Recently on Noonan Speaks, former head of WWE security Jimmy Noonan spoke with two-time WWE Women's Champion Jazz. Among many other things, Jazz talked about the influence Tommy Dreamer and Paul Heyman have had on her pro wrestling odyssey. Also, Jazz discussed how she got her start in WWE.
During the podcast, Jazz said she started with ECW in 1998 and went on to put over both Dreamer and Heyman.
"I was in ECW in '98 and I had my first pay-per-view match." Jazz recalled, "I was doing house shows and all that and I was part of Justin Credible's entourage at pay-per-views before the single's match. I debuted my single's pay-per-view match against Jason Knight at Heat Wave in '99. And that was the birth of 'The Female Fighting Phenom'. That did it." Jazz added, "I always give props to Paul E. and Dreamer for seeing something different in me and something that I had to offer to the [pro wrestling] business, so I owe a lot of credit to Dreamer and Paul E."
According to Jazz, Heyman was the most influential person to her in her pro wrestling career. Notably, Heyman told 'The Baddest b---h' not to get breast implants because she would stand out on her ability.
"I always put Paul E. over in every interview." Jazz explained, "I always put him over because, first, at the time, there [were not] many African American women in the business, especially on that level. He saw something in little old me and he gave me an opportunity. And he knew I was different. He told me, 'please, no matter what you do, you don't need [a] boob job. You don't need this and that. Like, you're totally different and that's going to make you different. That's going to set you out and make you look different from any other girls. Never, ever consider getting boobs or any of it.' And that's why he came up with the motto of, 'my T and A [does not] stand for t--s and ass. My T and A stands for talent and ability.' So Paul E., he knew what he was doing with me and he set the tone of who Jazz is and he turned me into 'The Female Fighting Phenom'. Like, Paul E. Heyman, and Dreamer, he had a great mind for the game as well. They still do. Do you know what I'm saying? And this is what they saw in me and they gave me my first opportunity to showcase what I can offer to the business."
Apparently, Dreamer and Heyman were also instrumental in Jazz getting signed by WWE. As the story goes, Dreamer contacted Heyman who was working for WWE at the time to get Jazz a tryout match.
"First off, ECW folds, right?" Jazz remembered, "the next thing you know, who's commentating? Paul E. Alright, so Rodney [Mack] and I, we moved to Texas in Fort Worth, and we're doing indies. Still, we were trying to make it to WWE. That was our ultimate goal. So on an indie show, we run into Dreamer. There he was like, 'hey, I'm going to talk to Paul. He's commentating now. He's over there [in WWE] and I'll see if I can get you a dark match, okay?' And I was like, 'okay! Cool!'"
Jazz got booked for a dark match versus WWE Hall Of Famer Ivory and while Ivory was unfamiliar with Jazz's work, Molly Holly raved about Jazz, so Ivory took care of her and made her look good in the match. This support from Ivory inspired Jazz to pay it forward by helping others who were getting tryout matches.
"Anyway, I get the call for the dark match and I get there." Jazz said, "Ivory's in the locker room. Molly Holly's in the locker room, which I had met Molly Holly a few times at ECW shows. I think she was in WCW at the time. We [were] near, I guess, her neck of the woods and she would stop by. I got to meet her a few times. And I was told I was going to get to wrestle Ivory for my dark match, so Ivory's like, 'hey, lady! How are you?' I love Ivory - she has the greatest personality I've ever met in my life. She's an awesome, awesome lady. So she's like, 'how are you?' and I'm like, 'I'm good! It's good to meet you. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever.' She goes, 'yeah, I've heard so much about you. Unfortunately, I've never watched your work or anything like that, but Molly says you're freaking awesome and she loves you! She puts you over all the time.' I was like, 'whoa! Really?' I was like, 'well, thank you!' [Ivory said], 'so tonight is your night and I'm going to make sure that you go out there and shine bright like a diamond and everything we do out there, we're going to make it all about you.' And I said, 'I appreciate that.' So we went out there and we did our dark match. And we came back and they said that was the biggest crowd reaction they've ever had for a women's dark match ever in the history of WWE. So kudos to Ivory for looking out. And that's why, the way she came to me and what she did for me, I did for others. Every female that came in that building for a tryout to get a job, I was the first one to step in that ring and workout with them, so they could showcase their talent, their craft, in front of the agents."
TOMMAY! If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit Noonan Speaks with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Noonan Speaks