ECW legend New Jack has died aged 58 following a heart attack.
The wrestler – real name Jerome Young – died in North Carolina on Friday afternoon, his wife Jennifer has confirmed to PWInsider.com.
He was a multiple time Extreme Championship Wrestling tag team champion, having held the titles twice with Mustafa Saed and once with John Kronus.
Now, the wrestling world is in mourning with many WWE, AEW, IMPACT and former Extreme Championship Wrestling stars paying tribute.
WWE commented: ‘With a trash can filled with makeshift weapons and his signature staple gun in tow, New Jack became one of ECW’s most popular antiheroes and a sports-entertainment firebrand who courted controversy and chaos with equal measure.
‘New Jack left a cultural imprint with the use of Natural Born Killaz by Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as his theme music that would play throughout matches. He was also mentioned in the Weezer single El Scorcho and appeared on the television shows Early Edition and Daily Show.
‘WWE extends its condolences to Young’s family and friends.’
And AEW added: ‘AEW and the wrestling world mourn the passing of ECW Legend “New Jack” Jerome Young. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans.’
While IMPACT said in their own statement: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jerome “New Jack” Young. We offer our sincerest condolences to his friends and family.’
ECW alumni Tommy Dreamer tweeted: ‘There will never be anyone like OG Gangsta @theOnlyNewJack…
‘Fought w/him… Against him… Always straight up w/me… Prayers for his family… RIP #ECW’
Taz added: ‘Fearless and passionate performer. My condolences & prayers to the family of New Jack. #RIPNewJack’
Steve Corino wrote: ‘New Jack was always good to me. He told me that since Jack Victory liked me, he’d put up with me.
‘We used to do these crazy 8-mans in ECW. Jack would always be last and I’d get goosebumps when that music hit. Then pray I wasn’t getting the crutch that night! Thank you Jack.’
And Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman simply said: ‘I couldn’t help but love New Jack. #RIPNewJack’
New Jack’s life and career was the subject of a Dark Side of the Ring documentary on Vice.
Although there were controversies – including the infamous Mass Transit incident – his passion for the business cannot be denied.
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Author: Alistair McGeorge