William Regal Wanted WWE To Sign Top AEW Tag Team In 2011

Of all the "what ifs" in the history of wrestling that would make any fan's head spin, how about the Young Bucks coming to WWE in 2011? Well, according to William Regal, that was a possibility. The Bucks tried out for the company following their departure from Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (now know as Impact), having already planned to sign with Ring of Honor, and wrestled an iconic tag team.


"My first day [working in talent development] was after SummerSlam, and the first people on the tryout ... the group of extra talent that came that get brought to every show, and part of that was the Young Bucks," Regal said, during the first episode of the "Gentleman Villian" podcast. "I liked them straight away and we had a great few days together, I talked to them a lot. They had some incredible matches in the afternoon. In fact, I put them on with The Usos to have a tag match ... the two teams tore the place down. That's probably something that the fans would love to see. I saw it in the afternoon, and I was raving about them."

At the time, Matt and Nick Jackson would've been 26 and 22 years old, respectively. Regal had been brought to talent development by Triple H to begin envisioning the developmental promotion that would become "WWE NXT," but he didn't think he'd be able to sign them.


"I'd been told a few things ... the guidelines were 'We don't like to hire anybody under 20 something,'" Regal said. "It was something to do with rental cars."

"We've talked a little bit," Regal continued, "and I heard different people tell me ... they'd already made their minds up, they were going to Ring of Honor, they didn't really care about this gig. I liked them, but I thought just looking at them that they were, like, 18 and 19. So after spending the two or three days with them ... they went on their way and it wasn't till after, and this was a while after, that I found out that they were older than what they were."

Back in 2018, The Bucks actually spoke on the situation to Title Match Wrestling, confirming the entirety of the situation — they never had plans to sign with WWE even though they attended the tryouts, and they had a tryout match with the Usos that had Regal excited. Despite their perceived youth, Nick Jackson claimed Regal was confident WWE was going to sign the Bucks and told them to expect a call.

The Bucks left that day without a contract — though according to them, their plans might have changed if WWE had made them a good enough offer — and the rest is history.


"I know they've got stories about certain things that happened that weekend, but I don't know anything about any of that stuff because I'm not, never was, of any pack mentality," Regal said. "If I'd have known that they were the age they were, I would've tried really hard to try to get them right on that weekend ... I saw what they had and the fire they had, and I knew somehow they'd do well for themselves."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Gentleman Villain" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.