Dot Net Interview: Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks on WWE interest, improved relationship with TNA, DGUSA triple shot in Florida, never felt at home in ROH
Dot Net staffer Zack Zimmerman conducted the following interview with Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks this week. Matt and his brother Nick, The United Gate Champions, will be wrestling on the upcoming Evolve Tripleshot in Orlando, Florida on Thursday May 30 (Taped to air live on June 1), Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday June 1, and Ybor City, Florida on Sunday June 2. More information is available at DGUSA.TV/events. and TheYoungBucks.net.
Zack Zimmermn: You will be facing DGUSA Champion Johnny Gargano in a non-title singles match at Evolve 20 on 5/31 in Orlando, is it safe to call this your biggest singles matchup to date? What are you excited or nervous about going into it?
Matt Jackson: Certainly is one of my biggest singles matches to date. I remember watching Johnny Gargano for the first time, during a Dragon Gate pre-show-match. Me and Nick pulled him aside afterward and told him how impressed we were with him. He was the only one in the match that really caught our attention. We knew he'd be good. I've watched him get really good these past couple of years so it'll be fun to see firsthand, in a singles match, where we're not relying on our partners.
ZZ: Being one-half of the Young Bucks, you guys are probably booked nearly every show as a team. Is working singles something you’d like the opportunity to do more?
MJ: I like to think of myself as a tag team wrestling specialist. It's my thing. I thoroughly enjoy the style and wouldn't want to do or be anyone else. However, with that said, it's always fun to challenge myself with something new. I only have myself out there; I can't tag in my brother if I get hurt or tired. I've gotta push myself to a different level. It'll be interesting to see how well we do, without the luxury of tagging out. Is it something I'm interested in doing more often? If it's every once in awhile, sure! Permanently! No way.
ZZ: Do you notice a difference in the way crowds respond to you on the East Coast compared to the West Coast? (For example, the New Jersey crowd seemed to embrace you guys no matter what you did, even Superkicking Christina Von Eerie.)
MJ: Sometimes, no matter what you do, if people like you, they're gonna cheer you either way. With us, being bad guys has kind of just become part of our act, our routine. Some people have enjoyed our work and can't help but cheer us, even if it means Superkicking a poor girl in her face. These are the fans that are REALLY familiar with us, I'd like to think. Any average fan that was watching us for the first time wouldn't cheer such a thing, I don't think? But anyway, the same thing is starting to happen out west for us as well. The worse our behavior in the ring, the louder the cheers are becoming. It's a strange thing.
ZZ: At Evolve 21 on 6/1, you and Nick will be in a featured tag match against Anthony Neese and Brian Cage. You’ve had a handful of encounters with Cage in PWG, have you had the chance to work with Neese? How do you approach matches differently with such powerhouse opponents?
MJ: We've wrestled Cage a couple of times, and every time he seems a little stronger; like, superhuman stuff. It's kinda intimidating. But as big and ripped as he is, he's also kind of a dumb meathead, too busy counting calories and eating out of his portable icebox filled with chicken packed Tupperware. We've yet to wrestle Anthony, but have seen a ton of his matches. He's awesome. Anthony and Brian as a team, this is a first I believe? Nick and I have been doing this nearly a decade. I don't care how vascular they look that day in the ring, or how jacked their abs look; we've got the experience factor.
ZZ: The Young Bucks are referred to as the most dominant tag team in Pro Wrestling Guerilla history, 3-time reigning Tag Team Champions. It seems like a company that’s run by the boys, for the boys, and consistently puts out the best wrestling shows in the country. What’s the environment like in the PWG locker room and ring?
MJ: It's a party! But everyone wants to have the best matches, so there's also a friendly competition going on every show. You can hear the crowd exploding all night in the back, so that makes things a bit intimidating. Recently, we helped get our friend Jay Lethal booked at PWG. Before his match, he said that the last time he was so nervous was when he worked with Ric Flair. So, that'll give you a sense of what it's like. In the ring, it's like magic. You're taking part in something different that you can feel in your bones.
ZZ: You seemed to have a nice spot in Ring of Honor in 2009 and again in 2011-early 2012, but disappeared quickly. What’s the situation with them?
MJ: That place never really felt like home, honestly. It was always just another company we worked for. It was never a place we strove to work for or dreamed of being a part of. Of course we had fun there and are thankful for the times we did spend there; we learned a ton from the guys there. They've got an amazing roster. We've recently been contacted about coming back, but long story short, it didn't work out, which is a shame because making money is always nice! Who knows; in the meantime, we're doing just fine!
ZZ: Is there still the ability to make a comfortable living as independent wrestlers compared to talent contracted to full time schedules with one of the bigger companies?
MJ: Absolutely, but it's very rare and you have to hustle! I'll tell you, we're en route to having our best year and that makes us feel great 'cuz we've done it all on our own! There's not a lot of money in wrestling unless you're willing to put in the extra work. We've just barely started really cashing in on having merchandise, which is a huge mistake. I can't believe we weren't more on the ball about that. But yeah, it's all about your brand and getting yourself over. We like to think that, since leaving TNA, we've become much better businessmen.
ZZ:You and Nick will be defending your United Gate Championships live on iPPV for Evolve 22 on 6/2 against the impressive young Japanese duo of EITA and Tomahawk T.T. What have you seen of them and what can fans expect from that match?
MJ: Honestly, we'd never heard of or seen them until recently. I listened to a match one of them had with Rich Swann in LA, and kept hearing the smacking of flesh followed by screams. It was unpleasant. Then I saw The Super Smash Brothers’ chests after they wrestled [EITA and Tomahawk] at WrestleCon, and my jaw dropped. Me and Nick already discussed how hard we'll kick them in their brains if they try that on us. But yeah, expect an exciting, hard-hitting match here. They're quicker than most living human beings too, so we'll have to really lace our Air Jordan's a little tighter that night.
ZZ: You and Nick also had a brief stint in TNA as Generation Me and recently worked a few tapings for their One Night Only PPVs. Can you talk a little bit about the relationship you’ve had with TNA and where it stands now?
MJ: When we initially left, I don't [think] things were too great. Since then, it's gotten a lot better. When we came recently to wrestle at the One Night Only shows, it felt right; like we were coming back home to say hi to a bunch of old friends. Everyone seemed sincere and super nice. As far as working there in the future, who really knows? I wouldn't count it out though.
ZZ: Plenty of stories and speculation have popped up regarding incidents with WWE, has there been any further contact between you and them? Would you have the desire to join the new and improved developmental system if the opportunity were to present itself?
MJ: We recently spoke to someone that works there, who said there was high interest in having us, but again, who knows? Right now, we're at a time in our lives where uprooting our families to Florida would be incredibly tough. I've got a one year old daughter and Nick and his wife have one on the way. Things are great for us right now, but never say never. If there was a real offer, maybe I'd have a different answer? I'm really happy that all of our friends are currently there, and all doing well.
ZZ: Have any veterans in the wrestling business taken to you or helped you out?
MJ: Tommy Dreamer, Sean Waltman and Marty Jannetty are certainly three that come to mind. Terry Taylor was another. And definitely Colt Cabana. They've all been a big help in many different ways.
ZZ: What are your thoughts on the comparisons people make between the Young Bucks and both The Hardys and The Rockers?
MJ: It's flattering to me. The Hardys and Rockers are two of the greatest tag teams of all time. To be compared to those four is an honor. It's obvious in watching us, that we've adopted their styles. I swear, Rockers/Brain Busters matches hold up to this very day. Literally, if that match was on any indy card this weekend, it'd be the best match on the show.
ZZ: It seems like you’ve found a new home in DGUSA/Evolve where you’ve quickly become the United Gate Champions with Nick. What’s the best part of being a part of the promotion for you and why should fans check out the product if they haven’t?
MJ: Evolve and Dragon Gate are both so unique. What I like about it is the variety; so many colorful characters but with a new school outlook. The focus is on wrestling, as a sport. The best wrestlers succeed because they're the best, not for anything that takes place after hours. I like that. It makes it an equal playing field. The best part about being in Evolve and Dragon Gate is the competition. We wrestle everywhere, for every single promotion, but the best wrestlers are here. Gabe has a real eye for talent, no doubt about it.
- Superkicks: The coolest move in the world.
- Air Guitar: It's how I pay my bills.
- His sideburns: I've had them since 6th grade and getting rid of them is a scary thought. Legit.
- The Handspring Backrake: The move has taken on a life of its own. I do it every match, and people never grow tired of it. It's so stupid.
- Yelling “Oh yeah, baybay!”: An old cliché thing every 80's wrestler shouted, so of course I do it.
- His brother, Nick: Not just saying this because he's my brother and partner, but currently as an in-ring performer, he's the best wrestler in the world. I've been in the ring with 'em all, and he's consistently the best and has never had a bad night. People will look past him because he's part of a tag team, but it's the God's honest truth.
Throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; always happy to discuss.
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