The Young Bucks. Cherry of the wrestling fandom’s eye – or at least they used to be.
Before, fans couldn’t go anywhere without their name being brought up. From humble beginnings in Reseda and Japan to the big stage they helped craft in All Elite Wrestling, the Jackson brothers were on top. Deservedly so. They’ve been members of The Bullet Club as well as Mount Rushmore and have often been compared to the greats of the industry, past and present, and they’re goofballs. What’s not to love?
And…they still are. But where is that reflected in today’s wrestling climate? The sad truth is, they’ve been set as side pieces, the background to their friends instead of side-by-side.
“Hangman” Adam Page, by no fault of his own, is engaged in a deep and personal war with Swerve Strickland and his nefarious Mogul Embassy. The man broke into his home, of course the Cowboy would be distracted.
Long-time friend Kenny Omega is currently embroiled with Chris Jericho’s blood feud with the Don Callis Family and their ever-growing roster. Though understandable with Omega’s blood boiling with vengeance upon his former father figure turned Angeline Jolie of young heel wrestlers, Jericho was someone who caused The Elite pain time and time again.
It was Jericho who attacked Papa Buck, it was Jericho who caused Cody Rhodes to never challenge for the AEW World Championship after the self-imposed stipulation placed upon the latter. It was Jericho who cost Omega and Page their chances at that very gold in 2019. Yes, it might be years ago, but some wounds never heal.
Now, Matt and Nick Jackson are left with Page constantly abandoning them and Omega letting Jericho into their locker room.
The brothers would happily join their friends even if they weren’t in the spotlight, but with disrespect after disrespect, limits will boil to the surface.
This is what happens when communication fails. To some, this storyline is melodramatic soap opera, but to others, this is often real life. While not as dooming as losing one’s job or loved one, the notion of being made to feel alone by those who are supposed to be there, it stings.
There’s a difference between having comfortable radio silences with friends, where both parties won’t talk every day but can come together and it’s still all love at the end of the day. That’s a powerful relationship.
But to be ignored when help is needed, to have hurt overlooked by someone who means a lot, that’s not how friendship is supposed to work. And it’s a hard part of life – people you think the world of may be the ones who end up making your blood boil.
The sad truth is there will be those moments. Your friend who promised to help will leave you on read. Your friend who checked up on you and thought everything you did was amazing will find someone who’s even better to hang out with and soon, you grow apart. Your friends may abandon you at your darkest, removing all light, and you are reminded that you can only depend on yourself. You are then left wondering why you weren’t good enough. It’s a part of life, and you can either wallow in it, or get up and move on from it.
Whether it’s resetting boundaries or rebuilding walls, these actions can shape people, whether they think about it or not, whether they boast thick skin or not. We often hurt those close to us.
No stranger to locker room confrontations, The Young Bucks took to Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho for a proper scolding on the November 1, 2023 episode of AEW Dynamite, and this load of drama could signify a shift for Matt and Nick.
I don’t doubt they’d return to Omega and Page’s aid (or possibly a rematch of that iconic Revolution 2020 tag team match), but this could be a compelling cause for the California natives to strike out on their own and remind the world why they were and are among the very best in the tag team scene across the industry.
With this, I hope this is a return to form. I want the Young Bucks who had classics with The Lucha Brothers; Time Splitters; PAC & Rey Fenix; The Hardys; and FTR. I want the Young Bucks who left their imprint on PWG, NJPW, and ROH. They’re already at a high place; I want to see that represented again. It’s time to remind the world who they are, because they’re needed elsewhere.
The prospect of The Young Bucks returning to form and telling their own stories is exciting. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of The Elite being together. But maybe it’s time the California brothers remind the world who the hell they are.
Matt and Nick have tried to dip their toes back into the scene sporadically, but it’s time to make it stick this time. I salivate over the idea of The Young Bucks against The Workhorsemen, Iron Savages, Outrunners, and more. There are so many great talents deserving the brush to prove themselves. The tag team division, as with the women’s division, is not as exciting as it was earlier in the year, so why not maximize your best assets and grow some potential ones? Make The Young Bucks a priority again. Conclude the Don Callis story as far as they are concerned, and let them fly.
No more filling the role of bit players. No more cheerleading from the sidelines. Time only goes by so fast, and before we know it, the sand in the hourglass will run out. The Jackson brothers don’t even need to win tag gold; compelling stories and enthralling matches are sufficient to speak for themselves. So bring on the up-and-comers while the Jackson Brothers are still wearing tassels.
For every Usos; Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn; Lucha Brothers; and Aussie Open, there will always be The Young Bucks in the conversation, super kicking down the door every time they are doubted.
The tag team division needs a boost, and a return to form with Matt and Nick can be that very shot in the veins that both could use.