Earlier this month, at Starrcast IV, the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), were asked about the possibility of each having singles runs in All Elite Wrestling. Nick fielded the question, stating, “God forbid one of us gets injured or anything that’s the only way you’ll see us do a type of singles match.” Fast forward just a week or so later and it’s Nick, who thanks to the world of kayfabe, is going to see his words come true when he takes on Fenix during this week’s AEW Dynamite, in what will be his first singles match in almost five years.
One of the things Matt Jackson has been lauded for during his career is his incredible ability to sell injuries. So much so, for a few years now, Matt’s back has been an integral part of his character. Opponents often target it in matches and Matt himself will reference it during Being the Elite. In fact, since the angle of him selling a nagging back injury began, the Bucks have wrestled matches that have been completely built off of Matt’s back and their ability as a team to overcome it. Well, this time, it will be up to Nick and Nick alone, as AEW is going to that well, selling a lower neck/upper back injury to Matt following him being thrown through the covered off area next to the entrance ramp, right through to the flooring, by Proud-N-Powerful‘s Santana and Ortiz. According to a tweet Matt sent following the attack, he couldn’t even turn his neck.
Here we go! https://t.co/YeO562KNFK
— The Young Bucks® (@NickJacksonYB) November 16, 2019
Matt didn’t need to be stretchered out or have his neck stabilized, but he did need Nick and childhood friend Brandon Cutler, to help him to the back. Later that week, through a video on AEW’s Twitter, Nick announced that what was supposed to be a tag team match pitting the Young Bucks against the Lucha Brothers (Pentagon and Fenix), would now be a singles match between himself and Fenix as Matt is not medically cleared to compete.
As Nick said in the video, this will be his first true singles match in four-and-a-half years, the last coming in 2015 when he lost to Rocky Romero in the New Japan Pro Wrestling Best of the Super Juniors final.
Now 30 years old, in the early 2000s, “Slick Nick” Jackson, the younger of the two brothers, began his wrestling career a few years after Matt, training at the Revolution Pro Wrestling dojo, under Ron Rivera, Scorpio Sky, Super Dragon and others. Along with Matt and Dustin Cutler, Brandon’s older brother who also trained with the Bucks, the three made their debuts at the Alternative Wrestling Show/C4/Rev Pro joint event in August. In October of the same year, Matt opened up his own wrestling company, High Risk Wrestling, which served as the main place where the brothers would wrestle in singles competition. Outside of HRW, the two were a team, first as Los Gallineros and by February 2005 as the Young Bucks, the name that would come to characterize their careers. The two introduced the name at the Full Contact Wrestling debut show and have been using it, almost ever since.
In 2006, the Bucks made their televised debut, wrestling Joey Ryan and Karl Anderson for an NWA Pro TV taping. The following year, Slick Nick and Mr. Instant Replay received new ring names, going by Matt and Nick Jackson. It was that same year that the duo began to break out into the burgeoning Californian indie scene, namely with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Nick, who previously had worked about 30 or so matches not teaming with his brother, only worked five that year that didn’t feature Matt. The following year, it was 15 (including the Battle of Los Angeles), and then nine in 2009 as by that time, the Jackson brothers had established themselves as a full-fledged duo who almost exclusively wrestled tag team matches. Matt and Nick gained fame and popularity in the SoCal scene and rode that to international acclaim. Soon, the brothers were working Dragon Gate, Ring of Honor and TNA, where they wrestled under the name Generation Me.
In 2010, Nick worked 10 matches where Matt wasn’t his partner, though in several of them, including BOLA that year, the two wrestled as opponents. Much of the remainder of Nick’s singles matches took place on TNA Xplosion or within the X-Division title picture. In March 2011, the Bucks wrestled each other on back-to-back days for Xplosion tapings as the two were briefly involved in a storyline feud. It went nowhere and shortly after, in July 2011, the two requested their release from TNA. Upon leaving TNA, it was rare to see a match featuring one Buck and not the other. In fact, since July 2011, not counting battle royales, Nick has wrestled just 35 matches (19 of which came in the Best of Super Juniors XXI and XXII tournaments) without Matt by his side. The most recent of which came on October 14, 2016 as Nick took part in a four corners match for ROH’s Glory By Honor XV PPV. But as Nick noted, his last true singles match happened at Best of Super Juniors XII in 2015.
In his career, Nick has won 36 titles, all alongside Matt. But while all of his accolades are with his brother and tag team partner, Nick has also taken part in BOLA thrice, the CHIKARA Young Lions Cup IX, best of Super Juniors twice, and has challenged for various singles titles including the TNA X-Division Championship, NJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship and EVOLVE Championship. So, while not known for being a singles wrestler, Nick still boasts a decent resume for his time wrestling without Matt.
On Wednesday, he’ll face one half of another tag team of brothers, when he takes on Fenix in singles action. The 28-year-old luchador, while known primarily in the U.S. for his tag team with Pentagon, is a multi-time singles champion the world over. Unlike Nick, Fenix, who has a bonafide singles career, has singles gold, having won the AAA Mega Championship, AAA Fusion Championship, The Crash Cruiserweight Championship, AAW Heavyweight Championship, Gift of the Gods Championship and Lucha Underground Championship.
Fenix and Nick Jackson have shared a ring 15 times, all of which have involved Matt, and all but four of which have also featured Pentagon. This will be the first time that these two wrestlers, known for their high-flying abilities, will be forced to go at it alone in singles action. While it may not be the kind of dream match that comes with a “must-see” label, AEW is certainly doing something different here, putting Nick Jackson in his first singles match in over four years. That alone gives this match a unique feel.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to check out AEW Dynamite, every Wednesday night at 8PM on TNT.