Luke Perry's Son Jack Recalls Dad Helping Build Backyard Wrestling Ring: 'He Was Very Supportive' (Exclusive)
Jack Perry is now a rising star for All Elite Wrestling and fighting for the world championship this Sunday night
Luke Perry was always his son’s biggest champion.
Jack Perry, the late actor’s 25-year-old son, always dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler. He recently opened up in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE about his late father’s lifelong support for his aspirations, which have now come to fruition as a roster member for TBS’ All Elite Wrestling brand.
Despite Luke’s busy schedule as a leading star on shows like Beverly Hills, 90210 and later Riverdale, Jack says his celebrity father always found time to cheer him on, even once helping him build a makeshift wrestling ring in the family’s backyard.
“He’d always been super supportive,” Jack tells PEOPLE. “He was a little more nervous than my mom is about me getting hurt and me being safe and needing to take care of myself.”
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So when his young son came home one day with haphazard plans to build his own wrestling ring, the television star played construction manager on the project.
“I hope I don’t go to jail for this, honestly,” Jack laughs. “But when I was a kid and got back into wrestling, I went around the town stealing — not from stores — but I’d go find sandbags at a construction site and run home with them, or like pieces of wood or whatever, to construct this ring. And I asked my dad to help me put it together.”
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Much to Luke’s surprise, Jack’s plans weren’t exactly up to code.
“He kind of showed up with all his tools and he says, ‘Alright, what are we working with here?’ “ Jack remembers. “And I think he imagined that somehow I got my hands on proper construction materials, but instead I really just had a shopping cart full of a bunch of mismatched bulls---. And he was like, ‘Okay…well, let's see what we can do!’ "
Jack laughs when he remembers the “garbage heap of a wrestling ring” he and his dad built together. But it proved to be more than good enough for Jack, who’s gone on to become a one-time AEW World Tag Team Champion and a fan favorite, known affectionately among the crowd as “Jungle Boy” for his small stature and curly locked hair.
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A longtime underdog, Jack recently ousted his on-screen rival Christian Cage in a storyline that even dealt with the loss of his father — something that proved difficult for Jack, but also helped him gain “closure.”
Now Sunday, Jack is fighting for the AEW World Championship at the pro wrestling show’s annual Double or Nothing pay-per-view event.
“Both my parents were very cool about just letting me do what I wanted and figure it out myself,” the rising star says. “And they never pressured me into going into any direction I didn't want to go. I think many parents kind of have an idea of what they want their kids to do, and I think a lot of kids kind of want to follow in their parents footsteps, but I think my parents just gave me free rein as long as it wasn't doing anything horrible. They were here to see where I ended up.”
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Read the original article on People.