October 11, 2008
Jarrett anxious, curious and nervous about Bound For Glory
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Jeff Jarrett's been in a wrestling ring thousands of times, but you can forgive him if his mind is elsewhere when he faces Kurt Angle at Sunday night's TNA Bound for Glory pay-per-view.
Jarrett's life hasn't been the same since May 23, 2007 -- the day his high school sweetheart and wife Jill died after a bout with breast cancer.
"I miss her now more than ever. Here we are, it's taken some (17 months) later ... It's taken me that long to focus and to really want to step into the ring again," says Jarrett. "I'm curious on one hand and nervous on the other. But I'm anxious to get in there, too.
"Wrestling is something I've done for my entire adult life. But I had to deal with the personal situation. It really prohibited me from wanting to step into the ring."
The date of his wife's death is still on Jarrett's mind.
"May 23, how ironic that it was the same day that Owen Hart passed away," says Jarrett. "I still believe there are no coincidences in life. They both smile down while I grieve on the same day."
Jarrett's got plenty to be thankful for, though. The TNA promotion he helped put together just keeps getting better. And then there are his three daughters.
"They make me so proud," says Jarrett. "My three girls, who don't have their mother, are so resilient. They bring so much joy to my life. Without a doubt, Jill would likely scold us if we didn't move on with life."
And move on they have. It's become common that the girls hop into Jarrett's Suburban and head off to the soccer field, or the dance studio.
Last Saturday, I was at the soccer field from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon," says Jarrett. "I see a lot of dads who are absolutely miserable to be there ... they can't wait to get home to watch football. But I love being there. I'm probably a bit overzealous. I'm really into it."
Jarrett hopes TNA returns to Canada following the successful No Surrender pay-per-view last month in Oshawa, Ont.
"More shows in Canada are definitely an option as TNA grows," says Jarrett. "Canadian fans are so educated and respectful of the art. The wrestling roots in Canada are so strong ... Maple Leaf Gardens, Stampede Wrestling ..."
Jarrett says TNA is on the right track, with the right mix of talent.
"You crawl before you walk and you walk before you run. You look back over the history of the business with successful promotions and they've had the right combination: Some veterans, some prime-time players, young up-and-coming stars and special attractions ... publicity stunts if you want to call it that."
"For me to even consider a full-time wrestling schedule would be insane," he says. "My family and the business side remain a priority."
That tomorrow's bout is against Angle makes it more special.
"Kurt Angle is no ordinary wrestler," says Jarrett. "I consider him one of the Top 5 of all-time.
So how will the match go?
"I know my frame of mind and I'm sure I know what Kurt will bring. But what will Mick Foley (the special guest enforcer) bring? And wouldn't it be silly to say there wouldn't be a guitar involved?"
Welcome back, Double J. You've been missed.
Tim Baines is the Ottawa Sun Sports Editor and writes a weekly wrestling column for Sun Media. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.