You can find the full audio of the interview as well as some of Jeff’s transcribed quotes below:
On what he thinks was the catalyst for WWF’s Attitude Era:
JJ: Necessity. Isn’t that the motherhood of all invention? There comes a time when the evolution of the business happens. You can’t ever put one finger on it. The ratings were down but what people don’t really remember is, correct me if I’m wrong, 1991-92 business with the scandals and all that… business was not very good. I got there in ’93 and you could see the live event business gradually start to increase. Pre-Attitude Era didn’t do anything. Don’t get me wrong, nothing close to the Attitude Era. The live event business began to increase ever so much… ’94, ’95 and then it obviously exploded. When you put RAW and, not too far after that, Nitro on the air that was the game changer. In my opinion. The method of delivery of the product. It went from no longer being weekend syndicated programming. Whether it’s on TBS at 6:05 or all around the country with Superstars. When RAW and Nitro and the delivery and the style and all of that came on the scene it changed the game completely. As history shows it went from one hour to two hours. Nitro went from two to three. All of that. The awareness really went up. Then you added Thunder and Smackdown! All of that. We are in a transition right now from cable to the digital world and the method of delivery continues to change. I think you can take a step back and take a little bit of a breather because in cable television there are hundreds, if not thousands, of television producers that would love to have the problem of only getting three million viewers a week with a show that goes for three hours. It’s incredible but it’s the world of wrestling that, yes, there is a decline but when you really take a step back and look at just how successful RAW has been since ’92 or ’93… it’s incredible. It is incredible.
On the the difficulties of launching a new pro wrestling product in the current pro wrestling landscape:
JJ: We are faced with multiple challenges as a new brand. Obviously, the title says it, it’s “Global” so we are lining up the global launch. The UK fan base now is totally dialed in to every year at WrestleMania. They make their travel and they are a huge part of the Monday Night RAW audience. Wrestling has become a global form of entertainment. When you couple that with digital… the world is changing. The distribution is ever changing so fast and that’s sort of the world we are in right now. I think as much as anything people can say, “bad creative,” or they can say, “It’s three hours.” There’s a lot of things. It’s all the same thing. It’s a sign of the times. It’s a changing world. When you flip that, who would have thought three years ago that we would be sitting her saying, “Every WWE PPV is on the network and you can get it for $10 a month.” That’s incredible. The world is changing.
You can also listen to the full archives of WrestleZone Radio interviews in the embedded audio playlist below: