Jerry Jarrett Passes Away

Legendary wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett has sadly passed away

Jerry Jarrett, former wrestler, second-generation promoter, and the father of Jeff Jarrett, passed away Tuesday morning, according to a notice posted by Dutch Mantell.

Mantell wrote: "SAD NEWS: I'm hearing reports of my friend and long time booker/promoter Jerry Jarrett died this morning in TN.  I last saw him last year when we did the VICE show THE TERRITORIES in Atlanta. Very creative booker. Condolences to Jeff/Deborah and the Jarrett family."

Jarrett was 80-years-old. No cause of death has been given.

As a child, Jarrett entered the wrestling world after mother Christine began working with NWA Mid-America promoters Nick Gulas and Roy Welch, eventually working her way up to the level of promoting events. Jerry's earliest involvement in wrestling was reportedly selling programs at age seven.

Though perhaps better known for his executive roles, Jarrett himself was also a wrestler, turning pro in 1965. He held championships in territories like NWA Mid-America and Southeastern Championship Wrestling, before retiring as a full-time wrestler by the late eighties.

A promoter since the early seventies alongside his mother, Jarrett founded Memphis' Continental Wrestling Association in 1977, after breaking away from promoter Nick Gulas following a dispute. Under Jarrett's watch, Memphis became one of North America's strongest and most storied territories, with Jerry Lawler as its most consistent star.

In the late eighties, Jarrett bought off the remnants of Dallas' World Class from the Von Erichs, and merged the two groups to form the United States Wrestling Association. Jarrett stayed with the USWA until 1995, when he sold off his stakes.

In the interim years, Jarrett consulted for both WWE and WCW. Had Vince McMahon been convicted of steroid distribution in 1994, there was reportedly a plan for Jarrett to assume control of WWE for however long McMahon was incarcerated.

In 2002, Jarrett (along with son Jeff) founded NWA: Total Nonstop Action (TNA, or what is now IMPACT Wrestling). Later that year, the Jarretts sold their 72 percent interest in TNA to Panda Energy and the Carter Family. The elder Jarrett remained with TNA until late 2005, when he departed over creative disputes.

Jarrett was inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame in 2009, and The Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Hall of Fame in 2018.

Cultaholic Wrestling extends its condolences to Mr. Jarrett's family and friends.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.