Young Bucks are EVPs and fixtures in All Elite Wrestling, but they could have stuck around in ROH -- or went to WWE.
Young Bucks helped turn Ring of Honor into the number 2 promotion in the U.S., and didn't quite match up to what the duo were expecting before they left as it pertains to an offer.
"Now looking back it's so hard to even answer. It would have changed wrestling if we would have just stayed put," Nick Jackson told Fightful.
In their new book, Young Bucks: Killing the Business from Backyards to the Big Leagues, the two discuss their ROH/NJPW careers at length, but elaborated on the decision to leave both companies.
Matt Jackson said "Truthfully, we were happy. We probably would have never left if the right offer came. 100% honestly. I was having the time of my life. We were just waiting for a really good offer because we knew that this was the year where it was time to get paid. We were as hot as we'd ever been and we just did ALL IN, and like you said, the Garden sold out, most people say because of The Elite. So we knew we had a big price tag and when they made their offer it was so (much) low(er) than what we were thinking it was going to be that for the first time ever, Nick and I said to each other, "oh my God, I think we actually have to go out and shop and see what our street value is." If they would have just hit a number, a number, we probably wouldn't have even shopped. We probably would've just taken it because we were having so much fun going from town to town, closing every show with our little Being the Elite song and dance at the end. it was a great (and) wonderful time."
In a 2019 interview, the Young Bucks noted that if ROH & NJPW had offered them dual contracts, there would be a good chance they ended up staying. That didn't happen, and Matt isn't sure why.
"Why didn't New Japan and ROH get together to offer all of us the money that we thought we deserved, I don't know. In hindsight, they didn't know that this new project was happening. They didn't know All Elite Wrestling was going to be a thing. Nobody did, and I think maybe now looking back if they knew that there was this project blooming, then they probably would have offered us anything," Matt stated.
It wasn't an oversight on ROH's part. WWE were also negotiating with Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, and weren't aware that All Elite Wrestling was forming.
"It was funny because WWE didn't even know that this project was happening, but they were willing to throw everything at us, so I'd only imagine if they knew what was happening what they probably would have offered on top of that. That blows my mind even thinking about that. I don't know, I don't have an answer. I think that maybe they felt like they didn't need us all. Maybe they felt like they would have been fine without us. Nick and I knew though. Being the Elite at the tail end was pretty much like ROH television, and it was the driving force to what brought people to the show. I'm not over exaggerating when I say that if a wrestling fan at an ROH show had a shirt on, there was an 80/90% chance it was a Bullet Club or a Being the Elite related shirt. We knew that that was our audience. Maybe they just didn't realize how deep it had gotten and how much of that audience was strictly ours and therefore us. I don't know, maybe they just didn't have the awareness. That's a good question that you're probably going to have to ask them," Matt stated.
Many within ROH and NJPW have spoken with Fightful over the past two years and were surprised that the two companies didn't get together to make things work. Matt cleared the air and said that there's no ill will towards ROH. However, it was actually WWE that opened their eyes to their value.
"I don't want to disrespect ROH too because it wasn't like it was a bad offer. By no means was it a small amount of money. It just wasn't enough for us because at this point we valued ourselves. We knew our value and it was very high and it just wasn't close to what we thought. Maybe they thought their offer was good enough, but in our eyes, it wasn't even close. When the validation came, basically for us to know we were right and our value was right, was our first offer Triple H made us. That's when we looked at each other and said "holy crap," how long have we been worth this much? It's was almost like we weren't insulted, we were just like wow," Matt said.
"It was eye-opening," Nick stated, before Matt added that he wished they would have shopped around sooner.
Even though they weren't thrilled with their ROH/NJPW offers, Nick doesn't think there was much left for them there.
"At the end of the day, we knew that our thing had run its course at Ring of Honor and New Japan. Looking back now, I think it was perfect timing for all of us to split ways because I think we had peaked with what we would have done there, so it felt like just a natural way to leave at that point," said Nick Jackson.
Though they're now Wednesday Night adversaries, Matt Jackson had nothing but good things to say about Triple H and their talks -- especially that they ended up having many more talks than originally planned.
"He was great. Charming dude. He said all the right things. I don't know how many times I told him no. We must have declined the offer, in the end, I don't want to exaggerate, it had to have been at least four or five times, and by the end of every conversation he would have another call scheduled with me in two weeks and I would go "how did he do that?" What, I just told him no. We'd be laughing by the end of the conversation. The conversation would start with me saying we're so sorry, we're going to pass on this, thank you so much, and an hour later I'm talking about our next phone call in two weeks. He's a magician and no wonder he has the job he has because he's a charming guy and he'll charm your socks off. I have nothing but positive things to say about him. He's very intelligent too. The things he said, the ideas he had. At times I told Nick, "man, maybe this is something we should at least consider." There was a time when me, Nick, and Kenny, the three of us were all like "holy shit, I think we're going to end up in WWE," Matt said.
"It was a very tough decision," Nick closed.
You can see our full interview with The Young Bucks at the top of the page, and check them out every week on AEW Dynamite, Wednesdays at 8 PM EST on TNT. You can also buy their book at this link.