New Jack, an iconic wrestler who is best known for his time in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), died on May 14, at the age of 58, after suffering a heart attack.
New Jack is one of the most controversial professional wrestlers of all time, having plied his craft in the USWA, Smokey Mountain Wrestling, ECW, TNA, and other promotions. His stiff hardcore style, willingness to take insane bumps, and wild promos are defining characteristics for New Jack.
I had the opportunity to exchange emails with New Jack over the past several months. We discussed the idea of him doing an interview with me for my book about the history of TNA/IMPACT wrestling. Unfortunately, we couldn’t come to an agreement, so the interview never took place.
Yesterday, I was on social media and saw that New Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 58. This is precisely why I’ve been interviewing so many people so quickly for my TNA/IMPACT book project. I started working on my book four days after Bob Ryder passed away. At that moment, I knew I had to knock out as many interviews as I could in a short period of time because of the fragility of life. Any of us can die at any moment. As dire as that sounds, it’s true. New Jack is the perfect example. Yes, he lived a hard and fast life, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that no one is immune to the realities of life. To me, this is a reminder that we should all make the most of every single day. Do what makes you happy, try not to get too worked up about things that, frankly, don’t matter, and appreciate what you have and those around you.
Overnight, New Jack’s autobiography shot to #1 in three separate categories on Amazon. I encourage you to buy his book, like I did, not only to reminisce and celebrate his life but to support his family during this difficult time. If you want to take it a step further, then I highly suggest you watch the Dark Side of the Ring documentary, “The Life and Crimes of New Jack,” which aired during season two of this wonderful show. It’s a shocking account of this infamous wrestler’s time in and out of the ring.
Whether you loved or hated New Jack, no one deserves to die at 58. I’m very sorry to hear that he passed away, and I hope the outpouring of love for him, from friends and fans alike, offers some comfort to New Jack’s family during this challenging time. New Jack made an indelible mark on professional wrestling, and the world in general, because he lived life on his own terms. This hardcore legend will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace, and may his legacy live on.