Casual viewers of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), or people who never actually watched the promotion, believe that ECW was only about violence. However, true fans of ECW knew that the company was about much more. ECW was about work rate and realism. No one worked harder, gave more, or was more real than New Jack.
New Jack Was As Real As They Come
In a real fight, if someone interferes, or brandishes a weapon, the fight will often not end. The fight will continue until there is a victor. ECW matches were presented as if they were real street fights. In New Jack’s case, as the “Original Gangsta”, his mindset was to take out his opponent before Jack could be taken out. He brought trash cans full of weapons to the ring because he didn’t want to have to find a weapon once he was at a disadvantage.
New Jack knew that he was not the biggest or the strongest wrestler on the roster. To make up for this, his attack-first style allowed him to overcome when facing odds that should have been insurmountable. New Jack seemingly subscribed to the Cobra Kai creed: strike hard, strike fast, no mercy. In many instances, New Jack could win his matches before they started with his promos.
Paul Heyman made sure that his ECW talent could “talk people into the building”, and New Jack was one of the best. If you haven’t seen it, his memorable Harlem promo is one that you should definitely search for. Many times, Jack’s opponents were a bit intimidated even though they were bigger, stronger, and younger than Jack.
New Jack’s calling card was his many high dives. During one match, Jack dove off of the balcony that surrounded the second tier of seats. The crowd response was so loud that balcony diving became a part of Jack’s move set. These dives caused him to suffer injuries that were not common to other professional wrestlers. Despite this, Jack continued to appear and entertain the fans.
Controversy seemed to follow New Jack throughout his career. From the Mass Transit match to the match with Gypsy Joe, Jack will be remembered differently by different people. Whether he was loved or loathed, the Gangsta New Jack will always be a permanent part of professional wrestling history.
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