On today’s episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman welcomed AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, to talk about their new memoir “Killing The Business: From Backyards To The Big Leagues”. The book is The Young Bucks’ personal reflection on their rise in the pro wrestling industry as well as them telling some behind the scenes stories.
During their interview they talk about their wrestling influences growing up including The Rockers, Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels. In the book, there is a story about the one time The Young Bucks met Shawn Michaels backstage at WWE when they were doing extra work. They gave their thoughts in print about that encounter in the book and dove deeper on that surreal encounter during the interview.
“It’s funny. We befriended Marty Jannetty because we booked him on our independent [show], and he told wild war stories and some seemed really out of the realm of possibility,” Matt admitted. “We were like, ‘There’s no way that happened.’ We would question it even back then. We knew some wrestlers were kind of carny. They would say things, and we would kind of humor them.
“I remember him calling us and saying, ‘Hey, I heard you guys are going to WWE to do extra work. We’re like, ‘Yeah.’ He’s like, ‘alright, well, I’m gonna tell Shawn that you guys are coming, and hopefully, he can talk to you guys.’ And we were kind of rolling our eyes. We didn’t really believe it. So sure enough, we’re sitting there in catering, and we see all these big stars. We’re kind of star struck and then finally, we see THE guy, and it’s Shawn Michaels. He’s our hero. He’s sitting at one of the tables alone with Jesse Hernandez, who’s an old-school referee back when it was called the WWWF, and he’s also a promoter in Southern California back home. And we were very familiar with Jesse.
“So Jesse sees us, and he waves us over. We don’t believe it. Why would Jesse wave us over there? And he does it again. Finally, we head over there, and Shawn is just sitting there looking up at us. And we’re just like, ‘What is this?’ It was so surreal, and he knew our names. And sure enough, Marty came through and called Shawn that morning and said ‘Hey, these kids, look out for them.’ And he described what we look like, and we sat there.”
Matt continued saying that they talked about wrestling and all sorts of things with Michaels. He also revealed that Michaels helped to get them a small bonus as well, crediting that to the belief that Michaels knew that they were big fans of his.
“We got to really just talk about tag team wrestling, and he gave us good advice on what we should do, and what speed we should work at and how we were going to get people’s attention,” Matt recalled. “And he was kind enough to take us over and kind of get us a bonus. He took us over to the payroll I remember, and Sgt. Slaughter was working payroll at the time. He really treated us really well.
“I think he knew we were huge fans, clearly. I think maybe he was trying to impress us, but it was the coolest, and I thought he was the best. You hear bad stories about Shawn all the time, and that’s the only time I’ve ever dealt with Shawn. And I still think back fondly. The one time we met him we were kids, and he didn’t have to be nice to us. And he treated us great. So I have nothing but positive feelings towards HBK.”
Nick Jackson said that after that, they “got kayfabed” by John Laurinaitis. The Young Bucks explained that Michaels put in a good word for them to Laurinaitis, but Laurinaitis ignored them and acted like he never met them.
“Like Matt said, we were young, naïve little kids, so for our hero, at the time, to take care of us like that, it blew our minds,” Nick said. “On that day, we were like, ‘Oh my God, I guess we’re getting signed to the WWE.’ And the next day Shawn wasn’t at SmackDown, and we completely got kayfabed by whoever was in charge.
“It was Johnny Ace,” Nick added. “He took us over to Johnny Ace, and Johnny Ace, he’s the head of talent relations. He’s like, ‘You got to take a good look at these kids. Marty says they’re good. They’re good. Take a hard look at them,’ and Johnny’s just like, ‘Yeah, I will Shawn.’ And then the next day, he just totally kayfabed us.
“He didn’t even act like he remembered us from the day prior,” Nick recalled.
Matt added, “It was like we never met him.”
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 today’s 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.