During a recent interview with Paste, AEW wrestler Jack Perry spoke about his career and the initial reaction to his “Jungle Boy” moniker while working on the independent scene.
Jack Perry will compete in a Four Pillars Match for the AEW World Championship against MJF, Darby Allin, and Sammy Guevara this Sunday at AEW Double Or Nothing 2023.
You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On his initial reaction to his nickname he got from fans earlier in his career: “When I first heard it, I thought it was ridiculous. I was like ‘This is so stupid. I can’t believe that.’ Like I thought it was just a terrible joke. But what I realized was during these matches that I was having, people were chanting. And that was the part that they kind of connected to which I ended up sort of then crafting my character in some of my wrestling style and whatnot around the name,” he continued. “And what I ended up really liking about it was, to me, the Jungle Boy character was a character who didn’t speak, he didn’t say anything, he just wrestled. And that’s really what I wanted to do.”
On how the nickname helped him stand out: “Jungle Boy kind of let me just stand out there in a pair of underwear and wrestle and either liked it or you didn’t. And yeah, it’s pretty much what it was. And then it was crazy to get signed to a major company as Jungle Boy. And then I was with a guy called Luchasaurus … it’s like, it’s a whole kind of bizarre little thing. But I think it worked. And I think people liked it.”
On when people started realizing Luke Perry was his father: “That happened pretty quickly. And I got a lot of advice that I did not want to take, which was, essentially, a lot of people wanted me to be like a sort of Dylan McKay type character, which I really didn’t want to do ever. And that whole aspect of life was not something that I really wanted involved [in my wrestling career], like, I was really trying to do my own thing. And at the point that I started, I was driving down to, like, not-good parts of town and a warehouse with 20 people in it, and like you don’t get paid. So I was really trying to go out of my way to like, not focus on that sort of aspect of my [personal] life and try and get far away from that. You know, I’ve come to find it’s kind of inevitable, you can’t really escape it. But I feel like for the most part, I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping that separate, and just sort of doing my own thing.”
On what being a “pillar” means to him: “At first, it really didn’t mean a lot to me, I think the whole thing was kind of propaganda by MJF, realistically. It was a way to position himself as the best of the four pillars. And I think that’s why he came up with the phrase. But I do think he was onto something. And then I think, when you look at the four of us, we’re all super different in a lot of ways. But we’re all young, hungry guys, who really try and push what we’re doing every time we’re out there. And I think, you know, in the beginning it wasn’t even a thing, but I never thought “I want to be a ‘pillar’ of this company.” I just wanted to go out there and have the very best matches that I could have, every single time. And I think those three guys are very similar in that respect. And we do it in different ways. But I think that’s a very kind of common goal that we’ve all had from the beginning. And I guess it’s yeah, it’s nice to see people recognize that, you know, just the group of us and what we’re kind of trying to do and help push the company forward and grow with it and whatnot.”
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