Revenant: The Many Lives of the Zombie Princess
“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.
Halloween was upon us. A reminder for those in the western world that rationality, science, and logic are not sufficient barriers against the veil of superstition. The same minds which produce discreet logic, develop advanced technologies and make incredible discoveries about our material world are the same minds which see faces in shadow, detect voices in white noise, and assigns meaning to certain omens. Humans have created concepts to explain or rationalize the fear associated with our mortality in confronting this dichotomy. One of these concepts, the Zombie, has a far-reaching and diverse anthropological makeup. In genre fiction, the zombie is the all-encompassing metaphor. Whether they be mindless consumers, ideological cannibals, or a metaphor for the other. The one who appears to be human but can never be truly accepted.
Zombies fall in and out of favor, but the zombie that has persisted and has taught us more about ourselves (than we would like to admit) is the subject of today’s article; the Zombie Princess Jimmy Jacobs.
Jimmy Jacobs describes himself on Twitter as a
“Limitless being temporarily experiencing limitation as a human…”.
For the human being born Christopher Scoville, the clock started ticking on February 17th, 1984. The place is birth, Grand Rapids, Michigan, was an uneasy place for any mortal to begin their journey. In the 1980s, Michigan led the nation’s unemployment rate as the automotive industry began to collapse. As a mere teenager, Jabobs began working as an assistant for Pro Wrestling Worldwide, where he would set up rings, collect tickets, and pay dues until he began training under Joe “El Tejano” Ortega, who himself had trained under Jose Lothario. Jacobs would make his debut on May 1st, 1999.
Jimmy Jacobs would wrestle the midwest for the next few years, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, eventually making it to Philadelphia for CHIKARA in 2003. Along the way, picking up titles in XICW, IWR, and GLW. The end of 2003 came with an amazing opportunity. Alex Shelley, another Michigan standout, had captured the Westside Extreme Wrestling (wXw) Heavyweight Championship from Chris Hero in November. Following the capture of the title, Shelley was challenged by rival Jacobs to a Best of Seven series.
Captures The wXw Heavyweight Championship
Taking place over the course of three IWA-Mid South shows, Jacobs would win the title during the series and eventually capture the title at the end. Following this win, Jacobs was summoned to his first tour of Europe, where he would lose the wXw title after holding it for only 9 days across two separate reigns to Double C in Germany. After finishing the best of seven series with Alex Shelley in June 2004, Jacobs would begin making more regular appearances for Ring of Honor, including singles matches against Nigel McGuinness and Alex Shelley. Jacobs would not completely leave the midwest scene, having singles matches with more high profile opponents like CM Punk, Raven, and Chris Candido.
Jimmy Jacobs’ notoriety spiked in 2005. Following a series of highs including wins over Ryan Boz for the NWA Iowa Heavyweight title, Claudio Castagnoli, Larry Sweeney, Jacobs would defeat Danny Daniels for the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Title. Jacobs would begin his reign by defending the Heavyweight title against CM Punk, Chris Hero, James Gibson, Ian Rotten, Arik Cannon, Matt Sydal, Jerry Lynn, Delirious, and Colt Cabana.
Following a successful defense against CJ Otis, Ian Rotten, owner and promoter of IWA-MS, canceled four upcoming shows. After months of Jimmy Jacobs not being paid, Jacobs made an unscheduled appearance for AAW, during which he lamented having quit college to work full time for IWA-MS and not being paid. Following a scathing promo, Jimmy Jacobs threw his title in the garbage and made it known that the spirit to fight and earn a living was firmly in his mind. Nothing would stop him from fighting.
His Rapid Growth
Despite the drama with IWA-MS, Jacobs was experiencing rapid growth. While holding the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship, Jacobs would win the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship from Samoa Joe and Jay Lethal. Jacobs’ partner would be BJ Whitmer, another midwest standout who rounded out the team with a strength and height advantage. Across their two title reigns in 2005, they would have seven successful defenses. The only titles Jacobs would take with him into 2006 would be the XICW Midwest Heavyweight Championship and the IWA-MS Heavyweight Championship, both he would lose in January.
As a member of Lacey’s Angels stable, Jimmy Jacobs would embrace the Zombie Princess persona. As Jacobs would later tell it, the idea of the zombie princess came from Kevin Steen, who mocked Jacobs’ preference for nail polish and eyeliner. After trying desperately to win the attention and affection of his manager Lacey, Jacobs ostracized his tag team partner BJ Whitmer and eventually, the collapse of that team led to an infamous and almost deadly rivalry.
BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs’ feud would result in a series of death-defying stunts and botches that would cement the legacy of Jacobs’ as a tenacious lust for violence. The touchpoints would also include mixed tag team matches, deathmatches with related wrestlers like Colt Cabana, and a total of three infamous singles matches. After the top rope powerbomb botch at Dragon Gate Challenge 2006, Jacobs and Whitmer would participate in a number one contender’s grudge match at ROH In Your Face.
Challenges For The Ring of Honor World Championship
June 17th, 2006, would not be even close to the end. After the no contest, Jacobs and Whitmer would face Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship, both men coming up short. With Jacobs picking up a victory against Whitmer in August and January, and with Whitmer picking up a win over Jacobs in March, the score was set to be settled. That finality would come in a Pinfall or Submission Only Steel Cage Match at Supercard of Honor II at March 31st, 2007.
Injury & Recovery
BJ Whitmer would suffer a neck injury, while Jacobs would suffer a torn ACL and lose a tooth in the process. When Jacobs returned in August, he would come with a whole new attitude and confidence in his strength as a leader that would propel him forward.
After the Briscoe Brothers ladder match against Kevin Steen and El Generico, the returning Necro Butcher, Jimmy Jacobs, and the debuting Tyler Black assaulted the Briscoe Brothers, eventually stringing Jay Briscoe from the ceiling, bleeding onto Jimmy Jacobs as he cut a promo about the new age of ring of honor: the Age of the Fall.
From the end of 2007 to the end of 2008, the Age of the Fall would bring Jacobs’ a new role to fulfill; that of mentor and leader. The Age of the Fall would eventually collapse and lead to greater conflict. This would include the eventual ousting of Tyler Black out of the stable. This was after Black failed to secure a number one contender’s match. Before their falling out, Jacobs and Black would win the AAW Tag Team Championship, ROH World Tag Team Championship tournament (the championships themselves twice), and the PWG World Tag Team Championships.
Jimmy Jacobs would go on to lead many groups as an active wrestler, including S.C.U.M and The Decade. Jacobs would feud with and reunite with familiar faces like BJ Whitmer. Eventually, in 2015, he joined WWE as a creative writer. He would report to work consistently until October 2017. It was then when he was let go for posting a selfie with members of the Bullet Club, a stable from a rival promotion. During his time in WWE, Jacobs was credited with creating the touted “List of Jericho.” He eventually did make his way back to the independent scene, and despite currently working as a backstage producer for Impact Wrestling, he has continued to make independent wrestling appearances into 2020, fostering a mentorship role wherever he goes.
Jimmy Jacobs can be seen as one of the post-2000’s independent wrestlers with the strongest gimmick and personality. In an era where wrestlers were more often differentiated only by their names and move sets, Jacobs represented owning and controlling their character. In that way, Jacobs is a predecessor of 2010 standouts like Ethan Page, Darby Allin, and Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Today, the Zombie Princess conducts seminars with up-and-coming wrestlers, cementing his legacy within the DNA of professional wrestling.