Jerry Jarrett, a legendary professional wrestling promoter and father of WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett, has died, the company announced Tuesday. He was 80 years old.
Jarrett began his in-ring career on National Wrestling Alliance Mid-America territory and won multiple tag team championships before hanging up his boots and launching the Continental Wrestling Association with Jerry «The King» Lawler in 1977. Some 11 years later, the promotion merged with World Class Championship Wrestling and the United States Wrestling Association was formed.
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Jarrett would sell majority ownership to the United States Wrestling Association to Lawler in 1997. However, the promotion would become a casualty of the «Monday Night Wars» between WWE and World Championship Wrestling and fall by the wayside.
Jarrett’s son, Jeff, would become a mid-level star in WWE and would move to WCW and become a main event player in that company’s waning days. When WWE bought WCW, the Jarretts formed their own company called NWA-TNA, which would later be called Total Nonstop Wrestling and later Impact Wrestling.
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Jarrett would later sell his interest in the company to Panda Energy, leaving in 2005 over a management dispute. The company would help produce future WWE stars like AJ Styles, Xavier Woods, and Bobby Roode. All the Elite Wrestling stars like Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and the Young Bucks also wrestled there.
Tributes from around the wrestling world began pouring in on the Jarrett family.
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Jarrett has three sons, Jerry Jr., Jeff, and Jason, and a daughter, Jennifer.