WNS Podcast (Episode #206) recently conducted an interview with Global Force Wrestling Founder and CEO Jeff Jarrett on the upcoming GFW/NJPW Wrestle Kingdom event, signing Jim Ross and the origins of "slap nuts"
Below are the highlights.
ON THE PRESENTATION OF WRESTLEKOINGDOM 9 AND HOW IT ALL CAME ABOUT
It goes back to late March-April right around the time I launched the company's name April 7, 2014. New Japan reached out and they knew they wanted to bring New Japan to the North American market. And so we sat down and strategized and it became obvious real quick that what better way to make a splash than to enter the North American market with their biggest show of the year the Tokyo Dome. WrestleKingdom 9, I believe this is the 24th year they've had this event. It was real obvious that this was the event so we put the wheels in motion and made it happen and we couldn't be happier thus far with the promotion, the hype and just everything coming together.
ON BRINGING JIM ROSS ON BOARD TO DO COMMENTARY AND ANY POSSIBILITIES OF WORKING TOGETHER ON A REGULAR BASIS
How it came about is a two part question. New Japan and Global Force sort of had to cement their relationship and we did and we made it official back in August. I went over there and made a formality. But we had our agreement in place and then we turned to the pay per view providers as it relates to the TokyoDome show and put those 8, 9, 10 contracts in place and then the Flips guys came on board and then the next logical step was if we're going to present to the North American english speaking market we need to find two announcers. So when you start looking around, it was a no brainer. Jim Ross, in my opinion, has no peers. He's the voice of this wrestling fan's generation. He's had a main event run that goes back to The Clash Of Champions. I mean he's been on top of this game, this business and what he does in this business for over 20 years and so you know it's like I said. It was a no brainer. I've done business with his representation on and off for years. Great group of people. Fair, honest, stand up guys and so we communicated then got into negotiations and Jim stayed out of it. It's funny because in years past Jim dealt with the agents of the talent and the talent tried to stay out of it. And now, years later, I used to be a talent. Still a talent but in this situation I was negotiating with Jim who's the talent. So, we closed the deal, we got down to work and I cannot tell you. I knew that it was going to be big. I knew that Jim was going to take the event to another level to the North American market. I knew that we were going to get some positive feedback. But it's blown me away. Just the media reach it's like every day there's a new media hit or multiple media hits and mainstream stuff. And so, the online advertising and feedback has gone through the roof. Man it just keeps growing literally daily. I can't wait for January 4th and we're a couple of weeks away and we couldn't be happier with the signing of Jim Ross.
ON NOT ONLY SECURING JIM ROSS BUT THE ADDITION OF MATT STRIKER AS WELL AND ON TOP OF THAT ACTION IN THE RING AS WELL
I've done a bunch of media and still got several more heading into January 4th. But talking about that and then we'll be 20-30 minutes into a podcast or interview and they'll say, and we haven't even begun to talk about the matches and that's a GOOD THING. Matt Striker, if I can just for a minute, he just blew me away and I've been asked why Matt. Literally, six or seven not great but good candidates. But the pre-requisites, Jim's the one who's going to be driving that bus. He's the one who's going to be steering that ship. And so I needed someone that really, two things, one can they compliment Jim? Can they get out of Jim's way when need be? They've worked together in the past Jim felt real comfortable and I felt real comfortable. The second thing was you gotta know the product. You gotta immerse yourself in the product. And Matt, anybody can study up on these 10 matches and sort of wing it and get by. But Matt blew me away with by his in depth knowledge of just how good Japan came about 42 years ago and the stories and the ebbs and flows and different ownerships and just all the American talent and the Japanese talent through the years. Matt, I think he's impressed people with his Lucha Underground work. He's going to blow people away with his knowledge of that product
ON IF WE WILL SEE GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING WEEKLY TELEVISED PROGRAMMING
Yes. In 2015 you will
ON A PREFERABLE TIMETABLE FOR WHEN IT WILL HAPPEN
One thing I understand is the anticipation and the excitement and some people the anxiety, the aggravation. Not enough information has been given out. But we've done that on purpose strategically. I have learned from past things, watching things, being a part of things. Not just wrestling. Any type of product, brand. When you really rush something to market before it's ready, you can potentially have fatal mistakes. And so we at Global Force have a real strategic holdout mindset. April 7, I announced the name of the company. April 30 I announced the agreement with AAA. June 23 was New Japan. In Europe, we made the announcement in July. In South Africa, August, late August was Australia. Spreading the brand, rolling things out piece by piece. Getting brand awareness. Just brand awareness and I love it. "What is Global Force?" You said the majority of the questions in some shape or fashion was "What is Global Force?" What are we gonna see?". That's great. I love that. I love that feedback tha there's anticipation that the fan base cares and they want to know. And so the next strategic step obviously was announcing the New Japan pay per view. Then the addition of Jim Ross and Matt Striker. We've got an announcement coming up soon from our South African partners. And so we have our eye on the ball. From January 4th you back up 8 weeks. This has consumed us and this is what we want the world to know about Global Force Wrestling is that we're representing this event. After the event, we're going to have to keep rolling out and make the correct announcements
ON WHAT IMPROVEMENTS WILL STAND OUT IN GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING
Well I don't want to get into too much show specifics. I'll save that for the viewers and when the show actually rolls out. But you can obviously see some fundamental differences in our presentation that in years past promotions act like other promotions don't exist. And if they do recognize them, they degrade them or talk bad about them. In Global Force, we're 180 degrees different. We're not only going to recognize other promotions around the world we're going to help promote. Just a couple of weeks ago on Ring Of Honor's pay per view. That Sunday, we used our digital station and social media to help promote them. Ring Of Honor is part of the New Japan Dome show. So, we believe that it's healthy for the industry, it's healthy for Global Force, it's healthy for the other promotion to recognize and help promote and that is a big fundamental difference.
ON WHETHER THE INDY CIRCUIT WILL FEEL MORE PRESSURE TO PUSH THEIR TALENT FURTHER AND TOO MUCH
The short answer to your question is no I don't think it's going to put additional pressure because there are guys who are going to flat out do what they want to do. Some get good advice, some get bad advice. The term 'indy', I believe, is almost passe. I think it's somewhat a negative connotation. The word I'm using right now which I really like which is true is free agent. Guys that are free to work for any promotion and I believe, like you said, guys like Steen, Prince Devitt, these guys that have come from the 'independent scene' is just a testament. The independent scene, the free agent market is very very healthy. And I think it shows. In North America you have Ring Of Honor with their syndicated deal, congrats to TNA they got their Destination America deal, Action Spring in New Japan, El Rey with Lucha Underground. Global Force will be on the scene in 2015. So, the business is healthy, the free agent market is healthy and I thinkit didn't happen overnight. It's taken many years but as a promoter I couldn't be happier.
THOUGHTS ON STORY LINES PRESENTED IN WRESTLING
Global Force Wrestling has aired numerous videos on our youtube channel and in one of them Jim Ross refers to not over-thinking it. The basics, the fundamentals. Global Force is going to have a real core fundamental that guys are going to step in the ring. Sure you're going to have characters larger than life. That's what the business has always been about but it's going to be about competition and a 1...2...3. In New Japan over the last 36-48 months it all culminates at the Dome on January 4th. They do very fundamental basics and every person that's ever been a part of matchmaking, creative, booking, whatever you want to call ittend to out think themselves at times and that NXT show wasn't out thought and it didn't surprise me when I saw Pat Patterson. Pat Patterson knows what he's doing. The matchmakers at New Japan, they certainly knew that Okada and Tanahashi are mega stars and they're going for the title and let's not out think it. Jim said it, it may be the best main event he's ever called. That takes in alot of ground. I mean, when you really think about that one statement. "it may be the best main event Jim Ross has ever called". That's 15-20 Wrestlemanias, that's Clash Of Champions, that's umpteenth Royal Rumbles, Summerslams, many Monday Night Raws. Fantastic main events. When you think about that then to me it almost says it all. January 4th is a can't miss event and it's about the basics of wrestling
ON SOME OF THE MATCHES ON THE CARD INCLUDING YOUNG BUCKS VS RED DRAGON
When you talk about "it may be the best main event Ross ever calls", it's going to be interesting to hear Jim Ross call that Four Corners Match because those four guys, it's non-stop. Young Bucks are the best tag team in wrestling today. They're wrestling 2015 and beyond. That match, on a different spectacle may be one of the best tag matches the world has ever seen. Those guys can live up to the hype, they're all very competitive individuals. As trams as well as individuals. People ask me what match are you looking forward to? The main event and even if you don't know who Okada and Tanahashi I tell the wrestling fan that asks imagine your most favourite rivalry. I don't care if it's Flair-Steamboat or Savage-Steamboat, Hogan-Andre or Austin-Rock. Cena-Orton, Jarrett-Angle whatever your favourite rivalry ever was imagine these two guys Okada and Tanahashi then the opening match, the Four Corners match. Then the third one to me and this is a little bit near and dear to my heart but it is sort of a cap of the year of AJ Styles. What he had. AJ steps away from his comfort zone, he went out on his own and he took over and he rose to the occasion. I think this is probably the best year of AJ's career and so his match in the Dome against Naito. Naito is a main event player but he's really trying to break through to that Okada level and so those two guys that will be a match for the ages as well
ON THE ONE MEMORABLE LINE FROM JIM ROSS, "THIS IS A SONG, THE GUYS IN THE RING PROVIDE THE MUSIC. HE'S JUST HOPING TO PROVIDE THE CORRECT LYRICS"
That lone has resonated with a lot of people, me included. I've repeated that line on a few of my podcasts, print interviews, digital interviews and that is really what this event has come all about. Global Force and New Japan and the pay per view and the Flipps app. The stars have aligned and then Jim Ross and the main event. And just everything it comes down to is if you're a wrestling fan, you can't miss it. You truly cannot miss this event. Sure there's tv shows and other pay per views and different things that you go 'it's not going to be the end of the world if i don't see this'. I've told a lot of people that I've done interviews with and business associates and people that I'm dealing with some sponsorships that are a little bit new to this business so to speak and I ask them are you gonna watch it and they're like hell yeah and you don't have to lie to me I can't check your cable bill. When ARE you gonna watch it and about 9 out of 10 say 'I'm watching live'. That's where it resonates deep in my promoter's soul is that 'yep, it truly is a can't miss event'. We're gonna stay up all night to watch. 4hr event and priced right. When all those decisions were going on there was a strong contingent internally and externally saying that's really going to be the price?. It's not going to be $44.95 or $49.95 because society with the UFC and boxing fights $69.90 way up there. No, for the wrestling fan $34.95 is the right price in my opinion
ON THE ORIGINS OF 'SLAP NUTS'
It's simple, my grandmother is the one who got us into this business. She sold wrestling tickets to make extra money and work her way up in this business. She did everything but wrestle. She ran the back end of the business and she was around all kinds of characters and she's a woman who made it big time in a man's world and she said the one thing that agitated her was she'd say I don't like people who talk more and more about less and less and she called them slappys and so i took slappys and turned it into slap nuts
To listen to the full interview go here:
Submitted by: Ben Kerin, Director and Co-Founder of WrestlingNewsSource.com