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Hall of Fame wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett has died. He was 80 years old. Dutch Mantel announced the news on social media that was later confirmed by PWInsider.
Jarrett is known for founding the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) in 1977. Jarrett promoted shows with Nick Gulas in Memphis, but split away from him after a falling out. Jarrett booked the CWA inside the Mid-South Coliseum. Jarrett successfully ran the promotion with Jerry Lawler at the helm, eventually forcing Gulas to sell his promotion to him in 1981.
Throughout the years, Jarrett worked in other capacities including fostering the creation of the USWA and working as a special consultant for both WCW and Vince McMahon’s WWF(E). In June of 2002, after WCW went out of business and was sold to the WWE, Jarrett created TNA as an alternative wrestling product in the United States. He was a part of the company until 2005.
Prior to his career as a promoter, Jarrett was a pro wrestler and was a multiple-time tag team champion for NWA-Mid America between 1970 and 1976. His first match was in 1965.
Finally, Jerry Jarrett is credited for introducing entrance music into the professional wrestling presentation with The Freebirds and “Freebird” in 1979.
Jerry’s son, Jeff Jarrett, was also a founder of TNA in 2002 and was a champion in a variety of promotions including WCW and the WWE. Jeff Jarrett currently works behind the scenes and in front of the camera for AEW.