Jeff Jarrett Reflects On The Challenges Of Keeping Sting Under Contract To TNA

WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett, who is also All Elite Wrestling’s Director of Business Development, took to an episode of his “My World with Jeff Jarrett” podcast, where he talked about a number of topics including the challenges of keeping “The Icon” Sting under contract to TNA and what was the number one aspect they needed to put under consideration.

Jarrett said, “I don’t know that we’ve got into this part of it because of the timing of this, because we went through the Sting renegotiations multiple times. But I believe in this particular year Conrad, this is when we were going from one hour to two hours on Spike. We’ll call it the licensing fee double because that’s how they dole out money, by the hour. So our talent budget was a huge topic of discussion and we’ll call it, Dallas was ‘Well no, we don’t need to double the talent budget.’ And I’m like, ‘The only thing that makes this show go is, is our talent.’ Yes, we’ve got to market it. And yes, we’ve got to be better at creative. And you know, we’re going to take pay-per-views on the road and there’s a bunch of everything that goes into it. But investing in our talent is the number one set of circumstances. And they’re like, ‘Well,’ so we didn’t always see eye to eye on that. And as it was coming up and then the million dollar question that came around about every time this year, ‘What are we doing with Sting?’ And I’m like, ‘If we’re not going up in budget and I’m having, or I’m responsible for doubling the number of segments we’re writing, how in the world are we supposed to,’ you know what I’m saying? If we’re not adding more talent and guys that have been with us are going to get, ‘Hey, I know this guy’s going to want a bump and this guy’s going to want a bump.’ And just all the optics of it and the growth of the company.”

He commented on the options they had to consider to keep Sting under contract to TNA and how it drove the creative team crazy.

“At times, it drove not just me, but internally the creative team, crazy. If you want to re-sign him, there’s no question. Everybody on the creative team, and I mean that everybody, was ‘Yes, we want him.’ But we need to tell, ‘Can you let us know what our options are and how much talent does that prevent us [from using].’ Or disgruntlement like, where does that kind of fall into this talent budget?”

Jarrett also talked about how the Sting situation all boiled down to dealing with investors as they wanted as much money back or ROI on it as they could get.

“And Conrad, that was one of those things that — just, the growing pains of dealing with investors who made their money in energy and not in the entertainment business. It’s just difficult conversations. Many, many times, no resolution. You know, we just referenced the India situation that added revenue. But not getting a clear answer it was very, very frustrating at times. Because we made it clear, ‘Yes, we want him. But at what cost?’ And you couldn’t get a clear answer back because they didn’t know. That’s the real frustrating part about it. So it was a head-scratcher at times, but we always ended up somehow resigning him. Most of the time, talent-wise, we would kind of ease into it. But I’ll never forget having those multiple conversations around the time we went from one to two hours and I’m like, ‘You’ve got to increase your talent.’ But of course, the investor wanted as much money back or ROI on it as they could get. So wasn’t easy, Connie. Wasn’t easy.”

You can check out Jarrett’s complete podcast in the video below.