Sunday, August 24, 2008



Hello wrestling fans! (Or should I say friends and family?) Not quite sure what I am going to write about. Just wanted to put up a little update. Here goes..

We are near completion of our second tour here in Japan for the Dragon Gate promotion. We leave on Friday, August 28th in the afternoon. I write this blog from Sappora, Japan.(Yes, the place with the famous beer.) It has been a very memorable and successful trip that neither my brother or I will ever forget. This August tour has been grueling to say the least. In the end we will have spent twenty-one days in Japan. Fifteen of those days were show days! That is A LOT of wrestling shows. After living in Japan and competing for Dragon Gate for a total of two months this year, I have a new respect for the guys on this roster. These guys are not just professional wrestlers - they are the toughest men on this planet. A typical Dragon Gate year has anywhere from 200-250 shows a year! Each show, the wrestlers set-up and tear down the entire venue from the ring, banners and chairs to the PA system and merchandise tables. The matches these guys are having night in and night out are nothing like the typical matches that you see on television every week. I'm still blown away everytime that bell rings. On top of all of this, the Dragon Gate wrestlers and staff typically travel 5-7 hours a day on average. Of course the trips can be WAY longer then that. (We just spent 22 hours on a ship and 7 more on a bus back to back earlier this week.) This is a never-ending carny, yet you'll never see one guy from this group dragging his boots. These guys are not just hard workers, but they are extremely respectful and professional. Nick and I have earned friendships that will last a lifetime.

We are very proud of the work that we have put out this month here in Japan. We feel like it is some of our best stuff yet. One highlight from this trip was aligning our selves with the strongest unit in Dragon Gate, World-1. Getting to stand ringside during Speed Muscle matches every night may be the best learning technique out there. Do the Young Bucks have a future with Dragon Gate? Absolutely. We will be back. (I know that some internet fans are not going to be thrilled to hear that. A long time ago I used to let you types get to me... however, that was a long time ago.) [EDIT: Most of you are awesome and Nick and I owe a lot to you for getting the "word" out. Oh, and obviously I do care about what you think. Otherwise it wouldn't of been mentioned in this blog.] We also got to check out Universal Studios Japan in Osaka which has the most ridiculous "Adventures of Spider-Man" ride EVER. Nick and I both agreed that its more advanced than anything we've been on in the states. Another major highlight was the beach show/after-party at Sumo Beach earlier this month. Dragon Kid and Hayabusa put on a concert in a ropeless ring that seriously rocked the house. It was fun clapping along to songs (which we obviously couldn't understand) with guys like Tanisaki, B x B Hulk, Yoshino and Doi. (Name drop count: 4) We also had a couple of sponsors take us out to dinner which didn't agree with our stomachs but was a ton of fun nonetheless. We were both peer pressured into trying raw Kobe Beef which was just weird tasting. Dinners in Japan last about 2-3 hours by the way..... And your eating..the ENTIRE time.

My brother and I have a lot to look forward to in the coming days/months. We have a big weekend for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (the company that got us out here) coming up that we are extremely psyched for. Ever since I fell in love with independent wrestling, El Generico was one guy that I have always wanted to work. And then the following weekend is the US debut of Dragon Gate. If you live within a six hour drive and you call your self a wrestling fan you MUST go to this show. Also, Nick and I have been filming a bunch of great stuff for our new internet reality show "YBTV" that I know you guys are going to get a kick out of. Dustin Cutler, (the sole editor) Nick and myself have really big plans for the show that we are very excited about. Stay tuned...

And then the main event... November 1st - The day I marry my best friend and love of my life. I've always known that we would end up together. Seriously. Even during our break-ups and months apart, I knew it. I told my good friend and cougar hunter a little earlier today, "I'm just lucky I found someone to put up with all of my crap." Not to mention that she is the most wonderful and supportive women I could of chosen to spend the rest of my life with. I miss you Dana. You've taken this whole 'me not being home thing' unbelievably well.

Anyhow, we've got three more matches to go and then we are headed onto that long 10-12 hour flight home from Tokyo.

God bless,

Matt Buck

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dragon Gate ring breaking incident...

Did the ring really break at the Korakuen Hall during the 8/09/08 Dragon Gate show? Did the Young Bucks and the rest of the Dragon Gate roster all wrestle on the floor with just plain mats? These are just some of the questions that WERE NOT asked. I'm going to go ahead and clear some of this up anyway..

We talked a little to Cima (Dragon Gates most popular wrestler and Japanese heart-throb) the night before our first match of the tour and he made it aware that we would be performing in a brand new American style ring the next night. We thought it would be neat to perform in a ring that came from home at a place that is very much different than home. We get to the hotel and grab a few hours of sleep in our mini rooms (I am not complaining Joey Ryan) which was nice because of the jet-lag. Morning comes too fast as always. We grab some coffee which size-wise could be compared to those little tiny plastic cups filled with grape juice that you sipped during communion at church, grabbed some McDonalds breakfast, rested a little and were soon off to the legendary Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The Korakuen Hall is also known as the "Wrestling Building." On our first tour we were told by Pac (best high-flyer in wrestling today) that the Korakuen Hall has a wrestling show held in it EVERY night. WOW. Nick and I also find it to be kind of cool that we could jump and land on top of the Tokyo Dome from the forth floor balcony in this building.

After a few hours of set-up which consists of loading the elevator, unloading the elevator, and building the ring, the shows start time was fast approaching. (By the way, it is Dragon Gate tradition that all of the wrestlers help with the set up and tear down.) The show starts on time at 6:30 p.m (Yes, wrestling shows start on time out here!) and the first match is underway! Nick and I grab a comfortable seat in the backstage locker room, down a "Real Gold" Japanese soft drink and begin watching the opening match. And then the ring broke. Yes, it happened THAT fast. We blinked and noticed that the rings ropes were extremely loose to the point where they were sagging. Immediately a few young boys jumped up to the apron and started trying to tighten the turnbuckles to repair the loose ropes. This made things worse. We looked deep into the monitor and then noticed that one of the poles was completely off base. The match gets wrapped up quickly. The ref then stands on to the apron and in an attempt to correct the off balanced pole, begins to push and kick the pole. Following a strong kick from the ref, the ring implodes! The Japanese crowd was shocked - almost as much as the wrestlers in the back.

We're thinking that the show is going to get canceled and that there is no way they can fix the ring. (We later found out that one of the vital parts of the ring was completely destroyed.) We looked back into the monitor and saw the young boys taking down the ropes. We were under the impression that maybe the show would go on but without the ropes? As we looked on along with the stunned Japanese crowd, the young boys continued to disassemble the ring. Off went the padding, the wooden planks, the metal pieces and finally the four poles. I then thought about unlacing my boots as the show was surely going to be canceled. What a disaster! As the entire locker room looked on to what was going on through the monitor along with the patiently seated 2-3 thousand fans, one of the Dragon Gate announcers grabbed a microphone and stood in an empty 20 x 20 space where a wrestling ring once stood. (This all took well over 20 minutes.) There was a hush silence in the building similar to the sound a crowd would make if Nick or I decided to take a shot at a singles career. The announcer quickly fixed that silence by saying something in Japanese. The crowd absolutely exploded. I am not kidding, this was a CENA pop. In unison, Nick and I turned to one of the workers in the back and tried to figure out what the announcer said to please the crowd so much? Don Fuji then turns to us and says "Show.. Go on.. no ring... ONLY PADDING on floor!" I thought out loud "Only in Japan."

Then in a frenzy all of the wrestlers in full gear came out to what was formally ringside. They grabbed the blue outside mats and placed those perfectly on the floor. On top of that went the wooden planks which were once used as the floor for the now broken ring. Atop the planks went the padding which was also originally used in the wrecked ring. The wrestlers, young boys and rest of the staff worked like a well oiled machine - so strategic. Surely something like this has happened before which is why everyone was so prepared right? I later asked CIMA that same question and he said NOTHING like this has EVER happened in Dragon Gate. Finally the Dragon Gate mat was taped over the padding and we had our selves a make shift ring in less than 35 minutes.

We went on to have a pretty good match that we both will never forget. Never would I ever dream of performing in Tokyo, Japan at the Korakuen Hall on the first day of the "Summer Adventure Tag League Tournament" in a make shift ring with no ropes. To the Japanese fans credit, they were hotter then ever from start to finish. It is such a joy to work in front of them. Nick and I both stood with the crowd after our match and watched the remainder of the show in complete awe. These guys are putting on better matches on the floor in a fake ring then most matches I see now days anywhere. I just wanted to note that none of this would have probably went down in the states. As soon as the ring broke, I strongly believe that the show would of been canceled had this show been anywhere else besides Japan. Or, if this type of thing did happen in the states and the promotion decided to go on with the show with a make shift ring, I believe that 50 percent (or more) of the audience would want a refund for their ticket. This is only one example of why the Japanese people are so disciplined. If I had to describe this wonderful place in one word.... it would be RESPECT.

In a terrible, terrible situation that could have been a disaster, Dragon Gate prevailed and put on a show that will never be forgotten. Any who.. I hope that helped clear up those questions that you didn't ask.

God bless.

-Matt Buck