Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nicks concussion.

I sit on the cold floor in the hallway, outside of the room where my baby brother lays inside of a giant machine that's going to take a picture of his brain. With my face buried in my hands, I rewind back only an hour ago and replay exactly what happened.

I remember Nick rolling out of the ring and heading to the back. I went to stop him to see what was going on, and he turned back and looked at me with a confused and irritated face - the same face I remembered seeing four years earlier when he suffered his first concussion at the hands of a wrestler named Human Tornado. He said, "What happened?! What's going on!?" I knew right away he had been hurt. I reminded him we were in the middle of a wrestling match and he must of hurt his head. He was puzzled and could swear the match had already ended. He was frustrated that he couldn't remember. I was so scared. This was all too familiar. My younger brother getting hurt again on my watch. I assured him that I'd finish the match without him. Our good friend Scott Lost told me to carry him out there, prop him in our corner and to try my best to get to the end on my own. Our opponents El Generico and Paul London eventually came to the back to see what was going on and were soon notified of the bad news. Paul realized he had accidentally given Nick a bad bump on a slam where Nicks arms weren't let go in time to protect his fall. He felt terrible. As soon as I knew it, I was back in the ring with not a clue what was going to happen...

My pocket started vibrating and I was shook out of my day dream. I reached and looked into my hand seeing that my iPhone was lit up. I recieved a text message from my wonderful wife Dana who was checking up on us. She was the reason we were at the hospital, as she demanded I not take no for an answer when I told Nick we were going there. I explained to her that I was waiting on Nicks CT scan. I re-read the content of the text message I just sent to her and still couldn't believe that, that was actually what I was really doing. "Is this even worth it? And for what?" I thought to myself. I began to do what I do at least twice a day - question my career choice. 

My thoughts went back where they left off. I was back in the ring. I knew my opponents were just as confused as I was. "What are we going to do?" This was the same thought the three of us all had. I look to the corner where Nick is suppossed to be laying until I realize it's empty. In fact, he's up on his feet fighting off London and Generico, putting the match back together. What!? The guy who just got knocked out unconscious and couldn't even remember where he was a second ago is leading the charge and calling the spots? He's on a completely different level. A level that 99% of wrestlers will never reach. Impossibly, minutes later we finish the match. He rolls out of the ring and I wrap my arms around him. "Please tell me you're okay Nick?" He responsed, "No." We walk to the back where our best friends the Cutlers
are standing by to assist with helping Nick get undressed and iced. Scott Lost was also a huge help. He mentioned that he was experienced with this sort of thing after teaming with Chris Bosh for so long.

Back in the hallway, the door opened and out rolled Nick (they had him in a wheel chair. Little did they know) along with the nurse who did the CT scan. I remember right before Nick went into the room I told him to act like he was going in a tanning booth to psych him self out. 

We waited for about a half hour in another room until we received the fantastic news that there was no bleeding in the brain and that he'd be okay. We were so thrilled to know that nothing too serious had happened. We called and text messaged our family and friends who we're all still awake, praying. 

Minutes later, the Cutlers, Nick and myself were eating inside an In 'N Out Burger recapping the day. I looked to my left where my brother was, chowing down on a double-double and enjoying his "Animal-Style" French fries. I couldn't help but smile. We'd been on the road for practically 3 wks and hadn't slept in days. I knew for a fact that he was just as tired and home sick as me. I was just happy that he was going to be okay. 

Soon after, I got home where I walked into my dark apartment. The cats (Zeek and Cali) rushed me as I opened the front door. After a short walk past the living room, I see my wife all alone in bed. Half-asleep, suddenly she popped up and said, "Babe! You're home!" I hadn't seen her in days. We hugged. I held her close to me and fought back tears. Being on the road, the chances of getting hurt, the sleeplessness, the stress - I thought of all of the reasons I hate being a professional wrestler. 

After a quick shower, I ly awake in bed with my eyes wide open, to tired to sleep. In my mind I once again rewind back to what happened earlier that night. Again. And again.  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

PWG. "The Run."

I can't speak for Nick but I personally feel that our nearly two year run as PWG Tag Team Champions was the best thing we've ever been involved in as professional wrestlers. I will forever look back with pride when I think of everything we accomplished in the course of that run. After thinking about it from the beginning, it's funny to think that none of this was ever planned - but sometimes the best things are unplanned... Like the birth of Malachi Buck.

For one way or another, the story of the Young Bucks defending their PWG tag team titles against everyone in the world was intriguing. Each show's main interest became, "who are the Bucks wrestling and can so and so be the ones to finally do it!?" This made the matches compelling and exciting.

Me and Nick came into PWG during a tough time for the company. They had lost or were in the process of losing almost all of their homegrown talent, and the tag team belts had taken a big hit because of a string of injuries and bad luck. So it comes with great pride when I think about how popular the company has gotten and how valuable those tag team titles now are. (One of the originals was stolen out of my bag last year and never returned). We don't take full credit for anything but like to think that we definitely lent a helping hand in the last few years of this companies success. We would like to thank PWG for letting us be our selves. No other company (to this day) has ever completely given us the green-light to wrestle with our hair down and sleeves pulled back. I think freedom is the reason the title run was so successful. But most importantly, the fans/viewers can see and feel when the entertainers are having fun. It just shows and comes through from the screen or from your seat... And that's exactly how I'd describe our run as the champs. It was a freaken blast.

I'll be honest when I say that thinking about the Young Bucks without the PWG tag team titles seems a little odd. Remember how weird Hogan looked when Savage took the belt? Naked, huh? (Check out the ego on me, comparing us to Hogan)! But yeah, it was bitter-sweet losing those things, but I think ultimately it's time for someone else's story.

The thing fans from all around the world mention to us the most (even more than us being on TV) is our crazy matches we've had in that little building in Reseda. A run down building that you’d look at from the outside and never picture as being anything other than a place that old people gather to drink beer and talk war stories. I’ve wrestled at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and the Impact Zone in Orlando yet the only place to capture the moments I’ll remember the most when my career is over is that little dump in Reseda for a company called Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

house-show loop, J. Hardy, Chikara, Owen-like, here comes summer

We're running on two hours of sleep while seated uncomfortably in a jam packed airplane. As soon as Nick and I got to our seats, just like all flights we are on, we searched for crying babies and/or children that seem like they’ll misbehave. Unfortunately for us, one of these was heading right toward us. Nick gave me the look. Then, two more were spotted.... And then another! Our heads moved from left to right. We were surrounded! Before take-off, a "problem-child" kept kicking the back of Nick’s seat. Nick looked at me with a defeated, disgusted face. We were just getting in the air when two of the toddlers sitting together decided to have a screaming contest. I looked at Nick like I wanted to cry. He shared my pain.

So, since sleeping is not an option, I'm going to write this.

We just completed a couple of house shows for TNA Wrestling in Vicksburg and Greenwood, Mississippi which had crowds that were both large and enthusiastic. The weather was muggy and damp all weekend which was actually quite uncomfortable. It felt like I was locked in a bathroom, and the shower was on at its hottest temperature. Nonetheless, the shows were absolutely killer, especially the second night in which we tore the house down with the Machine Guns. On this loop, we got to spend some time chatting and making conversation with Jeff Hardy. He is easily the coolest dude we've met during our TNA run. He mentioned how watching us work reminds him so much of he and his brother when they were our age. We mentioned how High Risk Wrestling (our independent group we started) was influenced largely by OMEGA, and that we grew up watching them come up. He gave us some really good advice that we intend on using, and just came across as a truly humble person. We look forward to spending more time with him.

Last weekend we brought our youngest brother Malachi with us to Philadelphia for Chikara's King of Trios three day events at the old ECW Arena. It was fun traveling with both of my brothers - it's something I could get used too. If someone would have told me a few years ago that the Three "Jackson" boys would be headlining an ECW Arena show one day, I wouldn't have believed them. It was a very cool feeling being out there with them. That building is obviously special to Nick and me, as we've had many breakout performances there. How fitting, for Malachi to do the same. Night 2 was fun, watching from the crowd as my baby brother took the stage all alone. At 19 years old, it's got to be intimidating but he didn't even show it. Nick and I we're so proud of him. The third night we had a fantastic match against Mike Quackenbush and Jigsaw. The crowd really ate it up. While on the subject of Mike, he really is a great guy that runs a wonderful promotion. The guy just does it RIGHT. Everything about his show is air tight, professional and squeaky clean. I can't say enough how much I wish more independent wrestling companies were like Chikara.

When someone asked me earlier, why we'd rather fly all the way across the country back home (which we're doing right now), rather than just go straight to Orlando for TV like most of the roster is doing, I answered that I'd do absolutely anything in my power to spend any extra time I have with Dana. It may seem like a hassle, but 36 hours at home with my beautiful wife is worth it. I said, "I guess I'm Owen Hart about these types of things." I remember reading stories about Owen taking the latest flights out, and earliest flights back home and how he completely went out of his way for more family time. Man, I can totally relate to that. So anyhow, this means that tomorrow night we will be heading back to the airport for a red-eye flight across country to Orlando. I think we've spent equal time in the air with time we've spent on land this year.

After we film TNA iMPACT! we will fly home Wednesday morning, but catch another red-eye flight Friday night for a Pro Wrestling Syndicate show in New York on Saturday. Sunday morning, we will fly back home where we have the possibility of wrestling three times in one night for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's DDT4 tournament. Nick and I have our work cut out for us these next few days to say the least.

Dana and I are on the hunt for some patio furniture. We both agree that it'd be fun to have a nice table set up outside for us to enjoy. The thought of a nice lunch outside on a hot California Summer day with Dana seated across from me sounds awesome. We're both really excited about this time of year. Maybe it’s because we were formally introduced to each other this time of year nearly 7 years ago? Every time I get home from the road, we have a little simple tradition. I ALWAYS take her out to a nice dinner. This way, she doesn't have to cook, and we can get caught up on lost time. Leaving is never easy, but having little things like this to look forward to really makes a difference. She and I have been doing a lot of talking about our future. I'm so excited what the Lord may bring us in the next couple of years!

Anyhow, I'm about to ask for a coffee from one of the flight attendants - the equivalency of me tapping out. There really is no chance of getting any sleep on this flight under these circumstances. It's like Chuck E. Cheese's in here minus the smell of pizza and children's feet. Well, okay, it kind of does smell like feet.