The world of wrestling is in mourning after the death of Jimmy the Jester, real name James Pasquale, just 34 years old.
The New Jersey-based fighter and gymnastics coach passed away Wednesday after being seriously injured in a car accident, friends have said.
Tributes have poured in for the professional fighter, who began his career in 2019 and was a member of the iconic wrestling school Monster Factory.
His friends, family and members of the wrestling community shared their grief at the loss of the Jester, who was described as having an “infectious bright energy.”
Following his untimely death, MailOnline takes a look at the life and times of the self-proclaimed ‘Clown Prince of Professional Wrestling’.
Tributes have been pouring in for the pro wrestler, who started fighting in 2019 and was a member of the famed Monster Factory wrestling school. Pictured winning a Tag Team Turmoil fight in 2021
Born in Old Bridge, New Jersey, Pasquale grew up in the town of Belvidere.
He attended Belvidere High School and classmates flooded his social media with tributes after his death.
He is said to have been an outstanding athlete from an early age, gaining limelight in school for his impressive skills in wrestling and gymnastics.
After graduation, he was accepted into Warren County Community College.
There he pursued his dream of making a career in athletics, and reportedly began wrestling professionally for independent promotions early on.
Career in wrestling
During his career, he competed in WWWA, Lucha Riot, Titan Championship Wrestling Entertainment, Atomic Championship Wrestling, and Stand Alone Wrestling.
Pasquale started wrestling under the gimmick ‘Jimmy the Jester’ on the various promotions and his personality seemed to go well with his humorous and quirky persona.
It saw him taunt his opponents and entertain his audience with unexpected stunts and tricks.
His bravado was on display in a pre-match interview where he described himself as a “goofy” underdog who was nevertheless focused on winning.
During his fights, he always wore joker-style face paint and brightly colored spandex.
But while he became known for his devilish ways in the ring, he was also recognized as a respectful fighter who made his opponents feel as safe and comfortable as possible.
The jester’s bravado was evident in a pre-match interview where he described himself as a “crazy” underdog who was nevertheless focused on winning.
Jimmy quickly rose to prominence for his athleticism, high-flying skills, and technical prowess.
His flamboyant performances helped him win over fans and earn a contract with Monster Factory, a top wrestling school.
The world-famous school Pasquale attended is featured in a recently released documentary about fighters trying to become professionals on Apple TV.
The Jester made a number of TV appearances throughout his career, both as a singles fighter and as part of a tag team with fighter Westfield Kelly.
He boasted on his Instagram of a streak of wins at the 2021 Tag Team Turmoil fights, taking on fighters like Luca Brazzi, Cortez Castro and Ryan Nova.
Wrestler James Pasquale – known by his stage name Jimmy the Jester – has died at the age of 34 after a car accident. Pictured fighting Ryan Nova in 2021
Besides wrestling, Pasquale’s other passion in life was coaching gymnastics.
In addition to using his gym skills to improve his wrestling style, he was a USAG qualified men’s coach with NJ Premier Gymnastics.
He worked as a tumbling coach at a gymnastics club, with the mother of one of his young pupils calling him “the best and most fun coach” and saying they were both “devastated” at his loss.
He regularly shared clips and photos on his Instagram of coaching young athletes and helping them with tumbling, as well as videos showing off his own gymnastic skills.
The jester built a family through his love of wrestling and described his opponents and fellow warriors at the Monster Club as his “brothers.”
Jimmy was also a dog lover and regularly shared adorable snaps with his beloved pets.
As his wrestling name suggested, Pasquale was a prankster, with friends paying homage to his sassy personality.
A touching tribute was also paid to him by Erin Trzeciak, who seems to have been his long-term partner.
She shared a series of snaps of the couple enjoying trips to the beach, walks and dinners together.
“My heart feels so heavy today, never in a million years did I think I would be writing this,” she said.
“James Pasquale, you emulated such infectious bright energy wherever you went.
“You gave me the courage to express myself the way I wanted, and always made the unconditional love you had known, I don’t even know who I would be now if I didn’t have you in my life.
“This doesn’t feel real, I can’t even think about you being gone. Thank you for being such a light in my life and for so many great memories. You are loved by so many people and will be sorely missed, Jimmy.”
A heartfelt tribute from close friend and struggling opponent Sammy Fernandez read, “I burst into tears as soon as I heard the news. Part of me was hoping it was the biggest prank Jimmy the Jester would play on us and there would be a huge SYKE at the end.
‘I’m devastated. It’s not a trick, it’s not a joke, and it’s not a joke you’d like to play on us. I hate that this is real.
“We wrestled so many times and you were my favorite person to wrestle because you always ensured my safety and you would always take care of me, I entrusted you with my life in the ring.
“You let me know how proud you were of me as I moved on and you checked on me to make sure I wasn’t home sick and let me know everyone was so proud of me.
‘Proud, you were proud of me. I don’t want to be sad because that’s not what you would have wanted, but I just couldn’t let you know how much I loved you.’
The jester’s death was announced by his friend Kevin Protyvniak on Facebook, where he shared photos of them together.
So sad to hear about the loss of James Pasquale. You were a good friend for over ten years through thick and thin.’
Monster Factory owner Danny Cage expressed his grief over the loss of the wrestler on Twitter: “I just lost someone who I hoped would walk through the doors of Monster Factory again and be the charismatic idiot he always was. used to be.
“Then I heard he was planning to come back. I’m going to miss you Jimmy the Fool!’
Missy Sampson, a coach at the school, shared on Twitter: ‘We @4MonsterFactory lost one of our own in Jimmy The Jester!
‘He was a funny guy with a heart of gold! Gone too early! Please hug your friends and family and remind them you love them!
“Say a prayer for his family and friends! Until we see you again friend!’
Commissioner Gabby Ortiz wrote on Twitter: “We lost one of our brothers today. Really hard news to hear. RIP Jimmy.’
The New Jersey-based fighter is said to have died after being seriously injured in a collision
Ortiz and other stars from the world-famous wrestling school Pasquale attended star in a recently released documentary about fighters trying to become professionals on Apple TV.
Debbie Perrelli, who knew him when they attended Belvidere High School in New Jersey, shared the news with fellow alumni.
“I just got word that James Pasquale, Class of 2006, was killed in a car accident today.
She added that “those of us who knew him while he was in high school will appreciate his career path” before saying, “Rest in peace Jimmy.” Definitely gone too soon.
“You will be sorely missed by many. Thanks for making us laugh.”
Another friend shared on Facebook, “We haven’t known each other that long, but you were definitely one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. I’m sorry I never kept in touch.’
Find Yourself Wrestling has announced that it will be honoring Jimmy the Jester at an upcoming show on April 29.
They paid their respects and said, “We here at FYW are very saddened to hear of the passing of James Pasquale, aka Jimmy the Jester.”