he worked with Jarrett the matches would force him down to Jarrett's level, because Austin thought Jarrett didnt know how to work as a heel topline act.

 

I sort of get it. Jarrett's matches as a headliner always involved a million run ins and fuck finishes. Must have been some reason there were so many distractions and fannying about. He always worked better as a babyface I felt.

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Austin comes off like a right paranoid prick in some of the stories from his heyday, which is totally not how he seems to be from what we see today.

 

Suppose it's the nature of the business, always need an eye over your shoulder for one of the boys trying to take your spot but you'd think Vince would be trying to alleviate those concerns rather than fuel them, otherwise we end up like we are today with the most over guys being the retired legends.

 

Hogan, Nash, Goldberg, Shawn and hhh were all selfish when it came to putting people over and they all had good careers so I guess there's something to be said for it.

 

Who's been overly generous when on top yet not suffered? Flair and Bret hart are the only two that come to mind but considering they both pretty much got used and abused by wcw and wwf alike that probably isn't a good.case for the "hand excalibur to the next generation" side.

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