THE ART OF WRESTLING WITH COLT CABANA – EPISODE 267
GUEST: JEFF JARRETT
RELEASE DATE: SEPT. 10, 2015
DIRECT LINK TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Report by Chris Davidson, podcast reporter
Jeff Jarrett Talks New Global Force Wrestling TV Show – Jeff Jarrett and Colt Cabana discussed the format of Jarrett’s new GFW TV show. Jarrett described the show as having a “documentary style” and will focus on the “authentic” stories of the wrestlers involved. Jarrett implied that the new show will also show what goes on backstage at a wrestling show.
Jeff Jarrett Talks Memphis Wrestling – Jeff Jarrett discussed his early career with Colt Cabana, including driving the ring around on the Memphis circuit, as well as his thoughts on Jerry Lawler as a wrestler. Jarrett remembered a time when Jimmy Hart picked him up from basketball camp and he was intimidated by his heel persona. Jarrett also discussed what it’s like being a third-generation wrestling promoter.
Colt Cabana Apologizes for Recent Actions at a TV Taping – Colt Cabana opened this week’s episode apologizing to his fans for a recent incident while filming a TV show for NBC. Colt was very vague describing the incident, although he felt embarrassed for acting inappropriately during the taping. Colt said that inappropriate things were said and he was trying to get attention. Colt apologized to his fans for not being mature enough for a big opportunity, such as a TV show.
SUBJECTS COVERED (with time stamps)
0:00 – Introduction
10:30 – Song of the week
12:44 – Jeff Jarrett Interview
15:05 – Jarrett reflects on his early territory days
18:00 – Jarrett talks about Jerry Lawler
21:00 – Jarrett talks about the end of territories
22:58 – Jarrett talks about growing up in a wrestling family
33:25 – Jarrett talks more about his early career
36:50 – Jarrett talks ‘90s WWE
41:45 – Jarrett talks about the territories
48:13 – Jarrett talks Global Force Wrestling
52:25 – Jarrett talks failure and being a businessman
56:48 – Jarrett talks changes to wrestling
1:03:00 – Colt wraps up the show
0:00 – Introduction – Colt Cabana’s introduction of Jeff Jarrett focused on Jarrett’s potential divisiveness in locker rooms. Colt likes Jarrett and is working with Jarrett for Global Force Wrestling, but he understands that other wrestlers do not like Jarrett. Colt has been in Edinburgh, Scotland for the last month, and talked about his love for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where he has been performing every summer, and how his successes on the independents allow for him to make a living without being on TV. Colt vaguely discussed a recent opportunity to be on an NBC late night comedy show, where he felt that he acted inappropriately. The event has not aired on TV, but Colt wanted to apologize to his fans for not being ready for such a big opportunity.
10:30 – Song of the week – The song of the week this week is a mash up of “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” and the entrance music Colt uses in the tag team Irn Jew.
12:44 – Jeff Jarrett Interview – Colt and Jarrett discussed how long Colt has been trying to get Jarrett on his podcast. Jarrett declared it “the podcast three years in the making.” Colt asked Jarrett about being a promoter and about the territory days.
15:05 – Jarrett reflects on his early territory days – Jarrett talked about his days as a teenager driving the ring truck for Mid-South wrestling to events to the same cities every week for seven years. Colt compared the loop Jarrett made to current WWE wrestlers who work hard to make it to WWE only to get burnt out on travel. Jarrett said they used to refer to themselves as “short-haul truckers.”
18:00 – Jarrett talks about Jerry Lawler – Jarrett put over Jerry Lawler as one of the smartest and most talented wrestlers at the time, since he was able to be a believable heel and face, and put on a great show week after week to the same crowds. Jarrett pointed to Lawler as the biggest reason the Memphis territory was able to succeed.
21:00 – Jarrett talks about the end of territories – Jarrett said that when WrestleMania and Hulkamania came around, the territories all shut down. Colt mentioned that recently, when wrestling is hot, such as the Attitude Era, all wrestling is hot and the independents do well. Jarrett said that when the business model changed in the 1980s, it was the exact opposite of that. Jarrett remembers turning fans away at the door because the show was sold out every week. Jarrett said that the circuit they worked got “stretched out” and weekly shows turned to monthly shows, or once every three months.
22:58 – Jarrett talks about growing up in a wrestling family – Jarrett said that he wasn’t “in the know” when he was a kid, but he told a story about Jimmy Hart picking him up from basketball camp. Jarrett knew Hart wouldn’t hit him with his megaphone, but remembers still being worried since he was the heel. Jarrett said he started figuring out the business “by osmosis” since he saw all the wrestlers outside of the ring. Jarret said his grandmother used to be a promoter who would drive from town to town putting posters up for the wrestling show and took out advertising space. Jarrett learned from his grandmother the importance of having a great main event and great action on shows. Jarrett talked about his grandmother getting a start selling tickets to shows and working her way up to keeping finances for other promoters. Jarrett also talked about his dad (Jerry Jarrett) growing up in wrestling and coming back to wrestling after working at a bicycle manufacturer. Jarrett talked about learning about business selling concessions and learning about marketing selling programs for his dad.
33:25 – Jarrett talks more about his early career – Jarrett talked about refereeing during the summer, and about playing college basketball as a freshman in college. Jarrett’s “claim to fame” is that the school he played for won the national championship the year he left to wrestle full time. Jarrett began wrestling when he “fell out of love” with basketball. Jarrett mentioned that he played in a basketball game Friday night, and was refereeing for Memphis TV the next morning. Jarrett mentioned his AWA days working in Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, but always going back to Memphis, until he went to WWE in October 1993.
36:50 – Jarrett talks ‘90s WWE – Jarrett talked about signing with WWE and taking Jerry Lawler’s place in a program with Bret Hart. Jarrett brought up his “infamous” introductory vignettes and making the jump from a face in USWA, to a heel in WWE. Jarrett praised Vince McMahon for having patience with introducing his character and keeping him off of TV for three months. Jarrett said he was excited to get a chance to be a heel and that he loved being a heel extension of himself. Colt asked about Jarrett’s song “With My Baby Tonight,” which Jarrett credited “100 percent” to Jim Johnston.
41:45 – Jarrett talks about the territories – Jarrett told a quick story about his dad and Jerry Lawler buying Handsome Jimmy Valiant a house in Memphis to entice him to stay in the territory. Jarrett went into the workings of the territories, where wrestlers would travel to successful territories and would avoid less successful ones. Jarrett said there were two types of wrestlers in the territories: old timers who stuck around and young talent that would come in for a few months and leave. Jarrett mentioned Sting and the Ultimate Warrior, both of whom his dad worked with for less than a year and were world champions within 18 months of leaving Memphis. Jarrett said there were a lot of wrestlers who were paranoid that they would get fired, but that they would work hard to get over to be successful. Jarrett said “unwritten rules were adhered to, or you didn’t get a job at the next place.”
48:13 – Jarrett talks Global Force Wrestling – Colt describes the GFW show as having a “reality show type of feel.” Jarrett said that he hates calling it a reality show, because of the negative connotations of reality TV, and that they are going for an “organic” documentary style show. Jarrett said they don’t want to write stories, they want to document them. Jarrett said everyone has a story and they want to tell wrestler’s stories and bring them back to the ring. Jarrett said with the right story, any type of match can work. Jarrett talked about “loser eats dog food matches” and said the only way to tell if a match is successful is if people come to see it.
52:25 – Jarrett talks failure and being a businessman – Colt asked Jarrett if he felt he was putting a lot on the line with the possibility of failure. Jarrett said he isn’t afraid of failure because no one remembers Thomas Edison for the times he failed, but for inventing the lightbulb. Jarrett said he reads a lot of business books to learn how to succeed and to tweak aspects of GFW to work better. Colt asked if Jarrett was looking at GFW purely as a business of if he felt wrestling is a different beast. Jarrett said that you can bring a businessman into wrestling, but without a strong knowledge of the wrestling business he will fail. Jarrett compared this approach to what WCW did, and why they failed. Jarrett mentioned The Rock and Steve Austin as examples of wrestlers who needed to tweak their characters to be successful.
56:48 – Jarrett talks changes to wrestling – Colt asked Jarrett if he enjoyed promoting. Jarrett said he likes promoting, but the wrestling product hasn’t changed in the last 20 years. Jarrett mentioned American Idol, the Voice, and reality shows as the type of TV shows that had their run at being very successful. Jarrett said that if people could see what was going on behind the scenes in pre wrestling, they would be “mesmerized.” Jarrett said GFW is trying to present what the world of professional wrestling is really like, and what is relatable with a lot of the younger wrestlers. Jarrett praised Chris Mordetsky (Chris Masters) as someone who is wrestling as an extension of himself for GFW. Jarrett said that wrestling used to be manufactured characters that were successful, but today you have to present yourself to the fans and see what they latch onto. Jarrett said people are looking for authenticity in wrestling and want to “know everything about everything.”
1:03:00 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt talked about being a wrestling fan and mimicking your favorite wrestler and how he loved talking about Memphis and the territories. Colt thanked his fans, Jarrett, and his sponsors, plugged his upcoming appearances and signed off.
SCORE & REVIEW
Score 8.0: The Art of Wrestling is a very well-produced podcast that is always willing to let the wrestlers tell their own stories in their own words. Colt Cabana, as a host, does a great job of letting the people he interviews feel comfortable with him and delve deep into parts of their career that may not be touched on in other interviews. Colt may focus too much on the territory days, and he noted at the end of the show that they barely touched on Jarrett’s time in the WWE/WCW, but it’s clear that he has a passion for the small details and the history in the world of wrestling. Between the fun stories of Jarrett’s past in Memphis, and the details of Global Force Wrestling’s future, this episode is a great listen for fans of wrestling, and a display of Colt Cabana’s strengths as a podcaster.