What impact did Jeff Hardy have on TNA Wrestling in the early days of the promotion?
Jeff Jarrett would know the answer to this better than most.
On the latest episode of his “My World” podcast, Double J reflected on the impact that “The Charismatic Enigma” had on TNA during his initial run with the company in 2003, before returning for another run in 2010.
“The loudest pop, I guess Road Warrior pop, but no, the loudest pop I’ve ever heard at the Nashville Sports Arena,” he said. “And when we do the long form, maybe we’ll get the impact plus code and pop it up there. It was unbelievable. And we knew that. We say we collectively TNA creative, just all of us that we wanted to get him. But Jeff was coming off., Running ragged. And so we had to kind of ease into a relationship. But when we got him for the one-off, and he came out years later, we got him again; as you said, he was a top merchandise seller. He was a super current. I can’t say it was a jump, but remember, we’re talking years before Twitter was a thing.”
Jarrett continued, “And yeah, that’s right. There were, you know, the dirt sheets, but the Internet was there. You would know better than me, but I felt it was much smaller. But he was shot. But. But I mean, so he was shocked. But the ones that knew the roof came off, and it was something. Oh, man, I just had a thought in my brain. I’m changing subjects I’d love. God rest his soul. Suppose Don West would have come on and done kind of. God rest his soul if Don West had done kind of on Jeff Hardy merchandise. Don would do an entire three-hour episode about Jeff moving merchandise. And I’ll when we do research; I’ll maybe pick Greg Jenkins and some other or Jason James, some other guy’s brains about some merch stats and stuff like that. That’s a whole other conversation that we’ll get into. But Jeff, being a part of the early days of TNA, we’re huge, and there look, I don’t want to get too deep into it, but Conrad, when we knew we had him on board, there was no question. Jeff Hardy was the. Tip top babyface. For our first-ever monthly pay-per-view. That’s what I thought of him. Or we thought of him as a talent. He moved the needle for us. And I’m not just saying pay-per-view buys or television ratings. He. He was a guy that did not just move everything. Merch. A big, big part of the early days of TNA.”
Check out the complete episode of the show at Spotify.com. H/T to WrestlingHeadlines.com for transcribing the above quotes.