Your contributions to the Memphis wrestling scene are obviously featured prominently in Memphis Heat. What role, if any, did you play in the making of this film?
I was interviewed for the documentary, but I don’t have any ownership or rights to the film.
What kind of reaction has the film gotten at the other recent screenings?
It’s been very good, surprisingly. Generally you don’t have 100 percent of anything, but I didn’t hear one bad comment about the movie.
I know the movie is not just based on your life, but the overall Memphis wrestling scene. But with you being so involved in that scene for so long, I figured there must be a good deal of crossover between the book and the film.
The Memphis scene of the ’60, ‘70s and ‘80s clearly crossed over with what was going on in Atlanta’s wrestling scene during those times. Memphis legends like Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Hart and Bill Dundee spent some time wrestling here as well as Memphis. Did your career bring you to Atlanta very often?
I booked Atlanta for a year or two for Jim Barnett, and I might have wrestled two or there times. But I wasn't there a lot.
You were also instrumental in starting today's second largest wrestling company, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, with your son, Jeff Jarrett. What was your initial motivation for starting that company?
Just to help Jeff get back into the wrestling business. WCW [World Championship Wrestling] had closed up, he was no longer in WWE and the international scene was weak. He wanted to stay in the business, so I helped him start a company.
Now that you are no longer involved with TNA, how do you feel about where it has come since it started?
Well, I think they’ve floundered. Dixie Carter and her family have controlling interest in it and they’re not wrestling people. So I don’t think it will ever be a smashing success.
With the National Wrestling Alliance Wrestling Legends Fanfest also in town, will there be any other people from the movie and the Memphis scene at these screenings?
I don’t know yet. We’re hoping Bill Dundee will stop by, but he probably won’t be able to. But Jerry Lawler might be able to make it after the fanfest ends that day.
Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’. $6.50-$9. Aug. 5-7, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Jerry Jarrett is appearing at the 7:30 p.m. showings on Aug. 6-7). Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.memphis-heat.com, www.plazaatlanta.com.
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