Jerome Young a.k.a. New Jack, one of the most controversial figures of the last generation, has died following a heart attack in North Carolina.
Mike Johnson of PWinsider.com was the first to report on Young’s passing after being informed by his wife, Jennifer. It is believed that Young suffered a heart attack and died on Friday afternoon.
Jack was an unforgettable personality, tied to the fabric of ECW with one of the most unique presentations that showcased a different level of violence and brutality on a national stage.
He came up in the Tennessee and Georgia independent scene before receiving his first significant break with Smoky Mountain Wrestling prior to joining ECW in 1995 as part of The Gangstas with Mustafa Saed.
The scene of New Jack entering an arena to “Natural Born Killaz” was a staple of ECW programming where he went through a shopping cart of weapons with the crowd on their feet throughout the “New Jack portion of the show”.
While wrestling for ECW, he landed a prominent spot in Barry Blaustein’s “Beyond the Mat”, in a well-remembered scene where New Jack goes out to California for a television audition with the casting agent remarking that he could play “Denzel’s best friend” as a sidekick rather than carry a project on his own.
His career was filled with unsettling moments including one of the most violent scenes in wrestling history when he sliced open Erich Kulas at an ECW show in Revere, Massachusetts in 1996 that resulted in a lawsuit filed by the family. Young faced both criminal and civil trials. He was acquitted by a jury on the former and found not liable on the latter. The ugly incident in ECW’s history is commonly referred to as the ‘Mass Transit Incident’.
In 2000, he was part of a frightening stunt at the ‘Living Dangerously’ event as he plunged off a balcony with Vic Grimes and stated he had life-long effects from the fall. Jack held animosity against Grimes, blaming him for the fall, and resulted in a brutal stunt on an XPW show two years later, where Jack launched Grimes off a scaffold where it’s remarkable Grimes survived.
After ECW went out of business, he had stints at XPW, TNA, CZW, IWA: Puerto Rico, and countless independents through the notoriety he had accumulated. His last match was only a month ago in Tampa during the weekend of WrestleMania working for ICW: No Holds Barred. In his last match, Jack teamed with The Carnage Crew against John Wayne Murdoch, Neil Diamond Cutter & Reed Bentley.
In 2020, he had an episode of Dark Side of the Ring dedicated to his life and career titled ‘The Life and Crimes of New Jack’ that brought up all the controversies that he was none too shy to share.
Jerome Young leaves behind a legacy of carnage, violence, and disturbing imagery, but at his core was a gifted entertainer with a charisma few possessed.
We send our condolences to Young’s family and friends including his wife Jennifer.
Jerome Young was 58 years old.