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Jerome Young (born January 3, 1963) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, better known by his stage name New Jack. He is best known for his time with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), where he became notorious for his willingness to take dangerous bumps and his stiff hardcore wrestling style, often taking high risks and "shooting" on opponents. He is also known for having his theme song ("Natural Born Killaz" by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre) play throughout his matches in ECW.
Young in 2004
|Birth name||Jerome Young|
|Born||January 3, 1963|
Greensboro, North Carolina
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||New Jack|
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Billed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|Trained by||Ray Candy|
Professional wrestling careerEdit
United States Wrestling Association (1992–1993)Edit
Young trained under Ray Candy and debuted in 1992 in the Memphis, Tennessee-based United States Wrestling Association (USWA), where he adopted the name New Jack, inspired by the movie New Jack City. In June 1993, he won his first championship, the USWA World Tag Team Championship with his partner Homeboy, defeating Simply Devine for the titles. They would hold onto the titles for two weeks before losing them to C.W. Bergstrom and Melvin Penrod, Jr. He would remain with the company until the end of the summer.
North Georgia Wrestling Alliance (1993–1994)Edit
After leaving Memphis, Young, returned to Atlanta and wrestled for North Georgia Wrestling Alliance, and won their Heavyweight Championship. In early 1994, he paired up with former WCW enhancement talent Mustafa Saed and formed The Gangstas, and won NGWA Tag Team Championship in July 1994, but quickly vacated them, as they left the territory.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1994–1995)Edit
In July 1994, The Gangstas went to Knoxville and began working for Jim Cornette in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. 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 did not want the reputation of gangsters to be put into the Tennessee area. After the feud with the Rock 'n' Roll Express ended, they feuded with The Thugs (Tracy Smothers and Tony Anthony) and with USWA's PG-13 until they left the company in June 1995.
Extreme Championship WrestlingEdit
The Gangstas (1995–1997)Edit
In June 1995, The Gangstas joined the Philadelphia-based Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion, debuting for the promotion as a villainous team by attacking The Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) at Barbed Wire, Hoodies and Chokeslams on June 17, 1995. Gangstas made their ECW in-ring debut at Hardcore Heaven by competing against Public Enemy in a losing effort. The two teams engaged in a lengthy rivalry and traded wins against each other throughout the year, with the feud ending in a street fight at House Party, which Public Enemy won. Public Enemy departed ECW after the event, thus ending the rivalry. At CyberSlam Gangstas were scheduled to compete in a match against The Headhunters but Jack was imprisoned in Atlanta and Mustafa was attacked by Headhunters. Jack returned to ECW on March 8 during the Big Ass Extreme tour to rescue Mustafa from an assault by The Headhunters, resulting in Gangstas turning into fan favourites.
Gangstas began pursuing the ECW World Tag Team Championship and entered into a rivalry with the tag team champions The Eliminators (John Kronus and Perry Saturn) and received several title shots against Eliminators but came up short. At Fight the Power, Samoan Gangstas Party (L.A. Smooth and Sammy the Silk) made their ECW debut by attacking Gangstas. Samoan Gangsta Party cost Gangstas, another title shot against Eliminators at Hardcore Heaven. Gangstas then faced Samoan Gangstas Party in a match at Heat Wave which ended in a brawl between both teams. Gangstas' feud with Eliminators, Samoan Gangsta Party and The Bruise Brothers led to a four-way dance between the four teams at The Doctor is In, which Gangstas won to capture their first World Tag Team Championship. Gangstas successfully defended the title against teams such as Samoan Gangsta Party, The Eliminators and Rob Van Dam and Sabu throughout the year.
New Jack was involved in the Mass Transit Incident on November 23, 1996 in Revere, Massachusetts. The Gangstas were scheduled to face D-Von Dudley and Axl Rotten. Axl, however, never made it to the show for reasons never made clear. (In the 2005 documentary Forever Hardcore, New Jack said he thinks something happened with Axl's grandmother, which forced Axl to not make it). Rotten was replaced with "Mass Transit" Eric Kulas, an untrained seventeen-year-old who convinced booker Paul Heyman that he was twenty-three and had been trained by the veteran Killer Kowalski. Kulas requested that New Jack "blade" him during the match, but the incision was made incorrectly, causing excessive bleeding. Kulas was hospitalized as a result, eventually receiving fifty stitches. New Jack was charged with aggravated assault stemming from the incident, but was acquitted. Kulas subsequently sued New Jack and ECW for damages in July 1998, but lost the case. Kulas died on May 12, 2002 at the age of 22 due to complications from gastric bypass surgery. Later, Kulas' parents tried to sue New Jack because they believed their son's death was caused due to depression and a major eating disorder after what New Jack did to him.
Gangstas lost the World Tag Team Championship back to Eliminators on the January 4, 1997 episode of Hardcore TV, ending their reign at 139 days. Gangstas feuded with Eliminators and The Dudley Boyz over the titles for the next several months. At Heat Wave, Gangstas defeated Dudley Boyz in a steel cage match to capture their second World Tag Team Championship. Mustafa Saed left ECW after the title win, leading to the dissolution of Gangstas. The following month, at Hardcore Heaven, Dudley Boyz were returned the titles via forfeit due to Saed's departure.
The Gangstanators (1997–1998)Edit
The departure of Mustafa Saed and Perry Saturn from ECW led New Jack to form a new tag team with former Eliminator John Kronus called The Gangstanators on August 21, 1997 by defeating The Dudley Boyz. The team debuted on television on the September 20 episode of Hardcore TV when Kronus earned a title shot at the ECW World Tag Team Championship by defeating the Dudleys and then Jack showed up as his tag team partner. They received their title shot at As Good as it Gets, where Gangstanators defeated Dudley Boyz to win the World Tag Team Championship, marking Jack's third tag title reign. They lost the titles to The Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido and Tracy Smothers) on the November 1 episode of Hardcore TV. They defeated Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks (Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney) and Dudley Boyz in a three-way dance at Fright Fight and received a rematch for the titles against FBI, the Freaks and Dudleys in a four-way dance at November to Remember but failed to win the titles.
Gangstanators resumed their feud with Dudley Boyz as the two teams competed in a match at the 1998 House Party, which Dudleys won. Gangstanators formed an alliance with Spike Dudley, an arch rival of the Dudleys. At the Living Dangerously pay-per-view, New Jack and Spike Dudley defeated Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks and Dudley Boyz in a three-way dance. Jack would then face Bam Bam Bigelow in a losing effort at Wrestlepalooza. Jack began emerging as a singles competitor while feuding with Dudley Boyz. This led to Jack and Kronus quietly dissolving Gangstanators and going their separate ways as Jack more frequently teamed with Spike Dudley to feud with Dudley Boyz. New Jack began dragging in a garbage can full of weapons and throwing it into the ring as a sort of ultra-violent trash bag.
Singles competition (1999–2001)Edit
New Jack's feud with Dudley Boyz continued in 1999 as he teamed with Spike Dudley to compete against Dudley Boyz in a losing effort at Guilty as Charged. At Crossing the Line, Jack brought out his former Gangstas tag team partner Mustafa Saed to compete against Dudley Boyz but Mustafa turned on Jack by smashing a guitar on his head and revealed himself to be the mysterious benefactor of Dudleys, who wanted to run out The Public Enemy and New Jack out of ECW. As a result, Jack began a rivalry with Mustafa, which culminated in a match between the two at Living Dangerously, which Jack won. At CyberSlam, Jack teamed with Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks (Axl Rotten and Balls Mahoney) against Mustafa and Dudley Boyz in an Ultimate Jeopardy match in a losing effort. After the match, Jack drove Mustafa through a table with a diving splash from the top of the cage. Jack was out of action for the next few months until he returned to ECW at Heat Wave, where he attacked Dudley Boyz with weapons from a shopping cart.
On the October 22 episode of ECW on TNN, Jack received his first opportunity for the World Heavyweight Championship against Mike Awesome but failed to win the title. On the November 5 episode of ECW on TNN, Jack rescued Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks from an attack by Da Baldies (The Spanish Angel, Vito LoGrasso, Tony DeVito and Vic Grimes) but Angel stapled Jack in the eyes. This led to a lengthy rivalry between Jack and 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 was 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 many 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.
Their first encounter was at November to Remember, where Jack and the Freaks lost to Da Baldies in a handicap match. At the 2000 Guilty as Charged pay-per-view, Jack lost a singles match to Angel due to interference by Da Baldies. At the Living Dangerously pay-per-view on March 12, New Jack suffered legitimate brain damage and was permanently blinded in his right eye when he and his opponent, Vic Grimes, fell around 15 feet off a scaffold, 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. Jack defeated Da Baldies leader Angel in a match at Hardcore Heaven.
Jack suffered a broken leg in mid-2000. He appeared at Heat Wave where he appeared on crutches and Angel stapled him with his staple gun in the forehead until Nova and Chris Chetti made the save and defeated Da Baldies in a tag team match. Jack was out of action for the next few months. He returned to ECW on the September 22 episode of ECW on TNN, where he rescued Spike Dudley from an assault by Justin Credible and Rhino but was double teamed by the two. Jack was named the number one contender for Rhino's World Television Championship at November to Remember, where he failed to win the title. In his last ECW match, Jack defeated longtime rival Angel on the December 17 episode of Hardcore TV. Jack remained with the promotion which was closed due to bankruptcy a month later in January 2001.
XPW and the independent circuit (2001–2012)Edit
After ECW declared bankruptcy in April 2001, New Jack began wrestling on the independent circuit. In 2001 and 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. New Jack also states on a shoot interview that Joe headbutted him in the nose. This caused New Jack to legitimately attack the sexagenarian with a chain, a framed picture of his aunt, a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire, and several other weapons. Before the match Jack met Gypsy Joe and went to the booker of the show and asked exactly what he was supposed to do with Joe. Jack was told "Gypsy Joe is as tough as leather", and Jack replied that he was not going to lose dollar value from this match and will not have either a comedy, or a gimmick match, and told the booker he will kill Gypsy Joe in this hardcore match.
In October 2004, New Jack, wrestling for Thunder Wrestling Federation, was scheduled to fight fellow wrestler William Jason Lane. During the match, New Jack pulled out a metal blade from his camouflage wrestling attire, and stabbed Lane 14 times; This action caused New Jack to receive various felony charges, including for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated assault to commit murder. New Jack claims that the two met prior to the match and agreed to use a "piece of metal" to inflict injury. Despite this, a police officer who was recording the incident stated that it looked like it went "past a routine wrestling match." The promoter of the event, Mr. Maurice Williams, claims the event was never intended to be hardcore. New Jack has claimed that he only stabbed Lane nine times. New Jack announced his retirement on XPW's A Cold Day To Hell in 2008 though he continued working independent shows. In 2012, New Jack competed for Extreme Rising and CZW.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003, 2004, 2010)Edit
During 2003 and 2004 New Jack wrestled occasional events for TNA wrestling.
On April 5, 2013 at Pro Wrestling Syndicate's Super Card 2013 Night 2, New Jack defeated Necro Butcher in his official retirement match. Following the match New Jack and Necro Butcher embraced passionately & performed his theme song & celebrated with Marty Jannetty & Ricky Morton.
Return to professional wrestling (2016-present)Edit
New Jack has been wrestling for Money Mark Productions and most recently wrestled Brad Cash in Lewisberg, Tennessee on April 16, 2016. On June 11, 2016, New Jack was set to face former UFC star Phil Baroni in an unsanctioned match at a Pro Wrestling Syndicate event at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. In October, New Jack appeared at the Crushed 2 wrestling event in Minneapolis, MN interfering in a match between Eugene and Tommy Lee Curtis. He ran out with the garbage can full of weapons and saved Eugene from a beat down and ended up doing a diving splash through a table to pin Tommy Lee Curtis even though he was only interfering. It was billed as his last appearance in the Midwest. In January, Jack was eliminated in battle royal by White Mike but went on to defeat Mike in a singles match. In March, he teamed with fellow ECW Alumni The Sandman & Justin Credible in a winning effort at an ECW show.
In the video game ECW Anarchy Rulz, New Jack's theme song was rerecorded by Bootsy Collins with unique lyrics, unlike every other character's theme, which consisted of cover versions of their real themes. The real theme ("Natural Born Killaz") 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 1996 Weezer single "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."
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".
New Jack has participated in several shoot interviews for RF Video and Kayfabe Commentaries. He was also interviewed by Pro Wrestling Insider for a two-disc DVD set in which he covered his entire career.
New Jack, along with indy wrestler Jay Lover, made an appearance on The Daily Show, on the May 9, 2013 episode of the show, in a segment entitled "Stay Out Of School". It was later confirmed that this was a one-time appearance.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- Extreme Championship Wrestling
- Legends Pro Wrestling
- XWF/LPW Hall of Fame Inductee (2/22/08)
- North Georgia Wrestling Association
- NGWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NGWA Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Festus and Mustafa Saed
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling
- United States Wrestling Association
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #386 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
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