The Young Bucks discuss their creative freedom in AEW.
No one was surprised at the AEW Double or Nothing Ticket Announcement Party on Feb. 7 when Kenny Omega showed up and announced he was ready to change the world with AEW. Despite receiving offers from WWE and NJPW, Omega turning down the chance to work alongside his friends Matt & Nick Jackson and Cody Rhodes never seemed possible. Speaking to The Sporting News, Nick Jackson stated, "We knew the whole time" that Omega would be joining AEW.
Matt elaborated, saying, "I'll tell you this right now: Kenny was the missing piece. I talked earlier about how Tony called me originally and got on the phone with him and he told me we need Kenny. We need The Elite. I need the best wrestler in the world and I need the best tag team in the world. That was it. Originally, it started as the three of us and then Cody later came on board. We kind of had to sell him on it because, in wresting, and he's probably heard a million stories about startups and billionaires investing in wrestling and we all have. We finally, the three of us, got him on board and once he was on board, he was all in and here we are."
On the subject of his phone call with AEW President Tony Khan, Matt revealed that the company was not originally supposed to be called All Elite Wrestling, but they felt it was important to have The Elite branding in the company title.
"Clearly what we were offered was everything. Since day one ... day one, AEW wasn't even going to be called AEW. It was going to be called something else," said Matt. "This thing that's called AEW now was simply just a conversation between me and Tony (Khan). I was the first person who picked up the phone for Tony. This entire thing was a conversation that I had with him on my back porch on the phone with him [laughs]. We didn't know it was going to be a thing — it was all hypothetical."
Matt continued, "I remember talking to him and saying if we do this thing, we're going to have to have 'elite' in the title and we're going to have to have a lot of control and he completely understood that. He knew that 'The Elite' brand was a winning brand and we were just coming off the success of 'All In' and he knew how important that was. Right there, we pretty much committed to it. Like Nick said, he basically said 'Listen, hire who you want to hire and you're in charge.' Nobody else can compete with that. A dollar figure can't compete with that. We're artists and we're creative."
Matt and Nick continued to discuss the creative freedom given to them by Tony Khan elsewhere in the interview. They also stated that they would focus on long-term storytelling with an emphasis on continuity and making sure there were no plot holes.
AEW is set to hold their first event, Double or Nothing, on May 25 from Las Vegas. You can find more information on the card and event here.