2018 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Jarrett was recently interviewed by Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri. Jarrett discussed his reaction to receiving the induction call from WWE.
The announcement that Jarrett would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame came as a surprise to the wrestling world because he had severed ties with the WWE for the most part since leaving the company in 2001. Jarrett helped establish TNA, which eventually rose to the clear-cut number-two wrestling promotion behind the WWE. Jarrett said he'd be lying if he said he wasn't surprised to have received the call.
"I've been around a while, my family's been in this business for a couple generations, and I was a wrestling fan before I was a wrestler and a promoters, so I get it. I understand it very, very well," Jarrett said. "I was surprised, I was shocked! And I know the exact real story... The way I've always looked at it is, back in 2001, the WWE went their way and I went my way and forged a career, obviously it's been well-documented. It was a business decision on multiple levels at multiple times over the years. But legend grew, stories grew, embellishment took place, which should and always will in wrestling. But to say I wasn't surprised or shocked would be an understatement, because I was."
Jarrett was also asked about his plans for the future. Giri mentioned how well the first Global Force Wrestling TV tapings in Las Vegas went. Jarrett said he's involved in multiple projects, GFW being one of them, but he is focused on breaking into the international market. He believes their is room for growing the wrestling business on the international scene.
"Global Force Wrestling is something that right now I have two projects, some smaller ones here and there with all kinds of different stuff. If you were to ask me what am I working on, it's international projects. I believe, especially over my experience over the last few years, is that international is where the business is at. In North America [...] you have an enormous standard-bearer in the USA Network and RAW three hours on Monday and SmackDown two hours and then of course everything else that goes with the brand. So it's tough, I'd be the first to tell you that. And Ring Of Honor with Sinclair," Jarrett said. "So international is what I'm working on, and yes those were some great tapings, but a promotion is more than a television show. It's obviously live events, merchandise and licensing, and the big component is, you can call it digital, but nowadays you the term is streaming. What's the platform you're gonna be on? How are you gonna get it to market? How are you gonna market it? And what is gonna set you apart? So those are the kinds of things we're working on in the international scene."
Jarrett was also asked if he has plans on returning to the WWE in some capacity after his Hall of Fame induction. He's not too far removed from in-ring competition, and he's an experienced backstage official. Jarrett said he would not rule out a return to the company, but as of now he is only focused on the Hall of Fame.
"I can tell you the only conversations I've had with the WWE and all the officials are directly related to the Hall of Fame... That's all the discussions have been, and I'll go back to... 'Never say never.' That's how I look at it," he said. "Not just about me going back on whatever role or capacity, it's just this business. Who would've thought me and you would be talking in March about the WWE Hall of Fame? That's the real, real fun part about this industry, you never know what's gonna happen."