AEW may have been an inevitability, but it could have been moving forward without the Young Bucks.
The tag team sensation have helped launch the new brand, but are quick to confess that they almost took an offer from WWE. In addition, when speaking with Chris Van Vliet, they also revealed that Kenny Omega was close to signing.
What would Matt and Nick have done if there was no AEW?
Nick: The last options we had before AEW became a thing was going to WWE or starting our own thing and we were probably going to start our own thing.
Was WWE an option?
Matt: We talked to them endlessly. At one point, I remember me, Nick and Kenny were in a room because all of our deals were up at the same time. We got off the phone one day and we looked at each other and we said 'I think we're all going to WWE.' It was that close. Tony came to us at the right time and he made the right offer. I'm not talking financially, I'm talking 'hey, you guys can run this thing' and 'I want you guys to hire your people.' It's like someone saying 'I want you to make a movie and you can hire all the cameramen. You can hire all the writers, all your friends to be with you.' He gave us the keys to this thing. You can't say no to this.
Nick: One thing that took out of the race for going to WWE was the amount of dates that they wanted us to do.
Matt: They even offered us a limited schedule.
Nick: We have young families. Even with the limited schedule, it was like 'God, I can't imagine being home [just] for 2 days for my kids.'
Young Bucks, Cody, Adam Page, Kenny Omega, and SCU would all end up defecting from Ring of Honor and NJPW and helping launch AEW, passing on WWE, and helping change the pay scale in the industry.
You can see Chris Van Vliet's full conversation with The Young Bucks above.