The Young Bucks book is the tale of Matt and Nick Jackson life’s up to the announcement of AEW, but more than that, it’s an inspiring tale on how and when to bet on yourself. If you are a fan of the Young Bucks, you probably already have this book on your wish list or on the way to your house, and I can say that it’s up there in the pantheon of great pro wrestlers’ autobiographies. It has a lot of the elements of what makes a great autobiography: honesty, full of feelings, introspective, funny, shares new information about the subjects, very easy to read even if you aren’t an expert or longtime fan, gossip about pro wrestlers and companies, and you get behind the mindset of their decisions, specifically wrestling wise. I know you always wanted to know why so many superkicks.
Since we have two authors working on one autobiography, the way they deal with this is that the brothers wrote alternating chapters. It starts up with Matt, since he is the oldest, second chapter we get Nick, and it goes that way up until the end. You get personal family stories depending on the brother and their perspective. This way to tell the story works since you actually feel like both brothers are working together on telling their story from their perspective that at times matches, much like in a tag team match. Each one has a different point of view and their personality differences shine on each page. You can open a random page and pretty much guess whose chapters it is.
You get the Bucks wrestling story from their backyard wrestling days from their own very ring they constructed with their dad up to their last NJPW show before Wrestle Kingdom 13. You get their backstage stories and matches of their time in Dragon Gate, them surviving TNA with Okada and making wrestling connections, their time and influence on ROH, NJPW and the Bullet Club, and how PWG was instrumental on them being able to create characters that resonated with the audience. You also get detailed stories about their WWE work as extras and the trouble they got up to.
Something I found really amazing here is that since the Bucks are the Bucks and don’t have to answer to anyone, you get really honest opinions about the wrestling business. You can actually find out how much they earned in each company they worked for and what they thought of that. They also explained how they supplemented their income with merchandise by being one of the first few to open merch tables at independent shows. Sami Zayn was the one that inspired them to create and sell their own merchandise, and fans know how that worked out for them. I think that up and coming pro wrestlers can take a few lessons from the Bucks on knowing your worth, paying their dues, and how the whole system works.
Part of why you get that honesty is because they got nothing to lose which is why you get some gossipy stories where you won’t be surprised about how someone acted and why backstage in WWE. You also get great TNA stories and the mess they had backstage when they worked for them. Really makes you think of the talent that TNA squandered when they had the Bucks and Okada under the same roof and did nothing with them.
They are open about why they weren’t happy with creative decisions and what drove to some of their attitude towards wrestling. Yes, you will get an answer to why they did spotfests, the Candice LeRae superkick in PWG, how they created their NJPW asshole-ish characters, the Superkick party. Everything you love or hate about the Bucks is explained in detail, and you will understand even if you don’t agree with them.
Other interesting stories are the creation of “All In” and All Elite Wrestling. You will read how their conversations with Tony Khan went and the machinery behind it all. Obviously, you also get the genesis and stories behind Being The Elite and their approach on advancing storylines using that platform, starting with ROH and NJPW and now AEW.
Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues is a really good book, even if you aren’t a Young Bucks fan. You got all of the elements of an amazing story and young wrestlers can take some notes from it. Their story even has excellent cameos from Chris Kanyon, Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn, SCU, Brandon Cutler, Motor City Machine Guns, and many more. And come on, I know you want a detailed explanation of what happened between the Bucks and Omega and Triple H. It’s there in detail.
This is a strong recommendation for all wrestling fans. I also found it very inspiring on a personal level. I even took out a lesson from it where I learned that I should bet on myself more often in life, just like they did. By the Bucks betting on themselves, it took them to places they could not imagine.
This review is from the Amazon Kindle version.