TNA Ownership Timeline, With Comments By Former Employee

Bill Behrens

 

You know Jeff had his run and saved his money. I never had that run and I only knew (so I believed) the industry I was currently in and wrestling. And I had blown a few really good opportunities with WWF around this time to build my business and to be a husband and father that was home. (I wish I had a crystal ball sometimes not that I regret anything because of my kids but, I knew this girl would’ve never met me half way. I should have grabbed more out of my life than I have given to her. As much as this hurts to say, I have a right to be pissed at her but, I’m the one that did what I did and let her take advantage and then
allowed her to get used to that).

While the company was still in begining stages, I got a call from Jerry asking If I would make the trip to Nashville and bring some talent with for him to take a look at as he and Jeff were going to start a wrestling company?
I said “what happened to Jeff and I being marks and idiots? I thought you were done with the business??” To Jerry’s credit, he owned the statements and even knew that this could very well be a “mistake” but, he did his homework in regard to Pay Per View revenue at this time. And he felt that he had better help Jeff because he had a partner but, had already put up $1 million of his own money. Bottom line was Jerry knew Jeff was serious and saw the potential in PPV.

His original plan was not to use ex-WCW/WWE fallouts. He planned on using guys that there was current mystique with, international talent, unsung hero’s with talent, and the one thing that Jerry and Jeff agreed upon and knew they would build their company around was A.J. Styles! They knew the guy was special and saw him as a “break out star”! There’s a hell of a lot more to go with this story but, I’m sure you get the “gist” of the scenario.

June 2002: The president of Monterey Peninsula Talent (a booking agency) contacts Dixie Carter and informs her that TNA Wrestling, a newly up started wrestling promotion, is seeking a marketing and publicity outlet employee. TNA Wrestling hires Dixie Carter, the daughter of Panda Energy International owner, Robert W. Carter.

I want to say that this guys name is James Yelich. Im not exactly sure how important it is to the story or how Yelich and Monterey knew the Jarrett’s but, in the Nashville entertainment circles both Jeff and Jerry were well known.

Monterey, Yelich, Andy Barton, and Dixie knew each other from the country music social circle. Old timer’s that I know from those circles see Andy and Yelich as DO-DO’S that have somehow been able to hang on in that industry because of the fact they have degrees. Which, they are probably part of the first wave in that industry to have the “wall mounts”.

I’m sure this is the “time line” but, I am also sure there is more to the “reported” story than Dixie handling Jeff and Jerry’s company’s P.R.!

Jeff already knew Dixie as the Jarrett’s condo in Dallas (I think N. Dallas) neighbors Dixies. I also know that the Jarretts had planned for the worst with HealthSouth. I also just happened to call Jerry as he was landing in Dallas to speak with a potential “MAJORITY INVESTOR”.

To give you an example of the statements I make about Monterey, they get a percentage of the TNA live event gates (house shows only) and are not penciled in for any tv or TNA profits (not there are any) so, that kind of proves my friends, the “old timers” in the music industry’s theories.

And if they contacted Dixie just to do P.R. for their company, why would that entitle Monterey to a touring percentage??? Yelich, Barton, and Dixie all went to college together and are “thick as thieves” since then! Yelich and Barton are basically Dixies advisors. Odd eh?

I had also talked to Jerry after his meeting (on other items) and his meeting went well!

June 19, 2002: TNA Wrestling produces their first live pay-per-view event in Huntsville, Alabama with their key financial backer, the HealthSouth Corporation out of Birmingham, Alabama.

Like i said above, strange things were already afoot with HealthSouth and Jerry has a “great nose” for danger! He can’t be faulted for being a smart businessman. So the Jarrett’s “ducks were in a row”.

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