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WHAT LED TO TODAY'S JARRETT EXIT, GFW OWNERSHIP, RIPPLE EFFECT THUS FAR, REACTIONS AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2017-09-05 18:37:00

As noted earlier on PWInsider.com, Global Force Wrestling Chief Creative Officer Jeff Jarrett has taken a "leave of absence"  from the company that he initially founded in 2002 and returned to after Anthem Media purchased TNA Impact Wrestling.  We are told by several people that the decision was one Ed Nordholm made today and that he met personally with Jarrett in Nashville, TN this afternoon.  

As noted earlier by Dave Scherer, Jeff Jarrett, based on his social media activity, did not know the move was coming.   He was scheduled to host a NFL Fantasy Draft party at his home today with GFW staffers but obviously, that is no longer happening.  The staffers are instead holding it at GFW HQ.

The belief among those we have spoken to is that unhappiness with Jarrett involving alleged "erratic behavior" (as one source described it), claiming that was a driving factor in Nordholm's move today, not an unhappiness with the company's creative direction. We are told that the situation had been building for months and the final tipping point appears to have been Triplemania several weeks back, where  Jarrett was obviously not in the best of shape, as he had put on weight and seemingly stumbled down the ring steps before wrestling for just a few short minutes before journeying around ringside for an extended period.  The Triplemania appearance led to a lot of people talking about whether Jarrett needed time off.   It should be noted that Ed Nordholm was in Mexico at the show.

The incident a few months back where Jarrett was screaming at Bob Ryder at a TV taping was also pointed to by a source today as the "beginning" of everything that led to today, including one person who claimed it was far "uglier" than anyone realizes. 

Attempts by PWInsider.com to reach Jarrett this evening were unsuccessful. 

It should also noted that one source stated that Jarrett was not "blameless" but there also was "blame to be thrown in all directions" regarding the situation and claimed that a lot of things that Jarrett had been criticized for publicly were simply due to him following marching orders out of loyalty to Anthem after they brought him back to his former company.  That source posited that things Jarrett had been blamed for, including defending Anthem when it came to the "Broken Hardys" situation, was simply Jarrett towing the company line.  I do know there was a belief among some that Jarrett was trying hard to step in between Nordholm and the wrestling side of things, as it had been oft-repeated in GFW circles that Nordholm simply didn't "get" the business.  One person used an example of the company going out of its way to bring in Alberto el Patron as a surprise by flying him secretly to Tampa and bringing him to Orlando under the cover of darkness, only for Nordholm to then take a picture and tweet it out, "ruining" the surprise.   The source claimed that Jarrett, who they admitted "needed a break" had been bending over backward to try and balance things between Anthem and GFW, noting, "Jarrett desperately wanted his company back and wanted to prove to everyone he was right all along with his vision."  

With Jarrett taking an indefinite break, a few people have wondered how Nordholm will fare running the company for Anthem.  There were a number of meetings today in Nashville in regard to the future direction of the company.   There has been no decisions made regarding any changes in creative direction and as of this writing, the current team Jarrett put together, including Scott D'Amore and Dutch Mantel, remain on board. 

One source pointed out that John "Big" Gaburick was still with the company as a consultant and floated the idea that perhaps Gaburick was retained as a "Plan B" if the Jarrett regime did not work out.  PWInsider.com can confirm that Gaburick was at GFW HQ today as well as their production studio, and he has not been around much at all (beyond working TV tapings) in recent months.  There is belief among some PWInsider.com has spoken to that Gaburick gained a LOT of power today within the company, although others have downplayed that idea.

It should be interesting to see whether this exit has any change on the staff of the company as Kevin Sullivan, who heads production, is a long-time Jarrett ally who helped him launch the GFW company in 2014.  

Speaking of GFW, interestingly, one source told PWInsider.com that the "GFW/Anthem merger" was "nowhere near as completed" as has been flouted publicly.   A press release was issued months ago annoucing the merger, claiming that Jarrett had been given a minority ownership in the company as part of the deal.   Trademarks for the Global Force Wrestling name and the GFW letters are still listed as owned by Global Force Wrestling, LLC, as they have been since Jarrett launched that company in 2014.  So, if Jarrett does not return, it's entirely possible the GFW letters will fade away from Impact Wrestling.  If Anthem was really utilizing those letters without having any actual ownership, all they did was help raise the profile of the Global Force Wrestling name internationally, which in hindsight, was a really dumb business decision. 

The status of Alberto el Patron is also in question as sources indicate that Nordholm was willing to cut bait on Patron after the July airport incident while Jarrett had been intimately involved in calming that situation.  With Jarrett out of the picture and less than a year believed to be left on Patron's deal, the when for Alberto's return may be back to "if he returns."

The belief is that as long as Jeff Jarrett remains separated from the company, Karen Jarrett is also gone, as she (as one would expect and quite frankly, as she should) will remain loyal to her husband. 

As of this evening, Jim Cornette, who obviously came in via his long-standing relationship with the Jarrett family, is still with the company.

There's been a litany of reactions to Jarrett's exit.  Those who he brought into the company since Anthem took the company over are upset to see him go as he was well liked.  Those who had their run-ins with Jarrett are, obviously, not as upset.  Shane Helms took to Twitter, writing:

Rebecca Hardy also commented via Twitter, writing, "Y'all trippin if you think imma be anything BUT laughing at the misfortune of someone who went SO OUT OF THEIR WAY to fck w my family. FOH.    Not gonna get a fake response out of me. You'd be doing the saaaame thing if you were in my shoes."

In the midst of all this, GFW is scheduled to hold a media call tomorrow afternoon with John Hennigan.  It will be interesting to see what the line of questioning is tomorrow.

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