Recently, I sat down and read The Young Bucks autobiography, which I received over the holiday season a few months ago, thanks to my parents. So, heading into Matt and Nick Jackson’s AEW Tag Team Championship battle at Revolution versus MJF and Chris Jericho, I wanted to do a short review of the book as a bit of a primer to the show – so, with that in mind, let’s get started!
First things first, the book is relatively short at about 270 pages of actual writing. In comparison, Chris Jericho’s first book, Lion’s Tale: Around the World in Spandex clocked in at a hoss-like 432 pages, and that autobiography preceded Killing the Business in terms of not just release date (quite obviously), but also format, as it detailed Chris’ journey from aspiring to official pro wrestler, all the way through the independent scene, Mexico, Japan, WCW, etcetera and ends when he reaches where he always wanted to be all along: the World Wrestling Federation. The Bucks’ blueprint is almost a mirror image of Jericho’s, as their book ends with the inception of All Elite Wrestling – or, in other words, “the big time.”
So, when you consider the length of their careers and their extremely storied history, 270 pages ripped from their memories constitutes a fairly short book. Consequently, if you’re looking for an extremely detailed, deep dive into their careers and family life, you might be a little bit disappointed. That stated, the 200 plus pages you do receive are filled with lots of good stories and lessons they learned – both in the wrestling business and in their family lives. These anecdotes include how they both met their wives as well as the story of how they became a tag-team, even if that was not their original plan in the wrestling business.
The structure of the book is relatively simple, as each of the brothers take turns in writing a chapter, going back-and-forth talking about their experiences regarding certain events and how those events affected them. Due to this format, you don’t really hear an overabundance from either particular voice, as the brothers’ practice of alternating is consistent, which I consider a big positive. It’s absolutely no secret that I’ve felt a big connection to these young men over the years. Hell, I even met them on three separate occasions across their Ring of Honor run a while back, so I may be a bit biased. Especially because, the second and third times we crossed paths?
They remembered me.
That’s going to breed a slight modicum of loyalty within an already…well, MASSIVE fan, you know?
Regardless, the assignment fell to me to write this review. I didn’t ask for this responsibility! Okay, I one hundred percent asked for this responsibility – but being a wrestling journalist is what I want to do in life. Adding a book review to my resume is huge and I DON’T love reading about things I don’t like, so I figured this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to carve that “book review’ notch in my belt. You would do the same thing if you were in my shoes.
Anyway, back to the review.
Overall, I really like this book. It has a lot of cool little nuggets about their journey, including plenty of never before heard/seen/read stories about sharing the locker room with some of the top young wrestling talents from the early 2000s. The yarns they spin actually include names you may recognize, thanks to the current fame they enjoy in WWE and other relatively prominent promotions. These story time treasures turn out to be a major positive and selling point of the book – especially for big wrestling fans, such as myself, who love learning the wildly outlandish history behind their favorite sport.
Killing the Business is truly a fun experience, even if the book could be a bit more descriptive and comprehensive. While being a fan of these men certainly helps the enjoyment, I assume, it is not exactly mandatory, as a great deal of the book is composed of phenomenal, gripping stories about professional wrestling that any follower of the sport can enjoy. By the same token, you do have to keep in mind that the stories they tell provide only one side of the story (well, two, but on a grander scale, those two are on the same one side, so – whatever, you get it) as you read. If you perform that one simple task, then you won’t get too riled up if they bury your own, personal top guy (or girl). Thankfully, there aren’t too many funerals throughout this page-turning dual autobiography.
Ultimately, I would recommend buying Killing the Business if you want to hear the true story – from their own pens – about one of the most captivating and controversial tag teams of the modern era that, to this very day, continues to provide shock and awe to the professional wrestling supporting public on a weekly basis.
Because truth be told?
Just like the business, Matt and Nick absolutely killed this book.
(Haha – that last gem was snuck in by my editor, Erik Boyer, trying to make me look super corny. As always, thanks for coming out, folks. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it.)
(Above is one of my photos with them in May of 2018)