When you’re talking future stars in professional wrestling, one of the names that have to be mentioned is none other than Jungle Boy. Making a name for himself in the past couple of years, Jurassic Express’s youngest member has already had his fair share of memorable moments both inside of the squared circle and outside of it. Still, if what fans think about him holds true, he is yet to scratch the surface on an incredible career.
If you need help catching up to speed with the man, look no further. He’s a run-down of everything you need to know about Jungle Boy.
Jungle Boy, real name Jack Perry, was born in June of 1997 in Los Angeles, California. He is the son of the late actor Luke Perry, who is famous for roles on Beverly Hills, 90210, and Riverdale, also making guest appearances on The Simpsons, Will & Grace, and more.
He was wrestling before he was even wrestling. That is to say, when he was very young, like many children his age, he would Batista Bomb and Tombstone Piledrive his younger sister on a trampoline. Rather than continue to put their little girl through the wringer as a kid, her parents told Jungle Boy that if he was indeed serious about his love for wrestling, he could try it out with others who also wanted to do it so he could learn to do it properly and safely.
From then on, after school, his parents drove him to wrestling practice and, after that, to shows. He doesn’t remember what promotion his first match was under, but on it, he was scared to death about it. “I remember thinking, right before it was time to go out, ‘why would anybody do this?’” he hilariously told Chris Van Vliet. Although you could have argued it was the beginner’s nerves in his early twenties, Jungle Boy expressed that he still gets the same nerves when waiting behind the curtain these days too. There was a period where he fell out of love with wrestling, a phase he says many probably go through, but one day, Monday Night RAW accidentally came on his television when he sat on the remote. Despite being with a girl, he ended up watching it all the way through. Immediately, he was back into it. When asked about whether he could fall back out of love with it now, he replies that he is a lot more invested now.
Jungle Boy has a lot of high impact signature moves like a swinging DDT and a double underhook powerbomb, but his finishing moves are the Canadian Destroyer and the Mushroom Lock. Of course, neither Jack Perry nor his kayfabe character is Canadian. The name comes from Petey Williams, who is most associated with the move.
Despite the weird name, the Mushroom Lock is a unique hold that twists the opponent and looks incredibly painful to be in.
When he was 18 in 2015, Jungle Boy hit the indie circuit under the name Nate Coy, which he stole from former UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce competitor Nathan Coy, who Jack saw on The Ultimate Fighter. He couldn’t think of a name, and one day the show was on, so that’s what he went with. When he wrestled, he wore red trunks and black boots, and there was no indication of the Jungle Boy that we know today. But on one side of the ring, he crouched down the same way Conor McGregor would in the octagon before his fights because he was a big fan. At one of those matches, the announcer told him he had a nickname for him and surprised him with “Jungle Boy Nate Coy.” Although he wasn’t a fan and was actually annoyed by it, crowds ended up running with the first half, and that’s how it came about. Since then, he’s grown to love it. Over the next few years, he won various things, the main one being the All-Pro Wrestling Junior Heavyweight Championship. In February of 2019, he and Luchasaurus formed a tag team, aptly named A Boy and His Dinosaur. He and Luchasaurus met when they were both students of bodybuilder wrestler Ric Drasin.
That May was when Jungle Boy made his debut in AEW at Double or Nothing. For a few months, he was on the losing end of many of his main matches; the Casino Battle Royale, his four-way match at Fyter Fest, his three-way tag match at Fight For The Fallen.
Eventually, A Boy and His Dinosaur became Jurassic Express when Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus allied themselves with Marko Stunt, another young star only slightly older than Jungle Boy himself. They’re a fan favorite at the moment when it comes to stables in pro-wrestling. Jungle Boy’s biggest match is one with his rival, another young star, MJF (Maxwell Jacob Friedman). But probably his biggest moment came when the legend Chris Jericho challenged him to last ten minutes in the ring with him. Chris was the champion then, so it was considered to be quite the feat. But Jungle Boy took it head-on and managed to last, which meant that the pair wrestled to a draw. Jericho admitted that had the pandemic not happened, that rivalry with Jungle Boy would have been revisited, and the pair would have wrestled a few more times since. That just speaks to Jungle Boy’s future.
For now, though he’s competed for the TNT Championship against Cody Rhodes, Jungle Boy most appears alongside the other members of Jurassic Express, and that’s where fans love him right now.
Of course, he’s still young, so it’s generally accepted amongst the wrestling community that he could grow to have an impressive singles career. For now, Perry is happy to go with the flow of things and trusts the company with things.