Double-J a hit with NWA:TNA
TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun
Jeff Jarrett knows how to deliver a wicked guitar shot to the cranium. Just ask some of the opponents he's laid out over the years.
But these days good ole Double-J's got a lot more on his mind than turning a guitar into sawdust.
Let's get this straight first.
It doesn't matter that he was The Chosen One, a swaggering heel in the then-WWF. Jarrett is a good guy. No, he's a great guy with a great deal of passion for wrestling and its well-being.
And he's devoting a lot of his efforts these days into the NWA:TNA promotion out of Nashville, sometimes wrestling, but mostly helping establish the product.
"We're in Year 2 now, our first anniversary was in June," drawls Jarrett over the phone. "I'm very excited. The markets continue to grow. When we started out, we were the first weekly pay-per-view series ... it was a unique concept."
A unique concept ($9.95 for the shows) that will get a big boost this upcoming Wednesday when the cost to watch is just one cent. Yep, just one penny. The Best-Of show will air at 8 p.m. on Viewer's Choice, Star Choice and Bell Express Vu.
While Double-J's aware that wrestling is about entertainment, he makes it clear that his association is going back to its roots, sort of.
"The name of our show is TNA -- Total Nonstop Action -- and that's what we really are," he says. "Sure, we're going to have some out-of-ring talking segments, but we like to focus on wrestling. That's what has always brought the audience to the dance."
Jarrett, 36, knows what he's talking about. He's been around the business for a long time, following in the footsteps of his grandmother Christine, who did everything but wrestle and referee, and his father Jerry, another legend.
The younger Jarrett wrestled for the first time in April of 1986, in Hendersonville, Tenn., battling to a 10-minute draw with jobber Tony Falk, who was "something like 0-70 or 0-80" at the time.
"I was refereeing and (Tony) came out and said he was going to get his first win against a ref," says Jarrett, whose passion for the business is obvious.
"Wrestling is my first love. I've been around the business my entire life. It gets in your blood. There's nothing like getting in the ring -- you feel the crowd energy and go along with it.
"This business isn't really that complicated. It's about two guys getting in the ring and settling their differences. (WWE owner)Vince McMahon pulled the curtain back. People want to suspend disbelief. It's just like a good movie or book. They pay that money and they want to be entertained."
Ah, that "E" word: Entertainment. Wrestlers, you see, need to have a flair for the dramatic.
"Yes, we're acting, but the minute you feel like you're acting ... that shows through on the camera," says Jarrett. "It's got to be natural. And if you don't truly believe in the character you're playing, it's not going to work. But you have to keep it from taking over in real life."
NWA:TNA features many familiar faces -- Raven, D-Lo Brown, Dusty Rhodes, Shane Douglas and Jerry Lynn among others. But many of the other wrestlers -- guys like A.J. Styles -- could be on the cusp of stardom. And then there's that X-Division that's been getting rave reviews.
Total Nonstop Action? Catch the fever.
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