Wrestling fans everywhere are excited and almost giddy over the prospects of how good AEW might be. The fact that a legitimate alternative to WWE is going to be on a major network is huge. It all kicks off with their first-ever PPV, Double or Nothing on May 25, 2019.
Two of the drivers behind this new wrestling company are a pair of brothers. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson), have been traveled independent wrestling stars, making a name for themselves in promotions like Ring of Honor and New Japan. It’s pretty easy to suggest, if not for the Young Bucks, AEW doesn’t get off the ground.
Matt and Nick recently spoke with Bleacher Report where they talked about how the AEW company came to be and how it almost never was.
The Story Behind AEW’s Creation
“Matt and I didn’t even want to announce the start of the company until closer to May,” confesses Nick Jackson. The reason was, the Bucks weren’t sure if this was the right move or not for their careers.
But, the money behind AEW, Tony [Khan] was completely against waiting. His idea was to get this out as soon as possible, get the ball rolling and grow right away. The Young Bucks realized they then needed to put all their efforts into AEW and approached their current employers ROH and NJPW.
Nick explains that it didn’t take long to realize AEW was the way to go. he said, “New Japan never saw the value in Matt and I. They never paid us good.” He added, “We would have easily stayed, and there would have never been an All Elite Wrestling if they would have met what we wanted, but it didn’t get done,” Nick said.
What they wanted was a dual contract. One that would allow them to work both ROH and New Japan. It would lessen their workload, offer them a bit more money and ensure they had freedom to earn other money the promotions couldn’t pay them. After all, the brothers had calculated that they would have had to work with New Japan for another two decades and probably another decade with ROH to make enough to retire.
They pitched the idea of a dual contract and the promotions just let them leave.
And AEW Was Born
With the clarity that ROH and NJPW were not going to do what it took to keep either wrestler, The Young Bucks had their own internal green light to move ahead.
And, just imagine… It’s hard to believe Cody Rhodes starts AEW without Nick and Matt. Without the Young Bucks, it’s hard to envision an AEW that would have included Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. Without all five, it doesn’t seem logical to believe the Khan’s invest.
I wonder if ROH and New Japan are looking back at that conversation now and saying, ‘What did we do?’.