Alfonso Castillo of “The Steel Cage” blog over on Newsday.com has an interview up with TNA’s Jeff Jarrett. Here are some highlights.
On TNA not trying to run as many live shows as WWE:
“I think it’s counter-productive to the entire organization, but first and foremost to the individual. The guys who need to be on all 25 shows, they?re the ones that are in theory making you the most money or are the biggest draws or the most accomplished. And there comes a burn out factor. There comes a time when the body says, ?No more.? Or the wife, and family and kids say, ?No more.? That’s just as important. So, we?re definitely aware of that. I?m certainly aware of that, because I?ve lived both sides of it. And I know that, for the long-term viability of an organization, you have to keep that in check.”
On comparing TNA TV ratings vs. WWE TV ratings:
“We?ve gone from a .7, .8 to a 1.3 on Spike network. You can look at ECW. They started in the high 2’s, and now they?re in the 1.2, 1.3 range ? a tremendous drop. Smackdown you can?t really count because they?ve changed networks. They?ve had their issues, but as a matter of fact, they?ve done extremely well. You look at Raw. They went, over the last three or four years, they went from the 4’s to the 3’s, and now they?re back up there. So it’s an ebb and flow. And they tout themselves as the longest running series. It’s phenomenon that from 1993 to 2009, they?ve been on 17 years. They?ve got a 14-year, 15-year head start on us.”
On TNA pulling talent from ROH and ROH on HDNet:
“If you?re in the game on national, network television, for us to say it’s not competition, that’s just being blatantly arrogant. I think the facts sort of speak for themselves in that their distribution is just a fraction of what ours is, so you can?t really put it in the same game. Is it competition? Yes. Is there a wide tremendous gap? The reason we have to pull talent is contractual issues, not, ?Oh boy, they?re on television.? Any exposure for your talent is good. But, from a contractual standpoint, the contracts are in place to keep the business in line, and that’s all that is.”
If it’s frustrating not to have WWF/WCW footage on his new DVD:
“I call it the ?Bret Hart syndrome.? Bret has literally, probably laid awake many, many nights. His entire career is gone, or owned by Vince McMahon. Bret, he worked for WWF for all those years, and then briefly for WCW. But Vince owns it all. So, it’s a little bit frustrating, but that’s the business. Vince is smart businessman, and that’s why he bought the libraries. The way he acquired WCW, it nothing short of sheer genius. But he did his maneuverings, and got what he wanted. And he got that library, because that’s all he bought.”
On his relationship with Vince McMahon:
“I?ll say there’s a personal relationship with the entire McMahon family and Jeff Jarrett. As far as a working relationship ? absolutely not. We?re competitors. But a personal relationship? Without a doubt. The entire McMahon family was very, very good to me during the passing of my wife, and that’s something I?ll never forget.”
To check out the full interview, click here.