2018 will mark twenty years in the wrestling industry for Jimmy Jacobs. The 34-year-old Michigan native has been in many roles and made even more friends, so it was a no-brainer for Impact Wrestling to reach out to him. But what exactly is he doing?
“Everybody there has a lot of different roles, and my job is no different. The truth is, I’m on a handshake deal with Impact, and that was part of the deal coming in for me. I felt so restricted for two and a half years, and coming in now with the freedom to grow where I want to and do what I’m best suited for… it’s cool for me to be an on-air talent, to be managing Kongo Kong. I’ve known Kongo Kong for almost twenty years, longer than anybody else in the wrestling business. It’s cool to do that, and it’s cool to be of value and service creatively and be of value and service to the guys… The truth is, it’s a lot of different things, and I know where I’m needed, and that’s the way the company is working right now.”
Jimmy Jacobs went back to Kongo Kong later in the call. “He broke in the same place that I started hanging around wrestling when I was like 14 years old. The first match I ever worked as a heel, it was me and him as a tag team back in 1999. So it’s super cool right now, on a personal level, for me to be with a guy that I’ve known for so long on national television together.” Jacobs mentions that when Scott D’Amore mentioned Jacobs managing Kong, it was the one thing he would want to do more than anything else. “Truth be told, I like wrestling, but I like performing more than I like wrestling, so I would just as soon be a manager as a wrestler… I’m pretty jazzed about the pair. I’m hoping it takes Kong to the next level.”
That freedom is especially refreshing after coming out of a job working in WWE‘s creative department. Coming out of that environment required a bit of time to regain confidence. “I didn’t feel very valued. You lose your confidence when you don’t get positive reinforcement. Coming back to the independents, I had more nerves than I had ten years ago working with the Young Bucks. Are people going to remember me? Do I still know how to do this? Am I still okay at this? Should I still be doing this? It’s taken a little bit of time to get my confidence back, that’s the truth.”
Having familiar faces around will usually help people regain their confidence. The current Impact World Heavyweight Champion, Austin Aries, is definitely someone Jacobs is familiar with. “I’ve worked with Austin Aries from the independents, to Ring of Honor, to WWE, and now to Impact. He and I have had careers that have intertwined a lot over the years. I’ve always been a big Austin Aries. I thought part of the problem in WWE was that he was miscast. We had just turned Neville heel, and we brought Aries in as a babyface. Anybody who knows Aries knows, he’s kind of an unlikeable guy naturally in a lot of ways, and he’ll tell you that himself. So I was upset that in the WWE he never got the heel run he needed to get over that hump.”
A working deal based on trust, being surrounded by old friends, things are looking up for Jimmy Jacobs. “When I got fired, people just kept telling me that the independents are on fire. Sami Callihan was the guy that called me up right away when I got fired and held my hand. He reintroduced me to promoters and what’s going on. I was very gracious that he did that for me and continues to sometimes. There’s more awesome wrestling now than ever before. There’s so much great talent, there’s so many great shows… I’m making more money than I ever have before in my life, so I’m not mad at it. I’m loving it.”