After years of anticipation and intrigue, the Young Bucks and FTR finally had their dream match at AEW Full Gear.
The finish of the match saw Cash Wheeler miss a springboard 450 splash, which Matt Jackson capitalized off of with a superkick and a 1, 2, 3. Speaking on the AEW Full Gear media scrum, Matt says tonight’s victory is his crowning achievement as a professional wrestler.
“Is this the biggest thing we’ve ever done? Yeah, I think so. It’s definitely the most proud I’ve ever been,” Matt said.
As for where the new AEW Tag Team Champions go next, Nick emphasized their full focus is on having a strong reign with the straps.
“It’s to keep these championship belts, obviously,” Nick said. “We want to have a hell of a tag run, so we don’t want to lose them.”
“We don’t want it to be a fluke,” Matt said. “Like, we had a great match, we won ’em, and then nobody remembers our run. Now it’s time to put in the work.”
While a strong reign is important to the duo, the co-EVPs of AEW have bigger things in mind for the AEW tag division.
“When we started this company and helped build this company, we always said tag team wrestling could be the main event. We proved that tonight,” Nick said. “That’s probably one more goal that we would like to do, is to make the next pay-per-view, or whenever, the next Dynamite, a massive tag title match.”
“I think clearly we should have a big main event, and after tonight, there’s a big rematch down the line,” Matt said.
Speaking of a potential rematch, Matt and Nick had high praise for their Full Gear opponents. This match has been a long time coming, and according to both Jacksons, the experience did not disappoint.
“FTR, those guys are machines,” Nick said. “And it was surreal being in the ring with those guys. It was like an out-of-body experience wrestling those guys.”
“They were aggressive, and hard-hitting,” Matt said. “I told Nick afterwards they reminded me a lot of back in the day when we would work guys like Roderick Strong, and the Briscoes, and Claudio (Cesaro), and Chris Hero. It’s the same rugged, smash-mouth style.”
“They’re probably the best tag team I’ve ever been in the ring with,” Nick said.
While the Young Bucks matched up against FTR in the squared circle, they also had FTR’s manager in the form of Tully Blanchard to consider. Blanchard had to watch the contest from backstage, as he was barred from ringside, but his presence was still felt inside the ring.
“It’s funny because I used to sit back and watch The Rockers vs The Brainbusters, and having Tully and Arn here, it’s so surreal,” Matt said. “And a lot of our match today, it was a lot of inspiration from those matches. Being out there and doing it, I felt like I was performing in one of those old matches I used to watch when I was a kid.”
Matt entered this match at less than 100%, as he has been dealing with leg injuries in his ACL, MCL, and ankle. While FTR strategically targeted Matt’s ankle throughout, he stressed that his injuries are very much legitimate.
“It’s a very real injury that I’ve been dealing with, and it’s been a rough year for me,” Matt said. “Like, I come back after all that time off when we were on lockdown and the first thing I do is break my rib when I jumped out of the dugout, and I dealt with that for a second. That sucked. Then we did that falls count anywhere match with The Butcher and The Blade and I decided it would be a good idea to jump off the entrance area and do a diving elbow through a table, where there is only concrete, by the way.
“For a while I was walking around at home, and having a hard time. Kind of, hobbling around. I thought I might’ve had a hairline fracture in my fibula, or something. My amazing wife noticed I was having a hard time getting around, and she had Dr. Sampson order me an MRI to see what was going on. Turns out it wasn’t my fibula, but actually my soft tissue. And it was the back of my knee. It was my MCL. It was diagnosed that after looking at the MRI, I had a slight tear.”
Matt has been taking precautionary measures to ensure it doesn’t become a full tear. While he knows his leg isn’t perfect, he stressed that he felt good tonight.
“I’ve been taping it before every match. This was my ninth match, I believe, with the injury. And honestly, I felt pretty good with all things considered,” Matt said. “Our medical staff is amazing, they would never send me out there if they weren’t confident with me and how I felt.”