Jerome Young, the former pro wrestler known to wrestling fans worldwide as the hardcore wrestler New Jack, has passed away. Per PWInsider, Young's wife Jennifer revealed that the former ECW star died on Friday following a heart attack at his home in North Carolina. He was 58 years old at the time of his passing.
"With his fierce, competitive style, New Jack was well-known for pushing the limits of hardcore wrestling to their furthest extremes," a statement from WWE reads. "Young broke into the sports-entertainment circuit with the Memphis-based United States Wrestling Association in 1992. Upon arrival in the Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion, New Jack teamed with Mustafa Saed to form The Gangstas tag team."
As one half of The Gangstas, New Jack made his debut in EC in 1995, and due to the extreme style of the company, this was where the hardcore wrestler flourished the most. The Gangstas' feud with Public Enemy became a very popular program during that time, and New Jack would later win ECW Tag Team gold with Mustafa and Eliminator John Kronus. With a penchant for using weapons on his opponents, New Jack came to be known for always carrying a trash can to the ring filled with makeshift weapons. He remained one of ECW's most well-known stars until the company folded in 2001.
Perhaps because of his violent nature, New Jack was never brought in to wrestle on WWE television. He'd wrestle in various other promotions throughout the rest of his career, including CZW, Extreme Rising, XPW, and TNA. He last wrestled in 2017 against his fellow ECW alumni C.W. Anderson and Shane Douglas. In another one of his final matches, he teamed up with The Sandman and Justin Credible at an ECW reunion show.
New Jack's reputation has gotten him recognition outside of the wrestling business. He is referenced in the 1996 single "El Scorcho" by Weezer. He also played a biker in the TV series Early Edition in 2000. In 2013, he made a surprise appearance on The Daily Show for a segment called "Stay Out of School." The 2004 video game Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood also features New Jack as a playable character. He was also shown on the video game's over alongside Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse.
Just last year, New Jack was the subject of an episode of the acclaimed Vice TV documentary series Dark Side of the Ring. The hour-long episode, titled "The Life and Crimes of New Jack," featured Young speaking about his status as one of the most feared and controversial pro wrestlers of all time. It provided the best look yet at the man behind the fearsome wrestler and what he was thinking during some of his bloodiest matches.
"RIP New Jack," reads a tweet posted by the Dark Side of the Ring Twitter account. "We are grateful to have had the opportunity to tell your story. Our deepest condolences to his friends & family."
At this time, we send our condolences to Jennifer along with the rest of Young's family and friends. After a lifetime filled with such extravagant amounts of blood and mayhem, may New Jack now rest in peace. This news comes to us from PWInsider.