Luke Perry, 52, died on March 4 while surrounded by loved ones, including his two children – Sophie Perry, 18, and Jack Perry, 21. The Beverly Hills, 90210 star had been hospitalized since Feb. 27 following a massive stroke, and while some had hoped he would pull through, it was not meant to be. At least his family was given a chance for one last time. When speaking for the first time since Luke’s death, his daughter – who traveled from Africa to say her good-byes – said she was “not really sure what to say or do in this situation.” Her brother has yet to speak on this heart-wrenching tragedy, but this is what you need to know about Jack Perry.
He’s a pro-wrestler. At 5’10” and 150 pounds, Jack doesn’t strike some as a man who’d be in the same line of work as John Cena, Roman Reigns and Andre The Giant. Yet, under the name of Jungle Boy, Jack steps in the ring to perform as a professional wrestler. He began this career into pro-wrestling as a senior in high school, according to Sports Illustrated, after watching the Boogeyman eat worms on WWE television. Though he spent a year in college (and has dabbled in film school) it seems his true calling is in the “squared circle.”
He’s been influenced by a “notorious” MMA fighter. There’s a bit of crossover between the world of pro-wrestling and MMA. Many have competed in both – Brock Lensar, Ronda Rousey, Dan Severn, Matt Riddle, Shayna Baszler, Ken Shamrock, just to name a few – so it’s not surprising to hear that Jack has taken influence from one of the most successful MMA fighters in recent history. “I’m a big fan of Conor McGregor, and I always noticed how he’d stand before his fights in this monkey-like posture,” he told SI.
“I always thought that was really cool. I did that in my first fight, when I went by Nate Coy because he is another of my favorite fighters, and the announcer told me that he had a nickname for me and said, ‘Jungle Boy’ Nate Coy,” Jack said. “At first, I hated it. I thought, ‘What did he just stick me with?’ Then I started to develop the character around the name, and I love it now. It’s completely my own. Eventually, I dropped the Nate Coy, and now I am Jungle Boy.”
He wasn’t a fan of 90210. “My family is a part of who I am, but I’m trying to make my own way,” Jack said. The son of Luke and Rachel Minnie Sharp said that though he grew up in California, he was never a fan of his father’s claim to fame, Beverly Hills, 90120. He also wanted to distance himself from Luke’s fame, saying he never wanted to use his dad “to be successful. I want to have my own success.”
His father supported his wrestling career. In 2017, while competing for Underground Empire Wrestling in front of a small crowd, Jungle Boy wrestled in front of a small crowd. However, there was a special VIP in the audience – his dad. Luke, according to E! News, was there to support his boy, even filming the entire match on his phone.
He signed with All Elite Wrestling. “This next year is going to be my year,” Jack told SI. “Jungle Boy is the best mix of it all. It’s a character, athleticism, and innovation—a character people are familiar with, but with a new energy.” It’s true. He’s on the verge of a breakout, as he’s signed with All Elite Wrestling. The new promotion – founded by Cody (formerly Cody Rhodes of the WWE) and The Young Bucks – has the wrestling world buzzing.
AEW’s second event – Double Or Nothing, taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas – sold out its 11,600 seats in under four minutes. It’ll likely be the largest crowd Jungle Boy has ever wrestled for. When he does get in the ring, rest assured that Luke will be smiling down upon his boy.