What started out as a YouTube vlog has become an internet sensation.
Being The Elite is a YouTube show started by brothers Matt & Nick Jackson, better known as the ‘Young Bucks’. In the beginning, the show was all about their life outside the ring; traveling back and forth between shows and spending time with their family. As the show grew in popularity, we began to see the development of story lines, which was not just catered for people following the show. We were getting story lines that were affecting their characters in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor.
Many wrestlers have their own YouTube shows, but no group has matched the success of Being The Elite. The current Bullet Club Civil War saga developed through the YouTube show and has become Japan’s most bankable international wrestling group through the streaming website. I can’t think of any other wrestling program that has found a way to combine stories from TV onto YouTube and tell a complete story.
Over the past 100 episodes we are introduced to characters such as Matt, Nick, Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, Cody Rhodes and his famous wrestling liaison, Fat Masa. Besides this group, Being The Elite has helped elevate wrestlers we did not even think of in the first place. I was not even aware of the likes of Flip Gordon. But through regular appearances on the show, Flip Gordon has become one of my favorite characters, and was even an integral part for the promotion of their “All In” Event eappening in Chicago’s Sears Centre Arena later this year.
One of the show’s more popular stories involved Bullet Club/The Elite “invading” Monday Night Raw as a parody of the now legendary DX Army Invasion of WCW Nitro from 1998. Matt & Nick were having a Meet & Greet at the Hot Topic store and, coincidentally, Raw was taping in an arena nearby. When they realized this, the Bullet Club concocted a plan that was a tribute to one of Raw’s most memorable moments by renting a limousine and went from there.
The big difference was that the Bullet Club did not expect to get in as far as they did. As explained by the Bucks on Chris Jericho’s podcast, New Japan did not approve of the act, neither did Ring of Honor. Fans ended up joining the march to the Citizens Bank Arena out of fun, an the end result was the group uploading the video to their YouTube Channel. The rest is history.
Timing, of course, was key for the release of the video. The Elite were sharing moments from the event causing us fans to think that they were outside during the taping. The Bullet Club would have gone one step further than DX had the idea actually been created that way.
As it turns out, the act was not meant to be as Cody and the gang actually filmed their march to the arena several hours before the show as a joke. We did, however, get Cody’s excellent rendition of the speech from the movie ‘Independence Day’. The action was not without consequences, as Matt and Nick were sent a Cease & Desist Letter by WWE stating that they could no longer use the “Too Sweet” Hand gesture.
Beyond the invasion, Being The Elite has become the vehicle for a major New Japan storylines to continue beyond their shows. We got the aftermath of Cody’s attack on Kenny in January 2018, the reunion of the Golden Lovers, the formation of the Golden Elite, and so much more. The group has become a vehicle for fans to not only get to know their favourite wrestlers better, but also to be able to see the natural progression of storylines through the magic of the internet.
The brothers have had many critics and some people say they lack the skill of storytelling. But their YouTube show has proved everyone wrong over time, and we have seen character progression for so many wrestlers that we may have forgotten about or never even heard of. This show has grown so much that it made me feel for a bear mascot.
A one-off character, Burnard The Business Bear seemingly was meant for a joke and has become one of the best things on the show. Events like that felt like a fever dream before but has turned into reality through Being The Elite. Many wrestling fans have noted the similarities between Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega, since both are excellent wrestlers who are also big video game fans. The Elite and The New Day’s encounter at E3 2018 will hopefully open doors to more cross company events.
From a road diary to one of the most watched wrestling programs online, Matt & Nick Jackson have helped change the way storytelling is done in this day and age of wrestling and social media.
Photo Credit: Being The Elite Facebook page
To learn more about Being The Elite, check out their YouTube Channel.