William Regal recalls presiding over The Young Bucks' WWE tryout.
On the debut episode of his Gentleman Villain podcast (via AdFreeShows), Regal discussed a number of topics including his role in NXT and crossing paths with current co-workers, Matt and Nick Jackson. Regal notes that following WWE SummerSlam twelve years ago he was put in charge of determining which talents to hire. His very first day on the job saw The Young Bucks try out, and though he was a fan of theirs, age restrictions prevented him from lobbying the company to hire them.
"My first actual day on the job, my first day as the, and I didn't even have the title then, this was the first day that I was told by Triple H that you're in charge now of taking care of all the wrestlers who get hired. Even the people who were doing that at the time didn't know. He already knew that he was moving into a different position and I got to look after that. My first day was after SummerSlam and the first people on the tryout were, when I say tryout, there were a group of extra talent that were brought to every show, and part of that was The Young Bucks. 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 I believe on the Monday of Raw and 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. I'd been told a few things, now I could have some of these things wrong but there was a few guidelines. The guidelines were, we don't like to hire anybody under twenty-something, and I don't remember if it was 22 or 25. The reason being, it's very hard for them, they can't even rent a rental car. It was something to do with rental cars. Now I'm just hearing little bits of information from people and I could have this completely wrong, but this is what I remember. I learned this, and I know their story, we've talked a little bit and I've had different people tell me that they'd already made their minds up and were going to Ring of Honor, they didn't really care about this gig. I liked them, but I thought just looking at them, they were like 18 and 19. So after spending the days with them, they went on their way and it wasn't until after that I found out that they were older than what they were. I know they've got stories about certain things that happened that weekend, but I don't know anything about anything... If I'd have known they were the age they were, I'd have tried really hard to try to get them right on that weekend," he said.
Regal continued on to share Triple H's vision for NXT, citing shows like Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos as inspiration.
"I asked Triple H, what's your vision on this? He said, you know when you watch one of those great shows like Boardwalk Empire or Sopranos, or all these incredible dramas, you can have a bit of everything in that. You can have really serious stuff, a bit of funny stuff, you can have incredibly well-done stuff. That's the vision of what I want this to be because wrestling can be all kinds of things. He said, if you watch any of those shows, you never see anyone from the biggest to the smallest role look out of place. That's what was going through my mind when looking for talent," Regal said.
Regal was released by WWE on January 5, 2022, and a few months later would join AEW. He now manages the Blackpool Combat Club which includes Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, and Wheeler Yuta.
The Young Bucks are set to compete on May 29 at Double or Nothing against The Hardys. You can view the updated card for the event by clicking here.
If you use the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.