William Regal has lifted the lid on the Young Bucks’ WWE try-out, revealing why Matt and Nick Jackson ended up not signing with the company.
The Young Bucks are arguably the most highly-rated and highly-decorated tag team in the modern era to have never signed with WWE. Matt and Nick Jackson have won championships and wowed crowds wherever they’ve performed for well over a decade, but never inside a WWE ring.
However, 12 years ago, the high-flying duo were involved in a try-out with the company, which by all accounts impressed those watching. Despite this, The Bucks never put pen to paper on a WWE contract.
The man in charge of the try-out that day was William Regal, who in fact was just taking his first steps in his role in NXT. Although at the time he didn’t have an official title, Regal had a big say in who was signed and who wasn’t.
Speaking on the first episode of his Gentleman Villain podcast, available via AdFreeShows, Regal recalled the try-out which took place after SummerSlam, and the surprising reason why the Young Bucks weren’t offered a deal.
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 try-out were, when I say try-out, 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,”
Expanding further, Regal broke down Triple H’s original vision for NXT. A vision, which would see the brand enjoy tremendous success for a number of years.
“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,”
William Regal was released by WWE on January 5th 2022. Despite initially wanting to take a break from professional wrestling, the British star made his debut with AEW at Revolution March. Regal is currently the figurehead of the Blackpool Combat Club which features Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.