Jerome Young aka New Jack, the former ECW fixture turned stand-up comedian, recently retired from the mat wars and as such, Stereogum’s Tom Breihan attempts to coax some commentary out of the more verbose half of the Gangstas via Grantland. While his onetime booker Paul Heyman attempts to put New Jack’s brand of ultra-violence, most infamously documented in the 1996 bludgeoning of wrestling neophyte Eric Kulas aka “Mass Transit”, in some sort of cultural context (““I would suggest that Jerome Young has spent his life rebelling against the injustices that permeated his existence throughout his childhood…e witnessed oppression and prejudice and was subjected to these ills of society, to where his rebellion against these characters and these social circumstances got played out with this militant, angry, violent victimizer known as New Jack”), the man himself is blunt and cuts very quickly to the chase :

New Jack went on to work for a number of independent promotions, many of which were attempting to re-create the wild atmosphere of ECW. In a match for the biggest of those companies, the L.A.-based Xtreme Pro Wrestling, New Jack once again faced Vic Grimes, the wrestler who’d landed on his head and blinded him in one eye, in another scaffold match. This time, New Jack threw Grimes from the scaffold and forced him to miss the tables that had been set up in the ring. Grimes landed hard on the ring ropes and injured himself. “That was payback,” says New Jack. “Was it his fault that I got hurt? Yeah. [In the original scaffold match,] he didn’t want to go with me when I said go. So I thought this is get-back.”

Once again, New Jack faced few consequences for Grimes’s injury. “He wouldn’t get in the ring with me again. I tried to kill his ass, so I guess he wouldn’t.”

“If I’d wanted to kill him,” he says, pondering what he was trying to do that night. “I could’ve.”

“I don’t regret shit that I did. Everything I did in the ring, I did it, and I can’t take it back.”