Jeff Jarrett Matches, Moments to Watch Ahead of HOFer's WWE SummerSlam Return
Jeff Jarrett will return to the premium live event stage on Saturday, July 30, at SummerSlam when he serves as the special guest referee for the Undisputed Tag Team Championship match between The Usos and The Street Profits.
Jarrett has his own history at SummerSlam, having defeated the massive Mabel in 1994, lost a Hair vs. Hair match to X-Pac four years later, and captured both the Intercontinental and European Championships from D'Lo Brown in 1999.
The 2018 Hall of Famer has a multitude of moments and matches from his legendary career to check out prior to his return to television, especially for fans who may not have been watching when he was at his peak as an in-ring performer and on-screen character.
As they are spread out over the course of four different decades and numerous promotions, it would take considerable time to watch them all. So, as Jarrett prepares for his return to SummerSlam, enjoy these matches and moments that have helped define his time with WWE only.
The Debut Vignettes
That's J-E-double F, J-A-double R-E-double T: Jeff Jarrett.
As silly and as over the top as the country-singing bad guy from Nashville may have been, the first incarnation of Jarrett in WWE is iconic. A lot of that can be chalked up to the on-location vignettes that introduced him to the company's fans way back in 1993.
Produced by Bruce Prichard, those vignettes would go along way in getting Jarrett over before he ever set foot inside a squared circle for a TV match and were essential to telling the audience exactly what this arrogant, Garth Brooks-wannabe was all about.
In a day and age in which Vince McMahon was still heavily pushing over-the-top characters, Jarrett fit right in with his country crooner persona and would go on to enjoy considerable success as one of the most unlikable villains of the New Generation, culminating with his first championship victory under the WWE umbrella.
First Intercontinental Championship Win vs. Razor Ramon (Royal Rumble 1995)
To suggest that Jarrett achieved immediate success in WWE, even with a character who was over, would be incorrect. There were several feuds that left him stuck in midcard purgatory, working with the likes of Mabel and Doink the Clown.
It was not until late 1994 when he received an Intercontinental Championship match against Razor Ramon at the following January's Royal Rumble pay-per-view that Double J finally started to realize his potential.
At the event, flanked by his ever-loyal Roadie, Jarrett appeared to have defeated Ramon by count-out after The Roadie chop blocked him on the arena floor but knew doing so would not net him the Intercontinental Championship. So he goaded Ramon into limping back into the ring and resuming the match.
The Bad Guy set up for the Razor's Edge, but the weight of him and Jarrett caused his leg to buckle, allowing Double J to score the win and title.
It was the payoff to an entire year of hard work and the first real indication that WWE officials saw something in Jarrett that they believed was worth elevating to championship status. It would hardly be the last time the company strapped the work rate title on him.
Classic vs. Shawn Michaels (In Your House II)
Jarrett's IC title reign consisted mostly of rematches against Ramon, but it was his In Your House II defense against Shawn Michaels that remains one of his most talked-about matches.
Scheduled for the same night that Jarrett would make his country signing debut, which would later be revealed to have been The Roadie doing all of the vocal work, Jarrett was the centerpiece of the promotional efforts for that particular event.
With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Jarrett proceeded to have a five-star classic with the Heartbreak Kid that would win Match of the Year honors from many insiders. Crisp, clean, near flawless professional wrestling from two great in-ring performers, it captivated the audience, which was red-hot for the possibility of a Michaels victory.
They got what they wanted when Michaels capitalized on a miscommunication between the heels and scored the win.
It would be the last time Jarrett and his cohort would be seen for a few months following a very real walkout from the company.
The Shoot Promo (WWE Raw: October 20, 1997)
Jarrett left for WCW in 1996 searching for an opportunity. All he found during his time with the company was resistance, thanks to top-tier power players who clung to their spots and struck anyone attempting to take them down through masterful backstage politics.
Upon returning to WWE in 1997, Jarrett wasted little time voicing his frustration as he took to the squared circle for a memorable shoot promo in which he targeted everyone from Eric Bischoff to Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon to budding top star "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
It was one of those moments that blurred the line between fiction and reality and left fans of the soon-to-be minted "Attitude Era" intrigued. It also left Austin pissed off, leading to rumor and innuendo that The Texas Rattlesnake would not work with Jarrett moving forward.
In that regard, the promo bit Jarrett in the ass, but not more than the lackluster creative McMahon and Co. had in store for him in the year or so that followed. It was their failure to capitalize on the interest and heat Jarrett had developed that led to a most frustrating run for a performer who would struggle to find himself in the era of Attitude in the following months.
Still, the promo was unlike anything we had seen from Jarrett at that point and is well worth checking out.
Attacking Ben Stiller (WWE Raw: July 26, 1999)
Jarrett had formed a hellishly entertaining tag team with Owen Hart early on in 1999, but the untimely passing of the all-time-great left the second-generation performer on his own, forced to once again develop a personality that would connect with the wild, raucous crowds of the Attitude Era.
He did just that, finding success as a no-nonsense, perpetually pissed-off competitor who would wipe out an opponent with the swing of the guitar. No one was safe from his wrath, including major Hollywood film stars.
On the July 26, 1999, episode of WWE Raw, Jarrett physically assaulted Ben Stiller, trapping him in the Figure Four until D'Lo Brown made the save to help set their feud up in time for SummerSlam.
On the surface, it seems like little more than a random guest spot designed to promote Stiller's Mystery Men film, but when you set that aside, it was proof of the company's trust in Jarrett to pull it off.
McMahon and Co. very easily could have tapped Austin, Mick Foley, Triple H or The Rock to share the ring with Stiller but instead knew what they had in Jarrett and put him in that position to earn some mainstream media attention.
That it came at the peak of Jarrett's heel excellence only helped matters.
It would not be the last time Jarrett infuriated audiences by attacking non-wrestlers.
Good Housekeeping Match vs. Chyna (No Mercy 1999)
Jarrett spent the late summer and early fall months of 1999 spouting chauvinistic rhetoric about the place of women in society, claiming they belonged "barefoot and in the kitchen." He did not stop his attacks there, though, as he physically assaulted the likes of Ivory, Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young and internet phenomenon Cindy Margolis before drawing the ire of Chyna.
The Ninth Wonder of the World set out to prove she could do everything Jarrett could and, after coming incredibly close to dethroning the Intercontinental champion at September's Unforgiven pay-per-view, challenged him to the first-ever Good Housekeeping Match at the following month's No Mercy event.
The match, unlike anything we had ever seen to that point, made use of household items in a hardcore match setting. The competitors battered each other before Jarrett appeared to win the match by striking his opponent with the IC title belt. That gold, though, was not deemed a household item and the match was restarted.
One guitar shot later and Chyna made history by becoming the first woman to hold a man's title in WWE history.
For Jarrett, it was his last dance in McMahon's company for nearly two decades. He would leave for WCW the following day, but not before establishing himself as both the hottest heel in the business but, also, a multi-talented performer who promoters could trust in big spots with wrestlers, personalities or celebrities.
There was a ton that could have gone wrong in that feud with Chyna and the resulting matches. Instead, Jarrett proved himself a consummate professional and did the right thing.
His reward? World title reigns and a main event push in WCW. From there, he started TNA Wrestling, which transformed into Impact, and the rest, they say, is history.