Q&A: The Young Bucks on Their Goals for ‘Double or Nothing,’ AEW’s TV Deal and Their Time Off
Just before All Elite Wrestling’s debut “Double or Nothing” pay-per-view, which takes place this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the Young Bucks took time to answer questions about the magnitude of this weekend’s show.
The Bucks—brothers Matt and Nick Jackson—are a standalone attraction. They defend their AAA world tag team titles against Penta and Fenix, which was a match originally discussed for “All In” last September.
The Bucks are also executive vice presidents for AEW, undertaking the task of building a new promotion and competing against the likes of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and, of course, WWE.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the Bucks shared their goals for Double or Nothing, discussed AEW’s new television deal with WarnerMedia that brings pro wrestling back to TNT and previewed the card for this Saturday’s show.
Justin Barrasso: You have both worked tirelessly to turn the dream of a new wrestling promotion into a reality with All Elite Wrestling. This past week, AEW made headlines by announcing its partnership with WarnerMedia.
What excites you the most about the weekly television opportunity on TNT? Also, does it motivate you that WWE is already planning to air a Tuesday night program on FS1 that, if AEW is on Tuesday nights, would compete opposite you?
Matt Jackson: It’s exciting to know that so many fans who may not have seen or even heard about us now have the opportunity to do so. TNT will shine a spotlight on so many talented wrestlers who look, feel and sound so different than what casual fans might be used to. I didn’t know any other wrestling organization was planning on airing opposite of us until this interview, so that’s news to me.
Nick Jackson: I love it. That’s exactly what wrestling needs right now, competition. They’ve been so comfortable for the last two decades that they need something like this. This only helps the whole landscape of wrestling.
Barrasso: An integral part of AEW’s Double or Nothing pay per view is the tag match for the AAA titles pitting the Young Bucks against Penta and Fenix.
After a very consistent schedule of travel and wrestling, and doing it all over the world, has the time off been therapeutic? How have you kept sharp in terms of in-ring work? And will you have anything special in store for your AEW debut?
Matt Jackson: Nick and I have been teaming for over 15 years, but we’ve been on the road consistently for over a decade. This was the longest break we’ve ever taken in our careers.
It’s been nice to reconnect with our families and heal our bodies. We have upped our training significantly and I’m actually the lightest I’ve been since my TNA days. We plan to come back with fresh ideas, and maybe bring back some oldies. Perhaps we’ll even borrow some maneuvers from past adversaries.
Nick Jackson: We both haven’t had four months off from doing shows in 15 years so our bodies needed it. But what’s scary is not knowing how we will feel in the ring with all that rest—that’s what I’m most nervous about, not being able to catch my breath. We’ve been training in the ring trying to prepare.
Barrasso: The planning for Double or Nothing must have been extremely exciting. I'm picturing far more of “All The President’s Men” than “Office Space.” How do you describe the work place with Tony Khan, Brandi and Cody Rhodes, and Kenny Omega?
Matt Jackson: The creative team is essentially a group chat that goes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some people in the group think a bit more traditionally, while others think super outside the box. We always come to some sort of agreement, somewhere in the middle. It’s a recipe that works. The process has been both challenging and incredibly rewarding.
Nick Jackson: So far, it’s been pretty good. We all are fantastic at separate things and, when we come together, it all meshes well.
Barrasso: Is it possible that The Undertaker, who was originally scheduled to appear at Starrcast, was frightened of an impromptu Superkick Party?
Matt Jackson: I’m not sure I could reach the Undertaker for a superkick.
Nick Jackson: I was actually very sad to see him taken off. Fans would’ve loved to meet him in Vegas.
Barrasso: “An Evening with Cody & The Yong Bucks” is set for this Thursday night at Starrcast. Will this show exceed the famed story time sessions with Adam Cole?
Matt Jackson: I sure hope it does—the three of us always seem to deliver in these types of settings. It’s definitely going to be a fun way to kick off the festivities for the weekend.
Nick Jackson: He’s excellent on the mic, but he’s also a ghost now. For that reason, we should be able to top it.
Barrasso: Beyond your own, is there one match that you think could steal the show at Double or Nothing?
Matt Jackson: If you asked me a couple of days ago, I would’ve said PAC vs. Hangman, but that match isn’t happening anymore. Cody vs. Dustin is going to be a rollercoaster ride of emotion, while Kenny vs. Jericho is going to be a brutal fight. I’m also really excited for SCU vs. OWE (Cima, T-Hawk, and El Lindaman). I think that can be a dark horse match of the night.
Nick Jackson: Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho is going to be phenomenal, of course, and a dark horse I think could be Best Friends vs. Angelico and Jack Evans.
Barrasso: AEW has the potential to revolutionize pro wrestling. What is your goal with Double or Nothing this Saturday night?
Matt Jackson: Our top priority is to knock this out of the park, and deliver something completely different from what viewers are used to seeing. Since the very beginning, our goal has been to make this the greatest time ever to be a professional wrestling fan. That time starts on Saturday night with Double or Nothing.
Nick Jackson: We have to hit a home run, plain and simple. I have the confidence that we will. We got a great group of guys ready to rock Saturday.
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.