Jeff Jarrett has discussed his infamous match at Bash At The Beach 2000 with Hulk Hogan where Jarrett laid down for Hogan on a disastrous night that ended in legal action.
Jarrett was due to defend the WCW World Heavyweight Championship against Hulk Hogan at Bash At The Beach in July 2000. This led to reported difficulties between Hogan and the head of creative at the time, Vince Russo. According to the oft-repeated story the difficulties laid in the fact that the finish of the match didn’t work for Hogan with Hulk apparently wanting to win the WCW Title on the night.
In a decision that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, Jarrett headed to the ring for his match with Hogan only to lay down allowing Hogan to pin him with a boot on his chest. Jeff Jarrett then left the ring and headed to the back. After Hogan left the arena Vince Russo cut a promo on Hogan that ended with The Hulkster filing a defamation of character lawsuit against Russo and WCW’s parent company Time Warner.
Jeff Jarrett then had to come back out to the ring in the real main event as he faced Booker T for what now was the vacant WCW Title with Russo declaring that Hogan was not the champion despite his win. In that main event, Booker T defeated Jarrett to win one of his famous five WCW Title reigns.
Speaking about the sorry state of affairs on his My World podcast with co-host Conrad Thompson, Jarrett revealed he was disgusted at what the company was set to present to their audience.
“I will remember this to the day I die vividly. I walked way off and I remember the area where I stood, I think my music played, I don’t want to say all the way through, but it played for a long time. I walked way away knowing that I knew I could hear my music, I didn’t want to be up at the Gorilla position, I didn’t want to look at anybody, I didn’t want to talk to anybody, I was thoroughly disgusted that this is what we were giving the audience.”
“I thought the premise was just disastrous, I didn’t think this kind of storyline would ever get over and it just felt bad and I wasn’t into it. I want to say my music played and Mark Johnson was hollering ‘Go, Go, Go’ and I literally had thoughts about ‘Do I really want to do this? Do I really want to go through this?’ And I’ve seen the tape of me rolling out of the ring, that’s about as disgusting a look, I felt that. I literally felt that this is bad T.V, this is really bad T.V.”
Jeff Jarrett then went on to detail why the storyline just didn’t work, chief among them being Vince Russo’s involvement on television:
“When we shot this angle, the angle, if we would’ve all laid this out, the angle was with a non-wrestler. The angle was with Vince Russo, that’s so stupid. How are you going to get a bout? So what, Hulk Hogan beat Vince Russo with a leg drop. Whipty dee, it’s irrelevant. There’s no money in it, there’s no ratings in it. Hulk Hogan slammed André the Giant, in context there’s no money in this so why are we doing this?”
“There are so many bad things about the storyline, Eric [Bischoff] was never seen on camera and there’s some meat on that bone with Vince and Eric but there was no storyline between Hulk and I, there was no storyline between Hulk and another wrestler. It’s all Vince Russo and he’s going to go out and make this babyface promo of ‘Hey, I’m doing this for the Young Blood,’ no you’re not. Not one person watching that or in the arena said ‘Damn right, we’re with you brother.’ Terrible TV, terrible storyline with 0 chance of a payoff.”
Jeff Jarrett then said that in his opinion Hulk Hogan didn’t want to have a match with him on the night:
“I got away from everybody because I really had to sit and think or I tried, this is bad but what do I do? What are my real options here? You can’t go out there and have a match with a guy who doesn’t want to have a match. Do I really go through with this? Is there any upside to it?”
“He obviously didn’t [want to have a match], he wanted to do the lay down deal. The person with the most power in the building that day was Hulk and he chose not to work with me, it’s that simple. We could’ve done the DQ, he could’ve beat me, we could’ve done any of that.”
The four-time WCW Champion then described his feelings ahead of having to come back out in front of the audience to face Booker T:
“There’s no way to describe the trepidation that I had. Slick Johnson is probably the only person on earth that could give a glimpse into it. When I walked through the curtain, I had my game face on and I was going to work, but backstage, knowing what I was going to do and my music playing. I was really just second-guessing the whole deal. Coming out and knowing, the people didn’t know. They didn’t know any of this and like any world title match with some build and build up to it, I was the heel and Hogan was the babyface.”
“Me playing the tape forward and knowing this is what we’re about to do and the reaction that was going to take place and I’m a part of it and not only that, they’ve got to see my ass back out here in 30 minutes to have another match? Guys, what are you possibly thinking? How do you want your hot heel to rebound from this when you’re not going to make him bad with heat, you’re going to disgust [the fans] to the umpteenth degree. I’m the last person they’re going to want to see, period. I’m the last talent they’re going to want to see. Me having to go out, do this bs thing with Hogan but ‘oh Jeff, go out 30 minutes later and get a hell of a reaction and you and Booker are going to tear the house down and now Booker is going to be the new champion.’ All in and out. Disaster, terrible writing, terrible booking, and terrible thinking things through.”