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Jerry Jarrett Meets with WWE,
and a Bit of Other News 
October 28, 2005

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Can someone explain this for me?

I'm at my local Kroger (that's the biggest regional grocery chain for those of you who live west of the Mississippi or in the northeast) yesterday, and all the Halloween stuff has been relegated to bargain bins, and is on sale.

In its place in all the big fancy displays? Christmas crap. I shit you not.

Now, I understand that maybe starting to phase out Halloween stuff makes some sense. The actual holiday might be Monday, but I don't know anybody who isn't celebrating/observing it tomorrow night. So, OK, it's 48 hours before the big night, and you can start taking down all the fancy displays and trying to get rid of all that god-awful candy corn that nobody bought at full price.

But Christmas stuff? Give me a break. I think this is a new personal record for me, in terms of spotting Christmas crap.... usually it starts popping up in early November. But before Halloween? That takes the cake. Poor Thanksgiving: it's the second most-delicious holiday of the year, and it basically doesn't exist any more, other than as a minor celebration during the middle portion of the Holiday Season.

Do me a favor: if anybody you know has actually already started purchasing candy canes and Christmas tree ornaments or any of the other stuff (and I have to assume SOMEbody is buying it, otherwise they would be displaying it), please pin them to the ground, call your local mental health facility, and tell them to bring the straightjacket. If you love them, you'll get them the help they so desperately need.

Word of warning: today's column is basically a one trick pony. But even with only one story, I'll try to get you a full half dozen bullet points. Can't promise they'll all be world beaters, but what the hell?

  • The reason I can't just take the day off is because WWE has made a huge splash and has people talking following their revelation that TNA founder (and still part-owner) Jerry Jarrett is in Stamford, CT, today, meeting with WWE officials.
    The purpose of those meetings? Unknown, and obviously, WWE isn't exactly known for shooting straight on stories like this. Or at least: not for revealing everything that is known about a story like this. But the fact that Jarrett is at Titan Towers is undeniable; WWE.com even had the picture to prove it.
    Of course, the ambiguity is also no doubt a ploy to get people visiting the website, where "further updates" are promised. Right now, there is no substantive information about Jarrett's presence on the website. Just confirmation of him having a serious of meetings and a quote that reads "The only thing I know for sure about life and the wrestling business is that it'll be different tomorrow than it is today."
    Which, like any horseshit horoscope or tarot reading, is a sufficiently vague platitude that you could twist any way you want, but which ultimately means absolutely nothing.
    To clear up a few things that have already started popping up in my mailbox...
    No, Jerry Jarrett is not presently a major backstage force with TNA. His role, as I understand it, is advisory in nature, and there's no real job title or day-to-day responsibilities for the guy, although his input still carries a lot of weight.
    However: he is still a significant minority owner of TNA. Or rather: the corporation he and Jeff Jarrett formed when they founded TNA is still a significant minority owner of TNA. I have absolutely no clue about the specific percentages, but I have a recollection of Panda Energy only buying up a little over half-interest in the company back a couple years ago. The Jarretts' stake could still be quite significant.
    And that's what makes Jarrett's meeting with WWE so intriguing to so many... because they wonder if he is there representing TNA (which he clearly could be), or if he's there representing himself and his wrestling interests outside of TNA (which is also a possibility). WWE fanned those flames by reporting that Jerry did not come to Titan Towers alone... their desired fan interpretation of that is surely that Jerry's son, recent NWA Champ Jeff Jarrett, is along for the ride. And if he is, that opens up a whole other can of worms as to what interests the Jarrett(s) might be representing.
    A very safe bit of speculation, though: this might be no more dramatic a situation than Jerry Jarrett meeting with WWE to arrange for the sale of the Memphis territory's tape library to WWE, a deal that would have absolutely nothing to do with Jarrett's ties to TNA. I believe that's one tape library that has eluded WWE so far, and although I'm not sure how far back or how comprehensive Jerry's ownership of the library is (he might only own the library from the period of time when the territory was known as the USWA, but I'm not 100% positive), it's something WWE would no doubt like to own.
    At this point, that's just about the only speculation that I'd consider to be sane, rational, and plausible.
    But since I am trying to milk this one story into a full-length column, I'll quickly run down some other things that people have theorized about in e-mails...
    One is that Jarrett could be meeting with WWE about possible legal issues, perhaps related to names and copyrights. Though I know of no pending litigation, WWE's lawyer monkeys can always leap into action at a moment's notice to launch any number of frivolous lawsuits (it's all part of the company's ongoing "investing our time and energy into entirely the wrong priorities" philosophy). And supposedly there are still concerns at WWE that "Brother Ray" and "Devon" are somehow infringing on WWE's copyrighted intellectual property, so some kind of meeting to hash out exactly what is or isn't legal (or what will or won't justify a WWE lawsuit) is something that's semi-reasonable to speculate about.
    But a problem with that: bottom line, I consider it highly unlikely that Jerry Jarrett would be sent as TNA's representative to such a meeting. If this is an official negotiation of some kind, they wouldn't send a minority owner with no official job title to do their talking. It's that simple.
    Another popular theory is that Jarrett could be meeting with WWE because his role with TNA has been reduced to the point where he is free to explore other opportunities in the business. Some think that Jarrett would be brought into WWE in a top management/creative position to help them out of the funk they are in. Jarrett's relationship and work with the WWF in the mid-90s make it clear that the McMahons value his opinions and respect his work, so that would fit, too.
    But a problem with that: Jarrett does, at least for the time being, own a likely-significant portion of TNA, and I don't see how that could jibe with going out to look for work with WWE. Furthermore, I'm not entirely sure what you people think WWE would see in Jarrett... under his watch, the company lost money with an ill-advised weekly PPV model. As he stepped back and allowed Panda Energy to lose THEIR money, instead, the company hemorrhaged cash as they paid for a FOX SportsNet timeslot and a TV show that nobody watched. Only today, with Jarrett's involvement in the company at its nadir, is TNA threatening to possibly, maybe, perhaps start thinking about running in the black by this time next year. 
    So I'm not entirely sure what Jarrett would bring to WWE. Then again, remember: this is the same company that hired Dusty Rhodes as a head writer after Dusty spent the better part of a year as one of the creative forces behind the FSN show that nobody watched. Who can really tell at this point?
    Still, till something more concrete is reported, I'm sticking to my guns that it's unlikely Jarrett is there in any official TNA capacity, and is probably just representing himself. And as far as that goes, negotiating the sale of his Memphis tape library to WWE seems like the most sensible of reasons for him to be in Stamford.
    But feel free to let your little imaginations run wild over the weekend. Still, I'm guessing by Monday we'll have a lot better idea what's going on...
  • I might have spoke too soon above where I talked about "everybody celebrating Halloween on Saturday night." Because a mega-gay press release I got from NBC Universal makes it clear that WWE will be celebrating Halloween on Monday night's RAW.
    They included the lyrics for a WWE-themed parody of "The Monster Mash" that would even make Dr. Demento himself shake his head with pity. Honestly: a parody of a novelty song? You'd think NBC/Universal would have the resources to hire someone with the capacity to detect such lethal levels of Dork, and not send it out in a press release that's trying to generate interest among a mainstream audience.
    But apparently, the press release's real point was to get the word out that WWE wants people to come to Monday's RAW in Anaheim decked out in costumes. Preferably of their favorite wrestlers. 
    Should you decide to play along, I would warn you to follow these simple guidelines: just pick out some nice slacks, and wear a collared shirt. No jeans, no shorts, no sneakers. Anybody violating these rules will be stiffly sanctioned by Johnny Ace.
    And it's good to know that WWE will be running with a Halloween theme to the show instead of, oh I dunno, DOING A GOOD JOB PROMOTING THE NEXT NIGHT'S PPV! I'm not entirely sure that one night is enough to save the Taboo Tuesday card from being yet another box office failure, but it'd be nice if WWE realized that Halloween will be 48 hours in the past to most of us by the time their show happens, and just give it the old college try.
    Only the Simpsons are allowed to run a Halloween themed show after Halloween is passed, and get away with it. This is a long-standing rule of show business.
  • Don't know where this even got started, but no, peoples, Sting will not be appearing on RAW.
    And do me a favor: if you're going to bombard me with e-mails about dubious rumors, at least source them for me, so I know what other websites to make fun of. 
    I mean, I know OO only updates five times per week, and that there are apparently some fans out there so thirsty for information that they require at least five updates per day, but shite like this should help you understand how it might be more noble to get it right than to get it fast.
    And plus: you have no idea how much utter crap and non-news I filter out for you fine people. Anybody who really gives a shit about hearing about Ricky Morton's latest personal drama or which WWE action figure has been pulled from production, please raise your hand....
    Good, that's about what I thought. And those of you who did raise your hands? I won't tell you to get a life, but I will suggest that if you're *that* intent on not having one, there are lots better ways to waste your life away on the internet. I suggest starting with the never-ending cornucopia of free porn.
  • After a series of set-backs, Rob Van Dam is now telling people he's confident of a return to action by the Royal Rumble. Originally, there were hopes that he might be ready to go by the fall, but the recovery and rehab process took longer than expected. 
    With RVD at 100%, healthwise, for just about the first time since his rise to superstardom, he'll be ready to deliver the goods... of course, the question still remains as to whether or not WWE will bother letting him do so to the best of his abilities and in top level matches/storylines that people will care about.
    I guess we'll know those answers soon enough. 
  • And actually, as I finish up for today, I can include a VERY late breaking news item. WWE.com has revealed that the reason Jerry Jarrett was at Titan Towers was to introduce WWE to a guy who wants to break into wrestling.
    It is, of course, very curious that Jarrett would take the guy to WWE, instead of bringing him up through TNA, but we'll leave the discussion of those implications for another day.
    The man's name is Oleg Prudius. And he's an actor. But he's also 6'6" and 310 lbs. and Russian, so apparently that qualifies him for a wrestling gig.
    Actually, a quick web search uncovers his current NYC talent agency representation. Looking at his resume, Oleg is apparently not a very good actor, or at least, not a very prolific one. But he does claim experience in football and freestyle wrestling, so I guess that's what WWE would be interested in. Anybody else having sudden flashbacks to Nathan Jones' pre-WWE resume? And he sure turned out great, didn't he?
    So there you have it: Jerry Jarrett is trying to get some actor a developmental contract with WWE. That oughta deflate plenty of wangs out there. Sorry if I ruined your weekend.
  • And on that note: it is time for the weekend to begin. Halloween isn't really my thang (I quit bothering with putting any thought or effort into costumes years ago, and while sporting nothing more complicated than one of my wrestling masks at a party or two will no doubt be fun on Saturday,  the inevitable post-party bar visits on Halloween suck ass and are full of amateur drinkers behaving mostly-stupidly)... but if you're one of those amateur drinkers and this is one of the few times per year you get to go out and have fun, well: knock yourself out, and I hope you have a blast. 
    And of course, be safe. An easy trick: just make sure that you are moving closer to home as the evening wears on and you get tipsier. It's OK to start the evening at a party 15 minutes way, as long as you inch your way back as the night progresses, and do last call at the bar half-a-mile from my house. Or, if you're a true professional, there's always the option of hitting an after-party, and not navigating back home till the coppers no longer care after 4 or so...
    Or I guess you could REALLY be safe and, oh I dunno, take cabs or something. You know your limits better than I do. Make your decisions accordingly, OO Nation, and I will see you all again on Monday...

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Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.




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