Jeff Jarrett's Best, Worst and Most Outrageous Moments in WWE Career
There are few Superstars whose WWE careers have been as, shall we say, interesting as Jeff Jarrett's.
The second-generation competitor may best be remembered as the co-founder of TNA Wrestling, but he was a staple of WWE programming throughout the Attitude Era and, even earlier, was expected to be one of the faces of the New Generation movement.
In between, he experienced tremendous highs, embarrassing lows and won numerous championships along the way.
Whether he was warring with Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels or battling Chyna in one of the most controversial angles in WWE history, Jarrett demonstrated an ability to keep his name in the headlines.
Relive his best, worst and most outrageous moments with this retrospective of his time in Vince McMahon's sports entertainment empire.
Best: Debut Vignettes
The vignettes that accompanied Jeff Jarrett's WWE debut in late 1993 did a great deal to introduce the wrestling world to the obnoxious, arrogant villain who would become a staple of the programming for the next three years.
Not only did the pre-taped segments that were detailed during Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard's Jeff Jarrett-centered episode introduce fans to the country music Superstar, but they also allowed Jarrett to do the little things that would determine the fans' disdain for him, including an obnoxious little laugh at the end of his promos.
Those vignettes were essential to getting Jarrett over with audiences rather than having him pop up on television with no forethought or readily recognizable character. It also demonstrated the importance of those introductory videos to an audience seeking for fresh faces as the New Generation took full effect on WWE television.
Best: Intercontinental Champion
The 1995 Royal Rumble kicked off with Razor Ramon defending the Intercontinental Championship against Jarrett.
An illegal football clip by The Roadie on the outside of the ring, coupled with Jarrett's ability to talk Ramon into continuing the match, led to Jarrett winning his first championship under the WWE umbrella.
Jarrett, an old-school worker whose talents were always best served in the company's midcard, would use his first title win to catapult himself into greater relevance. His feud with Ramon was a solid, old-school program that helped Jarrett stand out as one of the top young stars in McMahon's company.
His reign as IC champion that began at Royal Rumble 1995 was the first of seven with that strap. While none would match the quality of his first, Jarrett would lend the title some credibility as the centerpiece of the midcard. He was a steady, consistent and a major asset to WWE during the Attitude Era.
As intercontinental champion, Jarrett brought work rate to a product that was oftentimes more concerned with edgy angles than in-ring content. That, perhaps more than anything else, is his lasting legacy in WWE.
Worst: NWA Champion
Upon his return to WWE in late 1997, Jarrett was saddled with a tone-deaf gimmick that saw him capture the NWA North American Championship in an attempt to bring a little tradition to the company's ever-changing attitude.
It went over as well as a fart in church, with Jarrett's push derailed almost immediately by a gimmick and title that failed to captivate an audience more intrigued by Steve Austin, D-Generation X and Sable.
Jarrett struggled in the uninspiring role, and uninteresting matches with Bradshaw and Barry Windham did not help matters in a fast-paced WWE that was attracting millions of viewers early in 1998.
It was a poor booking decision on the part of management and set back Double J significantly.
Best: 5-Star Classic vs. Shawn Michaels
In Your House 2 in July 1995 featured Jarrett defending his Intercontinental Championship against Shawn Michaels just moments after performing his brand-new country single, "With My Baby Tonight."
While the storyline involving the song would never pay off because of Jarrett's impending departure, the bout with Michaels was an instant classic, a five-star wrestling match that not only reaffirmed HBK's greatness as an in-ring worker but also solidified Jarrett's status as one of the most underappreciated performers of his generation.
Featuring great spots, tremendous crowd heat and a definitive performance from Michaels in the midst of his big push toward the WWE title the following year, the contest was as much about him as is was about Jarrett seizing the opportunity the entire night presented and turning it into a showcase of his undeniable talents.
Most Outrageous: Attacking Moolah and Mae Young
The fall of 1999 brought with it an interesting new direction for the Jeff Jarrett character. He began targeting women, denouncing their contributions and bluntly stating they belonged in the kitchen.
Lilian Garcia, Debra, Miss Kitty, Ivory and Jacqueline are a few of the female wrestlers and personalities who were physically assaulted by the misogynistic Superstar. No woman was safe, no matter how old, as legendary badasses The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young found out the hard way.
The duo, despite their advanced ages, were blasted with guitars or trapped in the Figure Four as Jarrett continued his crusade against the female sex.
In hindsight, the storyline was inappropriate, but the ridiculousness of Jarrett beating up on two old ladies stands out as a particularly questionable element of the program and easily one of the most outrageous moments of any of Jarrett's WWE runs.
Best: Teaming with Owen Hart
Early 1999 saw Jarrett wandering aimlessly around the WWE midcard with nothing to do of any real significance. That changed when writer Vince Russo opted to pair him and Owen Hart as a team.
The duo defeated Ken Shamrock and Big Bossman to capture the WWE Tag Team Championships in short order and wasted little time engaging the likes of Edge and Christian, D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry and The New Age Outlaws in title defenses.
The team's in-ring chemistry was undeniable.
Whether they were champions or not, Hart sparked something in Jarrett that helped him evolve into a performer capable of finding success in an era unlike any with which he was familiar. The manner in which they played off each other captivated audiences and made them a welcome addition to a division brimming with talent.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck in May of that year, taking Hart from family, friends and fans.
Best: Feud with Chyna
There are some who will point to the rivalry with Chyna as a dark period of Jarrett's WWE career, but in reality, it is as memorable as any other accomplishment he achieved during his time with McMahon's company.
Not only did he help carry The Ninth Wonder of the World to matches that were infinitely better than they had any right to be, but his selflessness was on full display, as he put her over stronger and cleaner than others in his position may have been inclined to.
The television segments involving Jarrett and his top contender were largely entertaining, even those that occasionally flirted with the boundary of good taste.
The storyline helped Chyna make history, which typically earns the most headlines, but Jarrett's contributions as a legitimately detestable heel elevated the program and made his opponent's victory that much more memorable and iconic.
Worst: G-Double O-Double N-Double E...GOONEE!
The March 26, 2001, episode of WCW Nitro, the final episode in the storied show's tumultuous history, featured a simulcast that also involved new owner Vince McMahon.
During the event, the billionaire owner of WWE addressed Jarrett's future, as the former WCW world champion made his way to the squared circle. Mocking his hand-created catchphrase for the competitor, McMahon uttered, "G-double O-double N-double E...GOONNEE!"
Yeah, that's not how you spell it. But take it up with the chairman of the board.
The moment could have been crushing for Jarrett and forced him to re-examine a career in the business his family had long been instrumental in.
Instead, it fueled him to start Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The rest, as they say, is history.
Jarrett took a terrible moment, one that would have been humiliating and defeating, and turned it into a driving force for his career for the next 15 years.