New Jack vs Dances with Dudley

Date: October 6, 1995
Location: Jim Thorpe, PA
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Armpit reader Matthew Singh

In what was probably the biggest backstage fight in the history of ECW, New Jack got into a major brawl with Dances with Dudley that almost got him fired from the promotion.

At the house show, New Jack and partner Mustafa Saed (The Gangstas) were booked to win a match over Dudley Dudley and Dances with Dudley (one of the many incarnations of the Dudley Boys). DW Dudley was a Native American gimmick played by Adolfo Bermudez, who had worked a Native American gimmick in the past with IWCCW. New Jack had already developed a reputation by this point as someone who wasn’t a stranger to backstage incidents.

DW suffered a broken nose in the match, believed to have been from a stiff shot from New Jack. To get even, DW was stiff in return. New Jack told him at one point to lighten up and that it’s a work, but it continued. The finish went as planned and the Gangstas went over, and went back through the curtain first as the Dudleys sold the loss in the ring.

DW eventually came through the curtain, and New Jack rushed up to him from behind and cracked his head open with a night stick. DW was stunned, but much like Dynamite Kid seven years earlier, was not knocked down. Instead he managed to tackle New Jack as the most of the entire locked room tried to separate them.

Some of the wrestlers saw New Jack try to push DW through a glass window, and they were on a floor that was ten yards above ground. Such a fall could’ve been deadly. As it was, Mikey Whipwreck sliced the back of his head as he got shoved partly through a window in trying to break up the fight. DW needed twelve stitches, though Whipwreck was able to work later in the show.

By the time everything was broken up, New Jack almost got into additional fights with Taz, Konnan, and Pitbull #2. Taz had heated words with him, including New Jack calling him a kiss-ass. While Taz is legit tough in real life, his neck was in bad shape at the time from a recent injury and he wasn’t looking for anything physical in an uncontrolled environment. Mustafa Saed was telling the boys to back off because New Jack was sneaky and you never know what he might do.

New Jack also challenged several others, but eventually he calmed down and apologized to everyone. The prevailing opinion backstage was that Heyman needed to fire him, but the company had a major show the following night at the ECW Arena with the Gangstas vs Public Enemy in a match that was billed as a street fight outside the building. But since the City of Philadelphia at the last minute wouldn’t allow such a match, the match was re-booked, and Heyman felt if New Jack wasn’t there, it would be two falsely advertised elements instead of one.

After almost getting fired at the Jim Thorpe show, New Jack gave a promo the next night in Philadelphia running down those in charge at the WWF and WCW. In particular, he singled out Jim Cornette by name, and inferred that Bill Watts (not mentioning him by name, but he had power in WWF at the time) was a racist. People were stunned that in the span of 24 hours, New Jack had done everything possible to ruin his chances with every major employer in the business he worked in.

New Jack ended up remaining with ECW for years, although he continued to have problems with the promotion, both in and out of the ring.