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Gallows & Anderson bury Paul Heyman, explain why they have ‘a little heat’ with AEW

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Good Brothers Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows did a lot more than just announce their new Impact deals on the “Countdown to F#ucktown” edition of their Talk’N Shop Podcast.

During the two hour shoot, the duo also went in-depth on their decision to re-sign with WWE last year and what they passed up to do so. They also gave the backstory on AJ Styles recent comments about Paul Heyman being a “bold-faced liar.”

The issues with Heyman stem from the summer of last year, when Gallows & Anderson were scripted to do jobs on Raw shortly after reuniting with Styles. The pair reached out to Triple H, who’d been instrumental in convincing them to re-sign with WWE, and he referred them to Heyman, who’d recently been named Executive Director of the Monday night show. Heyman convinced them he was a big fan of theirs, and had big plans for them down the road, but that he needed to get some babyfaces over first.

Looking back on that time now, Gallows said:

“It’s great to be a good charmer, but when you’re 100% full of bullshit - we had this conversation in a rental car before we got on the phone with him. All you ever read, all these guys that came before us, is that he’s a great charmer but the biggest bullshitter in the history of the business. We’re both going, ‘We hope he’s not bullshitting us. We have these big contracts, we’re rolling with AJ, you gotta think positive.’

To the end, he’s putting us over and telling us how good we are and ‘we’re gonna put the straps on you a month down the line, but you deserve them now, but you’re gonna go to Saudi and be the best tag team in the world. If you ever have a problem with creative or if I ever lie to you, go on social media and fucking bury me. Fucking put me under the dirt because I fucking deserve it! I want those guys in the locker room to know that I can’t fucking be trusted!’

Guys in the locker room, he can’t fucking be trusted and I just buried him.”

The lies Gallows & Anderson say Heyman told them about creative weren’t the worst of it however, and that’s where AJ comes in. After being surprised to find out they were among the talent released on April 15, word started to get to them about Heyman’s involvement in that process (this is also one of the times the Good Brothers talk about Triple H’s pitch to get them to re-sign). Styles, obviously still with the company, did some digging of his own.

Anderson: Brodie Lee texted me and goes, “They fucked you guys.” We fucked our friends [in AEW] over or we feel we fucked them over. We didn’t feel good about it because we knew where we wanted to be.

Getting that call [from Talent Relations exec Mark Carrano about being released], it didn’t feel good. It took me back to having these conversations with Triple H and he looks at me and goes, “Dude, I look at you and I see your kids. I think about, what if AEW doesn’t last? I can promise you one thing, WWE will always be here.” We stopped being boss and employee at that point and we were, obviously not friends, but two humans talking. I’m not saying that Triple H could have stopped anything or even cared, but hearing that from your boss and then having it happen, it’s like damn, they don’t give a fuck.

Trying to get to the bottom of it, because it did feel weird. Asking around, we heard “Well, it was Paul Heyman inspired.” Really? We told AJ that. He asked somebody what they think of it. That person said “Yes.”

AJ went to Paul and said, “Did you fire these guys or put the word in?” Paul said, “No, you have my word that I didn’t do this. If I would have known, I would have gone to bat for them.” AJ went back to the same guy, asked again, and then went to Vince.

AJ goes to Vince and said, “Tell me the truth, is Paul the one that said fire these guys?” Vince told AJ, “They weren’t on my list, but yes, it was a Heyman thing.”

Gallows: He said we were making too much money for what we were doing and he’s a fucking liar and a piece of shit.

They also confirmed Styles asked to be moved to SmackDown because he didn’t want to work with Heyman. Heyman was fired himself shortly after.

It’s notable they’re trusting Vince McMahon (and seem to be giving Trips a pass) when there are so many credible reports about how all decisions in WWE are ultimately Vince’s. It’s a savvy way to “shoot” on WWE without burning their bridge to the real power brokers there. But that’s just an observation from an outsider.

As to what they passed up to re-up with The ‘E, Gallows & Anderson indicate they had an offer from Impact at that time, and a return to New Japan seemed possible. But the one they regret passing on was AEW.

Talks with their former NJPW running buddies Matt & Nick Jackson and Kenny Omega about joining the new company started in January of 2019. They had been off television for much of the previous year and had decided they needed to leave WWE (they actually reveal they considered asking for their release shortly after signing their first deals, but hung in there). Anderson explained The Young Bucks had big plans for their debut on the premiere of Dynamite.

“I remember the text clearly from Matt Jackson, Matt and Nick. And they had planned out the entire first debut of Dynamite’s main event. It was gonna be, Machine Gun music’s gonna hits, I gonna come out, fucking Gallows comes from behind. We ‘Too Sweet’ the Young Bucks and Kenny, turn around, everyone’s happy. And then we beat the fuck out of them, we leave everyone laying to end the very first night of Nitro [sic, he clearly meant Dynamite].”

Sensing AEW’s interest, WWE made their pitch, which Gallows & Anderson accepted.

Machine Gun again:

“It’s one of the biggest regrets of my life that that didn’t fucking happen. It kills me, badly. I said it a couple times to Gallows, I was like, ‘We don’t know if it is actually going to take off on TNT, or go on TNT.’ The only thing that we know is with the guys involved, Young Bucks, Kenny, Chris Jericho, those are motherfuckers that are successful and are not going to fail. They’re just not gonna fail. And we knew AEW would be successful, we knew that they would pop off. We just succumbed to the amount of money and promises — kept or unkept, whatever, that doesn’t matter — by WWE. It does [matter], but we signed because of the thought that it was going to be our last contract and we were gonna ride it out and wave the WWE flag as high as we could.”

The team believes that decision cost them, and possibly the friends they feel they “fucked over,” at AEW.

Anderson: You know, I would say for a good six months, we told the Bucks and Kenny, ‘We’re coming. We’re fucking coming, like no matter what,’ Because we were that ready to go. This is where it bothers me a lot that we didn’t bet on ourselves and allow ourselves to leave when we knew that we fucking should have. And that’s why I’m so glad with FTR being able to get out on their own terms and being able to do what they did. But yeah. there were some hard feelings I think. Because I think people trusted the Bucks and they told other parties that we were coming. And then we didn’t come and it made them look like they couldn’t close the deal.

Gallows: There was probably a little heat internally there. And you know, we have other friends there, we don’t have to drop a bunch of names. But like, a friend who is in a high power position there and wrestler who was like, ‘What the fuck, guys?’ And I think he’s still a little offended by it. My answer to him, if he ever hears this or reads the transcript was; none of this was ever personal. And we appreciated the offer and everything was trying to do. It was clearly a business decision. We were looking at a five-year deal as opposed to a two-year deal with maybe a one-year option. So when you start calculating that money and where you’re going to be in five years, especially with the ‘You’re going to be here for the full five years and there’s plans for you after’ and all that. It’s like, you’re stacking millions and millions against, ultimately, the smaller figure.

Should we have taken the smaller figure and bet on ourselves and been something really cool again like we were in New Japan? Fuck yes. Is the egg on our face? It’s running down my fucking face right now. But I think a lot of people in that situation would go back and look at your kids and wife, and go, ‘All right honey, how do I say no to them backing up a bank truck to the front of the house and dropping the load in front of the door.’ That’s a hard answer… a mistake was made, but there was logic behind it. It wasn’t to be harmful or spiteful or to backdoor anybody. It was a business decision to do what we thought was best for our family.

How Gun & Doc handled their talks with AEW doesn’t sound entirely different from what started their issues with Heyman - they were on board with one plan until circumstances changed and they opted to go with another one. But that’s just another thought from a blogger.

There’s more in the two hour podcast, and the Good Brothers are a hoot to listen to, but I’m honestly not sure there’s much new ground broken in the “wrestlers shoot on WWE after their departure” genre. The other potentially newsworthy item involves the infamous situation surrounding Crown Jewel 2019 - Gallows & Anderson heard from someone they trust that Vince ordered the feed cut, but it’s a third hand account and won’t change anyone’s mind let alone influence the pending class action lawsuit.

Get excited for Talk’N Shop A Mania and give the entire “Countdown to F#cktown” pod a listen here.

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