The Young Bucks had a brief run in Impact Wrestling before they embarked on their wildly successful careers as independent wrestlers. On a recent episode of the Wrestling Perspective Podcast, Matt and Nick Jackson opened up about why their time with the company wasn't long-term.
Known as Generation Me, the Jackson brothers started wrestling for Impact in 2009 but eventually grew disgruntled with the company and asked for their release in 2011. After their team was split and they became singles wrestlers, neither of them were happy with the creative direction. There were also monetary issues as they weren't satisfied with their contracts.
"They split us up and we became a singles act for two months, and then for no reason at all we got back together and nothing was explained by it, so after that I told Matt that these guys don't care about us at all so we felt that at point we felt that the writing was on the wall so we were thinking, hey, maybe we go elsewhere and then come back here and then they would take us seriously," Nick said. "That was our thinking at the time, but it was just a little bit of everything that happened."
"We had a bad deal also. It was our first contract we ever signed so we've learned a lot since then, but it was the first deal we were ever offered so immediately without negotiating we signed it," Matt added. "It was a bad deal and basically we were getting paid per appearance and they decided to keep us home for a long period of time, which meant that we were literally making $0 some months."
It's no secret that the previous regime in Impact had its slew of problems stemming from bad business practices. The Bucks acknowledge that their youth at the time probably factored into why they accepted such bad contracts. They believe leaving the company was the best decision for them.
"I remember some weeks they would fly one of us in that wasn't even working on the show so we would be in Florida and not be paid because they forgot to book us but they would have us fly there," Nick said. "I said, wait a minute, we are flying all the way down here, doesn't that count as work? They were like no, you have to be on TV to make money. There were a few times that we flew there and didn't get paid."
"It is different now and the whole team has changed, but back then it was a mess. We didn't know who was in charge of what," Matt said. "I had to keep getting on Terry Taylor, who was in charge of Talent Relations, but I had to get on him every few weeks demanding where my check was? I had to pay rent but my checks weren't coming on time. It was bad. We were at a point where we were like, we are young, we know that we are good. It is obviously not working out here, and like Nick said, maybe we can come back in a couple of years and they can see the value in us and we can get better deals the next time around."
"It was the best decision we ever made," Nick said. "I remember the next year we made more money on the independents than we did with our TNA contracts."
The Bucks were also asked about when they realized they became such a huge deal in the world of professional wrestling. Their popularity skyrocketed when they joined New Japan Pro Wrestling and became part of the Bullet Club. They also took full control of their endorsements and merchandising, giving them the ability to grow their brand on their own terms.
"I think it was the Bullet Club because as soon as that happened things just exploded for us," Nick said. "Everyone wanted to book us; our merchandise went crazy. I feel like The Bullet Club was the first thing that helped us out."
"I think New Japan was going through this strong point where people were kind of discovering it," Matt added. "Once we went to New Japan we kind of took our independent fans with us from the United States to Japan, but I think the New Japan thing happened and then things like Pro Wrestling Tees escalate what we look like as stars precision wise, getting into Hot Topic, getting our own Funko Pop, it was really a collection of series of really fortunate events that helped spark things and we just so happen to have a really strong body of work in those three years I think, and people started talking about our matches and social media got really popular at the time and we utilized that. A lot of things. Nick and I never really quit. Once we felt that it was getting bigger we just kept putting our foot on the gas and we never really stopped until this day. We are very fortunate that things have worked out the way they have for us."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the Wrestling Perspective Podcast with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Wrestling Perspective Podcast
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.