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"The Young Bucks are two guys who not only beat the odds to become one of the greatest, most popular tag teams ever, but also two industry changing visionaries. Matt and Nick are two of the smartest, hard-working, passionate individuals I’ve met during my 28 year career. With the creation of AEW, The Bucks will definitely leave the pro wrestling industry in a much better p "The Young Bucks are two guys who not only beat the odds to become one of the greatest, most popular tag teams ever, but also two industry changing visionaries. Matt and Nick are two of the smartest, hard-working, passionate individuals I’ve met during my 28 year career. With the creation of AEW, The Bucks will definitely leave the pro wrestling industry in a much better place then they discovered it in." —Matt Hardy, multiple-time world tag team champion The electric and daring independent wrestling tag team tells their inspiring story, revealing how two undersized, ambitious amateur athletes from Southern California became the idols of millions of popular sports fans and coveted among the ranks of AEW’s elite wrestling lineup.  Famous for their highflying moves, Superkicks and viral videos, Matt and Nick Jackson are two of the hottest and most talented competitors in professional wrestling today. Known as the Young Bucks, this pair of ambitious brothers are an inspiration to both fans and aspiring wrestlers worldwide due to their message of resilience and determination. That they are also faithful family men devoted to their loved ones gives them additional appeal.  A warm, heartfelt story of hope, perseverance, and undying ambition told with the brothers’ wit and charm, Young Bucks begins in Southern California, where two young boys grew up dreaming of success and fame. Matt and Nick look back on the sacrifices they made to achieve their ambitions, from taking odd  jobs to pay for their own wrestling ring to hosting backyard events with friends. They share their joy at being recruited into the independent California wrestling circuit and the work it took to finally make it professionally, and speak frankly about what it means to have the support of millions of fans cheering their talents in arenas nationwide. The Young Bucks talk endearingly about their sport, their faith, and their families, sharing personal reflections and behind-the-scenes anecdotes while paying tribute to the wrestling acts and inspirations that came before them. They also elaborate on this historical time in the evolution of wrestling, as the sport and its culture dramatically change day by day. Alternating between each brother’s perspective from chapter to chapter, this entertaining memoir is a complete portrait of what it means to grow into—and give back to—wrestling, the sport and profession they embody and love.  Young Bucks features approximately two dozen photographs.


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"The Young Bucks are two guys who not only beat the odds to become one of the greatest, most popular tag teams ever, but also two industry changing visionaries. Matt and Nick are two of the smartest, hard-working, passionate individuals I’ve met during my 28 year career. With the creation of AEW, The Bucks will definitely leave the pro wrestling industry in a much better p "The Young Bucks are two guys who not only beat the odds to become one of the greatest, most popular tag teams ever, but also two industry changing visionaries. Matt and Nick are two of the smartest, hard-working, passionate individuals I’ve met during my 28 year career. With the creation of AEW, The Bucks will definitely leave the pro wrestling industry in a much better place then they discovered it in." —Matt Hardy, multiple-time world tag team champion The electric and daring independent wrestling tag team tells their inspiring story, revealing how two undersized, ambitious amateur athletes from Southern California became the idols of millions of popular sports fans and coveted among the ranks of AEW’s elite wrestling lineup.  Famous for their highflying moves, Superkicks and viral videos, Matt and Nick Jackson are two of the hottest and most talented competitors in professional wrestling today. Known as the Young Bucks, this pair of ambitious brothers are an inspiration to both fans and aspiring wrestlers worldwide due to their message of resilience and determination. That they are also faithful family men devoted to their loved ones gives them additional appeal.  A warm, heartfelt story of hope, perseverance, and undying ambition told with the brothers’ wit and charm, Young Bucks begins in Southern California, where two young boys grew up dreaming of success and fame. Matt and Nick look back on the sacrifices they made to achieve their ambitions, from taking odd  jobs to pay for their own wrestling ring to hosting backyard events with friends. They share their joy at being recruited into the independent California wrestling circuit and the work it took to finally make it professionally, and speak frankly about what it means to have the support of millions of fans cheering their talents in arenas nationwide. The Young Bucks talk endearingly about their sport, their faith, and their families, sharing personal reflections and behind-the-scenes anecdotes while paying tribute to the wrestling acts and inspirations that came before them. They also elaborate on this historical time in the evolution of wrestling, as the sport and its culture dramatically change day by day. Alternating between each brother’s perspective from chapter to chapter, this entertaining memoir is a complete portrait of what it means to grow into—and give back to—wrestling, the sport and profession they embody and love.  Young Bucks features approximately two dozen photographs.

30 review for Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues

  1. 4 out of 5

    Khurram

    This is an awesome book. I have not be a full time pro-wrestling fan for a number of years. Yet I do keep one ear to the ground. I did stop watching WWE quite early on, and changed to the indi shows definitely ROH. I think I became a fan of every member of the roster, I actually find it funny the number of top guys I saw, and pointed out to the people are now the top of the WWE. When I first saw this book my first thought was oh the Young Bucks made it to the WWE. as only WWE or these big company This is an awesome book. I have not be a full time pro-wrestling fan for a number of years. Yet I do keep one ear to the ground. I did stop watching WWE quite early on, and changed to the indi shows definitely ROH. I think I became a fan of every member of the roster, I actually find it funny the number of top guys I saw, and pointed out to the people are now the top of the WWE. When I first saw this book my first thought was oh the Young Bucks made it to the WWE. as only WWE or these big company wrestlers would be writing their own book. The fact is that they did not need a company behind them. They not only enhanced every company they worked for, but created their own. What makes these guys so great is they took everything that was thrown at them or to them and made it their own. They did everything their own way. These guys are compared to the Hardy Boyz, to the point that there book is even written in the same both brother writing a chapter each. Even their early careers of starting in their backyards with home made rings. The difference comes later, where the Hardys made it their goal to be in the WWE/WWF, the Bucks decided to go the outlaw way. This is a great story of passion, persistence, sacrifice, hardwork, heartbreak and achievement. This is an awesome underdog story of two guys who would not change but changed the world of their industry.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Enjoyable read following the journey of professional wrestlers Matt and Nick Jackson, also known as the Young Bucks. It was lovely to learn more about both men, and to read about the trials and hardships of being young independent wrestlers trying to make a living doing what they love. I was already a fan, but after reading their book I've got a new appreciation for what they do and how hard they work. I've watched wrestling on and off since i was a little girl, but it's wrestlers like the Young Enjoyable read following the journey of professional wrestlers Matt and Nick Jackson, also known as the Young Bucks. It was lovely to learn more about both men, and to read about the trials and hardships of being young independent wrestlers trying to make a living doing what they love. I was already a fan, but after reading their book I've got a new appreciation for what they do and how hard they work. I've watched wrestling on and off since i was a little girl, but it's wrestlers like the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega that got me watching again and that actually make it fun and new again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bobby

    Killing the Business feels like a well-earned victory lap for Matt and Nick Jackson. These are guys who carved out their own path in professional wrestling on their own terms by staying true to themselves. There’s a real lesson there that extends into the real world for anyone who is chasing a passion or creative goals. I wish this book was longer and more detailed at points. Everyone who reads this knows the happy ending to come for the Bucks so I wish there was more time spent in the lows and th Killing the Business feels like a well-earned victory lap for Matt and Nick Jackson. These are guys who carved out their own path in professional wrestling on their own terms by staying true to themselves. There’s a real lesson there that extends into the real world for anyone who is chasing a passion or creative goals. I wish this book was longer and more detailed at points. Everyone who reads this knows the happy ending to come for the Bucks so I wish there was more time spent in the lows and the ins and outs of independent wrestling. NOTE: I read an ARC. PS - Would have been six stars if this was published in Japan

  4. 5 out of 5

    Beth The Vampire

    I have been a wrestling fan since I was about 15. When AEW first started in 2019, I hopped on the train, and I have never left. I don't watch WWE anymore. AEW is all I need. Before AEW, I was mildly aware of the Young Bucks, mostly because of the things they were doing in New Japan, and after discovering Being The Elite (which changed everything), I became a fan of Nick and Matt. They clearly love wrestling, but respect it too much to just lie down and take money, they wanted to do something diff I have been a wrestling fan since I was about 15. When AEW first started in 2019, I hopped on the train, and I have never left. I don't watch WWE anymore. AEW is all I need. Before AEW, I was mildly aware of the Young Bucks, mostly because of the things they were doing in New Japan, and after discovering Being The Elite (which changed everything), I became a fan of Nick and Matt. They clearly love wrestling, but respect it too much to just lie down and take money, they wanted to do something different, to change the game. And I can definitely respect them for that. This book is not that well written, and sometimes a little too descriptive, but at the same time I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Bucks evolve into who they are now. It's funny to think that just a few years ago, they were finding it hard to get by and working a 'normal' job to circumvent their incomes. Now they are EVPs and tag team champions of a company they helped form. It's been a massive ride for them, but they sure have deserved every second of success. The parts I loved the most were seeing when and how they met their crew; Scorpio Sky, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, PAC. And then others like Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Sami Zayn, Adam Cole, etc. So many of these guys all know each other, came up together, but all of them went on different paths. I enjoyed reading about how they became The Elite, and the road to 'All In.' If anything the last few chapters were a bit rushed, and I would have loved to gain some more insight into what they were thinking and feeling when turning down a massive offer from WWE to go their own way. This was one hell of a story, but at the same time I would have liked to gain more of an insight into how the brothers actually felt about certain things. Like I said, sometimes there was a lot of description about what was happening, but not how it emotionally impacted these two young bucks. Regardless, this was entertaining, and interesting. And there is more than enough room for a sequel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    J.

    Gonna be honest— it reads like “we went here and were awesome” in succession for 300 pages. Not a lot in the way of real drama or juicy detail. Matt and Nick come off as likable people, but the book isn’t as interesting as you think their story would be.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Richelle Robinson

    Thank you to Dey St. books for my review copy. My 🗯: So one fun fact about me is that I’m a big wrestling fan. I started watching as a kid and never looked back. Wrestling and reading are two “hobbies” that transitioned to adulthood. Even though I’m not a big reader of non fiction I will drop everything to read a wrestling memoir. So it was a no brainer I had to read this book. I enjoyed reading this book as I have been following the Jackson’s for a few years and I watch AEW every Wednesday. They s Thank you to Dey St. books for my review copy. My 🗯: So one fun fact about me is that I’m a big wrestling fan. I started watching as a kid and never looked back. Wrestling and reading are two “hobbies” that transitioned to adulthood. Even though I’m not a big reader of non fiction I will drop everything to read a wrestling memoir. So it was a no brainer I had to read this book. I enjoyed reading this book as I have been following the Jackson’s for a few years and I watch AEW every Wednesday. They seem to be very family oriented which I know has to be hard when they are away a lot. I do respect their hustle and how they made a name for themselves without ever making it to WWE. Most of the wrestlers I know and some are new to me and it was nice getting more info on the indie wrestling scene. Overall this was an enjoyable memoir and if you’re a fan of wrestling be sure to add this one to your list!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    As someone relatively new to wrestling and unaware of The Young Bucks I really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the Jackson brothers and their persistent struggle and no-quit attitude towards turning their dreams into reality. The book is one big journey of how they started to wrestle in their backyard In Reseda to wrestling all over the world. I never realized how hard wrestlers work. Sometimes basically wrecking their bodies night after night for little to no pay-off and promotion. Reading As someone relatively new to wrestling and unaware of The Young Bucks I really enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the Jackson brothers and their persistent struggle and no-quit attitude towards turning their dreams into reality. The book is one big journey of how they started to wrestle in their backyard In Reseda to wrestling all over the world. I never realized how hard wrestlers work. Sometimes basically wrecking their bodies night after night for little to no pay-off and promotion. Reading this makes you privy to some of the stuff that your average fan doesn’t know. It was also cool to learn wrestling terminology and just how AEW started. I mean what would've happened if Matt never returned Tony Khans call? Reading about how they dedicated themselves to achieving their goals in life was fun and at times depressing. The chapters alternate between each brother so you can get a feel of their personalities. I also liked learning about the wrestlers they met in the circuit. Wrestlers we see on tv and who are actually very kind behind the scenes. One thing I will say is there is a lot of hyperbole in this book and sometimes it can take away from their believability. I recommend reading a chapter at a time and not binging it, otherwise it can seem like excessive bragging in some chapters. It was fun though to read about a match and then look it up on YouTube to see if it really was as they described. It’s impressive that they wrote this on their phones in between their busy schedules. The Young Bucks definitely have a lot of drive. Even for the people who can’t stand them you can’t deny how hard they have worked and practiced to get to where they are. If you are into wrestling and even if you are not, this is an entertaining read. Special thanks to NetGalley and Dey Street Books for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Akshay Oommen

    I still remember the tremendous anticipation for 'All In' back in 2018. Every day leading up to it filled me with an increasing hunger for professional wrestling that I hadn't had in years. With the WWE on the steady decline (if not financially, then atleast in the minds of their most ardent fans) thanks in part to terrible booking, lack of any real stars and an absolute oversaturation of wrestling content that focused on more quantity and less quality - the wrestling revolution sparked by the El I still remember the tremendous anticipation for 'All In' back in 2018. Every day leading up to it filled me with an increasing hunger for professional wrestling that I hadn't had in years. With the WWE on the steady decline (if not financially, then atleast in the minds of their most ardent fans) thanks in part to terrible booking, lack of any real stars and an absolute oversaturation of wrestling content that focused on more quantity and less quality - the wrestling revolution sparked by the Elite and Tony Khan was something the business sorely needed. We needed a revolution. And the wrestling Gods answered our prayers. Fast forward to 2 years later, and All Elite Wrestling is without a doubt the premier wrestling show on the planet (although some credit goes to NJPW for bungling up their product in 2020). With a talented roster ranging from WWE vets like Moxley and Jericho, to rapidly rising homegrown stars like MJF, Jungle Boy and Darby Allin - AEW is the place to go for any wrestling fan who doesn't want their intelligence insulted, yet rather satiated, through fantastic booking and wrestling. This may seem like a digression - but in many ways, what I'm talking about is essentially the culmination for the arduous journey Matt and Nick Jackson go through in the decades leading up to the creation of 'All Elite Wrestling'. In this day and age where even the best wrestlers are content with picking up WWE's fat paycheck (heck, I'd do it too), the Bucks went against the grain and took a path that no wrestler would even fathom - creating a wrestling company of their own with Tony Khan at the helm, and good friends (i.e, Omega, Cody, Page amongst others) by their side. This is a story of how a small group of wrestlers taking the road less travelled, along with the ardent support of their fanbase, would result in one of the best weekly episodic wrestling TV shows. My heart is overflowing with an unbridled ocean of respect for these two men after reading this book - I still own an OG Young Bucks Bullet Club tee that I put on whenever I watch major AEW PPV's, as a sign of my support. I gobbled this book up in 2 days -as a sign of my support. The Bucks (more specifically, the Elite) have something the WWE doesn't - and that is the unwavering loyalty of their fans. Together, I - along with every other real professional wrestling fan out there - are going to make sure that your efforts don't go wasted. We're gonna stick by AEW, not blindly, but because you guys are doing something meaningful for the business - something that can make a huge change in the years to come. No other way to do it - but to go all in. PS: Looking forward to attend an AE-dub show live before I hit my 30's.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Killing The Business is the story of the Bucks Of Youth, those two spot monkeys that you either love or hate. The thing is. there's no denying their influence on the prowrestling world. There was a time when you needed the WWE to make your career, but then the Bucks came along and through hard work, dedication, and marketing, they proved that you could be successfult without the big machine. Even if you're not a fan it's an interesting biook and one that follows the career of Matt and Nick right Killing The Business is the story of the Bucks Of Youth, those two spot monkeys that you either love or hate. The thing is. there's no denying their influence on the prowrestling world. There was a time when you needed the WWE to make your career, but then the Bucks came along and through hard work, dedication, and marketing, they proved that you could be successfult without the big machine. Even if you're not a fan it's an interesting biook and one that follows the career of Matt and Nick right up until the moment they meet TOny Khan and once again made history by being a part of AEW. It's an interesting read that at times becomes egoristical, but it's expected but under the ego is the reality that none of their success would have been possible without the wrestling fans. They're the people who followed the Bucks through TNA and beyond. While there isn't a lot of dirt here, it's still a good read. Matt and Nick wrote the book themselves on their Iphones without a ghost writer which is impressive and doesn't suffer from filler. It follows their career from the backyards to the big leagues while showing just how much of an impact they've made in wrestling. It's a great read that doesn't have the usual fall from grace that most bios do, but as they begin to reach the end of their ROH run there's a few surprises here. The Young Bucks are both reviled and respected but one thing you can't denyi is how successful they are. They built their brand and believed in themselves and it paid off. While they may be spot momkeys, there's no denying their influence on the world of wrestling.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    5 stars since I‘m biased af and I absolutely love The Young Bucks. But in all seriousness this book is a delight! It was quite a rollercoaster of emotions and I almost felt their anxiety in the difficult parts if their lives when they were struggling hard, but at the end it left me all happy and fuzzy inside!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lucas

    Pretty much everything you would want in a Young Bucks book about their pre-AEW days. Lots of new information that I don’t think has ever been released too about their negotiations with WWE and Tony Khan’s pitch. Also loved learning that the house they grew up in was haunted.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

    MAYBE 4.5 stars simply because the narrator mispronounced a few things, but forgiving that this was excellent and highly recommended to any wrestling fan.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Camp

    This was really good in an inspirational way. I love these guys, and I’ve been supporting them for a minute because I believe in them and all the times they’ve rebelled and gone against what they were supposed to do. Massive amount of respect. I like how the chapters are presented as tags in and out between the brothers, too. The writing style is not the greatest, but this is their first book, and the content more than makes up for it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nathyn Gibson

    Easy to go through. They're confident in their skills but very sincere. I enjoy their work and this book is included. Easy to go through. They're confident in their skills but very sincere. I enjoy their work and this book is included.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Biography & Memoir

    I have been a professional wrestling fan my entire life. For a while, it was taboo to say such a thing out loud. When I was young, you could only watch the sport once a week at midnight on Saturdays. Then Hulk Hogan came along and made the industry cool, and it all exploded. Since the days of Hulkamania, things have tailed off a bit, and in recent years your only choice is watching the over-saturated WWE or, if you’re fortunate, several of the great independent professional leagues out there tha I have been a professional wrestling fan my entire life. For a while, it was taboo to say such a thing out loud. When I was young, you could only watch the sport once a week at midnight on Saturdays. Then Hulk Hogan came along and made the industry cool, and it all exploded. Since the days of Hulkamania, things have tailed off a bit, and in recent years your only choice is watching the over-saturated WWE or, if you’re fortunate, several of the great independent professional leagues out there that are able to mix old-school wrestling with high-flying and risk-taking on a nightly basis. One of the major success stories to come out of the independent ranks and become global sensations is the duo of Matt and Nick Massie --- better known as Matt and Nick Jackson, or the Young Bucks. They are possibly the greatest, most exciting tag team I have ever seen, and YOUNG BUCKS just may be the most insightful and enjoyable wrestling book I have read thus far. The Prologue finds the Young Bucks, along with their best friend in the wrestling business, Kenny Omega, seeing their current wrestling contracts with Ring of Honor about to expire and pondering their next move. The book will end by revealing this move, which perhaps has permanently changed the face of professional wrestling. Matt and Nick share storytelling duties here, with every other chapter told from each of their points of view. But it is done so expertly --- a tribute to their editors --- that the narrative is seamless. We learn about their start in Southern California and their lower middle-class upbringing in a Christian household that supported their love of wrestling from their childhood. A lot of young people like to emulate their wrestling heroes, and Matt and Nick (with help from their father) built their own ring in their backyard. After school, their house was the most popular in the neighborhood, and their passion for professional wrestling turned into their own “league” --- the BYWA, or Backyard Wrestling Association. What started out small actually grew into another independent wrestling promotion that eventually attracted some outside professional wrestling talent. Matt talks about the only girl he had time for outside of wrestling, Dana, with whom he ended up marrying and starting a family. It is encouraging to see that both Bucks have positive, loving family lives that mean everything to them. They clearly put their loved ones first when it comes to every decision they have made throughout their careers. There is enough name-dropping to make the book a who’s who of the current wrestling world. What I enjoyed most is how they humanized them and allowed us to see behind the curtain these very real and dedicated professionals who give their all for their fans’ entertainment. A touching part of the book is when Matt must talk a fellow wrestler down from a suicidal moment. Regrettably, Chris Kanyon did end up taking his own life a few years after that incident as he battled demons brought on by his homosexuality. The Young Bucks grew quickly from the backyard wrestling ranks and enjoyed success with TNA/Impact Wrestling, as well as Ring of Honor. Perhaps the one move that really gave them wider appeal and respect was when they traveled to Japan to wrestle with the highly competitive New Japan Wrestling promotion. They made some lifelong friendships and connections there that included Kenny and later Cody Rhodes and Adam Page --- the group that would become the cornerstone of their own wrestling promotion. When the Young Bucks became part of the immensely popular stable of heels known as the Bullet Club, they took off on a global scale. Matt and Nick revolutionized self-promotion and continue to do so. Their t-shirt sales often rank with the top wrestling merchandise in the business. They knew they finally made it in 2018 when Funko put out dolls of the Young Bucks, along with Kenny and Cody. This all paved the way for the life-changing phone call that Matt took from Tony Khan, the co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. of the English Premier League. The dreams of Tony and the Young Bucks were in sync, and their initial discussions turned into what is now known as AEW, or All Elite Wrestling, which they helped form along with Kenny, Cody and Adam. All of the years that I have devoted to watching professional wrestling did not prepare me for this promotion, which is a mix of longtime wrestling favorites and some of the top young stars and independent talent on the circuit, many of whom never could have gotten the exposure they are receiving from AEW. You can tell that they all like each other; they are doing things the right way and treating everyone involved with a level of respect usually not seen in the profession. I most enjoyed how Matt and Nick spell out all the choices they made along the way and analyze how any of these decisions could have led them down a completely different path. Many people say that everything happens for a reason, and this is self-evident throughout the book. It is a refreshing look at life that allows readers to step into their shoes and experience what is happening to them every step of the way. YOUNG BUCKS is not to be missed by any true wrestling fan, and I defy you not to want to throw a Superkick at someone after reading it. Reviewed by Ray Palen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ray Palen

    I have been a professional wrestling fan my entire life. For a while, that was a taboo thing to announce out loud. When I was young, you could only watch it once a week at midnight on Saturday’s. Then, Hulk Hogan came along and made the industry cool and things just exploded. Since the days of Hulkamania, things have tailed off a bit and in recent years your only choice was watching the over-saturated WWE or, if you were fortunate, several of the great independent professional leagues out there I have been a professional wrestling fan my entire life. For a while, that was a taboo thing to announce out loud. When I was young, you could only watch it once a week at midnight on Saturday’s. Then, Hulk Hogan came along and made the industry cool and things just exploded. Since the days of Hulkamania, things have tailed off a bit and in recent years your only choice was watching the over-saturated WWE or, if you were fortunate, several of the great independent professional leagues out there who are able to mix old school wrestling with high-flying and risk-taking on a nightly basis. One of the major success stories to come out of the independent ranks to become global sensations are Matt and Nick Massie --- better known as Matt and Nick Jackson or The Young Bucks. They are possibly the greatest, most exciting tag-team I have ever seen and their current release YOUNG BUCKS: KILLING THE BUSINESS just may be the most insightful and enjoyable wrestling book I have read to date. The Prologue finds the Young Bucks along with their best friend in the wrestling business, Kenny Omega, seeing their current wrestling contracts with Ring Of Honor about to expire and pondering their next move. This book will end with the big reveal of what that move ends up being --- one that has changed the face of professional wrestling probably permanently. Matt and Nick share storytelling here and every other chapter is told from one of their points of view. However, it is done so expertly --- a tribute to the editing --- that the narrative is seamless. We learn about their start in Southern California and their lower middle-class upbringing in a loving, Christian household that supported their love of wrestling from their childhood. A lot of young people like to emulate their wrestling heroes, Matt and Nick built their own ring along with their father in the backyard of their home. After-school, their house was the most popular one in the neighborhood and their passion for professional wrestling turned into their own ‘league’ --- the BYWA or Backyard Wrestling Association. What started out small actually grew into another independent wrestling promotion that eventually attracted some outside professional wrestling talent. Matt talks about the only girl he had time for outside of wrestling --- Dana --- who he ended up marrying and starting a family with. It is encouraging to see how both Bucks have positive, loving family lives that mean everything to them. They clearly put their families first when it comes to every decision they made during their careers. Throughout the entire book there is enough name-dropping to make this a who’s-who of the current wrestling world. What I enjoyed most is how they humanized them all and allowed us to see behind the curtain at these very real and dedicated professionals who give their all for their fan’s entertainment. A real touching part of the book is when Matt must talk a fellow wrestler down from a suicidal moment. Regrettably, the wrestler in question named Chris Kanyon did end up taking his own life a few years after that incident as he battled demons brought on by the fact that he was an admittedly gay wrestler. The Young Bucks grew quickly from the backyard wrestling ranks and enjoyed success with TNA/Impact Wrestling as well as Ring Of Honor. Perhaps the one move that really gave them wider appeal and respect was when they travelled to Japan to wrestle with the highly competitive New Japan Wrestling promotion. They made some lifelong friendships and connections here that included Kenny Omega and later Cody Rhodes and Adam Page --- the group that would become the cornerstone of their own wrestling promotion. When the Young Bucks became part of the immensely popular stable of heels known as the Bullet Club, they really took off on a global scale. Matt and Nick revolutionized self-promotion throughout their career and continue to do so. Their t-shirt sales often rank with the top wrestling merchandise in the business. They knew they finally made it in 2018 when Funko put out dolls of the Young Bucks along Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes. All of this paved the way for the life-changing phone call Matt took from a man named Tony Khan --- co-owner of both the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and a British Futbol Club in the U.K. Tony’s dream and the Young Bucks ‘dreams were in sync and their initial discussions turned into what is now known as AEW or All Elite Wrestling, which they helped form along with good friends Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and Adam Page. All the years I have devoted to watching professional wrestling did not prepare me for this promotion. Every single move they have made has been a home run. The entire promotion is a mix of long-time wrestling favorites as well as some of the top young stars and independent talent on the circuit, many of whom could have never gotten the exposure they are receiving from AEW. It is a wrestling league where you can tell everyone likes each other and they are doing things the right way and treating everyone involved with a level of respect usually not seen in the profession. What I enjoyed most about this book, and there is much to enjoy here, is how Matt and Nick spell out all the choices they made along the way and analyzing how any of them could have led them down a completely different path. Many people say everything happens for a reason and this is self-evident throughout this book. That is a refreshing look at life and really allows the reader to step into their shoes and experience what is happening to them every step of the way. Not to be missed by any true wrestling fan and I defy you not to want to throw a super-kick at someone after reading it! Reviewed by Ray Palen for Book Reporter

  17. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Rose

    I have always been a few fan of professional wrestling having grown up watching WCW and WWE when I was just a wee babe with a lucha obsessed uncle. Since then I've flown around the world to watch professional wrestling shows and I've been to five Wrestlemania's so I think of myself as a pretty good authority on talking about wrestling related media. The Young Bucks are, without question, two of the most popular wrestlers in the world. If you're a wrestling fan, even one who exclusively watches W I have always been a few fan of professional wrestling having grown up watching WCW and WWE when I was just a wee babe with a lucha obsessed uncle. Since then I've flown around the world to watch professional wrestling shows and I've been to five Wrestlemania's so I think of myself as a pretty good authority on talking about wrestling related media. The Young Bucks are, without question, two of the most popular wrestlers in the world. If you're a wrestling fan, even one who exclusively watches WWE, you have heard of the Young Bucks at one time or another. They are fantastic wrestlers and have a flair for the dramatic which makes them both brilliantly and overly obnoxious depending on what a show needs, and they always manage to deliver. In terms of this book, it's pretty much what you'd imagine as a wrestling life story. I don't know why you'd bother to read this unless you were a fan of the Young Bucks, so the fact that it's written in a style that caters to wrestling fans makes a lot of sense. While they do explain who certain people are, they assume you know what certain companies and moves which are is perfectly fine in my eyes. The first half of the book is centered around their early lives from birth to becoming backyard wrestlers and the duo trying to figure out how you break into the wrestling business. The second part of the book (after the break for photos) centers around how they became the phenomenon's they are today, from wrestling in Chikara to their lengthy stint in Ring of Honor, as well as being signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling and talks with the WWE. The very end of the book is where they begin to discuss how their current company, All Elite Wrestling, came to be, which was fun to read about even though I've heard interviews about it before. If you're a wrestling fan, you'll enjoy this book. Sure, it's not overly well written but it's not bad at all, and Matt and Nick alternate chapters which helps it move along. A lot of Matt's chapters discuss how he deals with traveling around the world for wrestling while having a wife and children at home, and Matt really comes across as being the most family centric man on Earth and I believe it. He talks a lot about the struggles both faced when dealing with wrestling in relation to their loved ones, especially their wives and the girlfriends who couldn't handle the traveling early on, which I found to be a very honest take on what their lives look like. I also enjoyed learning about how different promotions run and who on the indie scene was kind to them when they needed it. Scorpio Sky always seems to be the greatest dude in stories so many wrestlers have told, so that is lovely. It was fun to read their perspectives in terms of getting booked on shows, bargaining for more pay or flights and how Colt Cabana and some others helped them really learn how to make big money by using merch. All in all a good read. If you like wrestling, you'll enjoy this, I think. Blog / Twitter / Instagram

  18. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Bateman

    The Young Bucks are akin to a band whose music I can appreciate from afar but have little interest in hearing in person. "They do a hell of a job with all of that," I'll think, while listening to something dumber and bigger, or slower and more traditional. But this autobiography is quite useful: Matt and Nick are small businessmen at heart, sons of a local construction firm owner, and their rise to the top of the non-WWE heap is particularly compelling in that regard. The book features chapters a The Young Bucks are akin to a band whose music I can appreciate from afar but have little interest in hearing in person. "They do a hell of a job with all of that," I'll think, while listening to something dumber and bigger, or slower and more traditional. But this autobiography is quite useful: Matt and Nick are small businessmen at heart, sons of a local construction firm owner, and their rise to the top of the non-WWE heap is particularly compelling in that regard. The book features chapters alternately authored by one or the other Jackson, but this doesn't really matter as the narrative advances and there aren't obvious differences between the two writing styles. As someone who makes money in a variety of ways, through multiple side hustles, I was interested in their gradual move from focusing on their wrestling - trained in the backyard, field-tested in PWG, given national exposure in TNA and ROH, taken mainstream in NJPW, and finally used to carry AEW - to examining how, at each stage along the way, the Bucks gradually became aware of new ways to earn ever increasing amounts of money. It was slow going for some time, earning $200-500 a match in TNA and ROH after years of earning even less than that in the true indies, making their way to 1800-2200 in NJPW and eventually six figures guaranteed in ROH prior to an alleged 7-figure WWE deal they turned down so they could launch AEW with Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, and Kenny Omega. They also learned from early podcaster/wrestling hustler Colt Cabana about how to work the merch racket, taking it to unprecedented levels of production and volume thanks to Pro Wrestling Tees, Hot Topic, and Matt's wife Dana. There's also something about the Bucks' fairly serious Christianity that's helped them keep their bodies halfway intact - drinking and drugging to self-medicated injuries negatively impacted their idols and 1.0 iteration, the Hardys, but the Bucks have thus far avoided that fate. I'm not really much for either group - I don't care for spotfests, even ones executed by masters of the genre - but I can respect how the Young Bucks recognize that one need not appear before 3-4 million WWE fans, taking a smaller slice of the merch/money in return for access to the company's platform, if one can maintain a personal platform with a following of 500k-1 mil that willing to spend money that mostly flows back to you.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Micchi Kins

    Being born the same year as Matt Jackson, and a pro wrestling fan for as long as I can remember, the early chapters of this book brought back my own nostalgia and memories. There were also moments that took my breath away with sadness - the Jacksons' early love of Hulk Hogan (a love that was almost universally shared by fans of our age), combined with the modern knowledge of who Hogan truly is and the harm he has caused, was particularly poignant. I also appreciate the way both Matt and Nick hav Being born the same year as Matt Jackson, and a pro wrestling fan for as long as I can remember, the early chapters of this book brought back my own nostalgia and memories. There were also moments that took my breath away with sadness - the Jacksons' early love of Hulk Hogan (a love that was almost universally shared by fans of our age), combined with the modern knowledge of who Hogan truly is and the harm he has caused, was particularly poignant. I also appreciate the way both Matt and Nick have treated others throughout their lives, never ostracizing marginalized people, always being warm and compassionate even when their egos maybe needed a little knocking down. There is a thread that runs through that I'm not sure either of them recognize or consciously cultivate - when they cause harm or offense, they don't just apologize. They work to set it right. They learn from it. Not out of obligation or fear of burning a bridge, but because they believe it is the right thing to do. That's rare enough to see in people who are actively trying to unlearn problematic behavior, but they just...do it because it's the right thing to do, and that's incredibly rare. To be clear, neither Matt nor Nick are authors. But they are both storytellers, and their personalities shine brightly in their reflections, their memories, their story. This book's charm isn't in its strength as a memoir - this book reads more like a transcription of oral history. It reads like the stories they'll tell their children, stories they share with new talent, stories they tell friends at TGI Friday's. The hardback is also absolutely beautiful. I was gifted a signed copy, and it will be one of my most treasured books for years to come. The dust jacket is beautifully put together, and captures both the outrageous characters of Matt and Nick Jackson, and the quiet reflections of Matt and Nick Massie. And the illustrations inside the covers, and that are used as chapter headers, are a perfect touch. I knew going into this book that I would enjoy it. I didn't realize quite how much it would impact me, though, and I am grateful for that.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    I'd give the Bucks 7 stars for this book, but unfortunately it would mean breaking Meltzer's rating system. This is a very good book about two guys working their way up in the wrestling world. Matt and Nick Jackson, collectively known as the Young Bucks, are currently the AEW World Tag Team Champions (as of January 5th, 2021). This book shows the rise to stardom and what hard work and dedication it took them to get there. I only really caught wind of them as part of Bullet Club in ROH. I did not I'd give the Bucks 7 stars for this book, but unfortunately it would mean breaking Meltzer's rating system. This is a very good book about two guys working their way up in the wrestling world. Matt and Nick Jackson, collectively known as the Young Bucks, are currently the AEW World Tag Team Champions (as of January 5th, 2021). This book shows the rise to stardom and what hard work and dedication it took them to get there. I only really caught wind of them as part of Bullet Club in ROH. I did not know about their rise to that point, their backyard wrestling roots and so forth. So I found this book very interesting and very different than most wrestler's biographies I have read. They focus a large section of the book on growing up as kids. Very few wrestlers tend to delve that deeply into their childhood. But this made sense for the Jacksons to do this. I won't spoil the book by saying why this important, as I suspect most people who pick this book up will be fans of their's from in and around the same time as me, so won't know their backstory. But it is a very illuminating and heartfelt read. The one thing I will spoil, is that I had no idea that they were devoutly religious and prayed before leaving Gorilla for every match. I had thought the cocky personalities we saw in Bullet Club and AEW, were simply amped up versions of themselves. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I mention this because most wrestlers' books talk about the sex, drugs, and drinking that are inherent with being on the road. If you are looking for a sordid look behind the curtain to discover something about the Jacksons, you won't find it in the book. I have never heard of any major stories about them off-camera, so I suspect what they write in the book is truly how it was with them. They are best friends, straight edged, love their wives, devoted fathers, kind of guys. The changed the world and their story will change how you look at wrestlers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ben Reid

    A very good read and insight into the area of professional wrestling we know little about, the indies. I’ve always been a WWE fan, never watched indies, was always narrow minded and ‘brainwashed’ by WWE. But in the last year or so, I’ve finally started to broaden my horizons. Mainly because of AEW. Most of those guys and girls I’d never, ever seen wrestle, or even heard of. I’d heard a buzz about The Young Bucks for years, but never bothered. Now I’ve watched them for the last couple years, I ful A very good read and insight into the area of professional wrestling we know little about, the indies. I’ve always been a WWE fan, never watched indies, was always narrow minded and ‘brainwashed’ by WWE. But in the last year or so, I’ve finally started to broaden my horizons. Mainly because of AEW. Most of those guys and girls I’d never, ever seen wrestle, or even heard of. I’d heard a buzz about The Young Bucks for years, but never bothered. Now I’ve watched them for the last couple years, I fully understand and appreciate that hype. Kills me I was so stupid to miss out of years of greatness with them and Bullet Club. This book really tells their story from the backyards to the big stage, it’s uplifting and inspiring to see what they made for themselves. From merch to running a wrestling promotion, it’s beyond anything they could have imagined. I love their stories and honesty throughout the book, it’s great to get a serious behind the scenes look at indies, NJPW and the startup of AEW. They don’t hold back with their thoughts, feelings and love for what they do, professional wrestling. The family love comes through huge in this book and it’s clear how much family means to them. This a great wrestling book and a real page-turner. Fully recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Layan - ليان

    The prologue recalls the events of late 2018. When The Elite (Matt, Nick, and Kenny Omega) were sought-after by the biggest wrestling promotion WWE and Tony Khan, an entrepreneur eager to get into the wrestling business. The prologue lays the perfect tone for the book. This book then goes through their childhood, backyard wrestling, PWG, extra work for WWE, the first time in Japan for Dragon Gate, TNA, ROH, Bullet Club, and NJPW. The last chapters recalled the events leading to All In, the offe The prologue recalls the events of late 2018. When The Elite (Matt, Nick, and Kenny Omega) were sought-after by the biggest wrestling promotion WWE and Tony Khan, an entrepreneur eager to get into the wrestling business. The prologue lays the perfect tone for the book. This book then goes through their childhood, backyard wrestling, PWG, extra work for WWE, the first time in Japan for Dragon Gate, TNA, ROH, Bullet Club, and NJPW. The last chapters recalled the events leading to All In, the offers from WWE, and ultimately the announcement of AEW. This autobiography by Matt and Nick Jackson (Young Bucks) does everything right. The book is a gift of the hardcore YB fan, yet it can be enjoyed just the same by any wrestling fan or any person with a vision and a dream. I remember when I first started reading this book, I'd watch the Young Bucks wrestle on Dynamite, and I'd feel a new connection to this tag team that I'd watched for years. After reading this book, watching the YB perform feels like watching a close friend perform out there. Ten years from now, I would love to read a sequel on AEW's early years.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael McGovern

    It's an okay, easy read, but it's not Elite. It feels like it is lacking in a lot of detail and it's all play-by-play with no colour. It doesn't have the deep introspection or great road stories that make the best wrestling books what they are. It sometimes reads as an expanded Wiki article listing the places they've been, what they've done, and who they've met without the interesting side stories I imagine are associated with those experiences. If this were a shoot interview it'd be considered It's an okay, easy read, but it's not Elite. It feels like it is lacking in a lot of detail and it's all play-by-play with no colour. It doesn't have the deep introspection or great road stories that make the best wrestling books what they are. It sometimes reads as an expanded Wiki article listing the places they've been, what they've done, and who they've met without the interesting side stories I imagine are associated with those experiences. If this were a shoot interview it'd be considered a bland one. Every chapter is basically, "We went to X promotion and we had a match where we crushed it. Some people didn't get what we were doing but we still expanded our brand and that's all that matters. We missed our wives and kids while we were away from them.". Repeat that until the final chapter and you get an idea of the contents. There's not really much AEW content in there, which I guess leaves things open for a sequel. For a team known for their high risk moveset, this was an extremely safe effort that ruffled no feathers and didn't enlighten much past what is already known.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Slimifyd

    Honest review - I enjoyed my time with this book, it's not bad but it doesn't really shine either hence 3 star, if you are coming in to this expecting fun stories or much more than "how we got here" this may leave you feeling a little disappointed (see mick foleys have a nice day for contrast.) someone else mentioned that this book could be summed up as 300 pages of "we went here and we were awesome" and although there is indeed ups and downs sadly that statement is mostly true. Again I did enjoy Honest review - I enjoyed my time with this book, it's not bad but it doesn't really shine either hence 3 star, if you are coming in to this expecting fun stories or much more than "how we got here" this may leave you feeling a little disappointed (see mick foleys have a nice day for contrast.) someone else mentioned that this book could be summed up as 300 pages of "we went here and we were awesome" and although there is indeed ups and downs sadly that statement is mostly true. Again I did enjoy my time with the book but I feel that is mostly just due to being a YB fan and that feeling of "yeah they did it!" will carry most of us through this. Mick Foley's have a nice day I would recommend to anyone as a great autobiography regardless of if they are a Foley fan or even a wrestling fan it's simply a warm, story laden read that I think most would enjoy by contrast I couldn't say the same for this if you want to "too sweet me when you greet me" you will no doubt enjoy this but outside of YB fans who just want more YBs in their/our lives it's hard to recommend.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Spiff

    you can tell they aren't authors, but that didn't detract from the book for me. i'm a sucker for wrasslin' and it was SO COOL to read a book that wasn't from a wwe/f or wcw guy/gal. the indie and njpw stories were great and featured a ton of hugely popular people. they fell in to the wrasslin' book trope of "we had the best match of the night and tore the house down! the boys in the back had tears in their eyes as they gave us a standing ovation and carried us out on their shoulders!", but it's you can tell they aren't authors, but that didn't detract from the book for me. i'm a sucker for wrasslin' and it was SO COOL to read a book that wasn't from a wwe/f or wcw guy/gal. the indie and njpw stories were great and featured a ton of hugely popular people. they fell in to the wrasslin' book trope of "we had the best match of the night and tore the house down! the boys in the back had tears in their eyes as they gave us a standing ovation and carried us out on their shoulders!", but it's something i fully expect after having read a bunch of wrassler bios. 80% of the book was wrasslin' related and i appreciated that. some books, like jerichos for example, spend a lot of time on non-wrasslin' stuff and it's just not what i want from these books. i'd put the young bucks book near the top of the pile of best wrasslin' bios. here's hoping in 10 years they write another about the first 10 years of AEW. i'll be right there on day one if they do.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Raquel

    it's not like… a very well written book? matt's chapters in particular were kinda hard to read imo because it was almost as if he was writing a shopping list, if that makes any sense, just one thing after another. plus the subject changes gave me whiplash at times. the bits where he talks abt dana are p. cute tho ngl. anyway all that being said it's still very entertaining though i wish they had written abt their time in japan just a little bit more. also idk who helped nick write his chapters or it's not like… a very well written book? matt's chapters in particular were kinda hard to read imo because it was almost as if he was writing a shopping list, if that makes any sense, just one thing after another. plus the subject changes gave me whiplash at times. the bits where he talks abt dana are p. cute tho ngl. anyway all that being said it's still very entertaining though i wish they had written abt their time in japan just a little bit more. also idk who helped nick write his chapters or if he did it by himself but they just flowed so much better and brought more emotion out of me than matt's chapters. the way he would describe some things were just really beautiful. this bit in particular really stuck with me "as i ran the ropes and rolled around the ring, i'll never forget the smell of the ring canvas, like the scent of a burning leather jacket. it was the smell of innocence and boundless ambition."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    4.5 stars for this book. I truly enjoyed this book and learning about their journey as kids who love to watch wrestling to having their own company competing with WWE. I do wish they would have went into more detail about their journey and their matches but I do love how they explained the economics and marketing of being a wrestler. Even if you're not a wrestling fan, there is some sound advice for people trying to build a brand or market themselves. There was some really great tidbits like Chri 4.5 stars for this book. I truly enjoyed this book and learning about their journey as kids who love to watch wrestling to having their own company competing with WWE. I do wish they would have went into more detail about their journey and their matches but I do love how they explained the economics and marketing of being a wrestler. Even if you're not a wrestling fan, there is some sound advice for people trying to build a brand or market themselves. There was some really great tidbits like Chris Kanyon coming out to Matt after thinking he was gay and his emotional breakdown Matt helped him through before Kris would eventually commit suicide. Candace LeRae is a badass. Booked T is a piece of shit. This book also cleared up a lot of "who started AEW" for me. For so long I thought this was Cody Rhodes idea. Either way, I admire everything these boys have done in the business and for the business. I look forward to their sequel and seeing how it is to run their own company.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick West

    The Young Bucks' journey to wrestling on TNT on Wednesday nights is an atypical one, and so their autobiography is different from most wrestlers' books. The brothers take turns writing chapters, sometimes overlapping on subject matter so you get both Matt and Nick's individual perspectives on the events of their lives. The book is a fascinating look at the independent scene in California in the 2000s, at TNA in the mid-2000s, and at Ring of Honor and New Japan in the 2010s. There have not been m The Young Bucks' journey to wrestling on TNT on Wednesday nights is an atypical one, and so their autobiography is different from most wrestlers' books. The brothers take turns writing chapters, sometimes overlapping on subject matter so you get both Matt and Nick's individual perspectives on the events of their lives. The book is a fascinating look at the independent scene in California in the 2000s, at TNA in the mid-2000s, and at Ring of Honor and New Japan in the 2010s. There have not been many books written about any of these areas of wrestling, so I was enthralled by these stories. The Bucks' personal story is interesting as well, particularly their struggle to break ground as independent merchandise movers to compensate for low pay days on wrestling cards. This was a quick, easy, and fun read, and I highly recommend it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    April Rodriguez

    Just....wow!!! I've been a fan of the Young Bucks for a while, so I was very excited to hear about their new book. I'm always interested to hear the stories of how wrestlers got to where they're at today and the Bucks really busted their asses to get here. To read about their childhood and their struggles in the independent scene was an eye opener. It was very inspiring to see how no matter what, they didn't give on what they loved and worked outside of the box to become successful. If you're a Just....wow!!! I've been a fan of the Young Bucks for a while, so I was very excited to hear about their new book. I'm always interested to hear the stories of how wrestlers got to where they're at today and the Bucks really busted their asses to get here. To read about their childhood and their struggles in the independent scene was an eye opener. It was very inspiring to see how no matter what, they didn't give on what they loved and worked outside of the box to become successful. If you're a wrestling fan, you'll love this book and if not, still a great read. No one really knows the inside of the wrestling business and for anyone who is interested or just wants to know how the magic works, check this book out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Shawn

    Professional wrestling is often a David vs Goliath story. A regular joe goes into battle against a hulking colossus, a beer swilling redneck fights against his corporate employers, or a small upstart promotion tries taking on the establishment. Killing the Business by Nick and Matt Jackson ("The Young Bucks") settles into this groove nicely. Smaller, athletic brothers (not twins, they'll point out) raised in the pro-wrestling oasis of Southern California, the Jacksons found international fame (a Professional wrestling is often a David vs Goliath story. A regular joe goes into battle against a hulking colossus, a beer swilling redneck fights against his corporate employers, or a small upstart promotion tries taking on the establishment. Killing the Business by Nick and Matt Jackson ("The Young Bucks") settles into this groove nicely. Smaller, athletic brothers (not twins, they'll point out) raised in the pro-wrestling oasis of Southern California, the Jacksons found international fame (and infamy) through hard work, luck, and more than a few missteps along the way. A breezy read, Killing the Business is among the best pro wrestling books published in the past few years. 

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