The Hardy Boyz vs. The Young Bucks
August 2, 2014
North East Wrestling
Wrestling Under the Stars 3
Fishkill, New York

Reviewed by Ewan Cameron (VOW Author Page / @ewanwcx)

Gifted by Adam Berger (VOW Author Page / @adam_bomb5150)

I’ve never seen this match before, and it’s a real treat: One of the best tag teams of all time versus the Young Bucks. The setting is cool too, it’s a baseball ground, and what two better teams to represent modern americana than the Hardys and the Jacksons?

I wonder if the person who sent me this knows I’m simultaneously a massive Hardy Boyz fan and a Young Bucks cynic. For me and many others, the Hardys were the team of our childhoods. Even taking an objective look at them, as I attempted to do in my article on their Hall of Fame candidacy, it’s difficult to underestimate their contribution to the industry.

On the other hand, the Young Bucks have never struck a chord with me as they have with others. I’m in no doubt they are both incredible athletes, but having never watched them on the indies, my only real exposure has been snippets of their AEW run, which, if you watched them on the indies, probably feels like a victory lap, but if you didn’t like myself, then it’s difficult to connect with them as characters while also finding their style of wrestling overly cutesy. There’s a spot in this match where Nick does a backflip only to hit a back rake and it works because in kayfabe this is a great example of heel showboating. Yet, somewhere along the line, those superfluous moves became unironic parts of their repertoire and it’s always left me cold.

Still, despite that, this match is fantastic and billed as a legit dream match, it delivered on its promise. We’re at the start of the Hardy’s second great run as a tag team, and a month or so earlier, they had faced the Wolves at Destination X in a 10-minute sprint that drew a standing ovation. This was more measured and structured contest. With clear heels and faces, fans got invested and the Bucks took the lead in character work while the Hardys mounted continual comebacks before finally getting the upperhand. Sometimes the old stories are the best. There are some great set pieces here, particularly as the Bucks subvert some of the old Hardy moves. The Bucks are clearly the more athletic side, and the Hardys do well to keep up with them. Conversely, the Hardys are the engines here, keeping things chugging along and ensuring the overall story holds itself together. It really is a beautiful match with both teams playing into each other’s strengths. Both teams have a knack here for knowing exactly when to escalate the movez and when to slow things down and play to the crowd. The crowd were big fans of both teams at the start of this match, but it’s a testament to both of them that they didn’t just play the hits but delivered something special to this indie crowd, one that earned the Hardys a massive pop as they got the pin.

This was a great pick and, if I’m honest, it’s softened me on the Bucks a bit.

I doubt I’ll ever be their biggest supporter, but matches like this give me some insight into why they were so popular during this time and would be able to be key figures of the All In show in 2018. It’s a match that shouldn’t just be a ‘hidden gem’ but something that both of these teams should include as part of their canon.

To my Secret Santa: a perfect pick, thank you!