Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

Jungle Boy Talks His Father’s Legacy & Why AEW Will Change Wrestling

Chris Van Vliet recently did a one-on-one interview with Jungle Boy and one of All Elite Wrestling‘s most notable signings talked a lot about Fyter Fest, how he thinks AEW will change the landscape of professional wrestling and he talks about wishing his late father, Luke Perry, was at Double or Nothing. Quotes from the interview are below:

He wishes his dad could have been at Double or Nothing:

“I used to try not not speak about him at all. There was a time when I thought I could keep it a secret kind of but obviously the cat’s out of the bag. Everyone know what’s going on and it’s not. There are obviously personal things with him that I don’t talk about but I just want people to know about him. He’s just a really cool, down-to-earth guy. It’s weird because all of the pictures that I’ve seen of him online are him when he’s young with that stupid hair and all the clothes and all that and I guess that’s how people think of him. My dad’s main thing was being a dad, that’s what he really was into. It’s kind of bittersweet because at Double or Nothing especially I really wished he could be there. I think he knew before that things were going in a good direction. I mean it’s a bummer too, I try to be positive about it but it’s pretty lame.”

Living in the shadow of his famous father:

“The way it’s all worked out now is kind of weird, because I was never ashamed to talk about my dad but it wasn’t something that I ever wanted to bring up. I wanted to stay away from it because I’ve always been trying to do my own thing. I never wanted to be given things that I shouldn’t be getting because of that. Jungle Boy is pretty much the furthest away from Luke Perry that I can think of. I’ve had a lot of people over the years tell me ‘you need to use your real name’ and to be yourself and all that. It’s just not what I ever wanted to do.”

He didn’t know he was booked on Fyter Fest until his 4-way match with was announced:

“I just got an email and they’re like ‘we’re buying you a plane ticket’ and I was like ‘plane ticket for what?’. I’m super happy to be there, I wanted to be on it. It’s kind of wild. It will be cool to see too because Double or Nothing was such a spectacle and it was this huge thing and not that this isn’t a spectacle but now that we got the first one out of the way, I feel like everyone is a little more comfortable.”

Why he thinks AEW is going to change the world of wrestling:

“I really think that, I mean it’s the slogan, but I think it’s going to change the world of wrestling. I think if you look at Double or Nothing I thought that was honestly one of the best wrestling shows I’ve ever seen and it gave me goosebumps being there. Cody’s entrance gave me full on goosebumps and it just made me feel things that I don’t feel when I watch wrestling. I think it’s the right time for this, I just think everything is kind of aligning. This is the time to do it and these are the right guys to do it.”

His big spot in the Battle Royale at Double or Nothing had to be improvised:

“We kind of agreed that I was going to run first. We go out and Billy Gunn just started running and I was ‘dude, what?’ so I was actually racing him and I started running but it’s hard to run down the ramp and I really didn’t want to fall because that would have been the worst thing ever. Like the Titus thing. I was like that’s not going to be me. So I was trying to race Billy and he’s fast for an older guy, like damn. So I was running trying to catch him and he slid in. I was supposed to do something with Brandon Cutler and the second Billy slid in he just started kicking Brandon Cutler. I was like ‘no way, this is not going to happen to me right now! In front of everybody like the biggest thing I’ve ever done’. So I grabbed Joey Janela and I was like ‘dude, help me’ and it was all right there. I whipped him off and it all just happened right there and I’ve wrestled him before so he kind of knows my stuff but I didn’t know he was going to do that to his head. It felt weird to me because normally somebody just takes a roll. We did it and I felt something kind of weird and it got a really, really loud reaction for a headscissors. He’s really awesome, he’s a really generous guy.”

Why he hasn’t watched WWE in a long time:

“I haven’t watched WWE in a long time because I just got tired of when there’s a 30 minute promo at the beginning of every show. It’s not what I want to see. It’s funny because the only people I had any interest in watching were Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Cody. So I got a New Japan subscription and I was really in when ALL IN happened. I was super excited about that because I’m like this is what I want to see. I haven’t been excited about this since I was little.

(Transcription credit should go to Chris Van Vliet)

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