SCHENECTADY — It has been five years since Zack “Clayton” Carpinello wrestled in front of a hometown crowd.
“The last time I wrestled in this area was 5 years ago in the famous cage match in Bethlehem.” Carpinello said. “A ton has changed since then.”
Carpinello grew up in the small, suburban Albany town and began his professional wrestling career after attending Hudson Valley Community College. In that world, he is known as Zack Clayton, a dark and spicy persona he adopted for the wrestling ring.
He returns to the area on Saturday, July 16 at the Boys and Girls Club of Schenectady as a headliner for Immortal Wrestling’s event Immortal Things 3. This trip, however, Carpinello has some additional aliases other than Clayton.
In February 2021 he got engaged to Jenni “J-Woww” Farley, famous from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” series and has made many appearances on the show as Jenni’s significant other with a nickname of “24.” The 24 refers to his age when he met Farley, 10 years his senior.
When asked which role he likes more, Carpinello laughed, saying, “Nothing beats being Zack Clayton. That guy can get away with anything!”
“The similarities are the on-air persona, though on MTV what you see is what I am in real life,” he explained. “On the pro wrestling screen, you see the persona that lives inside me, that I get to bring out and do things that I would get arrested for anywhere else.”
The pro wrestling career has taken off as well. In June 2020 he made his first appearance with the AEW Dark, an All Elite Wrestling streaming program and has wrestled with the company several times since then.
“I have been working with AEW for two years now. It is always great to do their shows,” Carpinello said. “I have also worked matches in front of WWE recently, I’m still looking to get locked in with a company full time, so we will see what the future holds.”
In the meantime, he is glad to be back in the Capital District and wrestling with many of the athletes from home.
“All of my family lives in the New York area, so it is always great when I can return home to see everyone,” Carpinello said. “I know a lot of the same people in this wrestling company (Immortal), but it is a different company. It will be good to see some old friends that I started wrestling with. That is why I’m doing this show.”
For tickets and details on the match, contact immortalwrestling.com.
“It has been 5 years, a lot has changed and I will be back again when the time is right,” he said.