Home Jeff Jarrett, GFW roll out pro wrestling tour: Includes Aug. 29 date in Richmond

Jeff Jarrett, GFW roll out pro wrestling tour: Includes Aug. 29 date in Richmond

gfwJeff Jarrett is trying to prove a point. The rest of the world is still trying to figure out that point.

“We have slowly but steadily been building toward this day,” said Jarrett, the founder and CEO of Global Force Wrestling, announcing on Wednesday that his company will begin a tour of minor-league baseball parks, including The Diamond in Richmond, and also announcing the signings of several talents.

“The feedback I have received in my international travels has been off the charts. Fans are ready for the reveal of the entire GFW roster and they’re eager for their voices to be heard,” Jarrett said.

The rollout has been in the making for more than a year. Jarrett, a founder and minority investor in TNA, has been working to build GFW since going public with the idea to form the new company in April 2014.

Jarrett publicly courted TV broadcast partners, though he hasn’t yet found a partner to bring Global to the air.

Nonetheless, the series of news releases Wednesday included details of TV tapings in July, August and October in Las Vegas.

The roster coming out of the gate is underwhelming: Doc Gallows, known to WWE fans as Luke Gallows, Davey Boy Smith Jr., the former Chris Masters, now going by the moniker Chris “The Adonis” Mordetsky.

GFW boasts working relationships with New Japan, AAA and several European indies, each who will be contributing talent down the line.

The biggest name, aside from Jarrett, is former MMA star Chael Sonnen, who will join on as a color commentator on the broadcasts that Global is putting together.

Sonnen brings an interesting name dynamic to the promotion. A legit shootfighter, Sonnen is a controversial figure in the MMA world, having failed three drug tests in his career, and he is currently serving out a two-year suspension from UFC for his latest failed test, which also cost him his announcing gigs with UFC and Fox.

“Chael Sonnen is someone we’ve talked about for a long time,” said Jarrett. “He’s not one to shy from speaking his mind, and we’re all eager to see what he has to say about the GFW athletes.”

The touring aspect to Global will be interesting to watch unfold as well. The debut will take place on June 12 in Jackson, Tenn., and will include an Aug. 29 date in Richmond at The Diamond, the home of the minor-league Richmond Flying Squirrels.

“Global Force Wrestling presented us with a great plan, one that will be beneficial to us and all ballparks, teams and cities as well as to their burgeoning brand,” said Todd “Parney” Parnell, vice president and chief operating officer of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. “We know GFW will generate a lot of interest and excitement, not only the night of the show but for weeks in advance.”

A press release from GFW touts the minor-league baseball park tour as being part of a “grassroots approach” being taken by the company to build toward a debut TV broadcast.

The jury is still very much out on that part of the plan. Baseball stadiums are far from being ideal venues for live pro wrestling, the configuration of a baseball field being a hindrance to getting fans close to the action. Outdoor events add a layer of unpredictability to the mix.

How a tour of second- and third-tier cities will somehow build momentum toward a TV deal is another valid question.

“These ballparks are the center of attention in the summer in most of these cities, and we’re eager to get out there and mix with our fans and show them what the GFW brand is all about,” Jarrett said.

All you can really say to that is, good luck.

– Column by Chris Graham



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