AEW: Update on Plans for Kazuchika Okada AEW Career Debut, Young Bucks on Their Friendship with Cody Rhodes, Rob Van Dam

Backstage Update on AEW’s Current Plans for Kazuchika Okada’s AEW Career Debut

As noted before, Kazuchika Okada’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling officially expired this past January and finished up his commitments with NJPW this past February. Okada is currently expected to officially be joining AEW soon.

Fightful Select reported that their sources stated that AEW officials currently have tentative plans in place for Okada to make his official AEW career debut at their March 6th AEW Dynamite show in Duluth, Georgia.

Those spoken to reportedly also stated that AEW officials were hoping as far back as mid-February that Okada would be ready to make his official AEW career debut at next week’s Dynamite show. This reportedly is very likely what AEW CEO Tony Khan hinted at about having “something exciting” in store for next week’s show during Thursday’s Revolution 2024 media scrum.

Young Bucks Comments on Sting’s Final Career Match & Their Friendship with Cody Rhodes

Sports Illustrated held a recent interview with The Young Bucks’ Matthew and Nicholas Jackson. One of the topics discussed included Nicholas Jackson’s thoughts about their upcoming match against Sting and Darby Allin at this Sunday’s AEW Revolution 2024 event.

“It’s a crazy rollercoaster ride we’ve been on the last 20 years. I remember watching Nitro, seeing Sting come down from the rafters to attack the NWO, and how mad I’d be that he’d always beat up Hogan. So to see him still performing at a high level all these years later is amazing. For Matthew and me to be his last match means a lot. It’s the biggest match of our career, and it’s a moment I didn’t think would happen.”

Matthew Jackson responded stating:

“Forbidden Door was the very first time we’d ever been in a ring with Sting. You can get caught up in moments like that when you’re standing face to face with an icon. It can mix you up and take you off balance because you almost get caught watching yourself, like you’re in a movie or a dream. You have to stop acting like a fan and remember you’re a participant. I remember more about how I felt in that match, and less about what happened.

This match at Revolution, nobody is more emotional about it than my brother and me. Although we usually rooted against Sting when we were kids, we always respected his game. It’s a lot of responsibility on our shoulders. Sting has had a legendary career, and it’s up to us to stick the landing. But this isn’t going to be Kobe scoring 60 points on his final night. We’re looking for a shutout. And I know Sting wouldn’t want it any other way. He mentioned us being in for the fight of our lives. We live for high pressure, high stakes, big fight feel matches. Nobody performs better in those types of situations than us. Sixty-four years of age, performing in his final match or not, we’re not going to take him lightly.”

Nicholas also gave his thoughts about their friendship with Cody Rhodes and how Rhodes’ departure from AEW ended up helping them grow more as friends.

“Cody is the face of the WWE now, and it’s cool to see because we always knew how much of a star he was. The founders of AEW will always have a lifetime bond with each other because we all know what we did for wrestling. We talk every week and in a weird way him leaving made us grow more as friends.”

Rob Van Dam Comments on Feeling Appreciated & Welcomed During His Time in AEW

A recent episode of the 1 Of A Kind podcast featured ECW legend and co-host Rob Van Dam giving his thoughts about the Trios match he had at last week’s AEW Dynamite match.

“It was good. All those guys are good. It was a little bit chaotic. Yeah, I was in the ring with Joe, but it might have been a couple moves here and there where it could have been a save or whatever. There was just so much going on. It’s not the same as actually being in there and wrestling around with somebody in the ring a little bit, although that does happen and it’s part of the match. People pair off and do that stuff. I don’t know. I guess I feel like I was in there for a long time actually in that match. I was in there and people were taking turns whipping on me and stuff for a while. I know that, but it was cool. Everyone’s good.”

RVD also gave his thoughts about how he has felt appreciated and welcomed by AEW’s locker room during his appearances with the company.

“A lot of the guys really went out of their way to make me feel appreciated and welcomed. They were like, ‘Hey, some of us might be a little apprehensive about coming up and telling you this, but we’re all so excited that you’re here and so stoked. Man, it’s so cool.’ There were a few particular guys who said that and I’ll always remember that because that stands out. It definitely puts me in a different perspective than in WWE where I felt replaceable and expendable. I might be there next week, I might not. I never knew. I never knew if I was really being appreciated there or not because there was so much balance of different energies conflicting.”

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