As soon as The Revival was released by WWE earlier this year, many pro wrestling fans were salivating at possibility of a dream match pitting them against the Young Bucks in AEW. That dream match did come to fruition last month at AEW’s Full Gear pay-per-view, where Matt and Nick Jackson defeated FTR to finally win the promotion’s tag titles. It quickly received praise as one of the best tag team matches of the year.
The path leading up to that match left a lot to be desired, though. The storyline involved the Bucks embracing unwarranted and obnoxious tactics such as superkicking innocent victims like Tony Schiavone and Alex Marvez. The match was shaping up as a battle between two heel teams, before AEW quickly reversed course and tried to get sympathy for the Bucks shortly before the PPV with a Matt Jackson injury angle. As a result of this disjointed and disappointing storyline, this dream match that should have been a no-brainer to headline the event instead fell down into the mid card.
Appearing on The Walkway to Fight Club podcast, Matt and Nick somewhat acknowledge the underwhelming story leading into the match, but conclude that it doesn’t matter because the match delivered. Here is Matt’s perspective:
“I think people will only remember the match for that, for our love letter to tag team wrestling. You know, the build maybe could have gone on a little bit longer. Maybe people said it was a little rushed. But again, I think at the end of the day, nobody’s even gonna think about that. They’re just gonna think about the match. Nobody thinks about, when Hogan and Rock wrestled, nobody thinks about the fact that [Hogan tried to murder the Rock with a truck]. Nobody thinks about that...they just think about the delivery of the match. and I think we stuck the landing.”
I’ve learned over the years that the words “everybody” and “nobody” are often overused in wrestling analysis. The Young Bucks don’t have it quite right - I certainly remember Hulk Hogan’s segment with The Rock where Hogan was Rock Bottomed in the ring, before getting revenge on The Rock and ramming a truck into his ambulance. It was completely over-the-top but effective in establishing the returning Hulkster as the clear heel despite fans wanting to cheer him.
It’s far more memorable than anything the Young Bucks did with FTR in the lead-up to their match at Full Gear. By this time next year, I can definitely see myself forgetting that the Bucks superkicked a few innocent people before Matt Jackson was injured on the way to winning the AEW tag titles. That’s not because the Full Gear match was so good, it’s because the storyline itself was hardly captivating.
But maybe that’s picking nits. The bottom line is that the Bucks and FTR did deliver a great match despite the lackluster build, and they wildly exceeded my lowered expectations on the pay-per-view. They stuck the landing, as Matt describes it, and that’s the most important thing. Even so, extra focus should be placed on telling a more compelling, memorable, and logical story the next time these two teams are getting ready for a pay-per-view match against each other. That will theoretically lead to more pay-per-view buys and eyeballs on the match. And that’s the whole point of selling pay-per-views, right?
What do you think about the Young Bucks’ view on what fans will remember about their story and match with FTR?