Jeff Jarrett’s Best Career Year In Wrestling Was 1999
Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart’s WWF Tag Team Championship reign lasted a mere 70 days, but it felt so much longer.
It was the best work of Double J’s career. His list of in-ring accomplishments is vast, and he’s a WWE Hall of Famer for a reason. But for those 70 days, he was largely untouchable. And it was all thanks to the “The Black Hart” himself.
Owen Hart’s charisma was contagious, and Jarrett’s stock rose as soon as the two men were paired together. On January 25th 1999 the duo defeated Ken Shamrock and The Big Boss Man to capture the WWF World Tag Team Championships for the first and (tragically) only time.
They defended the title nine times during those 70 days, and would eventually lose the belts to Kane and X-Pac on March 30th.
The rest of Jarrett’s ’99 was wild to say the least. A few months after losing the tag titles, Owen Hart lost his life at the Over The Edge pay-per-view when a stunt went wrong. Jarrett had resumed his singles career by that point, and he would defeat Owen’s scheduled opponent The Godfather for the Intercontinental Championship on a Raw that was taped just two days after Owen’s death.
As you might recall, Jarrett parted ways with WWE in 1999 while he was still Intercontinental Champion. He was scheduled to lose the title to Chyna at that year’s No Mercy pay-per-view, but his contract expired prior to the match taking place.
The match was set to be Chyna’s crowning moment and carried with it a large amount of historical significance. Since that time the generally accepted version of events was that Jarrett utilized his leverage and demanded a large sum of money in return for working the match.
Vince McMahon Empties His Pockets
Jarrett recently opened up about his acrimonious departure from the company and cleared up a few rumors in the process.
“Jim [Ross] comes to me and says ‘We’ve done pen to paper and we’re thinking $150,000, we’ll get it all cleaned up.’ I said ‘Okay, alright Jim, $150,000 is what you think the number is, are you sure?’ We more or less did a head nod and I said let me think on this,” Jarrett said on the debut episode of his My World with Jeff Jarrett podcast.
Double J then said that WWE still owed him money for previous shows, so he took advantage of his newfound leverage to get what he was owed.
“I said ‘Jim look at me because I really want you to understand where I’m coming from, you’re absolutely right, you do not have to do this, Vince doesn’t have to do this, nobody has to do this. I’m wanting my money and I’m talking about multiple pay-per-views, I’m not under contract, let’s just end this deal one way or another. You know as well as I do tomorrow my value in payoffs are not even remotely important, they’re kind of important today but it’s y’all’s decision on how important, it’s not mine,’” he continued.
According to Jarrett’s version of events, JR told Jarrett to get ready for his match and assured him that he would have his money,
“Vince walks up in his three-piece suit, I’ll never forget the look, opened up his shirt pocket, got out a white envelope and said ‘Thank you, I appreciate it, now go tear the house down,’ Jarrett said. “I said ‘Yes sir boss, looking forward to it,’ and he handed me the check,” Jarrett said.
Jeff Jarrett: WWE Hall Of Famer
Jarrett would become a WCW employee mere hours after the No Mercy ’99 match with Chyna. But when WWE purchased WCW in 2001, Jarrett did not return to his former employers. In 2002 he would launch his own promotion, TNA, which is now known as IMPACT Wrestling.
Jarrett was eventually welcomed back into the WWE fold in 2018 when he was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame and thus, joined the long list of disgruntled ex-WWE employee’s whose sins were absolved by Vince. He is currently employed by WWE as producer.
One WWF Tag Team Championship reign. One WWF European Championship reign. And three WWF Intercontinental Championship reigns. It’s safe to say that 1999 was a very good year for Jeff Jarrett.
But even if you ignore the in-ring accomplishments, 1999 was the year that Double J did something that very few people have ever been able to do. 1999 was the year Jeff Jarrett got Vincent Kennedy McMahon to empty his pockets.