NATCHEZ — Jeremy Jackson transformed into “The Black Water Butcher, Nightmare Jeremiah” as he entered the Natchez Community Center on Saturday night dressed in chains and holding clenched fists.
Jackson spoke to the crowd in a series of grunts before facing his opponents in Saturday night’s tag team match at the Bayou Independent Wrestling show.
Standing outside the ring, his arm stretched out holding the ropes, Jackson let go to remove the towel and a leather mask that shrouded his face reveling a white painted face with the words “Fear” and “Kill” written in black on the sides of his forehead.
Jackson’s villainous look was enhanced by series of markings around his eyes and down the center of his face.
Jackson said he has been wrestling since long before last weekend and has always had a love for the sport.
As soon as he graduated from Natchez High School in 2004, Jackson, who now lives in the Washington community, said he began training, taking Kenpo Karate, MMA (fought in rings and cages) with an amateur record of 5-2. Jackson said he has had some minor training in boxing and Ju Jitsu all while he was training to wrestle.
“I found wrestling, and it just kind of took over,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s characters have evolved over the years until he found the nightmare character, Jeremiah, which started back in 2013.
When he first started wrestling from 2005 to 2007 Jackson said he wrestled as “Enigma Rage” then from 2008 until 2013 he traveled the South, including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and all the way up to the Carolinas as “Jeremy Awesome.”
“When I started slowing down I reinvented myself put a mask on and face paint and became Jeremiah,” Jackson said.
Wrestling has had an impact on Jackson’s life in multiple ways, he said, adding he even met his wife, Ashley Jackson, through wrestling.
“She is from here in Natchez and when I first started she was already in wrestling but when we decided to start a family she stepped away from it,” Jackson said.
Outside of the ring and in day-to-day life, Jackson said, his actual personality is nothing like his chaotic, wrestling persona.
“I’m actually a very neat and organized, collected person,” Jackson said. “I like everything to be a certain way. I’m a completely different person when I’m out there, like a switch just goes off.”
It’s a mix of the crowd, the music, the lights, the announcer and opponents who help flip that switch, Jackson said, and bring about the atmosphere he loves.
“It’s just intense,” Jackson said, “When you get out there in a crowd full of people, you become a different person. It’s hard to explain. It’s just the atmosphere. It’s crazy.”