Jerry Jarrett, Legendary Memphis Wrestling Promoter, Passes Away at Age 80


The world of professional wrestling lost a valuable source of knowledge with the passing of Jerry Jarrett. The author of this blog had occasional communication with Jerry and considered him a mentor. Their last conversation was in August 2022 when the author was writing a bio for Jerry’s mother, Christine “Teeny” Jarrett, who was to be recognized as the Cauliflower Alley Club 2022 posthumous honoree. Although they were not able to meet up, Jerry had expressed his desire to see the author and catch up.

Fond memories of Jerry Jarrett

The author first spoke with Jerry 20 years ago after the NWA-TNA PPV held at the Nashville Fairgrounds. As a young and ambitious journalism major, the author was searching for a story and ended up in the right place at the right time. Jerry was professional and open with the author when discussing the formation of the new company with his son, Jeff Jarrett. Although TNA had a rocky start, Jerry remained positive about the company’s growth and fan base.

Jerry Jarrett’s contribution to the wrestling industry

Jerry was a reliable source of information when the author was tasked with writing about the Tennessee territory or any topic or person he had a connection with. For instance, he was a valuable source when discussing Thelma Cornette, the mother of Jim Cornette, or eulogizing Tennessee mainstay Sara Lee. Jerry had a wealth of knowledge about the Gulas-Welch Enterprises professional wrestling era, and he was one of the last direct links to that time.

Jerry Jarrett’s connection to the Tennessee territory

Christine “Teeny” Jarrett started selling tickets for Nick Gulas and Roy Welch in 1946 as a source of income while raising her two young children as a single parent. Jerry always spoke fondly of his mother and enjoyed sharing memories of her. He had a lot in common with the author because they were both from Tennessee and were raised by single mothers. Jerry had concerns about being viewed as an absentee father, like his father was to him, after his divorce from his first wife when his two oldest children were young.

Personal connection with Jerry Jarrett

Jerry’s contribution to the wrestling world and Tennessee’s history is immeasurable. He was a second-generation promoter and had a great passion for wrestling. He was always willing to share his knowledge and memories with others. His mother, Christine “Teeny” Jarrett, also played a significant role in wrestling’s history. She was a strong and determined woman who raised her children on her own and became a successful ticket seller for the wrestling matches. The author regrets not being able to honor her legacy in person, but they will always remember Jerry’s kindness and willingness to share his experiences.

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