How Emo Wrestler Jimmy Jacobs' Music Video Personifies 2006
Jimmy Jacobs in 2006
This week, the Video On-Demand release of nationally syndicated wrestling promotion Ring of Honor's recent internet-Pay-Per-View event Supercard of Honor IX has given us all a reason to look back fondly at the mid-aughts with the heartwarming send-off of longtime favorite Jimmy Jacobs. While his character had evolved over the decade-plus he spent in the company, one of his most memorable moments came in the form of the music video debuting his "emo warrior" persona, "The Ballad of Lacey."
As Jacobs said in his 2012 (out-of-character) interview DVD From Love to Hate: The Jimmy Jacobs Story, the idea for his emo character initially came from the company's then booker Gabe Sapolsky at a time in January of 2006 when Jacobs was looking to transition his character. Sapolsky wrote in an email "Hey, I don't know what emo is, but people say you're emo, and I just know that I want to slap emo kids." Asking him to create an "emo character," Jacobs was unfamiliar with the term as well, but quickly studied up on emo culture to immerse himself in that world.
Desperate to create something to make his new character stick out amongst a crowded locker room, one night Jacobs went over to a buddy's house who he was in a band in high school with and wrote "The Ballad of Lacey," a more-emo-than-emo tune pining for Jacobs' then on-screen less-than-reciprocating manager Lacey. Jacobs then went to a recent acquaintance who he knew worked in videos named Michael Z, and they created the most 2006 we've ever seen.
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The video was a hit, allowing Jacobs' character to take off. The emo character tapped into the angsty mid-aughts wrestling audiences, so much so that fans in attendance would begin pulling their cell phones out during Jacobs' entrance to the ring and waving them back-and-forth in tune with the music. The character's popularity went on to spawn two more videos as the storyline progressed, including "The Victory of Love" when the character still felt their was hope for a personal relationship with Lacey as their professional relationship excelled, and then "kiss2kill" when, just as harsher music was becoming more popular in emo circles, Jacobs accidentally struck Lacey with a railroad spike as their relationship took a darker turn.
Jacobs' emo character wound up generating interest even outside of Ring of Honor. When MTV put together their short-lived wrestling promotion Wrestling Society X, Jacobs and partner Tyler Black (better known today as current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins) became emo-themed tag team D.I.F.H. (Do It For Her).
Being an emo wrestling with a music video also comes with some real life perks. As Jacobs told wrestler/comedian Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling podcast, Jacobs was able to use the video while wrestling in Cleveland to get free access into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Last month at Supercard of Honor IX, nine years to the day after uploading the "Ballad of Lacey" video, Jacobs had his final Ring of Honor match with longtime rival BJ Whitmer. Upon the match's conclusion, during a post-match beatdown, running to Jacobs' aide was Lacey, making her first appearance in the company in six years. With "The Ballad of Lacey" playing, Jacobs carried Lacey through the crowd and into the sunset. While Jacobs is now applying his talents outside the ring in a creative position for WWE, his music is still available online and lives on as a perfect trigger for emo nostalgia.
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