On the November 2nd episode of Dynamite, Jeff Jarrett made his shocking AEW debut by cracking Darby Allin in the head with one of his signature guitar shots. And not long after Jarrett’s appearance, Tony Khan announced that Jarrett had been signed by the promotion and was now All Elite.
The signing of Jeff Jarrett is both brilliant and puzzling as has been his usage so far in the promotion.
On one hand, Jeff Jarrett has been in the professional wrestling business for decades and has a wealth of knowledge and experience that would be a vital asset to any promotion. Jarrett’s behind-the-scenes value is inarguable and signing Jarrett should be considered a massive win for AEW.
Jarrett also offers value as an onscreen personality. Even though Jarrett is now 55 years of age, he has kept himself in tremendous shape and can still perform his craft at a relatively high level. So in a limited capacity and in carefully chosen spots, Jarrett can also add a little something as an onscreen character.
Because of this, Jarrett’s November 2nd debut made sense. Jay Lethal needed a partner that would draw some interest for his upcoming tag team match against Sting and Darby Allin at Full Gear, and Jarrett was a fine choice to fill that need.
The problem is that Jarrett popped back up on Dynamite the following week, and has continued to do so on a weekly basis.
AEW needs to utilize other performers in place of Jeff Jarrett on television.
AEW is still a young company, and because of this, it needs to have two focuses, putting a quality product out now, while developing young talent to take the reigns of the promotion’s future.
Because of this Jarrett’s continued onscreen time is baffling.
AEW has only 3 hours per week of television and a very large roster. There are currently many established stars that are currently not on television regularly as well as many young performers that the promotion could develop in this spot as well. Jarrett’s spot in his current storyline could easily be filled by the likes of Miro, Lance Archer, or Scorpio Sky with no drop off in interest in the program.
But instead, it is Jeff Jarrett that is teaming with Jay Lethal, and somehow seems to be next in line for a shot at becoming one-half of the AEW Tag Team Champions.
An even better idea would be to move Jay Lethal back into the singles picture and let an actual tag team be the next in line to challenge The Acclaimed. Young teams like Private Party and Top Flight would really benefit from a high-profile program on AEW television and their exciting, high-flying style would create a really fun Tag Team Title match.
Another far better use of television time would be to feature another feud in the women’s division. AEW has built a very good roster of female wrestlers and the division as a whole could use some more television time.
AEW has gotten better at this recently, featuring feuds between Tay Melo and Ruby Soho as well as Britt Baker and Saraya over the past weeks. But the promotion must continue to do more to feature their women more consistently on its limited television time.
AEW got what felt like a badly needed reset at Full Gear. Heading into the new year, the best thing that Tony Khan can do for his promotion is to take a step back and prioritize the promotion’s small amount of television time and align that with the talent on his roster.
Whether it is finding ways for talent without a storyline to be involved, featuring some of their younger talents, or giving more time to the women’s division, we should not be seeing Jeff Jarrett on television regularly moving forward.