What is a zombie princess? If you ask Jimmy Jacobs he can come up with many definitions. The best one would be the relentless desire to achieve your goal and to let nothing stop you. To define Jacobs is to use a quote by Rocky Balboa: “You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Jimmy Jacobs has been a Rocky-type wrestler from the start. At 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, his size does not strike fear into the heart of his opponent. Perhaps it is his intensity and love for the sport of wrestling that has set him apart from his peers. Maybe it is his straight-ahead mantra that has made him a mainstay of Ring of Honor for the past decade. What we do know is that Jimmy Jacobs is his own man.
Born on February 17, 1984, Jacobs [Chris Scoville] took an interest in professional wrestling as a child. Jacobs and his older brother would watch their favourite wrestlers perform on the television. He was star struck by the likes of Hulk Hogan, Sabu and Mick Foley.
When his brother was older he entered wrestling school. Jimmy wanted to attend as well. The trainer, Joe Ortega, wouldn’t let him begin his wrestling studies until he turned 15. Not to be denied his dream, Jacobs began to volunteer for the local promotion as an office gopher. When he was of age Ortega, a protégé of Jose Lothario, taught him a lucha libre-based style.
Very soon Jacobs began to hit the road seeking out wrestling matches. He found further training to refine his skills from Frank the Face and then Truth Martini. It was during his hunt for further experience that an interesting opportunity came to the 18-year-old grappler. Ian Rotten’s IWA Mid-South promotion invited Jacobs to work on their shows. “It was in 2002 and CM Punk, Chris Hero and Colt Cabana were making a name (on Ian’s shows),” recalled Jacobs. “Alex Shelley and I drove down every week and Ian honed me, believed in me as a future star.”
Post-secondary education was a very important expectation in Jacobs’ home. His father, a federal judge insisted he have a plan if wrestling didn’t work out. “I went to college for three years,” said Jacobs. At the time he didn’t enjoy the knowledge that he was receiving. “When I went back in my later 20s I appreciated learning more … I got my B.A. with a major in communications and a minor in math.” It was then that he discovered a family-themed desire. “I stumbled upon an interest in law and civil rights without my father’s influence. I spent my life playing by my own rules and ended up at the same spot (as his father).”
A Grand Rapids, Michigan native, Jacobs honed his skills on shows throughout the mid-Western United States and soon received a helping hand to take the next step in his career. “CM Punk liked me and Alex and he put us over to Ring of Honor (management),” remembered Jacobs. The fact that Punk enjoyed the young wrestler’s style and booker Gabe Sapolsky received a tape of his work opened the door for him.
With Kevin Steen and Steve Corino, Jacobs began to come to prominence in ROH. He felt that the success of the group came from the fact that the three of their looks didn’t fit in to a traditional national syndicated company. The gritty characters of Jacobs and Corino were able to wrest the tag team titles from Shelton Benjamin and Rhett Titus. When asked to describe the group he said they were, “three guys who proved they could come through.”
Discussing his character, Jimmy Jacobs is honest about his positive and negative aspects. “I am not as talented athletically as other guys in ROH,” Jacobs told SLAM! Wrestling at a recent Buffalo Championship Wrestling show. “My guy (his character) has depth that has evolved logically.” From the time he first appeared on a ROH show at 19 years old to his current age of 30 the fans have watched his character go through heartbreak and triumph. It seems that Jacobs found a niche in being in the middle of intricate storylines.
The current ROH storyline has Jacobs a part of the group known as “The Decade.” The faction is made up of Jacobs, BJ Whitmer and Roderick Strong, three guys that have been loyal to ROH and have been passed over. The trio burned with anger as they saw people leave the promotion or come back and have them celebrated while they stayed true to the organization.
The best bad guys are often the ones, who believe their motives are true, feel strongly about them and believe they are justified. Jacobs feels that people understand the anger felt by his character. “I perform it in a method acting as a veteran who is mad at the kids who have not paid dues,” said Jacobs. “How would I act? What about him? It is completely believable to have these gripes.”
Jacobs uses those feelings during the match to portray a gritty fighter who has star quality. Former TNA star Cody Deaner faced Jacobs at a recent Buffalo Championship Wrestling card and was impressed by his opponent. “Jimmy is a great talent. Working one-on-one with him was a pleasure,” said Deaner. “He “gets it. Working with him was easy because he thinks the same way I do about wrestling. We just want the match to be good. And we want the fans to be sent home happy. He’s not the biggest guy in the world … but that shows how good he is. If you’re a smaller guy, but have a job on TV, despite what people may think in terms of that being a handicap … if you’re on TV, and travelling all over the world, you’re doing something right. Obviously Jimmy Jacobs is doing something right.”
Over the years Jacobs has had the opportunity to learn from some of the most talented wrestlers in the business. “I have been fortunate to work with great talent like Tyler Black [Seth Rollins], with Mick Foley,” recalled Jacobs with delight. “I faced Eddie Guerrero on Smackdown on national TV. He was so kind and humble. He was dealing with me and treated me like an equal. (I faced) The Road Warriors and also Chris Candido.”
Rollins is especially appreciative of the help Jacobs has given him throughout his career.
“Jimmy is like a chameleon, man. He’s the king of reinventing himself,” said Rollins, a top player in WWE in The Shield. “For anyone not familiar, Jimmy was a guy that mentored me through the early stages of my career. From Wrestling Society X into Ring of Honor, he was the guy that helped me get my job in both of those companies. He was a guy who really took me under his wing, and someone I learned a lot from.”
People appreciate hard work, said Rollins. “Jimmy’s a guy who goes out there every single night, if there’s 10 people in the crowd or a thousand, whatever show he’s on, he’s always busting his behind to give people the best show. He’s always been a guy that’s been undersized in our business, and someone who’s just had to work a little extra to get where he’s at. Like I said, I think hard work pays off, man. I think people just resonate with that, whether they know it or not, they can feel it. I have to mention that he’s one hell of a promo, so that helps too.”
Wrestling to Jacobs is a blessing and a curse. While he gets to travel across North America, Europe, Mexico and Japan the sport still draws him away from home. “I have been so busy recently,” related Jacobs. “I have only been home for about five to seven days this past month.”
Jimmy Jacobs is an intelligent and intriguing person who can spell a tale in an almost poetic fashion. After a few minutes with the man you realize that he is passionate about the art of professional wrestling. Jacobs lives up to his nickname “Zombie Princess” because he never backs down and continues forward in his quest for the perfect storm of gritty wrestling and dramatic story lines.