Hi! The Characters of NJPW is back, and it feels so good. Before we get properly acquainted with today’s subjects, though, here’s a reminder about our main objective:
This series will try to give newcomers to New Japan, as well as people curious towards its product, a feel as for how each of their wrestlers operate, what their motivations are, how their story drives them to be who they are, and how their actions inside and outside of the squared circle further their personas. Although this will contain historical data and a brief description of each wrestler’s past, its main goal is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to a performer’s history and achievements. Rather, we intend focus on two main topics: Character and in-ring work, to see how each wrestler on NJPW sets themselves apart from the rest of the roster, and what makes them truly unique and worth investing. If you want to check all the previous parts (the Part thing is getting ridiculous, I know, but now I’m committed), here’s a list with all the articles done up until now, each readable by clicking on the wrestler’s name. Now, we can proceed to the main event.
Have you ever had pure joy on something? You know, that thing that seemingly you can’t get over, that you watch and just can’t help but want to do? That sentiment is a transcendental one, and also very addictive; not to chase it is particularly difficult, because it is like a high. Fittingly, our subjects today describe themselves as “routine tag team wrestling, but you’re on cocaine”. Which, by the way, they claim not to use. Just thought you should know. Anyway, prepare yourselves for insanity, as today we talk about one of the biggest wrestling duos in the world. I’m talking about the elite pairing of Matt and Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks.
Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
ages 32 and 28
178 cm, both
78 kg and 81 kg
Introduction: A truism on wrestling today is that it’s pratically impossible to talk about tag teams and not mention the success of Matt and Nick Jackson. They have, at a tender age for pro grappling standards, left such an imprint in the scene that it is impossible to not take notice of their achievements. They have been part of the scene for over a decade now, main eventing shows, winning accolades and capturing the imaginations of a many fans with their exciting brand of performance. They have captured such titles as the ROH Tag Team Titles, the PWG Tag Team Titles, and the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles, many times over. Seriously. As in, 3-times, 4-times and 6–times, respectively.
And yet, they still crave for more. Together. This is a team that has never separated, a very rare sight in modern wrestling. Matt and Nick still believe there’s heights to be achieved, glory to be reached. And most important of all, fun to be had. Yes, when watching the Young Bucks, no other thing is more evident than their sheer enjoyment with their joined efforts. From their clothing, to their mannerisms, to their style, every shared trait is characteristic to this enjoyment, since the time they started training, going through when they formed their own promotion, and then taking the world by storm, one company at a time. They are an wrestling entity, and as such, we have to discuss what makes these talents worthy of so much merit. Let’s start this party.
Characters: From the start they were together. Sure, if you wanna get all technical, Matt Jackson started wrestling first. But him and Nick both had shared their dreams, their tastes and visions with each other. Oldest brothers of the family that they were, they had to create their path in this world. That they would do it in such a way that it would prove to be a blueprint to performers around the planet was the unexpected part. These brothers, like many aspiring wrestlers, faced size questions throughout their start. But also, many times, their personalities became the focal point. So, they had to prove themselves capable to hang.
And did they ever. Those who doubted them discounted one thing: their shared mind for the business. The Young Bucks knew they would have to make waves by force, not because they were irresistible, but because they would be undeniable. So, they would calibrate their team and act over time, their tastes so in tune with fans’ wishes, because they were two themselves. Their performance driven into forward-thinking by pure necessity and inventiveness. Their influences, so apparent they might as well be caricatures, but who cares, because all they want to do is have fun, and it shows.
Matt and Nick have an unique approach to critiques. They embrace them, use them to improve, and afterwards make a mockery of them, shoving it in everyone’s faces. It is part thick skin, part the hubris of former fans that had to go through a lot to get where they are. They do this out of sheer joy for their chosen profession, once a hobby, now a way of life and a form of expression to push forward, but always a passion. With these two fellas, there’s always something else to look forward to. They will make sure of it, because that’s what they always did. To make sure that, no matter the circumstance, they are must-see. You always get more bang for your buck when you watch Matt and Nick. That ain’t about to change anytime soon.
In-ring work: Tag-team wrestling, because of it’s multiple men format and interactions, is an inherently chaotic form of competition. The Young Bucks know and thrive on that, with a combination of supreme shared instincts form from their entire lives as brothers, plus their entire careers as a tag team. Also, their style is designed and conductive to such an environment, full of synchronized moves and high-flying, stunt-like maneuvers. Their shared mentality of risk-taking, high-voltage wrestling is a compelling but dangerous combination.
The Young Bucks’ most trusted weapon is their IndyTaker, a springboard spike tombstone piledriver, that can be variated into a somersault springboard, the Meltzer Driver. They also have countless team moves, such as aided dropkicks, turnbuckle powerbomb/enzuigiri combinations, the More Bang for Your Buck combination of a fireman’s carry rolling slam, into a 450 splash, into a moonsault, a myriad of dives to the outside, and of course, the famous Superkick Party, when Matt and Nick sequence kick everything in sight, many times in stereo. Recently, they have also taken upon themselves to submit opponents, with a dangerous Sharpshooter/Crossface combination called the Cease and Desist. Such a diverse moveset is designed for an overwhelmingly fast approach to competition, daring anyone else to keep up with their pace.
Of course, such a pace can lead itself to plenty of mistakes. Matt and Nick’s partnership from years and years minimize those to a great extent, but there’s but more action produces more margin for error. If their opponents can manage this eclectic barrage, there is a path to victory against the Bucks. Of course, chaos is not easy to stop. Especially such a beautiful, harmonious kind of chaos. The Young Bucks leave their fingerprints on the tag team wrestling world with a unique brand of performance. Their success and influence speaks for itself, really. But in case you doubt them, these two elite performers will have no problem putting their money where their mouths are.
Thank you so much for your continued support to this series! If you’d like, I set up a Patreon Page if you want to donate and help me continue to produce better content. The articles will continue to stay free, of course. This is just an easy avenue if you have the willingness and means to contribute with any amount you can, so I can keep doing these more and more. As always, any feedback and suggestions are appreciated. See you next time!