Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Jeff Jarrett Talks GFW Roster, TV Tapings and More

Welcome back to another exclusive interview on the v2 wrestling podcast. Tonight, Adam and Ethan are joined by Jeff Jarrett. The full audio is available at this link. Below are the highlights.

On booking certain talents from other promotions:

"It’s going to be very interesting. Scheduling is going to be a unique set of circumstances but it’s all part of the business and, quite frankly, it does excite me because when you don’t have the same wrestlers show after show, it gives it a sense of freshness and a sense of anything can happen. It harkens me back to many moons ago and as time rolls on, when you have certain members of the roster come and go back in the Attitude Era. It was who’s going to show up on Nitro and I want to see who they’re going to wrestle. So I believe it brings a real sense of what’s going to happen next and who’s going to show up next, and I think that brings excitement to the fans."

How many shows is GFW going to tape in Las Vegas:

"It’s a work in progress. Jim Ross wrote online a couple of weeks ago and talked about 13 one-hour episodes, and that’s one of probably three to four options that we have. I also read another blog that said we're going to do three 3-hour specials on the three Fridays that we’re there in July, August and October. Then I heard even crazier that we’re going to do a live 3-hour special. So there’s a lot of options on the table. The uniqueness of this is that the best decision has to be made not only for the United States market but for our international discussions as well. We are global; we set out to do that from Day 1 to be a global brand and I’m going to stand behind it. I want this content that we’re going to shoot to be seen by as many eyeballs as they possibly can, so that factors into the decision in multiple ways."

His approach to storylines in GFW:

"A lot of people ask, How are you going to be different? In Global Force Wrestling, it goes without saying that there are storylines in professional wrestling. We don’t want to write stories, we want to document them. Because every professional wrestler truly has a story behind their life, has a story behind where they've come from. To me, the storylines have already started, if you want to call it that. There's talent coming from countries from around the world and the story is they’re going to be on the first ever Global Force Wrestling show, and there’s a pretty unique set of circumstances in and up to that."

His vision compared to other promotions:

"I am a professional wrestler, but those days are coming to a halt and I’m much more of a promoter nowadays. We all have a story on how we got to where we’re at and why we want to do what we do. Why do we want to professional wrestle? What makes us tick? Do we want to become champion? What does our girlfriend, wife or kids think about it and what are the hardships we go through in our daily lives? That’s real, and that’s what I believe the fanbase wants to dial into because we’re all so much more connected than we were years ago. You know what I did yesterday probably better than I did because of the world of social media."

Did he talk to Samoa Joe about joining GFW:

"Me and Joe, how long has our relationship been, 10 years? We continue to have text exchanges. What a unique talent if you remember when he came in to TNA – he had a real streak and success abroad. He knew where he was headed, and I couldn't be happier for the guy because he's going to show the world that he's going to kill 'em [in WWE]. I think his biggest and brightest days are in front of him and it's going to come a lot quicker than the world thought. He was never on the table [for GFW], ever."

Who to look out for on the GFW roster:

"Andrew Everett and Chuck Taylor are phenomenal talents, The New Heavenly Bodies are very good. The Tate Twins are young kids out of Knoxville; they’ve got a couple of years to go but it’s like every great tag team, whether it’s the Midnight Express or the Rockers, they started somewhere. Everybody that I’m mentioning has one thing in common and that’s sort of the prerequisite to be on a Global Force Wrestling card – and that’s passion. They have a real passion for this business. Thea Trinidad is a girl who started several years ago, lost her father in the tragic 9/11 attacks, and that was her inspiration to become a professional wrestler. Now here we are several years later and she’s coming into her own. All you have to do is go to our website and if you see a name on there that you’re not quite familiar with, put their name in YouTube and you’ll see it. The independent talent pool – the free agent talent pool – is as wide as it’s ever been. I was in the UK several weeks ago and I witnessed it firsthand, so professional wrestling around the globe is very healthy."

His thoughts on the future of GFW:

"I believe WWE, and I’ve witnessed this firsthand over the last 10 years, they’re the heavyweight. They’re the only heavyweight, quite frankly, in that they have 80-90 percent market share. It is a real uphill battle to create market share. TNA, Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, New Japan, AAA, House of Hardcore – there's multiple promotions out there that I believe if we all collectively have a loose working relationship, that we can begin to break into that market share. The fact of the matter is that WWE does sports entertainment and they do it bigger and better than anybody has ever done and ever will do it. Global Force Wrestling is going to focus on being the very best professional wrestling organization that we can possibly become, and be very engaging and interactive on an hourly basis. That’s really our mission statement."

Would he consider airing GFW on Wednesdays or a different night:

"We live in a world of DVR, in that on demand viewing takes precedent over everything. Ring of Honor is going to be airing a show on Wednesday nights that was seen on syndicated markets three or four days before, and you can see their show online. TNA is airing their show on Wednesday nights. Yes, the live element always trumps all of that but in the world of on demand viewing in North America, specifically the United States having the Wednesday night battle, it’s a much bigger world than that. Do I have a preference for a night? Not really. I don’t think it would make a lot of sense to go on Wednesday nights, unless it’s in a block. That’s where I think Ring of Honor and TNA are going to help each other, because a rising tide raises all the ships. But that’s a three hour block so you add another hour and that's four hours and that may be a little too long. I don’t think it really matters but if you’re nailing me down to one night, I would say Tuesday."

His plans for TV or online distribution:

"We have had discussions with multiple streaming services with obviously many, many networks in trying to fit the very best fit. The world has changed. Netflix, specifically House of Cards, is a real game changer in how successful it is. There are 62 million people and growing that pay 10 bucks a month for Netflix, and that’s just one of the streaming services. So cable television in the United States is at a real crossroads because premium, compelling content with compelling characters has never been more prevalent, specifically live event programming. So it’s an exciting time to really look at all the different options for distribution."

On a potential UK expansion:

"I had a very exciting call last Thursday morning specifically about the UK, that’s all I’m going to tell you. Obviously it’s a massive, very educated professional wrestling market. If you’re launching a brand you cannot ignore the United Kingdom when it comes to professional wrestling."