back to the days when there was a cemented effort to uphold the illusion that
wrestling is real? No doubt some long time wrestling fans wish it was still
that way, a time when you wondered, however slight, that maybe those wrestlers
are really fighting it out.
it, those days are gone. But there still remains one man in professional
wrestling who can instill that aura of unpredictability, that gut sensation
that whatever he does in a match, it will in fact be all too violent, all too
His name is
New Jack and he is the focus of the new Michael Moody produced film New Jack: Hardcore.
who watched 101 Reasons
Not to be a Pro Wrestler loved watching New Jack," said Moody in an
interview with SLAM! Wrestling. "They loved what he said; his personality and
everybody said he stole the show. So I wanted to make a DVD just about him, his
character, his career and his life. The result is amazing; it's probably the
best DVD I've ever made."
say that it was easy for New Jack (real name Jerome Young) to steal the show in
101 Reasons. Other interviewees, such
as Chyna, Diamond Dallas Page, Sean O'Haire and Rikishi, were subdued at best
in the face of the double barrel blasts of vulgarity and hilarity from New
as he may be on the mic, it's what New Jack is in the ring that has engraved him
into the annals of wrestling history, tradition be damned. From
his array of improvised weapons that includes guitars, staple guns and vacuum
cleaners, to his death-defying scaffold and balcony dives, New Jack is an anti-establishment
entity that strikes a chord with those fans who demand his brand of mayhem.
New Jack for three-four years," told Moody, explaining that as early as the
filming of 101 Reasons, efforts were
taken to begin compiling interview footage for a separate film on New Jack.
"I had this
planned out awhile ago. When we flew him out to do the documentary, I offered
him separate interviews with him for 101
Reasons. It was just a matter of convenience and here we are today, with
the footage that he was really flown to be a part of. I have a collection of
footage that I've shot of him over the past five years and that's what this
takes on two streams of telling the tale of New Jack; in-ring antics and
hilarious, profanity laced interviews that make him a lightening rod of
controversy. But is it really all a gimmick, an act?
character on camera is pretty much what he's like in person. He's a pretty
crazy guy –- even like innocent women that you'll see in the stores, if they say
something dumb, he'll wise them up and say something that you shouldn't
probably say. He's an aggressive guy," said Moody.
backstage with him and you piss him off before a match, and you're wrestling
him in a hardcore match, he's going to injure you blatantly. You're gonna get
cut open, you're gonna break something, you're gonna go to the hospital and the
police are probably going to be involved."
landmark reputation for ultra-violent acts came during his days as a member of
Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). It was during a tag team match, held in
Massachusetts in 1996 that he bladed (cut open) 18-year-old wrestler Eric Kulas
with an Exacto knife. According to reports, Kulas has asked New Jack to blade
him in the match. The incision severed an artery, leaving Kulas unconscious in
the ring as blood funneled from the wound. Kulas never wrestled again and his
family would file a lawsuit against ECW that was eventually dismissed.
years, two events, both of which are explored in the film, continue to bolster
the volatile image of New Jack. In April of 2003 at NWA Main Event, New Jack
wrestled against elderly grappler Gypsy Joe. The contest eventually digressed
to the point where New Jack beat Joe with an aluminum bat wrapped in barb wire.
In a shoot interview produced by RF Video, New Jack claimed that Joe was
no-selling his offense, prompting the attack. The promoter of the event
eventually came out and called off the match.
On October 9, 2004 in Jacksonville, Florida, New Jack would rise to a new level of
infamy. In a match for Thunder Wrestling Federation, New Jack reportedly stabbed his
opponent, William Jason Lane, 14 times. New Jack would eventually be
charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Eventually, the charges
were dropped, but not after New Jack spent time in jail from the initial
is on the DVD," Moody mentioned, along with an abundance of footage that
attempts to draw an accurate picture as possible of who New Jack really is.
nice guy if you're friends with him, but if you don't know him and if he's sober
or if he's been drinking, and you say something stupid to him, he's gonna let
you know and make it confrontational."
professional wrestling industry attracts not your typical personality. You're
going to get that one or two people that are totally out of control and don't
care about authority figures. They just want to do what they want to do. You're
going to have a wild personality like that, like New Jack, who's an
anti-establishment kind of person who doesn't give a shit. I don't think nobody
knows for sure why he is the way he is."
violence and rebel attitude have no doubt played a role in isolating New Jack
within the industry. Along with the numerous injuries that he will
carry with him for the rest of his life, he also finds himself on the outside
looking in when in comes to working for a mainstream company such as World
Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
"That's probably why he's not in the WWE is because he wants to be New Jack," observed
"He doesn't pull any punches; he'll say whatever he wants to say. He never cared about
anyone censoring him, he won't let that happen. That's why he's not in that company."
Away from the controversies, both in the ring and out, Moody did make an effort to engage
personal friends and wrestlers (The Sandman, Chris Hamrick, Vic Grimes) who gave their frank opinions about The Original Gangsta.
"There's a lot of heavy respect there and that's really all that I can," said Moody.
"You're either one of three things with New Jack; your either really cool, really good
friends with him, your just a passing acquaintance, or your someone he totally dislikes and hates."
While choosing the path less traveled has come at a price for New Jack, it has also
garnered him the mystique of the unknown that has vanished for the most part
from professional wrestling according to Moody.
"I think there's a certain level of entertainment value when you book New Jack on your
show that you don't get with some other wrestler. You're not going to have that edge
of your seat excitement where you're wondering what's going to happen. Even if
you're at a small indy show where there's only a 100 people, it's still going
to be like 'OK, something really f***ed up could happen right now because New
Jack is here.'"
a level of believability that is missing from professional wrestling. Wrestling
has become a joke in terms of believability and characters. It's nice to have
something that you can still think 'Oh my God, was that real or not?' That's
what makes him unique, that's what makes him the most feared man in
professional wrestling and that's why he'll always have a job."
You can find out more about New Jack: Hardcore at
New Jack: Hardcore. trailer (viewer discretion is advised)
Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!
Order New Jack: Hardcore. DVD
Corey David Lacroix can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.