My goal is to do shoot interview recaps bi-weekly and if possible make it a weekly thing again.
This was filmed on March 7th, 2015
Rob Feinstein is the host.
It runs at three hours and five minutes long.
Both guys talk about being wrestling fans for as long as they could remember. They also talked about backyard wrestling and their dad made them a wrestling ring on Matt’s 16th birthday since they were taking bumps on wood and cushions on their porch. They talked about reenacting Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn matches and that their sister taught them gymnastics so they could already do flips. Both guys said their parents were really supportive of them trying to become wrestlers.
They also talk about their younger brother, Mal, and how TNA even had a Von Erich-like storyline planned for him to debut but Mel did not want it to happen.
Matt tells a story of going to the 2000 WCW Halloween Havoc PPV and how Booker T blew him off when he asked for an autograph then Stevie Ray came by a few minutes later and ended up signing his stuff.
On training, Matt said he was doing a backyard show and said he had a decent look at the time and some other wrestlers saw him and that he should go train and got him touch with Revolution Pro Wrestling. Matt talked about thinking he did not need training since he was doing all sorts of matches. He first showed up with Dustin Cutler and they arrived late. Matt said the first thing he did was climb the top rope and tell everyone to move then proceeded to do a shooting star and landed on his feet then extended his hand before introducing himself. Nick added how everyone hated Matt then in turn hated him when he first trained. Matt said they beat the shit out of him his first day and his dad freaked out and was about the call the cops but Matt told him this is part of initiation. Matt then said he eventually realized why they were beating the shit out of him due to being arrogant. Looking back, Matt said he deserved it and the experience helped him out in his career.
Matt tells a story of Super Dragon getting mad at him after not listening during the drills and showing off to the point that Dragon wouldn’t even consider him for PWG for a long time as a result
They talk about it being hard to break in while living in California as promoters didn’t want to spend the money on a plane ticket and for them, PWG wouldn’t book them at that time and that was the only place to get exposure in the state.
Both guys talk about working Lucha shows for masks in lieu of money just to get some exposure and working in chicken costumes for a few other Independents in California.
Their family helped them open up their own company called “High Risk Wrestling” as they tell a story of booking Marty Jannetty and how helpful he was and even got them introduced to Shawn Michaels when they went to do some extra work for WWE. They said Shawn gave them advice on what to do, which was to do one tag move then after that just sell. Shawn also told them not to be like how he was outside of the ring. Shawn also found Johnny Ace to get them booked on Smackdown and to give them a little bit of a cash bonus. Sgt Slaughter, who handled the payoffs for extras and tryouts, gave them $300 apiece.
They arrived to the Smackdown taping and Matt felt like he was already going to get signed. However, they never got anything and learned that tryouts and extra work is just part of the business.
On how they got the Young Bucks name, they were booked on a show for Full Contact Wrestling to wrestle as a team, something they were not usually doing at the time. This was in 2004. At the time, their names were “Mr. Instant Replay” and “Slick Nick.” However, someone forgot their names and on the lineup card wrote down “Young Bucks.” They talked about hating the name but then other promotions would use that name for them and it hooked so they grew to like the name. In 2007, they were told about the names they used not working and kept their real names but were given the Jackson last name and do not remember how it came about.
They talk about Joey Ryan, who was the one that convinced Super Dragon to finally book them in PWG. Matt also said that Scott Lost and Scorpio Sky tried to get them into PWG prior.
The Bucks say that the PWG fans are not all wrestling fans and those are shocked to hear they work in Japan and other places thinking they only wrestled in PWG. Both guys say the atmosphere is amazing and that they have the creative freedom to do whatever they want and say the freedom helps young wrestlers improve.
Both guys say that Seth Rollins is awesome and think he will be the champion soon in WWE. They also brought up a time Kenny Omega told them about a conversation with Rollins, who told Omega his plan was to main event WrestleMania. Both guys talk about Rollins always being confident and focused, which people can mistake for arrogance, then add that he is more of a lone-wolf type. The Bucks both said they got along well with him.
They also talk about being in Ring of Honor with Rollins, along with El Generico (Sami Zayn), Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens), and Jimmy Jacobs, that hung out and just talked about the business and did not drink or party unlike most of the roster. They dubbed themselves as the “Scrub Room.”
Both call Omega one of the best in the business and fits in perfectly with the Bullet Club. They also talk about their first time in Japan for Dragon Gate happened during Omega’s first DDT tour and they saw each other in the papers then knew each other from that but lost contact when Omega stayed in Japan while they went to TNA. Now, they see each other practically every day.
Now the Bucks talk about being in the PWG 2009 DDT Tag Team Tournament and how the crowd hated them as they were the heavily pushed babyface team and that in the finals, Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong really beat the shit out of them with Matt saying he lost consciousness for a second after getting attacked by Danielson in the corner. Even Matt said that when Strong tagged in he even asked if he was okay. However, The Bucks said from then on they learned being heels were for the best and said how the crowd changed the booking as the Bucks said they told Super Dragon they needed to be heels and wanted to annoy the crowd.
They are asked about several workers from this time. They call Generico one of the best in the world and joke how he would sell merchandise right up until it was time for his match to take place so you would never get time to go over anything prior to the match. Steen is still one of their best friends and they talk to him daily. Both put over his ability to get over anything and how Steen taught them how to market themselves and sell their brands, adding that Colt Cabana also taught them the same thing. Steen stressed to them to get themselves over and have the main event in the second match and look out themselves because the promotion isn’t going to punish them for getting over. They talk about Davey Richards and admired how he did his own thing and had the balls to show up hours late as they talk about not liking brown-nosers. They both put over Austin Aries for being brilliant in the ring and knows how to get himself over.
Matt talks about Brian Kendrick having conspiracy theories for everything but that he taught them to stick up for themselves. Nick tells a story of how a promoter screwed them out of a hotel room so Kendrick took his credit card out of his wallet and gave it to the concierge then got the money back from the promoter. Kendrick also told them never to complain and go do something about it and they credit him for giving them courage to ask for their TNA release. They skip ahead to when they gave TNA notice. At catering, which they said was outside in TNA, and confronted Bruce Prichard. They said that Prichard was trying to avoid them all day as it was known they wanted to quit. The Bucks and Prichard were having a heated confrontation then Kendrick went behind Matt, rubbed his shoulders, and said “You guys got this, good job” and walked away midway through the conversation.
Nick calls Ricochet the best high-flyer in the world. They tell a story of Ricochet while in Philadelphia and shocked to learn he had a kid since he was just 19 years old with Matt saying he’s like a video game come to life. Matt also thinks the fact he can do things no one else can makes other wrestlers jealous. Both of the Bucks said they pleaded with Ricochet to stop doing the double moonsault as its far too dangerous. Nick is shocked Brian Cage is not signed anywhere due to his look and ability. They feel bad for Willie Mack after he lost a WWE Developmental Deal due to what they believe is a medical issue and how they heard his farewell speech in PWG was an incredibly emotional moment. Both Bucks put over Uhaa Nation (Apollo Crews) as an upcoming talent in the Independent scene. They also put over Jigsaww for being able to do anything in the ring and that Jack Evans might be the most athletic person in wrestling. Matt thinks the fact Evans is not as crisp as a Ricochet or PAC helps him stand out. They wish Sami Callihan stayed longer on the Independent scene because there was money to be made and he had did not reach his peak but at the same time its tough to pass on WWE.
On the creation of Mt. Rushmore in PWG, Nick said he believes it came from Steen and himself. It was originally a t-shirt idea where they would be called the “Kings of PWG.” However, the Bucks teamed with Adam Cole and they were champions while Steen was commentating. At the end of the night, Steen said he had to team with them and they went to Super Dragon to go with the idea. However, Dragon did not want Steen to be heel. They eventually convinced Dragon to go with it but said they did not get to do everything they wanted because of scheduling conflicts.
The Bucks say PWG needs more shows to improve but at the same time everyone’s schedules are tough and even they have to miss a few shows due to all of their commitments in Japan. Nick thinks running once a month should be feasible as Matt says Dragon is sitting on a goldmine. The Bucks also say they’d try to buy out PWG from Dragon if he did not want to do it anymore.
They now talk about working in Dragon Gate and how taxing the style is and puts over the regulars for doing it all the time. Nick said that he was burned out after three weeks and how he could not do this style every day. However, he said it got easier over time. They joked about getting fat that they only ate McDonalds because they did not like the food in Japan and were on a budget so they’d buy a ton of McDonalds and put it in their fridge but now they have more money and can get better food.
On Gabe Sapolsky, they put him over for recognizing talent. He put them over in their Dragon Gate USA show and even guys in TNA like Matt Morgan told them how awesome it was and that he wanted to bring them into the company. They both thought Dragon Gate would get over but think the Japanese guys did not connect with the crowd, like they struggle with in Japan, as Matt says its tough to relate to different cultures.
They got into TNA after sending Terry Taylor a DVD of a match they had with the Motor City Machine Guns in PWG. However, Taylor said there was not a spot and to sign elsewhere. They were negotiating with Ring of Honor but TNA called them up to give them a tryout match. Their flight to Orlando got cancelled due to a snow storm after working RoH Final Battle then kept going to different airlines and finally got a flight and ended up arriving on time. They wrestled the Guns on an all-women’s show in a dark match while wrestling the same match they had in PWG. The crowd chanted for the Bucks and afterwards Taylor offered them a contract. The contract was for one year but it would roll over in the following year. The Bucks did say their contract was crap but they signed as they heard about Hulk Hogan coming in and that they might move to Monday nights as they were willing to see if TNA could grow.
On the “Generation Me” name, Matt said they got an email forwarded to them by Taylor from Vince Russo. It said for them to “look like the Hardy Boyz but not” and that their name was Generation Me. The Bucks had no idea what to do and if they were supposed to have their own attire. They bought some “skater” stuff at Hot Topic and their Bucks stuff to see what he wanted. Russo also wanted their haircut and they both hated it a lot. Looking back, they wished they;d sat with Russo to see exactly what he wanted from the gimmick but felt overwhelmed and intimidated at the time.
Matt said he did not like Eric Bischoff at first because he gave off an aura that he was better than everyone. Nick said that since they were X Division guys, Bischoff looked down on them. After working with him, Matt said he liked him better. They talked about getting positions on the shows after a sit-down interview Bischoff produced. Matt said they then feuded with Bischoff and they storyline was practically a shoot. Matt tells a story of at Lockdown, the X Division guys were pissed about not getting booked. Kendrick gathered them all up and said they have to change things so they blindsided Bischoff backstage as an alternative to Kendrick’s idea of basically protesting on the ramp during the show. From that they did the storyline but Jay Lethal was fired a couple of weeks later and after that they all slowly stopped getting booked.
Nick said that Bruce Prichard did not like him or anyone else in the X Division for that matter.
Russo wanted to split up the Bucks then to eventually put them back together and this was when they really started to become upset. Matt also said it hurt them financially while split up because he had to work rent cars and hotel rooms by himself instead of splitting them and they were not making much money to begin with.
Nick talks about how they would be at tapings and kept having their match order flipped from either the beginning or end of the show and would never find out until the last second, leaving you with no time to stretch out.. Matt tells a story during a series of tapings (at this point, TNA would spread their tapings over three days), Nick flew home on the last day as he was not booked. Matt was still there that day and overhead a conversation that Doug Williams was having with Al Snow where they mentioned Nick’s name for an Xplosion match. Matt went over to say how Nick flew home as he was not booked but Snow had the card with Nick’s name on it and eventually, Kazuchika Okada took Nick’s place in putting over Williams. The Bucks say the hung out a lot with Okada at the time and they became friends. Okada even got Nick’s entrance video for the match as another example of TNA’s disorganization. Another story Matt tells was they wrestled a six-man X Division tag where the heel tag team had a face partner while the face team had a heel partner. All six guys said it seemed dumb and took that to an agent and they eventually got it fixed but were upset how no one gave a shit. We even get a story of how one agent actually came up to them to ask if they were heels or faces while the Bucks had been in the company for over a year and at that point the Bucks knew they needed to leave TNA.
They were shocked about Russo knocking them in a shoot interview saying all they cared about was a good match and no character. Matt also said a story Russo told of Bully Ray telling them they needed to change their style was completely false. The Bucks said he was always cool to them, they also bonded over their Christian faith, and maybe think he was pissed in the way they quit. Matt said he sent Russo an email to reach out and while in TNA always asked him how to get booked and Russo told them they were great but there was too many X Division guys on the roster. Nick joked about being asked to slow down when he was wrestling for about six minutes once a month. Back to Russo, Matt said Russo emailed back an apology and was upset with how they left while Russo also said he was at a bad place at the time.
On TNA currently, both said they haven’t seen much of their shows but put over the Hardy Boyz vs. American Wolves matches. They are rooting for them and hope they stay alive for the sake of the business and do not understand while any fans or talent would want them to go out of business. They do talk about no longer being bitter about their time in the company and regret anything bad they said in interviews after leaving and even apologized to some of the people in the office.
Now they’re asked about their WWE tryouts. Both put over the tense environment and how the days were long and everyone was walking on eggshells to the point they did not even know if they would want to work here if given the opportunity. They talked about how awesome it was to read lines in front of Vince for a “Dirt Sheet” segment. Matt added that Vince agented his match against Big Show. At that point in their careers, both guys said it was like living a dream but now they aren’t sure if they would want to work there. Matt jokes about being treated like a douchebag and they had to get changed inside of a broom closet so now they go out of their way at shows to make new talent feel comfortable.
The Bucks now go more in depth on their last WWE tryout in 2011. Sheamus came up to them and recognized who they were from TNA. However, RVD and Booker T took offense in how they left TNA. RVD went on interviews to say they were disrespectful and refused to ask for advice when both the Bucks said that was false and how they spoke with Tommy Dreamer, Terry Taylor, and whoever was approachable. They said that RVD was not visible to them and in a separate locker and how his comments caught them off guard and it was the first time they had been knocked in a public setting. The Bucks also said they were always said hi to RVD in TNA but apparently RVD hated them and Booker T was close to RVD and hated them by association. Nick said he was the one who talked Matt into doing this tryout and wanted to use it for buzz as they were going to sign with Ring of Honor anyway. Matt said he didn’t care and violated dress code by showing in torn jeans and flip flops.
On the tryout match, William Regal had them in the ring and asked them to pick two guys to wrestle. They chose Scorpio Sky & Joey Ryan, who they had just wrestled in PWG. Nick remembers they were actually told by WWE officials how this was their moment and they did not care about Sky & Ryan. Anyway, they pretty much did their same match in PWG and they went all out and did all their moves in front of everyone. They got some people standing up and applauding and Regal was praising them and wanted to see them back tomorrow and sell in their match. The next day they came late due to a bad accident and all of the “dirt sheets” reported they were going to be at the Smackdown for this tryout. The Bucks said they immediately went to the ring and did not have time to say hi to others or shake hands. They ended up wrestling The Usos and called it on the fly and could hear Booker T at the announce table burying them for having a bad look. They ignored what he was saying and did their match and afterwards, Regal took them straight to the green room for promos. The Bucks stress how they once again had no time to talk to anyone. According to Nick, Regal seemed confident they’d get an offer. Matt talked about how despite wanting to go to RoH he would listen to WWE’s offer and if it blew time away he was not going to say no to WWE. Nick said the fact they had a safety net in RoH so they had the confidence to do whatever they want in this tryout. Nick said he was by the railing near Booker’s coat and Booker started flipping out on him and they all thought it was a rib at first with Nick not thinking much of it but on Twitter the following day they saw Booker bury them on Twitter. However, both guys say they talked to Booker six months ago and patched things up with both apologizing to each other as the Bucks said they were at a bad place during that time and saw the point of Booker not liking them because of their best friend.
Feinstein asks them about recently turning down a Performance Center tryout. Matt said its not the right time and they have a good thing going on now and got more money from NJPW with Nick adding it would be dumb to leave Bullet Club and Independents at this juncture and can ride it out for the next 4-5 years while making good money instead of taking a paycut in NXT. The Bucks also talk about their stock in the Independent scene due to guys like Generico, Steen, and PAC signing with WWE.
The Bucks talk about returning to RoH and how it got sour really quick with Jim Cornette. Nick said they got along fine in person though. Matt tells a story of how they were told after a dark match for RoH while still in TNA by Delirious they would have a deal if they wanted to sign. The Bucks said they got good money in RoH then several months later were told about financial issues and how no one from California would be getting flown out to do shows for the next three months. However, they knew that Mike Bennett & Maria along with Nigel McGuiness lived in Los Angeles and still getting flown out while they were stuck behind along with TJ Perkins. They got flown in for a show a month before their contracts were set to expire. There was a talent meeting where Cornette told them all to come to him with any issues. Matt asked to speak with Cornette when it ended. Cornette laughed knowing what they were about to say as the Bucks were told this was just a one-time thing and they were going to be back to not getting used and barely making any money. Matt then said that Cornette told them something that stuck with them forever as Cornette told them to ask TNA for their jobs back. The Bucks do the match and go home and RoH did not even contact them when their deals expired.
After RoH, the Bucks said they had to go to smaller Independent shows and go all-out and started doing their PWG act in other companies like Dragon Gate USA and CHIKARA. However, Okada called them up and asked if they wanted to come to New Japan. Nick said he felt like they would wind up there at some point with Matt saying they’d fit right in with what Bullet Club was doing. Okada apparently brought their names up when asked about any junior tag teams sue to their friendship in TNA. They found out about being part of Bullet Club and got pushed on their very first show.
Feinstein asks about how Matt tweeted out against Cornette. They talked about Cornette saying they would never draw money then had the nerve to bury them after screwing them out of their jobs. Nick adds how Cornette screwed over Steen by sending him home for six months despite getting the biggest reactions in the company. Matt added that Cornette told them to stop doing super kicks and crotch chops. They even banned the tombstone. However, they returned after being in New Japan and decided to break all the rules and now in RoH they are the only ones the office lets do super kicks.
On Adam Pearce and Delirious as bookers, Matt said that Pearce is hands-on and will get pissed off and in your face while Delirious is calm, cool, and collected. Matt likened Pearce to a coach while Nick says that Deilrious runs around doing so many other jobs.
They are asked about other teams. Both put over The Briscoes for being strong and intense with Matt saying they are “real in a fake business.” They put over how Briscoes are perfect for WWE TV but are happy with what they have. They both love working with reDRagon and with Taka Michinoku & Taichi. They put over Taka’s willingless to do crazy stuff with them in the ring. They call the Timesplitters one of their greatest rivals and how their matches always feel special.
On working the Tokyo Dome, they put over how special it was this year and they got to bring their families. Nick said they are now stars in Japan and that fans flock to them in public.
Karl Anderson was the one who got them into Bullet Club. The Bucks said it was a natural fit as they were already doing the “too sweet” gesture in PWG. Matt says they all have fun together and group text each other daily.
Matt says that they do stuff other wrestlers from their childhoods did and how fans get on them for not being original. He says that they are just having fun and are heels and supposed to get under your skin.
They addressed those knocking their matches as “spotfests” and how a match on WWE RAW is laid out almost move by move and they do certain spots right before commercials while they have more freedom to call stuff in the ring. Nick said the “spotfest” term is so overblown and it led to them creating a “spot monkey” t-shirt.
On the Meltzer Driver name, they told a few friends about the move but did not do it until they told Frankie Kazarian and he wanted them to do it on him. The next time Matt suggested they call the move the “Meltzer Driver” to make the other wrestlers laugh and from there it took off as Matt shows off his “Meltzer Driver Everybody.” On whether or not they worry about geting heat for the name, they say they do not care at all. Nick jokes their next finish should be called the “Cornette Crusher” but Matt doesn’t even want to give him attention.
Back to Cornette, Matt said that he dropped everything with him until Cornette started burying them again on his podcast. Matt then said that Nick is a hothead and told Nick to block him on Twitter to not give any attention as they were getting into it online. Nick said that he doesn’t even hate Cornette but Matt says he does. Matt then asks Feinstein if Cornette has kids and when he learns that he does not, Matt says that Cornette is like a child and how not to feed into him because it will give Cornette something to talk about.
They are asked about slowing down their style. Matt says they are both looking forward to sign a guaranteed contract at some point but currently want to make as much money as possible. They talk about working five shows in three days then going back home for a day before going on a three week tour in Japan then going off to England. Nick said they haven’t seen a deal yet worth signing.
Both guys talking about starting to rely on more shtick and to pick and choose their spots but also blame themselves for working their style as it is taxing on the body.
The Bucks talk about other wrestlers hating them solely due to social media as they talk about never having the machine them and always marketing themselves.
Matt calls Nick the better worker while Nick says their strengths balance each other out with Matt being more powerful and Nick more athletic.
Nick talks about Matt always needing coffee and for getting moody when he is hungry but no matter what they never fight.
On who they want to work with, they would love the chance to wrestle The Usos and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd.
Matt wants them to be remembered as two guys that hustled and built their own brand without needing to be on Vince McMahon’s television. Nick also wants to be remembered as a good husband and father then cites a Shawn Michaels interview where he talked about God not judging you for how great you were at WrestleMania but rather for how you were as a father and husband.
If they were not wrestlers, Matt says they would probably be doing construction with their father but Nick thinks they would have been involved somehow in the entertainment industry.
Both guys thank their fans to close out the interview, saying they are the reason for their current success and how all t-shirts bought go directly to their families.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a really good interview. It also took place at a time where they were starting to really make a name for themselves and were becoming polarizing wrestlers among the online community. You also see what made them who they are today and how they showed the drive and determination to make it on their own and instead of a goal being a guaranteed money deal from someone like WWE they were able to help start up AEW. I wished they were asked more about what they said when leaving TNA to provide some context though. And their friendship with Okada in TNA ended up getting them their biggest career break.
The was a lot of good information here about how they were treated by Cornette in Ring of Honor and the dysfunction behind the scenes in TNA never ceases to amaze. And them blaming RVD for getting punked out by Booker T backstage was another good story. Then again, Matt
Overall, a strong interview that you should seek out if possible. You can get in from RF Video directly or watch in as part of your subscription to the Highspots Wrestling Network.
Next recap will be in two weeks and its the Drew Galloway RF Video shoot.