AEW star “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry looks back on the origins of “Jungle Boy” and what the name means to him.
Speaking with Garrett Martin of Paste Magazine, Perry was asked to describe why he ran with the nickname when he first heard it and to reflect on what it means to him. He explained that he thought it was ridiculous at first, but the name got over, and it helped him craft his character. Perry also noted that “Jungle Boy” didn’t need to speak, and he could just focus on wrestling. and that’s what he wanted to do.
“Yeah, well, 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. 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. 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. That’s really what I wanted to do.
“Because I felt like, with my personal life and stuff, there was a lot of things that I feel like could have been distracting or I didn’t want people thinking about necessarily, and I just wanted people to watch me wrestle and I wanted to either fail or succeed based on my wrestling, how good or how bad it was. So 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. It’s pretty much what it was. And then it was crazy to get signed to a major company as Jungle Boy. 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. I think people liked it.”
Perry then discussed his transition away from solely being known as “Jungle Boy” He recalled how his bitter feud with Cage was a factor, as it seemed silly to have the veteran say horrible things to him while calling him Jungle Boy. Perry also stated that while he’s transitioning, the nickname is still there.
“Yeah, I mean, really, what that came from was during the feud with Christian when he kind of started saying all these really personal and real things,” Perry said. “It just was sounding silly to me to have him say this horrible thing right here, and then also be calling me Jungle Boy the whole time.
“So I kind of thought we’ve sort of blown this thing out of the water a little bit like, obviously, I’m not a real Jungle Boy anymore. So I think it’s kind of just time to start transitioning a little bit. But I like it. There is a nickname still, I think it’s cool.”
Jack Perry will challenge for the AEW World Championship at AEW Double or Nothing. WrestleZone will have coverage of the show as it airs.
Catch up on our coverage of the May 24 episode of AEW Dynamite here.