The Young Bucks have released their first book, ‘Young Bucks: Killing the Business’, detailing their journey from the backyard wrestling scene to the bright lights of All Elite Wrestling.
The book gives an interesting insight into how the Young Bucks rise to popularity came about and the struggles that they have faced on their way to the top of the business. Here are the 10 most interesting things that we learned whilst reading through the debut book of the Young Bucks.
The Dramatic Birth of the Young Bucks
Although it may be cliché to start a book detailing the birth of the authors, the birth of the Young Bucks is certainly an interesting one that is worthy of the detail it is given. Matt Jackson’s birth was particularly traumatic, with his mother’s umbilical being wrapped around his neck as he was born. This led to his mother having an emergency caesarean section, with his mother even having to sign a form saying whose life would be the priority to save, Matt’s or his mothers.
Eventually Matt was born and received CPR to save his life. Matt’s father still tells the story of his birth at any given opportunity.
But Nick would not be spared of a dramatic birth either. Nick was supposed to be born as a twin; however, his twin sister was a miscarriage. The Bucks parents had no idea that they were having twins and thought they had lost their baby but were surprised to learn that Nick was still alive.
Joey Kaos Christening the Bucks
Independent wrestler Joey Kaos was actually the person who created the name ‘the Young Bucks’, being unable to remember the names of the two ahead of their debut in Full Contact Wrestling. Both Nick and Matt originally hated the name, but it helped them to gain more attention and independent bookings, helping them realise that they were more valuable as a tag time rather than singles guys.
At the time they had never tagged together, and they were going by the names ‘Slick Nick’ and ‘Mr Instant Replay’ but they would go by Nick and Matt on that night.
Matt’s Friendship with Chris Kanyon
Matt and Nick’s promotion, High Risk Wrestling, saw many high-profile names step in the ring for them, with Christopher Daniels, Marty Janetty and Karl Anderson all wrestle for the promotion. But one guest would be highly influential to Matt Jackson, with former United States Champion Chris Kanyon appearing for the promotion.
Having met at an FCW show, Kanyon agreed to appear at the promotion for a discounted $500, even insisting that he loses to help put over the younger talent. Kanyon and Matt would remain friends and would regularly text, with Kanyon telling Matt about the death of Eddie Guerrero before the news had been released. Kanyon also came out to Matt and even had a call with him when he was considering suicide, with Matt praying for him and talking him down.
Matt and Kanyon would eventually lose contact as his mental health deteriorated, with Matt feeling a great sadness after learning about his passing.
Culture Shock in Japan
The Young Bucks became global phenomenon’s during their time in Japan and became almost synonymous with the country, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing in the land of the rising sun for the Jackson Brothers. They originally felt lost in Japan, struggling to adapt to the culture and feeling incredibly homesick. Matt recalled struggling to get in contact with his wife and family and feeling lost because of it. They also struggled with the food, looking for anything that they recognised to survive.
But it would be PAC who would help them to come to adapt to life in Japan, having previously met him at Indy shows in America. Whilst touring with Dragon Gate, PAC would share a room with the Bucks and would support them in adapting to life in Japan.
Losing Interest in the WWE
Both Matt and Nick always dreamed of wrestling for WWE and competing at Wrestlemania, with them attending Wrestlemania 21. But as their careers developed, they became more and more disillusioned by Vince McMahon’s empire as they slowly lost interest in joining.
The first sign that they were thinking twice about working in WWE was when they did some extra work for the company, with the likes of JBL and Mark Henry giving them a difficult time backstage. But one of the final nails in the coffin was a chat with the then El Generico, now Sami Zayn, about how much money he was making on the independent scene, especially from his merchandise.
It was the realisation that people were making a solid living as independent wrestlers and that they didn’t need to join WWE to live comfortably as wrestlers that sealed the deal for them. Although they would come close to joining in the future.
TNA / Impact Dream Becoming a Nightmare
After a match with the Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin agreed to put in a good word for the Young Bucks at TNA which would eventually see them signed. But what was a dream contract for the Young Bucks soon became a nightmare, with Vince Russo giving them the Generation Me gimmick which both men hated. Along with the gimmick came shorter haircuts and the names Jeremy and Max Buck, which they felt were more fitting for porn stars.
The two were unhappy that they were eventually split up and feuded with each other, but the booking team soon forgot about them once Bruce Pritchard took charge. They thought that TNA would have been the payday and financial security they had desired, but both men still had to work full-time jobs, with Matt working for his father in-laws company whilst wrestling for TNA.
Matt also told a hilarious story of Dixie Carter asking him if he had considered becoming a wrestler whilst signed for the company.
Humble Beginnings in New Japan
Having already toured Japan with Dragon Gate, the Young Bucks were eager to return when they were offered the chance to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was Kazuchika Okada who put in a good word for the Young Bucks with Tiger Hattori who would invite the Young Bucks over to New Japan. Okada and the Bucks bonded whilst they were all at TNA, playing Gator Golf together to kill time which has since been seen on Being the Elite.
The Young Bucks were added straight into the Bullet Club, however it became clear that Prince Devitt, now Finn Balor, wasn’t familiar with their work, referring to them as Matt and Nick Buck in a promo, which Karl Anderson would rib him for going forward.
Living the Life they Dreamed
Although many people will see the life that the Young Bucks have lived would be a glamourous one, jetting across the world to do their dream job and collect pay checks.
But throughout the book, both Matt and Nick make it very clear that they struggled financially struggled throughout the early stages of their career. Matt told a story of being at ordering a 99c burger and the embarrassment he felt when his card was declined.
It wasn’t until they signed a full-time contract with Ring of Honor that they would finally be financially secure, with Matt telling his then pregnant wife to never return to work again, which Matt has sighted as being the highlight of his career.
A Phenomenal Decision
AJ Styles debut in the 2016 Royal Rumble is one of the best debuts in modern wrestling, but without the Young Bucks this moment may have never happened. As Styles came towards the end of his New Japan contract, he was weighing up a choice between going to WWE or re-joining Impact Wrestling.
Speaking with Matt and Nick as well as Frankie Kazarian, all three said to Styles that WWE would be the way for him to go, saying that a debut in the Royal Rumble was an opportunity too good to miss out on.
Styles felt that he knew what he was getting himself into with a return to Impact and that he was unsure of how he would be treated in WWE, but history has shown that he probably made the right decision.
Triple H vs Tony Khan
The Young Bucks were heading towards the end of their Ring of Honor contracts and they had no idea where they were heading next. After they received a deal that they felt was disappointing, the began to peruse the market.
Matt, Nick and Kenny Omega had decided they were going together no matter what happened and had calls with Triple H. Triple H initially promised them $500k each within the first year, much higher than the offer they received from Ring of Honor, before drastically rising this after seeing the success of All In. WWE offered a three year deal that would see the Elite earn ‘millions’, with a clause that could see them leave within three months of request, no questions asked, if they were unhappy as well as adding All In to the WWE Network.
Triple H said that he wanted the Young Bucks to help bolster their tag team division and also to keep them with Omega, seeing them as being more valuable together. Although the offer was tempting, it never felt right to be in discussions with WWE. They felt as if they were cheating on everything they stood for and worried that their fans would see them as sell-outs.
Matt also received calls from Tony Khan at this time. He felt unsure about speaking to Khan initially, having heard ideas like his before, but it was his links to broadcaster TNT that caught his attention and kept him on-board. Having spoken to Triple H and Khan back-to-back in a hotel room, the Elite were more impressed with the creative conversation they had with Khan and felt assured that this bold project could work… thus All Elite Wrestling was born.