When I think of the Young Bucks as professional wrestlers, Hulk Hogan is one of the last names that come to mind. But like many young kids at the time, the Hulkster played a key role in developing their wrestling fandom.
Matt and Nick Jackson talked about this topic on the latest episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast:
Matt: “We switched over to WCW because that’s where Hulk and Randy and all these guys, our favorites, went. I didn’t even know anything about WCW. I just knew WWF. We were WWF kids...When Hulk switched over and they started getting all of our favorites, we left WWF. That’s it, we’re nWo kids now.”
Nick: “Hogan was our favorite, by far.”
Matt: “That era is what really made me love it. When I decided I really wanted to do this, was probably the TLC era when I watched the Hardy Boyz. Because I saw myself and my brother out there. I saw Jeff and Matt, and I said that could be me and Nick.”
Nick: “I remember meeting [The Hardyz] for the first time, and we told them our story. They’re like ‘oh my god, your story is just like ours!’”
I can relate to the first part of what they are saying there, because I was also a WWF kid, with only very little knowledge and awareness of WCW. When Hogan moved over to WCW in 1994, I immediately began to follow another wrestling company for the first time. Hulkamania was a powerful drug.
The brothers then discussed why they adopted their style of constant action and high spots that drives purists nuts. They felt it was necessary to do something like this in order to stand out from the rest of the pro wrestlers that dominated the time:
Matt: “At the time when we were breaking in, a lot of the chain wrestling was standard. Every match has to start with 10 minutes of chain wrestling. So Nick and I were like ‘No no no, let’s skip right to the good stuff, right? Let’s hot shot.”
Nick: “We were always the opening act so that’s why we did that.”
Matt: “We had eight minutes, and we had a lot of cool stuff we wanted to show people. The way we thought of wrestling was a lot of people want to have a big fight atmosphere. We wanted to create a party atmosphere. Super kick party, that’s where that came [from]. We wanted action action action, so much action...let’s just go high spot the whole match, because we wanted to be different.”
If they went out there each night and followed protocol by doing the basic opening match of the time, they probably never would have been noticed. Their decision to go with nonstop high spots obviously paid off big time for the Matt and Nick, who essentially set a model that many others teams later took inspiration from.
The Young Bucks also went into great detail about how a wrestling promoter gave them their team name by accident, and they completely hated it and thought it would ruin them. You can check out that story and their entire interview on the AEW Unrestricted podcast here.