Fighting

Jeff Jarrett ‘Amped’ about Global Force Wrestling

Global Force Wrestling Founder and CEO Jeff Jarrett with Doc Gallows (back left), Scott Steiner (middle) and Machine Gun Karl Anderson (right) during a GFW Grand Slam Tour stop in Erie, Pa. The first GFW TV tapings are Friday, July 24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Global Force Wrestling Founder and CEO Jeff Jarrett with Doc Gallows (back left), Scott Steiner (middle) and Machine Gun Karl Anderson (right) during a GFW Grand Slam Tour stop in Erie, Pa. The first GFW TV tapings are Friday, July 24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Photo By Daniel Hooven

Jeff Jarrett has done it all in the wrestling business, but that doesn’t stop him from doing more.

His latest venture is Global Force Wrestling.

With his lineage and what he accomplished throughout his in-ring career (30 years) and especially outside it (TNA Wrestling, 13 years and counting), you have to give him the benefit of the doubt, when it comes to creating, developing and promoting a pro wrestling product.

“This all started in early 2014, when I left TNA,” he said. “I knew obviously I wasn’t getting out of the wrestling business, but I was wondering what was going to be my next step.”

Sometimes a person needs to step back, way back, before moving ahead.

“As I stepped back and looked at the landscape and also the evolution of the business, where it went from in the 70s a real regional territorial system and then in the 80s with WrestleMania, the Starrcades, that era of professional wrestling, and then the infancy stages in the late 80s, early 90s of the international expansion of the domestic product in North America, exported out, and then as you rolled into the late 90s and the Attitude Era and then Europe opened wide.

“As we rolled into the era of the 2000s and then 2014, you looked at it, and the world was a much smaller place and to really step foot on the wrestling mat, you had to be a global force. It rolled off my tongue, and I told [wife] Karen that’s it. Global Force Wrestling.”

The name speaks for itself.

“You have major, major organizations all around the world,” Jarrett continued. “New Japan Pro Wrestling, an enormous organization. You have Triple-A out of Mexico. Obviously, WWE is the leader in the marketplace. You have all these organizations around the world, and wrestling is a global product now.”

Global Force Wrestling includes talent from various organizations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the rest of the world.

“That’s part of our mission statement,” Jarrett said. “From the beginning, and if you follow the timeline from 2014, New Japan approached Global Force, and they wanted us to basically distribute, produce, promote, market ‘Wrestle Kingdom 9,’ and I’ve had a long standing relationship with Triple-A in Mexico, and there are multiple independent promotions around the world, all through Australia, South Africa, Europe. So I began forming the alliances of 13, and we’re still counting.”

http://www.njpw.co.jp/english/

http://www.luchalibreaaa.com/

“When you bring it back here to North America, we were in Cleveland, and AIW was one of our sponsors. We recognized that promotion. Johnny Gargano, that’s his home promotion; he was in our main event.”

http://www.aiwrestling.com

He continued: “From a real local level to a global level, we recognize and want to work with other promotions, and it goes without saying what’s happened in recent weeks with the company I founded in 2002 [TNA Wrestling]; we now have a working relationship, and that’s really developing and blossoming.”

When Jeff and his father, Jerry, formed TNW Wrestling, they took an unconventional approach. Instead of the norm -- building with local shows, expanding, obtaining a TV deal and then monthly pay-per-views, they debuted TNA Wrestling by offering weekly pay-per-views on Wednesday nights for $10. A new pro wrestling group starting with weekly pay-per-views? That’s not how it’s done. Of course, the naysayers aplenty, but 13 years later, and TNA Wrestling still exists -- 9 p.m. Wednesdays on Destination America.

“Did I think about doing that [weekly pay-per-views] with Global Force? Absolutely not,” Jarrett said. “The pay-per-view industry has drastically changed in 13 years. The world has changed as far as consumer consumption. So it never even crossed my mind.

“When you look at how viewers consume their entertainment on their iPads and phones, the world has changed. Broadcasts have changed, and they’re streaming and going online, and cable as well. You have your NetFlix and Hulu and the Apple TV. So the way the viewers consume their programming is much different than it was in 2002.

“When you talk about pay-per-view today, with the Flipps app, which is a fantastic technology, you now have the ability to do it on a global level. So when the time is right for Global Force Wrestling to do that one mega pay-per-view, it will be seen on a global basis, and everybody will have the chance to view it at the same time, just like ‘Wrestle Kingdom 9.’”

Cliche, but it is a step-by-step process.

“We launched two major initiatives. One being the Global Force Wrestling Grand Slam Tour.”

Global Force Wrestling is spending its summer touring minor league ballparks, running wrestling shows there. It’s something Jarrett’s seen done before, and he’s been involved in a few during his in-ring heyday.

“It’s all about market awareness, brand awareness,” he said. “We’re going into 20, 23 cities across North America, partnering with these teams. How I determine success is if the ball clubs, organizations want us back next year. Obviously you have black ink and red ink, and we’ve had black thus far. So the Grand Slam Tour, I want to continue to grow on that, expand on that.

“Last year as I was formulating things about a live event tour, because I’m from Nashville, I know the music business pretty well. You take it to certain levels -- start out at bars and then move up to the bigger honky tonks and then you go on a radio tour and then you open all the theater shows and then you go the arenas, and if you’re lucky enough, if you’re the Taylor Swifts of the world, you do stadium shows.

“So there’s a pecking order of how you climb the ladder, and professional wrestling is no different. If we’re going to tour the country, there’s no need to start by going into the big buildings in each market. You need to start on a real local, community level. Some folks go into armories. Some folks go into bingo halls. Some folks go into different levels. We wanted to partner with the community, and what better organizations. These stadiums are A-1, first class, five-star facilities as it relates to ballparks. Their ownership and their marketing team and their digital team and the executive team love to put on non-baseball events. So it was really a good fit.”

GFW Grand Slam Tour

Global Force Wrestling’s Grand Slam Tour continues this summer.

GFW arrives Aug. 22 at Aces Ballpark (Reno Aces/Triple A affiliate/Arizona Diamondbacks) in Reno, Nevada and then the Keystone State (Pennsylvania) for a show on Aug. 28 at Metro Bank Park (Harrisburg Senators/Double A affiliate/Washington Nationals) in Harrisburg.

“The response to the Grand Slam Tour has been overwhelming and very gratifying,” Jarrett, who already has made several appearances to throw out the first pitch at minor-league stadiums that plan to host GFW events, said in a release. “These are markets where fans want excitement and value for their dollar, and we’re eager to show them the athletes of GFW.”

“We’ve watched our fellow minor-league teams line up to get on board with Global Force Wrestling,” said Kevin Kulp, president of the Harrisburg Senators. ”We strive to put an exciting product on the field, and a night of high-flying pro wrestling should fit in perfectly.”

Jarrett, 48, who grew up playing all sports, loves sports, including baseball and especially basketball and football.

“It’s funny because Don West, a longtime friend [and former TNA commentator], we used to joke with him, because he’s a baseball historian, authority,” Jarrett said, “and I used to always give him and [TNA commentator] Mike Tenay a hard time that they should study up on basketball or study up on football.

“When they heard that I was doing the Grand Slam Tour, throwing out first pitches, they got a little chuckle to themselves, but I can not tell you how much enjoyment that I got going into all these cities and throwing out the first pitch and really getting into the DNA of each minor league team with their season ticket holders and their media relations staff and creating that brand awareness from day one.

“Erie [Pa.] and Appleton [Wis.] and Blake County [Ala.] and Jackson, Mississippi and Jackson, Tennessee and Knoxville and Bowling Green, the people in each of those markets partnered with us. We did a lot of cool media stuff. We did charity with the Boys & Girls Club, the Cub Scouts, the YMCA, and we all can’t wait to go back to those towns next year.”

Dates for the GFW Grand Slam Tour are available on

www.globalforcewrestling.com

#GFWGrandSlam

That leads to his second major initiative.

Jarrett said: “At the same time, we are heading to Las Vegas, and we have a great partner in the Orleans Arena. We’ve got three Fridays lined up, and Friday [July 24] can’t get here soon enough for television tapings, and we named the program ‘Amped,’ and it’s going to be a real, cool fresh approach to documenting the athletes of Global Force Wrestling.”

GFW TV tapings in Las Vegas

Global Force Wrestling’s TV tapings, which begin Friday, July 24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, will indeed carry the name “Amped.”

“‘Amped’ will be the show that unites promotions and showcases the very best men and women professional wrestlers on the planet,” Jarrett said in a release.

GFW also is excited to announce four unique divisions: GFW Global Championship, GFW Tag Team Championship, GFW Women's Championship and GFW NEX*GEN Championship. These titles will be up for grabs in four separate tournaments that kick off on July 24 at the Orleans Arena.

“There is no doubt in my mind that I will be the first GFW Global Champion, and I will raise that title in Las Vegas,” former TNA Heavyweight champion Bobby Roode said.

When asked about the NEX*GEN division, Jarrett said, “It’s about the up-and-comers, the fearless new faces in this industry from around the globe. You will be talking about these guys for years to come.”

GFW co-Founder Karen Jarrett is excited about the women’s division.

“We want to unite women’s divisions around the globe and give the fans never-before-seen matchups with the best female wrestlers in the industry,” she said.

To see the GFW roster, visit

http://globalforcewrestling.com/roster/

More Global Force Wrestling “Amped” tapings are set for the Orleans Arena on Aug. 21 and Oct. 23.

globalforcewrestling.com

#GFWAmped

Jeff Jarrett said: “We have a challenge in front of us that we’re going to produce these episodes of ‘Amped,’ and then our goal is to let as many fans, not just in the United States or North America but around the globe to view it. We have our challenges internationally, but a lot of things are coming together, and we’re very excited about the future of ‘Amped’ and Global Force Wrestling.”

Excited, yes, but how else does Jarrett feel? This is his newest baby.

“Amped is an understatement for how I feel,” he said. “We have done everything. Have we hit on all cylinders? No start-up business not just in wrestling but in any form or entertainment or any form of business, is going to hit on all cylinders, but I think we’ve got traction over the last 14, 15, 16 months of identifying the brand and bringing talent on board from multiple promotions and multiple styles...We’re bringing that all together under one umbrella.

“Bobby Roode, if you would would have said six weeks ago that he would be a part of the first set of ‘Amped’ tapings, I would have called you crazy, but he’s going to be there. Magnus [Nick Aldis] is going to be there. A great lucha six-man, Mickie James, the card is really stacked. We’re very excited, and ‘Amped’ is the right word. We’re amped to get things going.”

Las Vegas is an integral element of pro wrestling history. The AWA even conducted shows for ESPN, which aired from 1985-90, from the Showboat Arena in Las Vegas. Jarrett wrestled on some of those shows.

“Vegas has had professional wrestling for many, many years,” Jarrett said. “I met the Nasty Boys and Shawn Michaels and Scott Hall at the Showboat Arena.

“As we did market research, as I traveled the country, Vegas is an enormous destination city. Your essentially drawing from two different audiences. The locals there in Vegas love their professional wrestling. They’ve got some great future stars from an absolutely awesome independent promotion there, and we’re working with them. Obviously, you’ve got the Vegas Strip, the entertainment capital of the world. Vegas, bright lights, big city, lot of glitz, lot of glamor, and they love professional wrestling. So Vegas turned out to be almost a no-brainer.”

Outspoken former UFC fighter Chael Sonnen will play a pivotal role on the broadcast team, adding vibrant color commentary.

“Chael did a show [working commentary for the Battleground MMA PPV] with Jim Ross, and Jim Ross and myself have a relationship,” Jarrett said. “Chael is very abrupt and direct to the point, and he told Jim, ‘I want to get in touch with Jeff, and I want to be a part of Global Force.’ He reached out. First he started to text and then called, and one thing led to another, and he was at our press conference in Vegas. We couldn’t be more excited to have a legend from the MMA world, a current ESPN expert MMA analyst, and now he’s also the GFW analyst.”

Could we see Chael Sonnen compete in a Global Force Wrestling ring?

“Do I think he wants to? Absolutely,” Jarrett said. “Is he going to? I’m not sure that’s going to serve everybody best. We’ll see what happens. Chael is a competitor at heart, and he has a passions for whatever he does, and he’s channeled his passion right now to being the best color analyst for GFW that he can be.”

@sonnench

TNA talk

Jarrett, 48, returned to TNA Wrestling recently, after parting ways with the company in 2014. Even during his away time, so to speak, he remained a minority owner, a position he says he still holds today.

How is the relationship with Jeff Jarrett and TNA President Dixie Carter and the TNA group?

‘If you would have asked me that a month ago, I would have said, ‘No comment or let’s move on to the next question,’” Jarrett noted, “but they reached out to me and invited me to Slammiversary and the King of the Mountain match. We have been in the process of developing a working relationship, and we certainly have one going right now.

“Bobby Roode is going to be in our first set of [GFW] tapings [Friday, July 24]. Eric Young, a real life story that we integrated. He’s been a friend of mine for over 10 years, but he made his voice known to the powers that be that it was insane that they let a non-contracted TNA wrestler leave their company with their belt. Eric voiced it, and I said, ‘Come on up to the Grand Slam Tour, and let’s discuss it.’ So the relationship is good at this point.”

Jarrett explained what happened, why he was no longer at TNA events, not seen on TNA television, not part of the day-to-day operations of the company.

“It was really a set of circumstances -- not one circumstance -- that led to me leaving,” he said. “It was December of 2013, but nothing happened in December 2013 or any one instance in 2013 or in 2012 for the matter or even 2011. It was an accumulation of events that I knew that I woke up in 2013 and looked at myself in the mirror and talked with Karen. I’m a husband and father of five kids.

“I knew that time and that chapter of my life [with TNA] -- you just know it when it’s there -- it was time for me to move on. I had done everything that I could possibly do. I felt great about my time that I spent there, and I knew it was the right decision when I left.”

Jarrett explains further the mindset of his departure.

“Business is business. Me and Dixie, we saw each other for the first time in a while, and Karen, but business is business. A guy like myself whose family has been in this business for three generations, you learn real quick, and I will say this, especially in professional wrestling, everybody can have multiple opinions, and both people could be right and both people could be wrong. It isn’t any one Jeff-Dixie issue. It was an accumulation of events as to why I left.”

And now he’s back, leading Global Force Wrestling.

http://www.impactwrestling.com/

About Global Force Wrestling

Global Force Wrestling is a privately owned professional wrestling and entertainment company based in Nashville. Founded in 2014, Global Force Wrestling is changing the wrestling and entertainment industry with an innovative and groundbreaking approach to fan interactivity, storytelling and overall entertainment to engage audiences across television, digital and social media platforms.

http://globalforcewrestling.com/.

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