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NewsJeff Jarrett On Dutch Mantell Rubbing People The Wrong Way In TNA

Jeff Jarrett On Dutch Mantell Rubbing People The Wrong Way In TNA

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On the latest episode of his “My World” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett commented on Dutch Mantell rubbing people the wrong way in TNA, the reason why TNA used Johnny Fairplay in 2004, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On Dutch Mantell rubbing people the wrong way in TNA: “Dutch rubbing people the wrong way? Oh, many, many [times]. I mean, Dutch can rub folks the wrong way. But do you think he cares at times? Hell no. But him not being a fan of Jerry Lynn? Just drilling that down makes zero sense. It just doesn’t ring true. Now, here’s how that can kind of be manipulated. ‘Hey, you know what? We’ve got 30 guys on the roster, and Panda is only going to pay for 20. We need to have turnover talent, we probably ought to give some talent a heads up that they’re getting a rest.’ Because that’s the worst thing, is to bring guys with the expectation, ‘You’re going to get booked,’ or ‘You’re going to come and you’re going to work,’ or whatever it may be and then nothing happens. And then that kind of creates the discourse and the resentment, and all that. Because you think you’re getting paid, then you’re not getting paid and all that. I’m sure that was the case with Jerry and many others. And Dutch would be one of the ones to say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna be honest. You’re not gonna like what I say right now. But not everybody’s gonna get a slot every Wednesday night. There’s gonna be some folks that just aren’t gonna get booked.’ And then you have that ‘Dutch doesn’t like Jerry,’ which is total BS.”

On TNA using Johnny Fairplay in 2004: “[Survivor was one of the highest rated shows] like, by far. It was crushing it. And one of those viewers who was an over-the-top Survivor watcher was Dixie [Carter]. Just a huge Survivor fan. And you know, during those times, those 12 to 10 to eight, or however many cast members they were, they really were household names. They were on the cover of PEOPLE Magazine and doing the talk show rounds after they got eliminated. I mean, they were mainstream. Well, to say Jonny Fairplay was a heel on that show is an understatement. He was — like, lied about his grandmother. I don’t remember all the storylines that they had in it, but he was a big-time charismatic heel, and Dixie was a huge fan of it. And it just so happened that Johnny liked wrestling and wanted in. And so it was that whole talk.

“And when I kind of read the research about Johnny having a full-time contract, I go back to, I don’t think that a) that was really — maybe it was discussed between Dixie and Johnny. I wasn’t part of those conversations. But you know, we were still running one day a week. And so even an AJ Styles, you know, the exclusivity we had him is, you just had to give us priority on Wednesday. So I think that’s a lot of dirtsheet writing, you know, journalist, newsletter writing, however you want to say it, that just kind of pumped it up. But there was an interest there from — not just Dixie, from Creative. ‘Hey, if we can create a kind of a publicity’… But no, Johnny was going to be a publicity stunt. His promo skills and his bumping skills were adequate, but they were — I mean, I think he’d tell you this day that they were nothing over the moon. But he was willing to play ball. And if we could get pressed out of him, I think we were all willing to play ball.”

On how the locker room felt about TNA using him: “I’m telling you, there was a lot of rumblings. But I never — I did my best not to pay attention to that, because I’d be like, ‘They’re not supposed to get it. They’re supposed to get in the ring and run the play.’ So you can’t ask him to think too far out of the box. You just can’t.”