Legendary professional wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett, father of wrestler Jeff Jarrett, has died at the age of 80.
The news was announced by WWE on Tuesday.
“The father of WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett, the elder Jarrett was a hugely influential figure in the wrestling industry,” said WWE. “Jarrett wrestled primarily for NWA Mid-America, winning multiple Tag Team Championships before hanging up his boots to focus on booking and promoting.”
Jarrett did some wrestling of his own as well, working as a referee and a wrestler in the 1960s and 1970s, even holding several regional NWA tag belts in his career.
In 1977, Jarrett partnered with Jerry “The King” Lawler to create the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) in the Memphis area. CWA later merged with World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) to form the United States Wrestling Association (USWA).
Jerry’s son, Jeff, is a WWE Hall of Famer who has wrestled for various promotions and is currently working with All Elite Wrestling. In 2002, the father-son duo formed TNA, though he later sold a controlling share to Panda Energy and left the company in 2005.
The wrestling world came out to celebrate and pay its respects to Jarrett after the news of his passing spread.
SAD NEWS: I’m hearing reports of my friend and long time booker/promoter Jerry Jarrett died this morning in TN. I last saw him last year when we did the VICE show THE TERRITORIES in Atlanta. Very creative booker. Condolences to Jeff/Deborah and the Jarrett family. pic.twitter.com/CYOguhr5KY
— 𝔻𝕣. 𝔻𝕦𝕥𝕔𝕙 (@DirtyDMantell) February 14, 2023
RIP Jerry Jarrett, the man behind the best wrestling television of all time.
— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) February 14, 2023
We will have a story on the death of Jerry Jarrett up on the site shortly. He was a genius booker for his time, one of the best ever, drew ratings nobody will ever touch again. Best to Jeff and the family.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) February 14, 2023
I loved Jerry Jarrett. He believed in me. He's responsible for Marty & I becoming Tag Champs. I was also one of the 1st people he called to help start TNA. I'm very grateful to Jerry & I'm really sad to know I'll never see him again. #RIP pic.twitter.com/5XSS9EGXq9
— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) February 14, 2023
RIP Jerry Jarrett. Jerry was essentially my first boss when I signed with TNA in 2003. We had several very nice and funny conversations, one in particular I will never forget. Thank you for all you gave to professional wrestling. My heart goes out to my friend @RealJeffJarrett
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) February 14, 2023