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Jeff Jarrett on why he got the big push from Vince Russo in WCW, why he wanted to scrap the guitar gimmick

On the latest “My World” podcast, WWE Hall Of Famer Jeff Jarrett talked about Vince Russo joining WCW after leaving WWE.

Jarrett was asked if Vince Russo gave the big push to Jeff Jarrett when both came to WCW in 1999 because he knew Jarrett was easier to work with than the big stars there at that time:

“We’re sitting here in 2021, and hindsight is without question 20/20, but when you look at the reality of the situation, Vince was writing for the WWF Magazine in 1993/1994.  He became a writer and worked his way up the ranks.  At the end of the day, the real context was, he knew that he answered to Vince (McMahon) and only Vince.  He had a falling out and he went to WCW.  He had never worked in an environment where he could at least go and argue his point to Vince McMahon and then Vince would make the decision.  Now it was, you know, Bill Bush was his boss, and with Bill and Vince (McMahon), there’s no comparison.  The short answer is yes.  He knew that Jeff Jarrett, the talent, would make suggestions, add, subtract, try to make it better, and at the end of the day, I’m going to run the play.  He walked into a situation, and Hulk Hogan, going back to his whole lineage, we’ll call it that, AWA, WWF, WWWF, all of that.  You can go all the way down the list. He was walking into a scenario with that group and everybody else that did not have that working relationship.  Vince Russo and his Long Island accent coming into WCW, he had never worked with Hulk.  He had never worked with Bill Goldberg.  He had never really worked with Hall and Nash in this manner.  He was a whole new ball game.  So yes to your answer is that when he looked down his roster of folks, (he thought), ‘At least I kind of know Jeff and he’ll play ball with my story.’”

Jarrett was asked if he considered doing away with the guitar gimmick when he returned to WCW:

“I absolutely had conversations and thoughts of, ‘Can we just give it a rest?’  If you just give it a rest for a few weeks, a few months, or longer than that, what’s old will be new again if you let it breathe and give it time.  It was literally like a crutch.  We chuckle about it.  You look at all the old WCW Nitros and Thunders, a pickup truck full of guitars, and this and that.  It was like the old Russo saying, with all due respect, ‘The belt is just a prop.’  Well guess what?  The guitar is just a prop.  I never had a problem with prop.  It’s ‘just a’ that I have a problem with. It kills it.  We are in a business of perception and entertainment.  You can’t have 50 leading actors.  There’s one.  Same thing.  You can’t have 50 props.  You can, but they’ll mean nothing.  The belt is the lead centerpiece of the promotion.  For my character, if I swing the guitar every week, it’s just like a headlock.  It’s just like a dropkick.  It’s another high spot in the match.  I’m not trying to go old school and say, ‘You can’t do five dives here’, because I’m not getting into highspots and everything.  I’m talking about finishing moves and protecting it, and yes, the guitar, these were the early stages of it being way overdone.”

Jarrett was asked to explain the difference the first few months he was in WCW in 1996 compared to the first few months when he returned to WCW in 1999:

“When I got there in ‘96, the vibe of, which had never been done, the team that produced WrestleMania every year was number 2.  That was revolutionary.  That was groundbreaking.  There was the NWO, Hulk, Savage, Hall, and Nash.  Fast forward to October ‘99, chaos.  From the day I got there, I knew, felt, and observed, that ok, unorganized is a nice way of saying it.”

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

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