Has any tag team ever generated as much conversation as The Young Bucks? For some, they are an example of what wrestling can be. Two men who without the help of WWE have created an empire for themselves. An empire that allows them to live outside the machine while travelling the world putting on a show. To others, they are the worst of modern-day pro-wrestling. Spot monkeys who destroy a business that was once built on hard men doing hard things. If you’re looking for that take, then you’re reading the wrong article.
For, having won the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles on Sunday, I think it’s now time to accept that The Young Bucks are one of the greatest tag teams of all time. Who can genuinely compete? There are few categories that they don’t win in.
Let’s start with the matches, the category in which the Bucks are the strongest. When did you last see Matt and Nick put in a bad performance or even phone it in? They don’t. 95% of the time they’re the best thing on the card. Even the spot monkey argument doesn’t hold any weight. Sure, if you see them in PWG, they tend to lean that way, but go and watch their New Japan work. They are a completely different team with a focus on limb work and old-school tag team psychology. Throw in the fact they’ve been doing this for fourteen years in every big promotion in the world, and I doubt you’ll find a tag-team with a better catalogue of past bouts than the Bucks.
Then there’s their drawing power. Do I need to say anything more than All-In? Sure, it’s a combined project, but to claim the Bucks aren’t front and centre of that would be insanity. They were the original stars of Being The Elite and outside of Omega are the main guys in The Bullet Club. If your local indie books The Young Bucks you can guarantee that they will pop a bigger number than they usually do. It’s just how it works. We’ve even seen them main event a New Japan show this year as they took on The Golden Lovers in front of a sellout crowd. The Young Bucks are a draw.
Longevity. As already mentioned, Matt and Nick have been doing this for fourteen years (minus that weird period where TNA decided to split them up). When you look at other iconic teams, most existed for a fraction of that time. Legends like The Hart Foundation, The British Bulldogs and Kobashi and Misawa were all around for less than ten years. The only teams to rival The Bucks are those that have come in and out of teaming together (The Hardys) or career teams like The Road Warriors. It’s a short list.
Look, I can’t claim to be an expert on every tag-team that’s ever lived. Looking at the highest rated teams on Cagematch I haven’t seen enough of Kobashi and Misawa or Holy Demon Army to compare their work to The Young Bucks. However, I don’t think that stops them being in the question for the greatest of all time. On Saturday at Dominion, they made the step into New Japan’s heavyweight division and proved they were as comfortable there as they have been everywhere else. It’s a move that will see The Bucks given more time and higher profile feuds in the best wrestling company in the world. With that opportunity, you can bet they’ll only continue to build their case for being the very best.