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Jeff Jarrett on how TNA was formed, who came up with TNA name, Tuesday Night Attitude as the original show name

On the latest episode of “My World” on AdFreeShows.com, Jeff Jarrett and Conrad Thompson went over the creation of TNA. This show includes some behind-the-scenes stories that have never been told before.

Here are some highlights:

Jeff Jarrett talking about the money he and his father, Jerry Jarrett put into TNA to start it up:

“We agreed really early, day one, that it (percentage of the business owned) would be 65/35 (Jeff 65, Jerry 35), but it was going to be diluted with investors as time went on, knowing the business strategy of outsourcing where we didn’t have overhead, as little overhead as possible…If I don’t believe in it, why should anybody else believe in it.  I’m putting my money up and had no problem doing it…I put up roughly $600,000 and change and he put up $300,00 and change.  We got close to the million mark.”

When asked if it was true that Mark Miller, the lead singer of Sawyer Brown, whom he sang with in WWF in 1998 would commit to $1 million dollars for a 10% stake in the company, Jarrett said, “That is not accurate.”

Jarrett was asked if the original idea was for the show to not be on Wednesday, but rather on Tuesday, and the name was going to be Tuesday Night Attitude (TNA)?  Jarrett said, “That’s accurate.  That’s an unknown fact, so to speak.”

Jarrett on who came up with the TNA name:

“Me and Vince (Russo) obviously had the conversation.  I’m sure J.B. (Jeremy Borash), Disco, I mean there probably could have been multiples, but me and Vince probably had the most extensive conversations.  The conversation went back to me and my father that I was ready, willing and able to shoulder the load.  I came off WCW and WWF, and the single biggest deciding factor, in my opinion, on the success or failure of a wrestling company is you have to have the buck stop with someone.  So, the buck stopped with me.  You can point fingers at Vince Russo, or Jerry Jarrett, or a number of folks over the years.  If the buck stops with you, you’re ultimately, so it was me…A PPV only company, we were still going with the mindset in Pat Patterson’s words, ‘a little something extra’, so the double entendre with no commercials…This was two hour, commercial free, on PPV and using the double entendre, so the Total Nonstop Action was the commercial free, and the other version of t*ts and a*s, the other version of TNA, was just that.”

Jarrett talking about him wanting TNA to have an association with NASCAR:

“Going with the mindset that the majority of our business is going to come from the Southeast and the Midwest, that’s country music and NASCAR…If I went to a country music venue or I went to a NASCAR race, the crossover is astronomical comparatively speaking.  I met Hermie Sadler in Las Vegas through a WWF event in the mid-90s.  Me and Hermie hit it off from day one.  He’s been one of my best friends ever since.  We go way, way back.  I’ve met a lot of drivers.  In 2001, 2000, 1999, NASCAR then as it is today is apples to oranges.  You talk about the golden age because it had a group of established stars, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, some real rock star celebrities of drivers, but then they had this new crop and the ratings on FOX were through the roof…Hermie agreed to wrestle.  Hermie was a cup driver.  He might not have been Dale Earnhardt, but he had a name.  You can create the storyline and you can advertise ‘NASCAR’s Hermie Sadler is wrestling.’  That’s the advertisement.”

Jarrett talking more about the TNA name:

“That was a pivot off of ‘We love TNA, the double entendre.’  I say we, but I’m not going to throw people in my bucket unless they are willing. Lots of folks hated on that name, but I didn’t hear anybody say, ‘Oh Jeff, that’s going to put you out of business.’  It was, again context, coming off the Attitude Era, we were strictly a PPV only.  We could get away with more stuff, so we were going to have girls dancing in cages.  We were going to push the envelope, not go over the line, but go right up to the line.  Going back to Tuesday Night Attitude, Tuesday went away.  PPV companies were not enamored with that.  That was a big replay night.  That was a big movie night.  They wanted us on Wednesdays.  I wasn’t opposed to that.  It’s sitting in the middle of the week.  Maybe it works a little better, again, my eternal optimism.  I can bring talent in on Wednesday and they can work the independents…It rolled off the tongue, TNA Wrestling…You would never say TNA without wrestling.  I remember saying, ‘Why would you ever leave it with just TNA?’  People don’t know TNA.  You don’t just say that, ever.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit “‎My World with Jeff Jarrett” with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.






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