PWInsider reports that the recent deal that saw Jeff Jarrett return to TV in the TNA storylines included Dixie Carter buying Jarrett out of his minority ownership of TNA. The deal also included Jarrett's Hall of Fame induction, promotion for Global Force Wrestling and GFW having the rights to book TNA talents.
TNA issued this statement in response, referring to tonight's Impact Wrestling with the Winner Takes All Lethal Lockdown match:
"The real-life drama between Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett, that for weeks has played out on IMPACT WRESTLING, will all come to a head tonight in a shares vs shares, Winner Take All match. It is true that if Dixie's Team TNA defeats Team GFW, Dixie will acquire Jeff's shares in TNA and he will no longer be a stakeholder."
PWInsider notes that the Jarrett deal was put together just a few days before the Jarretts cut their Impact promo back in June. The deal was precipitated by TNA and allows for both sides to part ways on good terms. Dixie and parent company Panda Energy get complete ownership of the company while Jarrett gets bought out and receives some perks for GFW. TNA can now make any moves they want without having to worry about Jarrett's minority shares coming back to get in the way.
JEFF JARRETT OUT AS MINORITY OWNER OF TNA WRESTLING, FULL DETAILS By Mike Johnson on 2015-09-16 10:28:01
Tonight's TNA Impact Wrestling is being billed as winner takes all as Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter leads teams into the Lethal Lockdown, with the loser being gone "forever" and the winner getting the entire company.
Well, art is imitating life, which is imitating art as PWInsider.com has confirmed that the deal that saw Jarrett return to TNA for this storyline included Dixie Carter/Panda Energy buying Jarrett out of his minority ownership of TNA Wrestling.
TNA, when asked for comment this morning, sent the following statement:
The real-life drama between Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett, that for weeks has played out on IMPACT WRESTLING, will all come to a head tonight in a shares vs shares, Winner Take All match. It is true that if Dixie's Team TNA defeats Team GFW, Dixie will acquire Jeff's shares in TNA and he will no longer be a stakeholder. "
Multiple attempts to reach Jeff Jarrett over the course of the last week were unsuccessful.
Jarrett and his father Jerry founded TNA in 2002 with the strategy of being weekly Wednesday night PPVs. When that strategy did not turn out to be a sound one financially and they lost their initial financial backer, HealthSouth, Dixie Carter, then a publicist for the company, reached out to her father Bob Carter, who was running Panda Energy.
Panda was pitched and purchased the majority ownership in the company, with The Jarretts each retaining a minority share. Jerry was later bought out while Jeff retained his shares.
Jeff Jarrett would remain a top talent for the company as well as an executive, often heading creative and being one of the central figures on screen for much of TNA's early run. That bred some criticism of Jarrett using his company to put himself over, but privately, Jarrett's response would be that when he had someone that could be trusted to be in his position, he'd step down from that top spot. When Kurt Angle was brought into TNA, Jarrett did just that, although he was still a regular on television and in storylines.
Behind the scenes, Jarrett was the central figure for much of the company's initial run while Carter focused on behind the scenes matters as she learned the wrestling business. As time went on, Carter would take more control of the company, partially due to decisions Jarrett made in his personal life.
Real life got in the way of professional wrestling and Jarrett found himself on the outs politically with Dixie Carter when his relationship with his wife Karen Jarrett (who, at the time, was Karen Angle, Kurt's wife, who had come in to become a performer on TNA TV and quickly became a you know what good one) became known within the company. That led to a rough patch between Kurt and Jeff, although, in hindsight, one that was completely blown up to be much worse than it was at the time. All sides are now on great terms and Jarrett vs. Angle even headlined a TNA PPV well after all the personal matters became public.
That rough patch, however, led to Jarrett taking time off from the company (whether he was sent home or chose to pull himself out depends on who is telling the story and what day it is) and that set the stage for Dixie Carter to take more control of the company as a number of Jarrett confidantes, including BG Jammes, Jim Cornette and Dutch Mantel were soon gone from the company in his absence while Carter's chosen head of creative at the time, Vince Russo, gained far more power politically.
Jarrett did return, but now more than ever, there was a schism inside the company - Jeff's side vs. Dixie's side. Jarrett was "fired" on camera and began focusing on launching new ventures for TNA, including the Ring Ka King promotion that ran for one TV season in India and the "All Wheels Wrestling" pilot that was filmed with the idea of pitching it to The Speed Network but never panned out. The feeling backstage at the time was that Jarrett was working to launch the new entities so he could create his own corner of the company and be creatively independent of Carter within TNA.
Dixie Carter brought in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff to head the direction. That, in the end, didn't work out. She brought in John "Big" Gaburick to head Production and Gaburick ended up being placed in charge of creative as well. According to a number of sources at the time, Gaburick and Jarrett never clicked, with Jarrett, the founder of the company, said to have not been happy about having to answer to anyone else beyond Carter.
Jarrett attempted to buy the company out with country singer Toby Keith (a longtime friend, who had appeared on the very first TNA PPV), although a letter from Janice Carter to the TNA roster denied the company was for sale. In the end, Jarrett publicly announced he had resigned from the company in December 2013 and went on to form his new promotion Global Force Wrestling in 2014. His resignation caught TNA completely by surprise, according to those in the company at the time.
Jarrett's departure began a new cold war as he made it clear publicly that he still owned a percentage of TNA, embarrassing the company that one of their owners was now trying to create an opposition promotion. Jarrett took a long time building GFW, not even launching live events until earlier this year. The issues between he and Carter were so tense that TNA made moves to prevent talents from appearing on GFW house shows, with the story being that GFW had made it clear they were looking to go on TV and TNA did not allow their talents to go on opposition TV.
That all changed when Jarrett and his wife Karen appeared on the 6/24 episode of Impact Wrestling, coming out as a surprise to not just viewers but everyone in the TNA locker room. The deal was said to have been put together just days before with the Jarretts arriving and going to the ring for a return promo just an hour before the show went on the air on Destination America. The deal was one that TNA precipitated. All signs are that Jarrett and Carter got along famously during the entire process of the TNA vs. GFW storyline.
The deal allows for both sides to end up parting on good terms. Dixie Carter and Panda Energy get complete ownership of Dixie's company. Jarrett gets bought out and is given some nice "parting gifts" as the deal also saw Jarrett brought back for a final storyline, be put over at Slammiversary, be inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame (which I am told was added later after the initial deal was agreed upon), be given promotion for Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling promotion on TNA TV and GFW having the rights to book TNA talents on their events.
Now, going forward, TNA can make whatever moves they choose to make without having to worry about Jarrett's minority shares coming back to haunt them.
The deal also marks the end of an era, one that technically ended when Jarrett quit the company in 2013, but now, officially, has finished. After 13 years, Jeff Jarrett is now 100% divested of the promotion he launched out of the Gulf Coast fishing trip he, his father and current TNA Executive Bob Ryder took together after WCW had imploded and WWE was the only national outlet for professional wrestling.