Fans of professional wrestling are familiar with the current Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks. The high-flying brothers, Matt and Nick Jackson, have thrilled indie wrestling audiences in ROH, TNA, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and they recently appeared on Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast to discuss a variety of subjects.
Merchandising was very much on the minds of The Young Bucks, and during the podcast, Matt revealed that the Jackson brothers made more money from their merchandise than from performing in the ring in 2017.
“Yeah, we’ve made more in Young Bucks merch than we ever did in wrestling just last year. Yeah, crazy. I’m not even talking about prowrestlingtees or Hot Topic.”
Matt’s wife, Dana, runs their empire from home, where she does all the work, from folding the t-shirts to stuffing the envelopes and mailing every package. Dana might need to hire someone to help her after Matt told Chris Jericho that The Young Bucks had just signed a deal to become the first non-WWE wrestlers with own Funko Pop! figurines.
“The other thing that’s exciting that I can announce here is that in July, we’re getting our own Funko Pop!s. We’re going to be the very first non-WWE wrestlers to ever have Funko Pop!s.”
For those wrestling fans who are not familiar with Funko Pop! figurines, the company produces collectible vinyl figures and bobbleheads. Several WWE superstars and WWE legends already have their own Funko Pop! figurines, including Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker, Nikki and Brie Bela, Paige, Jake “The Snake ” Roberts, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Ultimate Warrior, and Andre the Giant.
While talking with Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks also discussed the WWE invasion angle that was originally planned for WrestleMania 33. In a match promoted by ROH and Impact, The Young Bucks were going to confront TNA World Tag Team Champions Matt and Jeff Hardy outside of WrestleMania and take the titles from The Hardy Boyz.
“We had that planned, man, for a long time. Maybe even longer [than six months]. Actually, we were originally going to do it with The Hardy Boyz. We were going to be outside of WrestleMania and we were going to do something with The Hardys. They were going to transport to WrestleMania and we were going to be there and have a little altercation. That’s right, we were going to take their titles. They were the TNA [tag] champs at the time.”
Unfortunately for anyone who loves tag team wrestling, the WWE invasion plan never came to fruition, and the angle was abandoned.
Most recently, The Young Bucks faced their archrivals, The Briscoes, for the ROH World Tag Team Title on May 12, 2016. In what turned out to be a wild brawl with blood, chair shots, and a post-match beatdown, The Young Bucks retained their titles after Mark Briscoe used a chair on Nick Jackson, and the referee disqualified The Briscoes. After the match ended, the Briscoes continued to pummel the champions and split Matt Jackson’s head open with a vicious chair shot.
On the podcast, Matt Jackson also spoke with Chris Jericho about the efforts of their close friend, AJ Styles, to convince The Young Bucks to sign with the WWE. When fellow Bullet Club members AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson left for the WWE in January 2016, AJ wanted The Young Bucks to come with them. But Matt and Nick had just signed a two-year ROH contract, and even if they had been free agents at the time, the brothers preferred to remain in control of their careers.
Matt told Chris how important that control is to The Young Bucks.
“I’m so used to being in charge of everything. Our entire business, we run this thing together. Like, I’m on my phone all day. My wife’s helping me do it too, but we do this independently, so it would be so hard for me to just give all that up, to go, ‘here you go! Here are the keys to the car.'”
While wrestling fans would love to see The Young Bucks sign with Vince McMahon, Matt Jackson said a WWE contract isn’t a priority. But like every good pro wrestling storyline, Matt left just enough doubt to keep the fans hoping and guessing.
“It’s something we can’t answer because we don’t know the future.”