In the 1990s, “Sexy Baby” Jamie Jackson was one of the mainstays of the Ontario independent wrestling scene. With his passing on May 3, at the age of 44, many colleagues have been reflecting on his influence.
Originally from Winnipeg, Jackson — real name Jamieson “Jamie” Asher — met RWA promoter Steve Buckley in the summer of 1993. “I was always interested in wrestling,” Jackson told SLAM! Wrestling’s John Milner in 1998, “and it just went from there.”
In Buckley’s wrestling ring, Jackson found that he “excelled at [wrestling]… It was more than a hobby, and became something a little more serious.” He had favourites like Shawn Michaels and the WCW cruiserweights of the time: Rey Mysterio, Jr., Chris Jericho, Juventud Guerrera.
Buckley told SLAM! Wrestling that Jackson and Dave Rector (L’artise) were the first two to join his start-up wrestling promotion. “Jamie was definitely likable and looked up to by all the talent that developed in those early days of the RWA,” said Buckley. “My promotion set the stage, what followed after I closed up was really what defined these guys in terms of their legacies. The bonds they formed with each other were build upon and strengthened while working for different local promotions, taking the road trips to out-of-province promotions, and connecting with wide range of talent.”
Asher started his career as “Wildcat” Jamie Jackson, as a fan favourite, and was the champion in the RWA three times between August 1995 and May 1997.
Growing “sick of the fans,” Jackson turned heel and became a “Sexy Baby” and a part of The Hollywood Hunks stable, which initially included Stunning Sean, the Custom Made Man and their valet, Raquel.
Later, “Custom Made Man” Markus Ryan (Mark Miller) and Jackson were the Hollywood Hunks with manager Otto Bahn (Peter Corneil), who died in 2019, battling other permanent teams such as Ebony X-Press and the All Knighters from Niagara Falls to the Ottawa Valley.
On Facebook, Miller shared some photos and memories of Jackson. “Jamie never had a mean bone in his body. Never stressed over anything really. He truly was a someone you just couldn’t hate. He would always make you feel welcomed,” he wrote. “I know he had medical issues that on the weekends we were together I would have to remind him to take his medications. I would even call his parents just to let them know that I was on him about his meds which they would thank me for. And why wouldn’t they. The both raised a Well Respected Gentleman. If Jamie had one fault it would be that he never took his health seriously. I believed it caught up to him. I just hope he wasn’t hurting on the inside. I along with others in Jamie’s life will never forget this Man.”
There were plenty of others from the Ontario circuit who recalled Jackson.
Former WWE and TNA star Eric Young said that he met Jackson “several times. We got along, but I don’t remember much. He was a cool guy. He liked to bump and sell and put the match first. Good dude.”
NXT referee Darryl Sharma was Hornet on the Ontario indy scene. On Facebook, he wrote that “Jamie was one of the group of guys that broke me into the business. Because I was very young and impressionable at the time, he was influential to me personally and professionally. Although we weren’t close as I am to the rest of the group, and we didn’t keep in touch after he quietly left the business, I always looked up to him and never forgot what he did for me.”
Veteran “Bloody” Bill Skullion wrote that Jackson was “easily one of the smoothest workers I’ve ever shared the ring with. Didn’t matter if he was booked as a heel or babyface, he shined at both.”
In the 1998 interview with Milner, Jackson said he hoped to go big. “I want to take this as far as I can. This right now, it’s not a hobby, it’s a job. My goal is to be making this my profession.”
Jackson’s name is not really known beyond Ontario, though he did a tour of the Maritimes with Real Action Wrestling, and can be seen in the Toronto-filmed NBC movie The Jesse Ventura Story from 1999 and Bif Naked’s music video “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” tied into the Ready to Rumble movie.
Asher lived in Hamilton and worked in retail. He wasn’t active in the wrestling world, and did not attend the 20th anniversary reunion for the RWA, but he was at the funeral for Peter Corneil.
He was found dead on May 3, 2020. Further details of his death are not known. He is survived by his parents Lynda and Terry Asher, sister Laura Noble and her husband Steve and nephew Matthew and niece Carly.
— with files from Bob Kapur