This week there’s been a rumor flying around the wrestling world that Jeff Jarrett could be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. If true, it’d be pretty surprising for a number of reasons. Late last year, Jarrett had a battle with some alcoholism that resulted in his ousting from Impact Wrestling. Jarrett reportedly had a stay at rehab center paid for by WWE (which itself is not unsurprising, WWE does that sort of stuff for its former talent).
Last time Jarrett was in WWE was 1999, when he famously “held” Vince McMahon up for money owed to him dating back months (something like $300,000). He went out and dropped the Intercontinental Championship to Chyna on the PPV No Mercy. The next night, Double J made his return to WCW Monday Nitro.
Away from WWE, Jeff Jarrett went on to have a successful career winning the WCW World Championship multiple times and after the demise of WCW, founded Total Nonstop Action alongside his father Jerry Jarrett. Aligned with the NWA, and as the boss, Jarrett went on to be a top main-eventer in TNA and a six-time NWA World Champion.
Does Jeff Jarrett deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Without a doubt, yes!
Double J was always an underrated wrestler. People hate on his time as the top heel in WCW and say that it was just because he was friends with Vince Russo, and they hate his dominance of TNA because he was the head guy, but he was still a good worker. He was good in the ring and was a great promo.
I’ve long been a fan of Jeff Jarrett. Since his first arrival in WWE way back in 1992. My personal favorite time period in all of WWE was the “New Generation,” followed by the “Attitude Era.” Jarrett was a major part of both of these eras in WWE. Some of my favorite matches from the New Generation involve Jeff Jarrett, particularly his bouts against Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels, and even Bret Hart (that RAW match before Royal Rumble 1995). If you haven’t seen his Intercontinental Championship match against Shawn Michaels at In Your House 2, look it up on WWE Network.
Jarrett left WWE in early 1996 and showed up in WCW in late 1996. He was famously a “free agent” in the war between the nWo and the Four Horsemen. He ended up in the Four Horsemen and had success winning the WCW United States Championship. He had some good matches during his time in WCW with the likes of Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko, and its where we first got a taste of the pairing of Jeff Jarrett and Debra.
His stay in WCW lasted a year, and when his contract was up Jarrett jumped back to the WWE despite the fact that WCW was well ahead in the ratings battle. Unfortunately, it took awhile for him to be a player again in WWE. He was the main star of that terrible NWA invasion angle WWE tried in early 1998 with Jarrett as the NWA North American Champion.
Eventually Jarrett aligned with Debra in WWE and formed a tag team with friend Owen Hart, and I really enjoyed that team. They won the tag team titles at WrestleMania XV and were still a team when Owen Hart died (despite that Blue Blazer nonsense). After Owen’s tragic death, Jarrett went on a week later to recapture the Intercontinental Championship from The Godfather. It was during that time he became the character that he’d eventually take to WCW. He won the IC title a couple more times (six in total) and even became the Euro-Continental Champion (held both the IC and European title at the same time).
Regardless of the booking, and some nonsense, Jeff Jarrett was one of the bright spots in the dying days of WCW. Right there with Booker T, Scott Steiner, DDP and Sid. Won the WCW title multiple times, was part of the silver nWo (or nWo 2000) with Nash, Hall and Bret Hart, and the top guy in the New Blood.
After the death of WCW, Jarrett was a key part in the creation and running of TNA, which, despite its shortcomings and failures, gave wrestling fans and wrestlers the closest thing to a WCW-like alternative to WWE that we’re likely going to see on that level again.
For his WWE runs (1992-1996, and 1997-1999) alone, I’d say Jarrett is more than deserving of a Hall of Fame spot. Six time Intercontinental Champion, European Champion, and Tag Team Champion. When you add in his WCW runs, particularly the 1999-2001 period, his Hall of Fame stock only further goes up.
Do I think Jarrett is likely for the Hall of Fame this year? I really don’t, but I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if he did eventually get inducted. He did work again with Jim Ross, and I don’t believe there’s any lingering bad blood between him and McMahon that would keep him blacklisted (he does after all have a Superstars page on WWE.com as part of the alumni section).
Regardless of whether or not it happens this year, or some other year, Jeff Jarrett definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I hope it happens.