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'The Young Bucks: Five Stars' disc one review: Becoming Elite

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‘The Young Bucks: Five Stars’ disc one review: Becoming Elite

How did a small tag team from Southern California ever become popular enough to finance one of the biggest wrestling cards of the year?

What began as a question on Twitter is set to take place in about a month. Partially financed by The Young Bucks, All In is set to be one of the biggest events of 2018, but how did a small tag team from Southern California ever get this popular? The Young Bucks: Five Stars is a two disc collection that may shed some light on the question.

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PWG Debut vs. Chris Bosh and Scott Lost (Roger Dorn Night 6.10.2007): This match looks strange immediately — the Bucks are in bike shorts and there are maybe 100 people in attendance. The Bucks win the crowd over fast with their innovative tandem moves and ’80s babyface mannerisms. Bucks hit More Bang for Your Buck and it actually doesn’t get the pin. Ironically, Matt taps out to the sharpshooter in a fun match. After the match Excalibur states the Young Bucks may have lost the battle but they won a place in the hearts of PWG fans.

With Paul London vs. Karl Anderson, Scott Lost, and Joey Ryan (Express Written Consent 2.21.2009): Bucks are in their familiar long tights and are PWG Tag Team Champions. London is wearing a World Wildlife Fund shirt. This is the same Anderson who now does jobs regularly in WWE. Kenny Omega is on commentary. Future Bucks nemesis Rick Knox is the referee.

London has not wrestled in months and is sloppy while the Bucks and Anderson are incredibly crisp. London slips while tying Lost in the Tree of Joey Lawrence. This would be bad if not for Anderson and the Bucks. London botches moves left and right before tagging Nick.

The Bucks and London win after a More Bang for Your Buck and a Shooting Star Press from London. The match gets great at the end.

Semi Finals vs. Kenny Omega and Chuck Taylor (DDT4 2009 4.22.2009): Another sighting of the PrElite. DDT4 is a tag team tournament where every match involving the Tag Champions is a title match, making this match for the belts and a trip to the finals.

The match is a pretty standard until Omega and Taylor almost get the win. Nick barely kicks out and fans go nuts. You can actually feel them become heel without actually turning, if that makes sense. This happens a second time after a reversed Victory Roll and the fans become even more upset. Not sure if this was booked this way, but if so it’s genius. Omega almost gets a pin a third time with the Hadouken and the crowd is now pounding on the mat.

Omega and Taylor go for the Golden Shower but Nick knocks Taylor off the top. The fans immediately start booing as they set up for More Bang for you Buck. The heat for the win is incredible as the fans boo and chant, “bullshit.” This has to be seen.

Finals vs. Bryan Danielson and Roderick Strong (DDT4 2009 4.22.2009): Danielson is the “American Dolphin” at this time. This is the first meeting between the Bucks and Danielson, who is an absolute beast in the match killing both Bucks with kicks and chops. I’m not one of those, “he was better in the indies” guys, but I miss Bryan Danielson.

Strong and Danielson absolutely destroy the Bucks with Danielson drawing a “Best in the World” chant. Bucks come back with tandem offense. Danielson with the MMA elbows to Nick followed by a triangle choke leading to “I got five!” I miss that spot. Stomps to the face followed by the Cattle Mutilation. Matt helps his brother escape, leading to a mini Superkick Party and More Bang for Your Buck gets the pin on Danielson.

El Generico & Human Tornado (Threemendous II 7.31.2009): Non-Title match.”F--k the Young Bucks” chant. Generico does the heavy lifting for Two Skinny Black Guys and his selling is great. Bucks getting the Cena treatment (guys boo, women cheer).

Generico hot tag to Torando which leads to a double House Party. Generico is amazing while Tornado looks out of his league. Match looks to be over after More Bang for Your Buck, but Generico makes the save and the crowd goes nuts. Generico hits the Brainbustahhh!!!! on Nick and Two Skinny Black Guys get the win.

Generico was just about ready for the majors in 2009. The match was awesome when he was in there. It picked up at the end, but this match shows why we still talk about Generico and the Bucks while no one remembers Human Tornado.

PWG Tag Team Title Match vs. El Generico and Kevin Steen (BOLA 2009 N2 11.21.2009): This is the first PWG meeting between the two teams and was a huge deal. Generico in his awesome alternate universe black and white gear. Steen is still going by “Mr. Wrestling” at this point. Steenerico have their frenemies vibe going  while the Bucks are now full-blown heels.

Lots of comedy early before Bucks get the heat. Matt debuts the handspring back rake. Bucks cut the ring in half and taunt Steen then work over Generico while the ref is distracted. I would say it’s good old school psychology except I read online the Bucks don’t know how to work.

Great hot tag to Steen. The Bucks get their double hip toss into a double seated dropkick on Steen who rolls through and gets them both with lariats. Cannonball in the corner to Matt. Match has switched to the next gear.

Lots of back and forth and Generico’s selling is Shawn Michaels-esque. Steenerico almost win after a Steen frog splash. Package Piledriver/Brainbuster combo attempt, but Nick slips out. Matt with the corkscrew stunner off the top and now some fans are cheering for the Bucks.

Great sequence with Nick going for a superkick that Steen catches and then tosses into Matt’s face. Steen sets up for a powerbomb on Nick but Matt hits him with an enziguri then lifts him on his shoulders for More Bang for Your Buck as a fan screams, “No, no, no, no!” Generico breaks it up and fans go wild.

Ref bump followed by a Steen stunner into a half and half from Generico. They hit the Package Piledriver/Brainbuster combo and it’s a beauty. Knox comes out to count the pin and Matt breaks it up just before three.

Steen with the Pop Up Powerbomb into a Sharpshooter. Nick to make the save, but Generico stops him and applies another sharpshooter! Everyone is standing and yelling. Matt gets to the ropes. Steen goes for the Avalanche Package Piledrive which would have killed Matt. Before he can get off the top rope, Generico goes for the Brainbustahhh!!!! but Nick makes the save.

And now things get ugly as the Bucks trap Steen. Superkick. Superkick. Superkick. Superkick. Steen kicks out at two! Superkick. Superkick. Double superkick. Double superkick. Nick lays on top of a bloody Steen in an amazing match and the Bucks retain.'The Young Bucks: Five Stars' disc one review: Becoming EliteThree Way Guerilla Warfare PWG Tag Team Title Match vs. The Cutler Brothers and El Generico & Paul London (C) (Seven 7.30.2010): This is PWG’s version of a street fight. Match starts fast with the Cutlers attacking the Bucks. Nick and Matt are dressed like the Hardys, except they are wearing TNA wifebeaters. ¡Peligro Abejas! storm the ring and hit big dives to large chants. Unique move as Dustin Cutler hits a slingshot Arn Anderson spinebuster. This is the worst type of match you could put these teams in and they are making up for it with ugly unprotected headshots.

Generico appears to be busted open. We get the spot that probably led to this match’s inclusion. Nick holds one of the Cutlers in the corner. Matt handsprings over, grabs a rake, and literally rakes Cutler’s back. This cute spot is followed by two sick trash can shots to the head. Broken table, dueling chairs, and more unprotected head shots. Match ends after a Brainbustahhh!!!! on Nick. As garbage matches go, this was great, but for the Bucks this was bad.

Finals vs Kevin Steen & Akira Tozawa (DDT4 2011 3.4.2009): The backstory adds to this match. Steen had barely defeated Tozawa in a tough match in December and recruited him for DDT4. Tozawa finally agreed and the Nightmare Violence Connection was born. The NVC beat the Briscoes in the first round and then upset the Kings of Wrestling to get to the finals. Unfortunately, Tozawa was absolutely destroyed by the KOW in the semis giving the Bucks the huge advantage heading in to the match.

Match starts off with the NVC attacking the Bucks. The teams brawl around ringside before finally getting to the ring where Steen misses a beautiful moonsault. The Bucks target Steen’s oft injured right knee.

Matt with the handspring back rake and Tozawa comes in a house of fire. Chris Hero on color explains that Tozawa used to be a gardener and that using a rake in athletic competition is sacrilegious.  The story of the match kicks in as the Bucks hit a double draping DDT from the apron to a steel chair on Tozawa. Crowd goes silent.

Steen now has to got at it alone as Tozawa is escorted to the back. The champs methodically go after Steen’s knee now that they have the whole ring to work with. Steen is busted open after repeated rammings into the ringpost. Each time the bloody Steen tries to come back, the Bucks attack the leg to cut it off. Matt with the Sharpshooter and Steen goes for the ropes. Nick is on the outside and pulls them away so Steen spits in his direction. The camera catches a fan wiping the blood off. Gross.

More Bang for Your Buck attempt and here’s Tozawa to a huge pop. Steen with a Sharpshooter on Matt and Nick can’t get him off. Matt gets to the ropes, so Tozawa drags Steen’s bloody carcass to the corner and makes the tag. Tozawa proceeds to destroy the Bucks as the fans chant his name.

Package Pildriver/Shining Wizard combo get a close three on Matt. Steen with the Sharpshooter on Matt again but Nick breaks it up with a superkick. Shades of BOLA 2009 with a series of superkicks followed by a double superkick. This time Steen won’t stay down and Tozawa is back.

Tozawa is just wildly kicking and punching and in the words of Excalibur “just f-----g s--t up.” The Bucks end his flurry with a double superkick. Matt sets up Tozawa for More Bang for your Buck and hits the rolling fireman carry onto Steen. Double More Bang for Your Buck wins the tournament. Great match.

(DDT4 2011 is one of the best PWG cards of all time. Do yourself a favor and watch it.)

PWG Tag Team Title Match vs. Future Shock (Steen Wolf 10.22.2011): Bullet Club vs. Undisputed Era! This is Cole and O’Reilly’s PWG debut and Cole looks like a kid.

First “Too Sweet” of the collection. Future Shock get the advantage quick with some cool tandem offense and that quickly gets the fans solidly behind the newcomers. Bucks quickly take control over their future Mount Rushmore partner.

Cole gets the hot tag to O’Reilly who proceeds to knock the Bucks silly with kicks. Bucks take over fairly quickly and proceed to cut the ring off. Cole gets the hot tag and gets some near falls and the Bucks are in trouble. Great double team as Cole holds Matt by the legs while O’Reilly DDTs him. O’Reilly then kicks Matt in the chest while Cole hits a bridging German suplex for two.

We then get one of the most famous exchanges in PWG history.

The Bucks seem to have it won but Future Shock hit Chasing the Dragon into a guillotine choke. Double guillotine but the Bucks won’t tap! Matt gets up but O’Reilly won’t let go until Nick nails him with another superkick. O’Reilly’s side has Matt’s blood on it in a cool visual. The champions hit More Bang for Your Buck to get the win in a phenomenal match. And that is how you make two stars in one match.

Disc One Thoughts: Most of the matches are good to great with only the three way match not working. Even London’s sloppiness and Tornado’s overall suckiness didn’t hurt things too badly.

If you’d like more wrestling news, opinions and hot takes, check out our weekly podcast, Poor Taste Wrestling. New episodes are available every Friday, where we break down Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT and more every week. You can also follow us on Twitter @AiPTwrestling for up-to-the-minute news and opinions.

The Young Bucks: Five Stars (Disc One)
Is it good?
Fans of tag team wrestling will love this disc. Even in their younger years it was clear that there was something special about the Young Bucks.
It is always cool to see stars of today in their early years
The Bucks have one of the most innovative and varied offenses in the sport
Watching the Jackson brothers go from babyfaces to heel is like watching great character development
Amazing match quality
The three way match never really clicks

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