Reviewed by Steven Wilson of MainEventRadio.com
It’s been literally years in the making, having been postponed many times before, but now TNA is ready to unleash a massive four disc DVD set focusing on the career of it’s founder, the King of the Mountain Jeff Jarrett. Running over 11 hours featuring 25+ matches and segments from the TNA video library as well as an in-depth documentary and old school 1980s Memphis wrestling footage, fans now have a source to learn about the life and career of Jeff Jarrett.
Following what has become TNA’s standard DVD presentation, the main feature is presented with a mix of documentary chapters and full matchups. Looking at the documentary portion, it begins with Jeff Jarrett’s days as a basketball star who had a passion for the sport of professional wrestling. Being a son and grandson of wrestling promoters, Jeff recounts growing up with wrestling legends in his life who would pass through the Memphis territory including stories of the early day Sting, Ultimate Warrior, and Randy Savage. Jarrett explains the Memphis wrestling scene at the time and what would lead to his first match. The early part of his career is covered fairly well including footage of the time that TNA acquired for the DVD. Interviews with the likes of Dutch Mantell, Sting, Scott Steiner, Jim Cornette, and others offer insight of the time.
Moving away from the Memphis territory, Jarrett talks about Vince McMahon’s revolution of the wrestling industry with the move from territory to national, which leads to chapters on his career in WCW and the WWF. For the most part his time in these companies is only touched on via the major events, i.e. his debut as a fake singer, his departure from the WWF and taking part in the WCW/NWo angle, his return to the WWF, the problems he had there and his eventual hold up of the company before his match with Chyna for the IC title. The documentary then moves onto the end of WCW and the effect it had on the stars and staff at the time, including touching on the incident from Bash at the Beach 2000 where Russo cut a shoot promo on Hulk Hogan who’s creative control card was causing too many problems in the company. Closing out his time in these companies is the death of Owen Hart. Jarrett tells the story of that night and reflects on his true friend’s passing. Mick Foley and Jim Cornette also share thoughts in what is truly a touching chapter of the DVD.
As was touched on in the History of TNA Year 1 DVD, The summer of no worries is discussed, which was the time after WCW closed and everyone who didn’t take or wasn’t offered the WWE’s buyout at the time sat at home collecting paychecks, which eventually led to the idea and creation of TNA. The ups and downs of the business of that first year is discussed, including what Jeff viewed as an insult when people said that they were nothing but an independent wrestling company. Meanwhile stars who were in the WWE at the time such as Angle, Booker, and Foley share their thoughts on the opinions of those who were in the WWE at the time as to whether or not they thought the company could get off the ground.
Another highly emotional chapter looks at the final months of the life of Jill Jarrett. Jeff shows unbelievable strength discussing the time period, as does those who lived alongside Jarrett throughout it. You get a feel for just how much of a fighter Jill was, and how much of an impact it had on the company at the time.
The documentary portion rounds up with reflections on how big TNA has become, and thoughts on the future of the company as well as the future of Jarrett’s career.
The only odd thing in the documentary portion continues to be the on-occasion random placement of a topic. For example, the chapter about Owen Hart's passing comes after the end of WCW chapter. Also, on a couple of occasions, a chapter about TNA’s growth or potential is thrown in out of place. This is the last step TNA needs to correct to finally complete a move to a solid documentary presentation on their DVD’s.
Match lineup consists of three 2002 matchups which are the battle royal to crown the first NWA TNA champion, vs. Scott Hall from July, and vs. Ron Killings in November. 2003 matchups see Jarrett team with the Road Warriors to take on Triple X and Vince Russo in January, as well as teaming with Sting vs. AJ Styles and Sean Waltman from February, and vs. Raven in April of that year. 2004 matchups include the king of the mountain from June, The ladder match with Jeff Hardy from July, and the Monty Brown matchup from December. 2005 matchups are against Kevin Nash in February, and April’s Lethal Lockdown. 2006 has June’s king of the mountain, September’s Fan Revenge matchup against Samoa Joe, and October’s world title match against Sting from Bound For Glory. 2007 matchup is the Lethal Lockdown. While 2008 is represented by Jarrett’s matchup against Kurt Angle at Bound For Glory. Also featured on the DVD are segments such as the attack of the Tennesse Titans from the early days of TNA, the attack on Hulk Hogan, and the Jill Jarrett tribute.
Extras consist of classic 1980s Memphis wrestling footage including Jarrett’s first on camera appearance as a referee, as well as his television debut against Tony Faulk, and 1987-88 bouts against Hector Guerrero, Jerry Lawler, and in tag action with Bill Dundee against Cactus Jack and Gary Young. These are complete matchups uncut from original footage.
As eluded to, this DVD has been a long time coming. In this day and age very few big name stars from the 80s and 90s don’t have at least one dvd dedicated to them or their career, and if they don’t then one is on the horizon very soon. TNA had a lot to live up to with this DVD and they generally deliver. The classic Memphis footage is a very nice touch as its not only peppered throughout the DVD but is also featured uncut as extras. Meanwhile there could be a debate as to whether or not more could have been put into the chapters focusing in on Jarrett’s time in the WWF and WCW. In one way I could understand that TNA would not want to spend time on their DVD talking in depth about what Jarrett did in other companies, but at the same time I would be interested to hear more about his thoughts on the feuds he had, the road stories from the time and relationships with those he worked with. Ultimately this is a minor complaint as the massive amount of footage and documentary spread out over four discs is easily worth the $29.99 price tag (which is also up for pre-order for $21 via amazon).
Jeff Jarrett : King Of The Mountain will be available on DVD on April 14th. For more information or to order your own copy check out www.jeffjarrettdvd.com , and to read my previous DVD reviews head on over to www.wrestlingdvdreviews.vze.com, You can also stalk me on twitter via www.twitter.com/wrestlingreview