As New Japan pushes its own stories forward with title changes, Ring of Honor builds towards its next pay-per-views (PPVs) - including with a lot of NJPW talent and the AAA-affiliated Lucha Underground show gains a lot of fan support, it's worth wondering where Jeff Jarrett and the promotion he started hyping last Spring will fit into a crowded pro wrestling marketplace.
The amount of time since the April, 2014 announcement and now without a wrestler being signed or a match being booked has lead many to speculate that Global Force Wrestling (GFW) might be an international umbrella promotion - a 21st century NWA - if it's anything besides a logo to keep Jarrett's name in the news.
Double-J was a guest on The V2 Wrestling Podcast out of the United Kingdom, and in addition to covering a lot of his history as a wrestler and promoter, he sought to address the questions concering his new "show". That meant continuing to beat the "standalone promotion" drum and insist that fans hoping for a new NWA will be disappointed. And, he's touting some kind of announcement for late March that may or may not support that claim:
I have been working with the team on what wrestling fans are calling a standalone promotion. Multiple conversations with talent, distributors, sponsorships, venues, legal, finance, everything that goes with launching the brand. I don't want to get too overinflated and say major announcements, but I'll call them very exciting announcements around WrestleMania and then the weeks to come after that. So in the next 4-6 weeks, the first announcement will be coming.
At least that gives a little bit of a timeline to go on, although the fact that he is already hedging bets a little leads me to believe that this may be something more along the lines of Jim Ross and Matt Striker calling AAA's Triplemanía show this Summer than a distribution deal for a Global Force television show.
Which is a shame, because as Jarrett talks about how he'd book such a program, it sounds like he's learned a lot from past experiences and what is and isn't working in today's marketplace.
That seemed pretty obvious when he spoke about what his role would be in GFW:
I like to refer to (my role) as somewhat of a matchmaker. In the old days they called it a booker, but a booker is really a matchmaker and let the fans decide. The talent, it's not like you want to slap on and say this week you're the Gobbledy Gooker and next week you're Skinner. It's who is Talent A and why are they Talent A, what's to like or not like about Talent A. You put them against Talent B, who they are and why they are, and they go out there and get it done in the ring. I think that's a recipe for success in professional wrestling.
And in answering questions about what the "style" of his latest pro wrestling venture would be:
It'll have its own style, but I don't believe in recreating the wheel. I think Wrestle Kingdom 9 proved it, and Jim Ross said it in some of the videos that we produced on him, wrestling fans don't over-think it. Give the fans what they want. Great wrestlers, hard-hitting style, championships, winners, losers and larger than life personalities - that's what we plan on doing. I've always had that philosophy, dating back to my early days in the territories and my father's and grandmother's promotion. You have good wrestlers, and whether it's black hats and white hats or however you want to define it, the people have to know and understand that Wrestler A is fighting Wrestler B and why they're fighting, what are the results on who wins and who loses, and what's going to happen next. I don't think you need to overthink that in any stretch of the imagination. I think there are instances, from NXT to Wrestle Kingdom 9 to Triplemania, the successful wrestling shows going on in the world today are, at its core, basic and simplistic.
Clearly defined characters wrestling for clearly established reasons? Who would want to watch that?
The one thing that GFW has done is hitch their wagon (or vice versa) to a wide range of big and small promotions all over the world. What those partnership agreements consist of is anyone's guess, but if they give Jarrett access to fresh talent, and he puts them on a show that is structured following the philosophy he laid out when talking to Adam and Gavin on The V2 Wrestling Podcast, he should be able to get the attention of fans who are digging what Lucha Underground and NXT are doing presently.
Do you think that will ever happen, Cagesiders? If it doesn't, will it be because there is nothing to GFW but hot air, or because Jarrett doesn't follow his own blueprint?