A piece about All Elite Wrestling published today on Bleacher Report, whose streaming service is selling Double or Nothing as a PPV, included statements from AEW execs Cody, the Young Bucks, and Tony Khan about a variety of topics, including healthcare for wrestlers. Matt and Nick Jackson also spoke about why AEW, which Matt says “was basically just a conversation between myself, my wife, and Tony Khan” months ago, was born.
Nick implies that AEW may have not have been started if they had been offered different contracts from Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, saying, “You know what’s sad? New Japan and ROH could have easily come together and offered us the contracts they wanted, but they just didn’t do it.”
Echoing his statement from last year about why the Young Bucks weren’t in NJPW’s 2018 World Tag League, the younger Jackson brother says that, “New Japan never saw the value in Matt and I. They never paid us good.” He extrapolated:
We would have had to work with New Japan for another two decades to even get close to retiring, and the style they demand is backbreaking. Ring of Honor paid us a lot better than New Japan. We could have probably retired there, but we would have to work probably another decade with them. We pitched it to both of them: Why don’t you guys get us a dual contract? And they just didn’t get it done. We would have easily stayed, and there would have never been an All Elite Wrestling if they would have met what we wanted, but it didn’t get done.
Given that the Bucks were never featured anywhere near as heavily by NJPW as they were in ROH, it’s not hard to agree that the Japanese company at least did not value the tag team as much as their American partner did or the Young Bucks do themselves. The Jackson brothers hold the record for most reigns with the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships with seven, but those aren’t the most notable titles in the company. Unpacking how their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship reign from last year played out and why could be its own article, but suffice it to say the Young Bucks’ move up to the heavyweight division didn’t come with a move to main-eventing regularly for several reasons.
As far as the public knows, the Young Bucks’s AEW contracts don’t include openings for them to make appearances for NJPW like those of Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. With the team making statements like this, it’s not hard to see why – unless, of course, this is part of an elaborate long-term setup for an invasion angle.