Jeff Jarrett Returns to TNA Impact Wrestling

TNA founder Jeff Jarrett made a shocking return to the company on last night’s live edition of Impact Wrestling …

He’s back?

Never say never in pro wrestling, I guess. Jeff Jarrett returned to Impact Wrestling on Wednesday night, cutting a promo and announcing that he’ll be in the King of the Mountain match this Sunday at Slammiversary, wrestling opponents we still don’t know yet.

Jarrett came to ringside and cut a promo with his wife, Karen. He said last week TNA management sent him a text that they wanted to discuss something with him, but at first he ignored it. Then, after a while, he began to wonder what they wanted, so he picked up the phone and called. They offered him the chance to wrestle in his match, King of the Mountain, at TNA’s anniversary event.

Jarrett discussed it with his wife, who seemed opposed to the idea at first. But, Karen took the mic and said after talking to Jeff, she began to understand. It was a company he founded with his father in 2002, and he didn’t leave the company the way he wanted to. Jarrett, as far as we know, still owns a minority stake in TNA while also promoting his new company, Global Force Wrestling. Jarrett was wearing a GFW shirt in TNA’s ring on Wednesday.

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This had the wrestling world buzzing, as you would guess. Jarrett mentioned that there are more reasons for his return, but those will be discussed later. Last night, he wanted to focus on Slammiversary and King of the Mountain.

There’s speculation all over the place that Jarrett might be trying to buy a major stake in TNA or even all of the shares. It’s just the latest wrinkle in what has been a roller coaster summer for TNA. About one month ago, it was leaked that Destination America had marked Impact Wrestling for cancellation this fall. TNA also hired Billy Corgan to head up creative.

There were also rumors last year that Dixie Carter and Panda Energy were potentially trying to sell TNA, and that Jarrett was a potential buyer for the company, with his friend, country music’s Toby Keith, as a significant investor in the company. Maybe not so ironically, Jarrett mentioned Keith in his promo last night.

This story is very much a work in progress, but last night felt like the first of what will be many other shoes to drop. TNA could be a damaged brand, but GFW is brand new. Could we see TNA and GFW merge? Might Jarrett buy TNA, its tape library and inherit its talent roster, and begin promoting the company as GFW in an effort to get a new television deal?

There’s a lot happening here … stay tuned.

Match Results

1. Tigre Uno def. Low Ki & Grado in an Elimination Match for the TNA X-Division Title — This was an OK match, given what it was. They showcased Uno well, and of course he did win the title here. But he was treated so poorly on television until two weeks ago, I’m not sure anyone is really buying it. Uno did showcase some high-flying stuff though, and looked good doing it. I still think they could have gone with a better match. Grado and Uno, given how they’ve been used, really had no business being in this match.

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2. Velvet Sky def. Angelina Love to earn her way back on to the TNA rosterJust before this match, TNA ran a backstage vignette with the Dollhouse talking about their upcoming match at Slammiversary against Brooke and Awesome Kong. It’s funny, really. In a two-hour show, TNA had time to showcase two storylines involving the ladies. WWE, in a three-hour show, can barely get across one.

3. The Dirty Heels def. The Wolves in a Full Metal Mayhem Match (Best-of-5 Series tied, 2-2)I really liked this match. The announcers played into it as well, with Pope talking about whether or not it was smart for the Wolves to choose Full Metal Mayhem, and that it might actually play more into the hands of the Dirty Heels than it did the Wolves. The commentary was really strong on this match and I liked the finish. Edwards picked up Aries, who had a trashcan on his head. Richards was climbing to the top but Roode cut him off and then Roode hit a blinded Edwards with a low blow, scoring the pinfall.

4. Vader def. Bram via disqualification — I didn’t really see this return coming, but good for Vader. I enjoyed his return more than Crimson or Joseph Park. Bram was disqualified after hitting Vader with a turnbuckle wrench, and then went to go beat down Vader but Matt Morgan hit the ring to make the save. Josh Matthews later announced that Morgan vs. Bram would happen at Slammiversary on Sunday. It still feels a little like Heath Slater in 2012, and Vader was part of that as well on Raw, but Morgan’s return should be fun.

5. Eric Young def. Sgt. Chris MelendezFairly straightforward. Young dominated most of the match and won with a piledriver.

6. Kurt Angle def. Matt Hardy via submissionEverything about this main event set up next week’s EC3-Angle title match quite nicely. The commentary kept teasing whether or not Angle could make EC3 tap, which was also the focus of the show’s opening-segment promo between EC3 and Angle. It made sense for Angle to win by submission here, and the show went off the air with EC3 attacking Angle, who got the upper hand and lock in an ankle lock with EC3 tapping furiously as the show went off the air.

The Finish

If you had any doubt about what we wrote last week, that TNA’s focus is squarely on its television product, tonight killed those doubts. TNA spent more time promoting next week’s Impact than the Slammiversary PPV this weekend, but Jarrett returning for King of the Mountain should make for a newsworthy and fun show.

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Mike McMahon covers pro wrestling for Den of Geek. Follow him on Twitter.