Two-thirds of the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks caught up with pro wrestling legend Chris Jericho on Talk Is Jericho. Among many other things, Matt and Nick Jackson talked about Bullet Club members AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson leaving NJPW for WWE, possibly working with WWE in the future, and working with WWE in the past.
Despite being very close personal friends with Styles, Gallows, and Anderson, The Young Bucks did not know about their planned departures till the day of the trio's final Wrestle Kingdom show.
Nick recalled, "it was sad to see Chad [2 Badd], Gallows, and AJ leave because we're like, 'that's our family! They're gone!' Yeah, it was weird! I said, 'oh my God!'" Nick added, "it kind of felt like a raid because they didn't smarten us up until the day before the [Tokyo] Dome [show], which was about two years ago. We found out with everybody else, so we were kind of blindsided, actually. We knew they were leaving, but we didn't know where they were going."
Matt said, "[pro] wrestling's so weird. Like, you kind of stop talking to them. Like, they were my best friends! And it's not like we're not friends anymore, but it's not what it used to be."
Interestingly, Matt mentioned that Styles hoped to bring the Bucks to WWE with him.
"We had just signed a contract with ROH at the time in November because AJ pulled us aside and was like, 'tell me you guys don't have any contracts now please,' and we were like, 'we just signed.' And he was like, 'argh!' because he wanted to bring us over too. And I don't know if that would've happened, but that was his idea. And we were like, 'naw, man. We just signed for two years' or whatever it was."
During the podcast, Matt suggested that the duo would be "dumb" to sign with WWE at this point in their careers.
"If we left right now [for WWE], it would be kind of dumb of us because they couldn't pay us what we're making right now, not with the schedule we're on too. There's no way." Matt clarified, "of course they could [afford the pay]! Do you know what I mean? I just don't think they would!"
In addition to working a flexible schedule, Matt expressed reservations about signing with WWE insofar as he is accustomed to being in control of every aspect of their pro wrestling lives and would not be comfortable loosening his grip over items such as merchandise or creative plans.
"I'm so used to being in charge of everything." Matt explained, "our entire business, we run this thing together. Like, I'm on my phone all day. My wife's helping me do it too, but we do this independently, so it would be so hard for me to just give all that up, to go, 'here you go! Here are the keys to the car.'"
According to Matt, The Young Bucks' ceiling in WWE would be the Hardys insofar as tag wrestling has never been the priority at Titan Tower.
"Historically, tag teams aren't the main feature there, so I mean, would you say The Hardy Boyz were the last big [WWE tag team]?" Matt asked. "Yes, so it's like, 'well, do you want to put in 10 years there to get to the point of where the Hardys were?' We have a lot of weighing options, but like [Jericho] said, if you get there, you make top dollar and you can't make money like that doing what we're doing."
Also during the show, 'Corporate Matt' and 'The Indytaker' noted their side work for WWE in the past.
Matt said, "I wrestled Big Show and it was a last man standing match. He put me through a table, yeah. We were on the Dirt Sheet with [John] Morrison and The Miz. We dressed up as DX."
Nick remembered, "we impersonated DX once. We've done a few things [with WWE]. That was early on, probably eight years in."
Before indicating that getting signed to a WWE deal is easier now than in the past, Matt claimed that WWE has expressed a desire to sign the brother tandem at various times over their careers.
"So many times too, it looked like we were going to get signed." Matt recalled, "they'd say, 'you did great! How would you feel about coming here for this?' and we were like, 'yeah!' It just never happened. I don't know [why WWE did not sign Young Bucks]. Things were different back then. It was harder to get signed. Now it seems very easy to get signed, but at the time, it seemed impossible."
When Jericho asked whether The Bucks would entertain a WWE offer, Nick replied that "it's something we can't answer because we don't know the future" and noted that it will always be a lingering question for them and NJPW standout Kenny Omega.
"It's always going to be a question. No matter how big we get, it will always be a question that lingers on in our career, I think, as well as Kenny because the three of us, well, he went to [WWE] developmental for a little bit, but people don't remember that. I don't even know if that counts as a WWE run, but it will always be a question. The way we're going, we could probably quit in five years." Nick said, "at this point, [WWE]'s not a goal. We don't need it. It was [a goal] for sure. For our first eight years, that was the goal."
While Matt suggested that a WWE run could be the "missing piece" of their pro wrestling odyssey, they would have no regrets if it was over tomorrow.
"We could literally quit tomorrow and do something else. And we would be fine though because we have enough saved now at this point. Like, we're in a good spot!" Matt reflected, "we've built this empire, man, The Young Bucks brand. What else could I want? That would be literally the last missing piece, going there and doing a run."
Yeah boy! Special thanks to Ring Of Honor Wrestling for the video above. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Talk Is Jericho