Rising drag star and son of ECW legend New Jack, Washington Heights, was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily where she discussed a profile that was done on her and her dad for Vice news. Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked how this profile was put together.
"When the original tweet went out back in, I want to say, the end of August, I believe someone from Vice reached out to me," Heights recalled. "And they're like, 'hey, we want to do an article. Is that fine?' I was like, 'yeah, I can answer any questions you have,' and it kind of just went from there.
"We had about a 45-minute phone conversation, and then they just asked me a bunch of questions like growing up with New Jack, what was he like, your experiences together, if I was ever exposed to the wrestling stuff and I actually thought they forgot about the article. And then I got a message about a week ago. They're like, 'oh hey, just so you know, we're dropping the article tomorrow.' I was like, 'oh cool, great. It's here.'"
Hausman then asked Heights what it was like to grow up as a child of New Jack. She said that it was mostly a normal childhood but told a story about New Jack taking her to a Hooters when she was in second grade.
"I had a few friends who knew what ECW was. We were younger, so of course, some parents wouldn't let them watch it because back then, it was actually super violent," Heights noted. "There were only cheese graters and knifes and picks getting stabbed into people. But I guess it was a normal childhood other than he was stabbing people for a living. We would hang out if he was in town visiting, but I do remember he always took me to Hooters for some reason.
"I remember being in second grade going to Hooters, and I was like, 'why are we here?' [There was] just a bunch of women with little clothing and huge boobs walking around. I'm like, 'oh, it all makes sense now,' but it was just a pretty normal childhood other than he was messing people up in the wrestling ring. And I remember I would see pictures and videos of him, and I would ask if it was real blood. He's like, 'no, it's ketchup,' and I was like, 'okay, it's ketchup. That's fine.'"
Heights noted in the profile that her father's ECW career didn't hit her until middle school. She recalled a documentary she saw in which she learned an interesting tip from her father.
"It didn't really affect me, until like you said, in middle school when he gave them to me. I think it was the 'Backyard Wrestling : There Goes the Neighborhood' Xbox game, and then there was also a DVD he sent me. It was a documentary about him, and in one of the interviews, they're like, 'do you do cocaine when you wrestle?' And he's like, 'y'all motherf--kers ask me if I'm high? You think I wouldn't be high jumping off that s--t, hitting my head on all that s--t? Of course, I'm doing cocaine before wrestling matches.' I was like, oh, so I'm in 7th grade learning cocaine prevents you from feeling pain."
Heights also noted that she never lived with her father, but she explained what he was like outside of the ring. She described it as him being "a five or six" in terms of his personality.
"So we've never lived together actually, but when he visited, I remember him living in Atlanta for a short period of time, and he was never like the New Jack persona, like crazy, out there [or] trying to fight people in the streets. But he always had a reckless mouth," Heights said. "He always had a little f--ked up sense of humor, which I thought was funny, and that's probably where I get it from, but I didn't really notice it as being different.
"If I saw him on TV, I'd be like, 'oh, yeah, that's my dad blah blah blah. Looks the same and acts the same to me.' So I guess he was just the same but just a little toned down. So in the wrestling ring, he was a 10, and in person, he was probably a five or six."
Hausman pointed out that having a hardcore icon like New Jack as your parent would mean there would be a lot of explaining to do for your friends. However, Heights said that most of her friends were not into wrestling so it was easy to explain what her dad to her friends.
"Well, I think for the most part, I kept it mostly PG around them," Heights admitted. "'Oh, yeah, he's a wrestler.' I didn't say like, 'oh, yeah, he takes a trash can with cheese graters and guitars to the ring and bashes people over the head,' but a lot of my friends, honestly, weren't into wrestling, so we didn't talk about it that much. I was in wrestling, but they weren't. But we are also just into sports and music, stupid s--t like that."
Heights also revealed that she has started to get into wrestling again. She said that she is mostly trying to familiarize herself with indie wrestling and other non-WWE content.
"I actually recently started watching wrestling again," Heights revealed. "I've been following a lot of the independent wrestlers online because I did a project with Billy Dixon that comes out October 29. I've just been following what they're doing online, and Effy has a Twitch stream on Monday.
"I've been watching just to get familiar with it again. I'm trying to become more familiar with things other than WWE. I'm trying to expose myself and learn more about the other wrestling circuits and businesses that are around right now."
You can follow Washington Heights on Twitter @WashyHeights. Washington's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.