By Derek Simonetti
Jeff Jarrett is going into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018.
There are going to be a lot of people who hear that and think to themselves, “Why?”
There are also going to be people that say, “This has been deserved for a long time.”
I am here to tell you, both people are wrong.
Jeff Jarrett is a 3rd generation wrestler who achieved some modicum of success everywhere he went. In fact, here are the championship stats that truly count and some that don’t…
World Wrestling Federation
[These Championships count, mostly because the guy who decided to give him these belts wasn’t his friend or a member of his family. However, the NWA North American Championship was a joke and probably shouldn’t be looked at as a real accolade.]
o NWA North American Championship (1 time)
o WWF Intercontinental Championship (6 times)
o WWF European Championship (1 time)
o WWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Owen Hart
World Championship Wrestling
[These Championships are kind of suspect, mostly because Vince Russo was one of Jarrett’s best friends at the time. In the words of Mike Graham, “The guy broke 6 million guitars and didn’t draw a dime.”]
o WCW World Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
o WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
[These Championships are a joke and should not be counted. Jarrett ran the fucking company when he won the NWA Heavyweight Championship 6 Times. Also, the King of the Mountain Title – King of the mountain in general – and the TNA Hall of Fame aren’t real accolades.]
o NWA World Heavyweight Championship (6 times)
o TNA King of the Mountain Championship (1 time)
o King of the Mountain (2004, 2006, 2015)
o TNA Hall of Fame (Class of 2015)
He’s also won a shitload championships in promotions whose championship never meant anything.
His crowning achievement – at least to me – is his initial debut with the WWF. For those who may not have been alive to witness it, this was when the storyline writers were on top of their game with some deep cut style stories. With one storyline, not only did he get over his heel persona, but he MADE Brian Armstrong (known to you Attitude Era jock-sniffing fanboys as “The Road Dogg”)
He came into the WWF as a Nashville Country Musician, touting that he was the best up and coming country singer in the world. He made his debut and did the usual opening tour of victories over job guys and minor characters. He eventually became the Intercontinental Champion as well. During this time, his music ability was called into question, to which Jarrett released a single and music video for his hit song, “With My Baby Tonight”. If you have never heard the song, check it out below.
He even did a live performance of the song at In Your House 2. However, it would soon be revealed that Jarrett wasn’t singing on the single, it was his manager, and Roadie, “The Roadie” Brian Armstrong. From there Armstrong would change his name to Jesse James and take over as a country singer character until eventually teaming with Billy Gunn to form the New Age Outlaws. The New Age Outlaws were lynchpin characters in a lot of what made the Attitude Era a thing, and for that, Jeff Jarrett should be thanked by anyone who actually dug the Attitude Era. You’re welcome from the New Generation Era.
During the Attitude Era, Jarrett returned to the company after leaving for WCW and floundering there for a while, and eventually captured more WWF gold in the process, including a notable tag team title run with Owen Hart. However, during the build-up to a sexism fueled storyline with Chyna, he held Vince up for money, as his contract lapsed a day or so before the payoff. It was at that point, we never expected to see Mr. Jarrett again. He went back to WCW and stayed there until WWE bought WCW in 2001.
Now, if you read the WWE’s write-up for Jarrett, that’s where his story ends, and now is he is going into the Hall of Fame, and that is because the WWE refuses to acknowledge TNA in any way, shape, or form. He would move on from WCW, create TNA Wrestling, and eventually fuck Kurt Angle’s wife, get kicked out of his role at TNA, marry Kurt Angle’s wife, and subsequently make on and off appearances with the company till eventually fucking TNA over with his Global Force Wrestling debacle.
In the end, is Jeff Jarrett a first ballot Hall of Famer? No, probably not.
Is Jeff Jarrett a complete head-scratcher of a pick for Hall of Fame? No, he has surely done enough to earn the honor with his body of work. Also, just to remind WWE Hall of Fame purists, James Dudley (Vince’s Limo Driver), Koko B. Ware, and Drew Carey are in the Hall of Fame, so the selection could have been more ridiculous.
Jeff Jarrett was a mid-card performer at best, but a solid hand in the ring, and for that, and I am sure a few unannounced other things, he will be added to the WWE Hall of Fame this April.
Choke on that Slap Nutz…That’s H-A-Double L o-Double F a-m-e, Jeff Jarrett, your newest inductee into the WWE Hall Of Fame.