Back at Double or Nothing, All Elite Wrestling welcomed back its fans and started once again to perform in front of a live audience. At this point, Jungle Boy had become one of the most over wrestlers in the world. That night, standing alone in the ring after winning the Casino Battle Royal for the opportunity to face Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship; the crowd were right behind him. Singing his theme tune, waving their hands in the air, it looked like we were watching the next big star in wrestling.

But 6 months later, as we head to Full Gear, Jungle Boy doesn’t have the same shine, his reactions, whilst still positive, are on a totally different level of popularity than they were back at Double or Nothing. Jungle Boy’s career within AEW had been a slow build, struggling to pick up a victory at first before becoming the first wrestler within AEW to pick up 50 career wins.

Tag team matches against The Young Bucks, and putting in memorable performances in the Dynamite Dozen battle royal helped Jungle Boy stand out and gain a following. His theme music has also played a vital part in his popularity with ‘Tarzan Boy’ by Baltimora as his entrance music. Crowds are able to sing along with the tune, creating a party atmosphere at All Elite Wrestling events. All these factors over time built a strong fan base through the pandemic era of wrestling and when fans returned full time to the arenas, Jungle Boy was amongst the most popular.

But his win in the Casino Battle Royal proved to be the peak for Jack Perry. After eliminating Christian Cage, Cage showed respect to Jungle Boy and along with Luchasarus, a friendship was made. On an episode of Dynamite, Kenny Omega defeated Jungle Boy in a very good match but since that moment, All Elite Wrestling has failed to continue building on the organic reactions Jungle Boy received. 

After his loss, he has sided with Christian Cage against The Elite but too many times Jungle Boy would be on the receiving end of a beat down. As the show headed to All Out, it was Christian Cage who would be in the main event against Kenny Omega. Jungle Boy would have to act a bit as a part player in the build-up, continuously coming to the aid of Cage.

The Jungle Express lost in the tag team eliminator tournament to determine who should receive a championship opportunity at All Out. Instead of continuing the already ongoing feud with The Elite, Cage and Express. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus were quickly moved to the side and instead, Lucha Brothers were shoehorned in for their steel cage match. At All Out, Jungle Boy was left to compete in the 8 Man Tag on the Buy-In show prior to the pay per view. 

Jungle Boy continues to get beat up by The Elite as we head to Full Gear. In a chance to gain a measure of revenge, he loses clean to someone else whose star is shining, rising with his popularity soaring his name, of course, Adam Cole. But when he is able to show some fire, attacking The Elite and humiliating Brandon Cutler, he is attacked once again by The Young Bucks and Adam Cole, made to look inferior, this time being thrown off the stage.

Jungle Boy has repeatedly been shown not to be in the same league as many of The Elite and other top stars within the company. His win at Double or Nothing and eventual loss to Kenny Omega should have been the starting point of his character developing and growing, making the audience root for the underdog once more. Unfortunately, his importance as waned as AEW have brought in other stars for the top of the card and halted any push to the top that Jungle Boy was receiving. At Full Gear, he has the opportunity to show that he is just as important as the so-called pillars who have a match that evening. Looking strong and gaining a meaningful victory will do wonders to rejuvenate his character. 

But sadly, at present, his chances of being within the main event scene have sadly diminished and that is a major failure of AEW for not capitalising on the chance to create a genuine main event superstar that fans were clambering for earlier this year. 

All videos and images courtesy of Scott Lesh and AEW

Leave a Reply