Two of the Executive Vice Presidents of All Elite Wrestling, Matt and Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks sat down for an in-depth interview with Chris Van Vliet. The Bucks discussed a variety of topics including what their experience has been like as head honchos of this booming company, AEW.
“We’re such a baby company, still. I think we’re still just trying to figure out [where everyone fits],” Matt explained. “We’re all wearing 20 hats each.”
“We are behind the tag teams that are getting hired and signed,” Nick added. “There are different categories, you could say. Kenny is taking his time on the women’s division; he’s got his hands all over that.”
“You should have seen him at Fyter Fest,” Matt continued. “He worked 3 different matches he had to coach, plus he had to do our match. He was nuts that day… At the end of the night, he just passed out.”
The Bucks took a moment to contemplate what they would have done had they not started AEW with Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes, and Kenny Omega along for the ride.
“The last options we had before AEW became a thing was going to WWE or starting our own thing, and we were probably going to start our own thing,” Nick explained.
Matt noted that the members of The Elite were extremely close to signing with WWE just prior to Tony Khan presenting his golden offer to run AEW. Creative control was a key factor in selling the company to The Bucks. Apart from that, the demanding touring schedule of WWE made their decision that much easier.
“We talked to [WWE] endlessly,” Matt said. “At one point, I remember me, Nick, and Kenny were in a room because all of our deals were up at the same time. We got off the phone one day and we looked at each other, and we said, ‘I think we’re all going to WWE.’ It was that close. Tony came to us at the right time and he made the right offer. I’m not talking financially, I’m talking, ‘Hey, you guys can run this thing and I want you guys to hire your people.’ It’s like someone saying, ‘I want you to make a movie and you can hire all the cameramen, you can hire all the writers, all your friends to be with you.’ He gave us the keys to this thing. You can’t say no to this.”
“One thing that took us out of the race for going to WWE was the amount of dates that they wanted us to do,” Nick mentioned. “We have young families. Even with the limited schedule, it was like, ‘God, I can’t imagine being home [just] for 2 days for my kids.'”
AEW has seen two successful shows since they first debuted as a company and they have multiple others in the works along with a weekly TV show coming to TNT this October. After reports of WWE officials asking fans to remove their AEW-affiliated shirts at recent live events emerged, as well as Sami Zayn name dropping the company on RAW a few weeks back, The Bucks believe these aren’t welcoming gestures to the industry.
“[WWE] hates us, I think. New Japan hates us too,” Nick stated.
“Why wouldn’t they?” Matt asked in response. “We’re disrupting everything. I think everybody looks at AEW as competition because we’re this new thing. People are afraid of the unknown. They’re like, ‘Who are these guys?’ And every day you see a new headline about something we’re doing; it’s intimidating. People are fearful of change. I get it.”
“We’re gonna stay that way,” Nick continued. “We’re gonna be the alternative and we really do mean it. We want to be different from every other company that you see. I feel like the first two shows that we’ve done, we’ve given a different type of show every time we’ve done it.”
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