Back in 2011, the Young Bucks had a tryout with WWE. The tryout itself was not memorable, but what came from the tryout helped elevate Matt and Nick Jackson to new heights.
The Bucks caused a stir backstage when they didn't shake the hand of Booker T, one of the more respected wrestlers in the locker room. Not only that, but they were caught accidently using Booker's jacket as an armrest as well.
Matt and Nick were recently guests on Booker T's Heated Conversations podcast. During the show, the three discussed the 2011 incident and how the Bucks turned a negative into a positive.
"Being back there, at that stage of our career, is like walking on eggshells. You don't know who to say hi to. You don't know if you're disrespecting anyone," said Nick. "We were just trying to be out of the way. And with us being out of the way, we weren't out of the way. I was the one leaning on your jacket and I didn't realize I was. When you came up to me, I was intimidated and scared to death."
Matt continued, "We were just trying to blend in and not stand out. We had just left TNA wrestling. We were settling into WWE to create a little buzz because at that point, we knew were were going to sign a contract with Ring of Honor. We were going to say hello and get the internet talking like, 'Hey, these TNA kids are backstage at WWE, are they going there now?' We really didn't want to make a big stink out of it. And it ended up becoming the biggest story online," he said. "I have to credit (Booker) for doing that for us. I think it was, honestly, our first big break. It was the first time that everybody was talking about us. Instead of trying to shy away from it and defend ourselves, we decided, 'Hey, lets make this our characters.' It's what got us over."
Nick stated that wrestlers still come up to them and wonder if they are in the business of shaking hands or not.
Matt said, "At times I thought, 'Are we taking this thing too far? Is this going to affect our bookings and our work?' And we were like, you know, let's just commit to this thing and see where it takes us. And immediately we saw a difference. Everybody wanted to talk to us and book us all of a sudden. Our price was going up. And we thought, let's do more of this. This reality based stuff. And it was kind of like the beginning of this edgier character that we came up with. A year later, we got into the Bullet Club."
And the rest, as they say, is history. The Young Bucks went on to sign with Ring of Honor and blend wrestling with reality with the debut of Being The Elite years later, turning them into the hottest properties on the Independent scene.