AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, were on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily where they and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman discussed The Bucks' new book "Killing The Business: From Backyards To The Big Leagues". The Young Bucks wrestled their final indie show last year after spending many years at the top of the indie scene, but Hausman noted that The Bucks broke in during a time when there was no WCW and WWE was in a down period, and Nick gave his thoughts on that.
"Maybe so. What's funny though is it didn't really feel like an indie boom period at that time, specifically in California because a lot of people from California will say the same thing," Nick pointed out. "They'll say, 'Get out of California if you want to make it in wrestling,' and we always heard that as young wrestlers.
"And it actually scared us because we're like, 'Man, really? Do we have to move somewhere?' And we never wanted to because we're California boys, and so it was like, 'Man, how do we get out of California to make it?' And luckily, we got a break, and we went to Japan for the very first time in 2009. So it actually took us quite a few years to get a small break to get out of California, but getting out of California actually helped our career more, and I would say the indie boom period actually came a little bit later after that."
Matt added to Nick's point noting that there was no money in wrestling. He said that guys like El Generico (Sami Zayn) were making $25,000 a year, but they were not making anything near that. He talked about how their only goal in wrestling was to make a living off wrestling.
"I remember it being kind of a cold period. There was no money in wrestling, zero money" Matt pointed out. "We talk about it in the book where I remember how blown away we were when Generico told us how much money he was making, I don't remember what the number was. It was like $25,000 a year, and we were like, 'What?' We're making $25 a match. That shows you how bad it was.
"There was no money, and I remember at times thinking 'is this impractical for me to be thinking about doing a career with this because there's no money here, and if I ever want to make money, I have to go to WWE. As we knew, we come to find out in the book also, when we were extras, we realized quickly, man, I don't really know if I want to work there. We almost felt like we were almost running out of options if we were going to do this for a living, and at one point, our goal was just to be able to do this for a living and be able to support ourselves and our families, eventually down the line when we had families, but that was the goal.
"If I can do this as a job, that would be great. I never thought of superstardom. I never thought of being on TV, and being famous and selling thousands of t-shirts and all that stuff. That sort of just came later, and if you had told me 10 years ago, when we were struggling on IMPACT, that we would be where we are today, I would go, 'No way.' So even 10 years ago, it didn't look real."
In their book, The Young Bucks talked about their interaction with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels and how surreal it was to meet their idol. Hausman pointed out that now The Young Bucks are head to head with their idol in the Wednesday Night Wars. However, The Young Bucks admitted that they don't pay much attention to NXT because they are more focused on their own show.
"It's weird when you're in the thick of things and you're in the middle of it all, you don't even think about it," Nick said. "So it's probably something we'll think about later on in life, but as of now, I didn't even think of that question because we're so involved with every detail [and] every little thing that's going on with Dynamite that it's hard to even think about the other show at all.
"I forget that they have shows," Matt admitted. "It's tunnel vision to our own product. It's like, 'Oh yeah, that's right. There's another show tonight. That's right.'
"And that's the mentality of Dynamite and AEW is we'd never wanted to know what that show is doing because we feel like if we do know, then it might screw up our brains and our minds on how we book things as well," Nick revealed. "So we never have wanted to get caught up in any of that."
The Young Bucks' "Killing The Business: From Backyards To The Big Leagues" is now available for purchase on Amazon and all major book outlets.
The Young Bucks' full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.