Impact Wrestling Founder and Hall of Famer and 2018 WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett recently spoke to WrestlingInc.com's Raj Giri. When discussing Daniel Bryan's return to in-ring competition, as well as thoughts of signing Bryan to Impact Wrestling years ago, Jarrett said the following:
"To me, the essence of our business, not just with Daniel Bryan but with any talent, is the emotional connection he has with the audience. A great song connects, whether it's a new pop song or a R&B or hip-hop or an old country song, it's emotionally connecting with your audience. The songs that us wrestlers 'sing' are the matches obviously, the story, the persona and Daniel has a unique gift that is, to me, very, very relatable," Jarrett said. "And it goes without saying, his in-ring skills are incredible; and I don't want to downplay anybody's in-ring skills, but he knows how to take his set of skills in the ring and make them emotionally connect. He's good at what he does, it's that simple. At the end of the day, there's a lot of guys that can do a lot of moves, but there's not a lot of guys that can do what he does and put his skill-set together and emotionally connect with his audience. It showed on SmackDown when he returned; you just felt it in the arena and it came across on your TV screen that this was something special happening."
"I'm happy [for him]. A comeback story in a scripted manner is a feel-good story, but a comeback story of this magnitude and the reality of the situation and how the chips fell... I'll say I emotionally connect with the guy because he came up the hard way. He wasn't the biggest, the tallest, the fastest, the smartest, any of those accolades. He worked his butt off, and it was long before money came into his equation and long before fame came into his equation. It was because he wanted to do it, and loved it," Jarrett said. "He had the unfortunate situation with his health at an early age, and that's tough, that's real-life a really, really bad break. And for us to see that it's almost three years since the situation happened and he's returning on this stage, I mean if you don't emotionally connect with that, I think you're brain dead. I'm excited, and heck I get to be there, and I don't have any responsibilities other than to put on a tux, wave at the fans and watch the wrestling match. I'm excited to see that match, I really am."
Did he have any interest in signing Bryan to Impact years ago?:
"Sure. There's Cesaro, [too], I don't want to call them Ring Of Honor guys, but the guys that were not working currently at TNA that were out on the scene, you have to look at guys like that. In the year 2018, when you think of a babyface, immediately [Bryan's] name comes to mind... There's different guys in different generations where you think, 'That is a classic babyface or a classic heel.' When you look at today's generation, he is that guy," Jarrett said. "He's very likable, he comes across that way on camera... Who would've thought he would've been a star of this magnitude? Nobody would've guessed that, it's impossible, and if you say you did I think you're lying. But with that being said, he has always had a unique set of skills that is connectable, relatable and you can emotionally invest in Daniel Bryan."