One of my worries about pro wrestling is that after decades of the craft, there might be nothing new under the sun. I’m not talking about a lack of new stars or anything, because the independent scene is rich with men and women who are scratching at the doors of the big time. I’m just concerned that as far as techniques and gimmicks go, we might be reaching the apex of our collective creativity, and that leads to borrowing. There’s a fine line between paying homage and straight-up Gimmick Thievery, and the latter is viewed by many wrestlers as a cardinal sin. This is probably why Billy Gunn of the New Age Outlaws has a bone to pick with The Young Bucks.
You probably know Matt and Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks: The mega-talented yet cocky, juvenile heels who are the current darlings of independent wrestling. Anywhere they go – be it Ring of Honor, PWG, or New Japan – they tend to leave a trail of 90’s-flavored wrestling gestures in their wake, whether it’s the nWo’s “Too Sweet” salute or D-Generation X’s “Suck It” crotch chops. This is not okay in Billy Gunn’s book.
I’m not going to go all TMZ and declare a winner here, because this may literally be The Dumbest Social Media Thing Of The Week. Like I said, there’s homage and there’s theft. The Bucks are both kids of the late 80’s, they’re just emulating the stuff they saw on TV that made them want to be wrestlers in the first place. And while I sort of admire the flippant “Shut up, grandpa” response to one of my least favorite tag teams ever, it’s needlessly confrontational. Or who knows, maybe I’m getting worked and Billy Gunn will show in a Bullet Club shirt and OH MY GOD my keyboard just burst into flame after typing that, please send help