All Elite Wrestling star Jeff Jarrett has reflected on the importance of moving through grief instead of avoiding it after his father’s death.
The 55-year-old wrestling veteran and WWE Hall of Famer, whose father Jerry Jarrett was a pioneer in the business and was by his side when they launched TNA Wrestling in 2002, admitted he has learned to ‘feel the moment’ and he took the time to ‘process things’ after his dad’s death two weeks ago.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk before Sunday’s AEW Revolution show, he said: ‘Life, right? Life goes on. He was 80 and lived a heck of an 80 year life, so all good. Very grateful for that.’
‘I feel extremely blessed that I’ve got to be part of this business for even a year, but to have the longevity that I’ve had… It is something that I enjoy, but through the years I’ve learned to stop, process things and really feel the moment, which I’ve done,’ he added.
‘So I’ve kinda learned some lessons the hard way, that if you escape reality, it’s still there and it’s gonna come back. So sit in the moment, process it and moved through it as opposed to around it.’
Although he took time for himself, Jeff was back in a wrestling ring on AEW Dynamite the day after his father’s death and he’s thrilled to heading into this weekend’s huge AEW Tag Team Championship match.
‘I cannot tell you the excitement that I’ve had on a completely different level. Last year was such a unique level, just a unique time, just getting back in – I’ve worn my executive hat for so many years, and then to pivot,’ he said of his recent in-ring resurgence.
‘I love to do innovative things, but I also like to make history. I think in so many ways, history will be made Sunday.’
He’ll be teaming up with Jay Lethal in search of gold, with the duo going way back in their respective careers.
‘I worked with Jay in 2004, 2005 in New Jersey, 15 minutes from his house, so we literally go back 20 years. But as life goes on, Jay working for me and in different scenarios, I can’t say that I was in the ring with him a lot,’ he explained.
‘Ric Flair’s Last Match – he’s a fantastic performer, but being a part of that, Jay has his athletic ability, his vision, his smarts in the ring. I think he is, in a lot of ways, one of the most underrated talent of the last 10 years, maybe longer.’
Jeff and Jay teamed up last summer against Andrande El Idolo and Ric Flair in the latter’s retirement match, and their chemistry has continued to get ‘a little bit better’ each time they shared the ring.
The Last Outlaw is taking things day by day when it comes to this run on-screen, which is happening alongside his AEW role behind the scenes as director of business development.
Although some big strides are already being made, with fans awaiting AEW’s UK debut and the recent announcement of the House Rules untelevised live shows, but Jeff is staying coy about other areas he’s looking to improve the company.
‘We’re a privately held company, and I’ll just say, my title is director of business development, and I’m developing business,’ he laughed.
This weekend, he’ll have his wrestling hat on as he chasing tag team gold, and he’s excited by the unexpected nature of him and Jay facing the likes of The Acclaimed, champions The Gunns, and the duo of Orange Cassidy and Danhausen.
‘If you think you would have predicted Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal would be rolling into to Revolution as, I’ll call us the number one contenders to the tag belts, nobody had that on their cards,’ he admitted. ‘But it’s there, and that’s the reality.’
It’s bound to be an emotional weekend for Jeff, while things came full circle for him recently when he reunited with Tony Falk, his first ever opponent aged 18 in April 1986, at his father’s funeral.
‘He’s a special guy, I have maintained a close relationship with him through the years. The ups, downs, everything in between. It was really, really cool for him to be there,’ he said, noting they were able to reminisce about how the past four decades have panned out.
‘Who would’ve thought, here we are coming up on 37 years? I know that better than anybody, so I am incredibly grateful that my career has lasted this long,.’ he smiled.
‘The Last Outlaw’s not slowing down, and I’m super excited about this Sunday.’
AEW Revolution airs Sunday night (March 5) at 1am on Fite TV.
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