Jeff Jarrett discusses the progression of professional wrestling.
Professional wrestling is a vast business, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s also a very niche business. In recent years, though, professional wrestling has propelled into the eye of mainstream media. More performers are exploring opportunities outside of the wrestling realm, whether it be in music, acting, gaming, or other sports. Many promotions have also utilized celebrities to elevate their product through endorsements, live performances, or even jumping into the ring themselves.
During a recent appearance The Mark Hoke Show, 37-year veteran Jeff Jarrett reflected on the changes he has seen throughout the course of his career.
“We used to strive to get into the pop culture conversation. Those days are way in our rearview. We are pop culture. There’s just no doubt about it. In [AEW’s] short history, we’ve had Shaq wrestle. We’ve had Mike Tyson in the ring. I mean, Paul Walter Hauser, I give him a hard time, Golden Globe winner. I cracked him over the head with his guitar. It was a hell of a shot. It was a great shot, he felt that one. You just kind of think about all the athletes and the actors and the people that want to be a part of it.”
“I know I’m talking a little bit about the competition, but I’d say Bad Bunny is pretty successful in his world. He came begging our industry, it wasn’t reversed. You just kind of think back to WrestleMania 1, the celebrities that were paid big money to do cameos because creating an aura. Now the tide has turned. Folks are coming to us. They come to us every day in AEW. So, it’s really cool to see where the business is at from a third-generation guy,” Jarrett said.
Jarrett continued on, contemplating what his grandmother might have thought of the state of today’s wrestling world. “Man, if my grandmother could just see what’s going on now, my dad (Jerry Jarrett) got to see so much of it and hear all of it, the numbers. You share with him gross revenue on this event or that event, it’s just completely foreign to him and his heyday of running promotion. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”
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