Together with former WWE superstar Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks and Hangman Page will be leading the way for the newly formed All Elite Wrestling (AEW) promotion after reportedly turning down offers to sign with WWE as free agents. However, the latest rumors from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter suggest that it wasn’t for a lack of trying, as the company reportedly made some interesting offers in hopes of signing the popular independent wrestling standouts.
Citing the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer, Wrestling Inc. wrote that WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque “worked hard and offered unique deals” to Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Page, only for the four Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling mainstays to reject them in favor of AEW. Specifically, Page was offered a chance to join NXT and get pushed as one of the developmental promotion’s main event-level talents while earning “main roster money.”
As for The Young Bucks, aka Matt and Nick Jackson, WWE reportedly wanted to sign the tag team to a similarly “unique” three-year contract, where the brothers were to receive the same amount of money as their former ROH and NJPW colleague, SmackDown Live superstar AJ Styles. In addition, the duo’s Being The Elite YouTube show was supposed to be aired on the WWE Network as a weekly series, while their contract offers also reportedly included a six-month period that would have given them a chance to opt out of their deals if they weren’t happy working for the WWE.
As further cited by Wrestling Inc., the Wrestling Observer wrote that Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and Page were grateful to Triple H for meeting with them and offering them a chance to sign with WWE, “praising” him for handling things the right way. However, after 12 hours of negotiations, the four members of the faction known as The Elite chose not to join the company, instead opting to stick to AEW as the new promotion hopes to compete with the heavyweights of the pro wrestling world.
Meanwhile, another key member of The Elite, Kenny Omega, has yet to sign with a new promotion, as his contract with NJPW expires at the end of January, according to Wrestling Inc. However, it is widely expected that he will choose to sign with AEW once he officially becomes a free agent, as the publication also noted that Omega followed the lead of his stablemates and turned down WWE’s offer.