CBS 2 Chicago Chuck Carroll recently interviewed Matt & Nick Jackson, better known as The Young Bucks of all Elite Wrestling. The duo opened around the time when Matt Jackson almost left professional wrestling, their first meeting with All Khan Wrestling Tony Khan, and rejected aggressive offers from WWE and Ring of Honor. Highlights appear below.
When Almost Walking Away From Professional Wrestling:
Matt Jackson: Less than 10 years ago, I was in a situation where I couldn't even pay the bill, and I almost stopped wrestling. And now, just to think about what we did, it really surprised me, and I couldn't even express it in words of how excited I was and how emotionally I signed a contract, and yes. I can't wait for this.
Nick Jackson: You know, it's funny. I was never at that time (from walk leave), but Matt is clear. I actually have to be the one who says, "Hey Matt, there's a reason why we do this." So, I told him that we would not do something like this for eight years if nothing was meant for us to do. And we always see it as a big picture, and we always think there is a reason for everything. I only have a feeling that something is big for us. I don't know it will lead to all of these things, but I'm glad we stuck with it.
When They First Meet Tony Khan:
Matt Jackson: I was first introduced to Tony maybe around July, but it was more or less friendly. Like, "Hey, I'm Tony. I'm a big wrestling fan," I'm flattered and I know who he is. And he really wasn't joking when he told me he was a fan of wrestling, because he sent me a video of him wearing a Bullet Club shirt in the front row at one of the New Japan Long Beach shows. And actually, I thought I was up and I might be "too sweet" to him or something.
And we have to talk, and that's all just a hypothesis. What if we do this, and what if we do that? At first, it was almost like I rolled my eyes a bit like, oh, we've heard this millions of times from people who want to get into the wrestling business. We are the biggest doubters and skeptics in the world, because everything changes every week in wrestling. One day you promised you would win, and then you showed up that day and then they like, oh, we changed it. Or your match is cut from pay-per-view.
Then there are more of us who really chat about possibilities. He basically told me, "I can only do this with you and Nick. I can only do this with you. I chose both of you myself. I need to work with you because I see your vision, and it looks like it's the same as my vision. And I want you to do this project. "That puts a lot of pressure on us. I like maybe this might be the real thing. We have a lot of big offers on the table, so we really don't know what we want to do and what is real or not. Being skeptical, we don't know, you never know, and those who aren't known are scary. Something new is scary.
Compete with WWE:
Nick Jackson: There is no real alternative. I don't know if that means competing, but it certainly gives Americans an option, and there really isn't a different choice in almost 20 years. I thought of saying that, because we already had stars like Chris Jericho, and Cody, and Matt, and myself, and the three of us, in particular, we were in their prime. And that's a big problem. I don't think it's realistic that we can compete right away, because it's almost impossible, because they already exist forever, you know?
Matt Jackson: I don't think that should be something that we are even considering now competing. I think we have to worry about ourselves. I think we should put aside our own goals and think, okay, let's achieve this goal in the first year. Because after all, we are a new business. I don't think we should pay attention to what they do. If we will do any kind of comparison, it should be, how can we be different? I don't want to use templates. I don't want to use terminology. I just want to be different … That's how Nick and I really competed throughout our careers, always trying to be different and just doing our own things. I think we are a new company, and I think we don't have to jump and go, let's fight with these people. I think that will be our responsibility.
On Leaving the Spirit After an Aggressive Offer:
Nick: For a company the size of them, I think you can consider it aggressive. But Matt and I felt as if we had peaked in the company in terms of money. And, honestly. If we live there, we will never be able to retire and help our families out. So, we saw this window we had, which was not long in professional wrestling. And we are like, "I think we need to make changes.
Matt: And I thought that before it really became very aggressive, we had made the decision that we would leave no matter what happened. We don't know where we will end. We only know that it's time to leave. I don't know whether that means going to WWE. I don't know whether that means going out and just being a competitor again or with this possible new project, it can happen hypothetically. There are too many choices.
We also want to measure the value of our path, because we have never really seen it before. We just don't know what our value is. We know in our hearts how much we value, but until someone really tells you this is a number that I think you deserve, you don't know.
When rejecting WWE Overtures:
Nick: Yes, we can say that their offer is very aggressive.
Matt: I will tell you this. For a moment, I thought we might go to WWE. That's the closest we've ever experienced there, for sure. And they are great. They are respectful, and they tell us what we value. I think it's really like a call for us. It's almost like, wow. Good to want. These people, they teach us that we are valuable and we are very valuable. It must have been something we considered, and it was difficult to reject, because it would change lives …
But again, with WWE, they are quite willing to do anything. Whatever kind of concern we have, they have something good to say about it and how they will fix it. I can't stress enough how friendly and how great they are for us. And I have nothing but good things to say about them.
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