Nick and Matt Jackson, the Young Bucks, are one of the most popular acts in pro wrestling on the independent level, and are easily the most popular tag team in the world not currently signed to WWE. WWE has been interested in them for some time, although they’ve long said that they’re reluctant to sign a contract that would keep them both away from their young children for so many months of the year. They’re currently a huge part of the Bullet Club in New Japan (where they are currently in their fifth reign as IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions), are the current Ring of Honor tag team champions, and are pretty much always the PWG tag champs.
Nick and Matt’s contracts with both Ring of Honor and New Japan were up at the end of 2016, and were rumored to be heavily courted by WWE, as well as other promotions. Ultimately, however, Nick and Matt chose to re-sign with ROH and NJPW for another two years.
Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that he deal will have them on a similar schedule to their 2016 in both promotions, and ensures them a “significant increase” in pay from both companies in 2017, with another pay bump in 2018. They will also retain control of their merchandise, which is a legitimate cottage industry for the team.
In addition, they are going to have more input in creative direction in storyline, and they were apparently the ones who put into motion a new cross-promotional angle between them and the Broken Hardys, which was kicked off with the below video from Matt Hardy that aired during Friday’s ROH Final Battle pay-per-view.
The match between the Hardys and Bucks will take place on April 1, the day before WrestleMania, in Orlando. The Young Bucks’ new contracts allow them to take non-Japan and non-U.S. dates that don’t conflict with ROH or NJPW dates, but they will be exclusive to ROH in the United States … with PWG being the one exception.
So that’s that. No Bucks in WWE. No Elite vs. New Day. Will Kenny Omega be the next member of the Elite to re-sign with ROH and New Japan?