The Young Bucks have looked back on their attempts to get New Japan Pro Wrestling involved in AEW when the company was founded, recalling that NJPW ‘big-leagued’ them.
Prior to joining Cody Rhodes and Tony Khan in creating All Elite Wrestling in 2019, The Young Bucks – Matt and Nick Jackson – were mainstays in NJPW. Joining the promotion as part of Bullet Club in 2013, they went on to capture the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships a record seven times. They also formed The Elite sub-group of Bullet club alongside Kenny Omega, which eventually led to AEW itself.
During a new interview with Hugo Savinovich of Lucha Libre Online, The Young Bucks revealed that they tried to get NJPW involved with AEW from the outset, but the Japanese promotion “kayfabed” them.
Matt Jackson: “You know what’s crazy is we told New Japan day one, ‘Hey, we’re doing this thing, come hang out with us. Come work with us. We’d still love to do your shows.’ They kind of kayfabed us, kind of big-leagued us a little bit in the beginning. They were waiting until that entire dinner table was completely set, then ‘Oh wait, now let’s go.’ So it’s just funny when you see — and all the WWE guys that joined AEW now too, they didn’t want to join AEW at first because they were like, ‘I don’t know if this is real.’ Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Over the past three years, AEW has begun to see an influx of former WWE wrestlers join the company. The likes of Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, CM Punk, and more have signed with them in recent months. However, Matt says they will always remember who took the initial leap with them from day one.
“We remember who took the leap with us in the very beginning, day one. It was us who set the dinner table, so it’s funny now that New Japan, all these WWE guys, they all want to be a part of this thing that we created.”
Nick Jackson added that one promotion that worked with them from the start was Mexico’s AAA.
Nick Jackson: “You know who trusted us was AAA. Since day one.”
AAA held their TripleMania XXX: Monterrey event on April 30th. The show saw several AEW wrestlers compete including The Young Bucks themselves. The duo defeated Hijo del Vikingo and Fenix in the main event of the show, while Andrade el Idolo, Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti, and Penta Oscuro were also in action.
Meanwhile, the relationship between AEW and NJPW has grown over the last year with several NJPW stars showing up on Dynamite. The two promotions have also announced a cross-promotional super-show, Forbidden Door, which will take place on June 26th.