Paul Heyman has paid tribute to the late New Jack (Jerome Young) on the latest episode of Talking Smack.
With various stars of past and present taking to social media over the last day or so to pay their respects and shares stories about the ECW Original in the wake of his sudden death via heart attack at the age of 58, Heyman opted to close out this week's post-SmackDown talk show with a few words about the hardcore icon:
“I was asked before this show went on the air if I would like to say a few words about the passing of ECW Original New Jack and I avoid eulogies as best I can because any time I’m faced with them, the first thing that comes to mind is, ‘Hey, this sucks and there is no good spin I can put on it. When I heard that New Jack had passed away, my hope was that New Jack had turned to his wife and said, ‘Hey, I’d like to read my own obituary. Call a bunch of people and tell them that I died and then everybody’s gonna make a big fuss about it and I’ll read about my own life,’ and then at some point this weekend, they’d sell a bunch of t-shirts and he’d sit there and go, ‘Gotcha’ because that’s what New Jack would do and apparently it’s not so, which sucks and usually when we would pay tribute to somebody here in WWE we’d show a lot of footage of that person and to be blunt, we can’t show you a lot of footage of New Jack because he was the most non-PG performer in sports entertainment history because New Jack was a ‘gangsta’ and everybody who was a fan of ECW, that came to see ECW who watched ECW knew that fact from the moment his music hit and no, we never had rights to use his music. Why? Because he was the most ‘gangsta’ of all us ‘gangstas.”
Heyman would then go on to explain just how real New Jack really was, telling folks at home:
“It’s over 20 years ago and anybody that ever saw New Jack perform live or heard him cut a promo understood just how real he was. Jerome Young was quite an individual, but deep in his heart he was every bit of New Jack that he could offer you. I wish you all a most ‘extreme’ weekend, ‘gangsta’ style.”
WWE and AEW both released their own tributes to New Jack upon hearing of the former ECW World Tag Team Champion's death on Friday night. The likes of Lance Storm, Mick Foley, Mickie James, Bully Ray, and many more also posted their thoughts and feelings on the unexpected news on Twitter.
New Jack famously worked under the Smokey Mountain Wrestling promotion before breaking out as part of Heyman's ECW in the mid-'90s. Here, the unapologetic and often controversial performer would put on many a hardcore showcase for the raucous crowd, with guitars and staple guns never too far away.