Jerome Young (January 3, 1963) is a retired American professional wrestler best known under the ring name of New Jack. Among the various American promotions he appeared in, Young worked for Extreme Championship Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Young's career lasted over 20 years, beginning in 1992 before retiring in April 2013.
Young claims to have been a bounty hunter before becoming a professional wrestler, and to have committed four justifiable homicides, although these claims have not been verified by independent sources. Young trained under Ray Candy and debuted in 1993 in the Memphis, Tennessee-based United States Wrestling Association (USWA), where he adopted the name New Jack. He went on to form a tag team, The Gangstas, with Mustafa Saed in Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW). The Gangstas took part in several controversial angles, on one occasion using affirmative action to enable them to win matches with a two count pinfall as opposed to the conventional three count. They engaged in a long feud with the Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson). During their stint, the NAACP would picket outside the performance venues because of the "Gangsta" gimmick, claiming that no racial violence had occurred in the Tennessee area for years, and they didn't want the reputation of gangsters to be put into the Tennessee area.
Extreme Championship Wrestling
In 1995, The Gangstas left SMW and joined the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion. They won the ECW Tag Team Championships twice before Saed was fired from the company in 1997. New Jack then formed The Gangstanators, a new tag team with former Eliminator John Kronus, going on to win a third ECW Tag Team Championship. New Jack began dragging in a garbage can full of weapons and throwing it into the ring as a sort of ultra-violent grab bag.
New Jack throughout the late-1990s was in a bitter feud with Da Baldies and their leader The Spanish Angel over the unofficial title of "King of the Streets". The two battled back and forth over the matter in bloody street fights. One of ECW television's most gruesome moments is when in the course of a match, Angel used New Jack's staple gun (which he often wore around his neck with a chain) against him, stapling him in the eye. Referees called off the match, and New Jack disappeared from the air for several months. New Jack returned by the end of 1999 with his eye seemingly recovered, now sporting a scythe around his neck, claiming that he had "upgraded" the staple gun. The first match he had against Angel since his return was a successful one, as he continued his feud against Da Baldies.
The Danbury Fall
On March 12, 2000, New Jack (legitimately) suffered brain damage and was temporarily blinded in his right eye, when he and his opponent, Vic Grimes, fell off a balcony, missed the tables that were supposed to absorb the force of their fall and landed on the concrete floor (with Grimes landing on New Jack's head) at Living Dangerously 2000. In a rematch between the two in Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW), New Jack threw Grimes from a scaffold, with Grimes plummeting around 40 feet into the ring. The stunt did not work out as planned, as Grimes only landed on one of the twelve tables that were intended to break his fall and ended up dislocating his ankle on the ring rope. In the 2005 documentary Forever Hardcore, New Jack claimed that he had intentionally thrown Grimes too hard in the hopes that he would hit the ring post and for Grimes to be injured or killed, but under further evaluation Grimes can be seen noticeably pushing off the scaffold with his foot which is one of the main factors leading to the botch. Also in the interview, he said that the Living Dangerously accident was his own fault for prematurely pulling Grimes down from the scaffold. Jack has said that Grimes had been going around telling the locker room that he hurt New Jack, until Jack replied by saying "I hurt me."
XPW and the independent circuit
After ECW declared bankruptcy in April 2001, New Jack began wrestling on the independent circuit. In 2002, he wrestled for XPW, and in 2003, he made multiple appearances with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and also Combat Zone Wrestling, competing in Cage of Death V. New Jack appeared at the ECW reunion show, Hardcore Homecoming, on June 10, 2005, as well as competing on the "Extreme Reunion" tour from September 15–16. In April 2003, New Jack was in a memorable hardcore match with longtime wrestler Gypsy Joe. Joe was continuously no-selling New Jack, this caused New Jack to legitimately attack the sexagenarian with a chain, a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, and several other weapons. In 2006, New Jack reached an agreement with MTV to participate in their Wrestling Society X television series. He appeared in the Battle Royal to determine contenders for the WSX Championship, directing his focus on fellow ex-ECW alumnus Chris Hamrick. New Jack ran his own wrestling promotion 2XFW based in Cincinnati, Ohio. There were advertisements for 5 shows, 3 of which were canceled. 2XFW has since ceased operation. There was another attempt at restarting the promotion in November 2009 but things fell through once again. New Jack has also competed in KCW (Keystone Championship Wrestling) based in Central Pennsylvania.
In the video game ECW Anarchy Rulz, New Jack's theme song was especially made by Bootsy Collins with unique lyrics, unlike every other character's theme, which consisted of sound-alikes of their real themes. The real theme ("Natural Born Killaz"), like everyone else's, could not be featured; copyright issues from their record labels wouldn't allow it. New Jack was featured in the 1999 wrestling documentary Beyond the Mat. In addition, he appeared in the television series Early Edition on May 6, 2000 as a biker in the episode "Mel Schwartz, Bounty Hunter". He was also featured in the video game Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood. New Jack is referenced in the Weezer song "El Scorcho". The line "watchin' Grunge legdrop New Jack through a press table" was derived from a caption for a photograph of New Jack fighting wrestler Johnny Grunge that was published in Pro Wrestling Illustrated. New Jack took part in a shoot interview with The Iron Sheik and The Honky Tonk Man where the subject was Chris Benoit's murder-suicide. New Jack commented that nothing could excuse what Benoit had done and all people on WWE and elsewhere who were making excuses for him were hypocrites. He also thought it was ironic how Extreme Championship Wrestling was seen as violent and dangerous wrestling when he was working there and still only one person died under New Jack's time with the company, whereas WWE was "averaging three a year." He also has a DVD documentary called New Jack Hardcore: The History. New Jack did a DVD interview with The Sandman and Raven for Pro Wrestling Insider. New Jack recently made his hip hop recording debut. He contributed several verses to indie rapper Duckman's new album Duckman for Presidente. An animated commercial for the album featuring a cartoon version of New Jack was recently released. New Jack's voice is featured in the commercial and he tells listeners to "buy the cd or I'll stab your ass". In the popular video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the player can earn a call sign titled New Jack, referring to when he stabbed his opponent. New Jack has a radio show on BlogTalkRadio airing Wednesdays 10pm to 11pm.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
- Theme music