Conrad Thompson & Jeff Jarrett will be doing a weekly podcast called “My World with Jeff Jarrett”, covering the life and career of Jeff Jarrett.
Here are a few highlights, including the story of why TNA used a six-sided ring:
Jarrett: “Obviously I didn’t come up with it. I saw it in Mexico. But, when you are in different television meetings, specifically when you’re in toy vendors, and really the overall licensing program and what makes you stand out from WWE? I’ll never forget it. Sting wasn’t a fan of it. Hulk wasn’t a fan of it. There’s multiple guys. If they were in the meetings, because hell, I’m a wrestler. I know how to bounce off ropes. Working in a four-sided ring vs a six-sided ring, if you have a problem with that, grow up. But, as far as sitting in a meeting and they say, “Oh, you have a six-sided ring’, you have instant shelf space. That’s a game changer in adding zero to the bottom line.
Knowing that it set our brand apart, knowing that when you’re changing channels, and everybody wanted to hang on that one statement, yea, but when you look at UFC, and as hot as they were in that era, they were 2002, and I’ll fast forward to when we were doing that six-sided ring, and the octagon, I know there is two sides different, but, just how it made it stand out, the different things we could do with it, it just made us different, but not so far out, that, ‘Oh my god, you can’t have a wrestling match.’ That was nonsense to me. But it was a game changer in licensing. If that isn’t a good enough reason, I’ll give you 10 more, but that was a game changer in licensing. When Walmart’s toy department during that time, and I know there are Toys ‘R’ Us fans here, I have five kids, so I’m well aware of Toys ‘R’ Us, but yes, those are the two main toy folks.
We flew to Arkansas and had our Walmart meetings. But yes, they said ‘If you have this, that takes up shelf space, that is a big mover and action figures, there’s a WWF action figure, a TNA action figure, they’re all relatively the same. What makes you different?’ I knew that the six-sided ring had components for an Ultimate X, Six-Sides of Steel, a lot of different components. Our ring would set us apart and immediately when you’re walking down the aisle to soccer mom Suzie, who really has no clue about any type of brand, if little Johnny wants the six-sided, it’s a sale. He doesn’t care what brand it is. That happens all the time. Not just in wrestling figures, but in all types of toys. You want that shelf space and that changes the game.”
Conrad asked, “Are you suggesting that if you didn’t have the six-sided ring, they might not have carried the action figures either?”
Jarrett answered, “I’m positive of that. It’s not if. The six-sided ring changed our licensing game. The brand, as far as selling video games, Acclaim and all that came with it, yea, we made some money off that, but our licensing, the entire line, as silly as it may sound, it’s very accurate. It changed our world in the licensing world.”