Jeff Jarrett has opened up about why he left the WWF after losing the Intercontinental Championship to Shawn Michaels in 1995.
Leading into In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks, Jarrett had been enjoying a run with the Intercontinental Championship with The Roadie (Later known as Road Dogg) by his side. The pair had also performed the song ‘With My Baby Tonight’ with both men appearing in the video.
At the event, Jarrett was due to lose the championship to Michaels with his partnership with The Roadie coming to an end. On the night, Michaels won the championship after The Roadie accidentally tripped Jarrett.
After the match it was revealed that Jarrett had attacked his former partner backstage, leading to the break-up.
Reflecting on the angle, Jarrett said that he believed it was the wrong time to beak up the pair. In addition, he said that there were plans for himself and The Roadie to release a full album.
“Lack of communication and I’ll take full responsibility,” Jarrett said. “I’ll still stick to my guns that the package of Double J, and we’re still talking about it today. You would’ve thought oh man, Jeff and Brian, they were together a couple of years. We were on screen together six months, that to me is a little bit of validation that we really had something. I bet I had 3 or 4 conversations [with Vince]. ‘Ah, Vince, I really think it’s premature, I don’t think we need to pull the trigger.’ We had talked about another video, we talked about multiple videos, we talked about an album.
“You have to remember, CDs in the 90s were printing money. Living in Nashville and knowing the amount of money that was being distributed, the country music industry, there were a whole slew of acts in the early 90s they literally blew this town up from a financial perspective, all the money that was being created. As hot as the country music business was and knowing that Brian can sing his ass off as good or better than most folks out there, it’s not my opinion, I’m talking about music execs.”
Jarrett explained that he tried to change Vince McMahon’s mind over the story right up until the night of the show.
“The only thing I know to do is, once we shoot the angle, it’s game set and match,” Jarrett said. “The title is inconsequential to our storyline. Our storyline is between us. I went to the well again Sunday, I’ll never forget it. I’m standing on stage next to Vince and we’re going over the performance and I say ‘Vince, can we reconsider this? I don’t think so, I really don’t think we should do this.’ [Vince said] ‘Nope, no,’ he really didn’t even give me the time of day.”
The WWE Hall of Famer explained that on his way to the ring, he was thinking about what would happen if he didn’t go through with the angle. Even if he had no problem with losing the championship to Michaels.
“Here was sort of the Jeff plan, drop the title, Shawn is my buddy, it’s business, I’m not going to prohibit anybody from doing their thing,” Jarrett stated. “But if I don’t do the angle with Road Dogg, my plan was to leave the building, let the dust settle and the meeting of the minds would take place. A week, two weeks, three weeks, I just didn’t foresee Vince McMahon being furious and Bruce [Prichard] being irate and Pat [Paterson] saying ‘Let’s move on.’ I’m putting words in their mouths but I’m not putting words in Vince’s, Vince was furious.“
Following In Your House, Jarrett left the WWF before briefly returning to the company in December. However, the return wouldn’t last long as Jarrett left the company again the following a contract dispute in early 1996.
Jarrett signed with WCW the following October before returning to WWF a year later in October 1997.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.