AJ Styles recently called Paul Heyman a liar, while deferring to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to offer a more in-depth explanation behind that claim. Gallows and Anderson did just that, burying Paul Heyman for misleading them about a big push, and then saying that Vince McMahon told them that Heyman is the one who wanted them fired from WWE.
Now Styles is back with a follow-up to his thoughts on Paul Heyman, which he discussed on his Twitch stream. Here’s the transcription, courtesy of Fightful:
“It came down to Money in the Bank, I found out that my guys were getting released, I was upset. I wanted to go talk to Vince, but it’s already in motion and already been done. Paul Heyman pulls me into his office and tells me he had nothing to do with it and knew nothing about it. If he knew Gallows & Anderson were getting released, he would have fought for them and that’s why they didn’t tell him they were getting released. I said, ‘Okay, I appreciate that, it makes a lot of sense.’”
“It was later, I told a friend what was said and he told me what he knew, which is that Gallows & Anderson weren’t on the list, but Paul Heyman spoke out abundantly like ‘we gotta get these guys out of here. We don’t need them, they’re getting paid too much.’ The one thing Paul Heyman is good at is talking, he’s very convincing. One thing led to another, Paul advocated to get them released. Their name wasn’t on the list until Paul brought it up. I think the reason why he did what he did, well, he’s just a liar, but it’s because he knew he had nothing we wanted to do with them. He didn’t want to get them to the next level or do anything for them. The best way to do that after what he said, was to get them out of there.”
“The reason I went to SmackDown is because I couldn’t stand looking at him. I can’t stand a liar. I’m a grown man, you’re a grown man, why lie? I talked to a lot of guys about this situation. You wouldn’t believe how many people that I work with despise this guy because of his lies and he’d find ways to throw them under the bus when he screwed up. I heard this from several people. It’s almost hard to find someone who likes him. I didn’t know this, I assumed everyone liked him and I was the only one. Vince is a very smart man and he can see through a lot of crap and I think he saw what everybody knew. ‘You’ve done some great things in the past, but you’re not well liked here, hit the bricks.’ The only person he can blame for this is himself. Just don’t lie to people.”
Styles’ beef with Heyman centers around the idea that Paul denied knowing about the release of Gallows and Anderson and even said he would have fought for them to stay, yet AJ has reason to believe that Heyman actively contributed to their WWE release. In other words, while Styles was understandably upset with seeing his friends cut, the point of no return was the realization that Gallows and Anderson were double-crossed by Heyman. Styles wanted nothing to do with Heyman at that point, and that’s why he moved to SmackDown.
The idea that Paul Heyman has the power to put people on a cut list who would not have otherwise been candidates for release seems strange to me. The idea that Paul Heyman, rather than Vince McMahon, would be the person so concerned with how much money Gallows and Anderson are making also doesn’t make much sense.
If Gallows and Anderson received far worse booking under Heyman’s watch than they did in their prior three years in WWE, then it would be easier to believe that Heyman had it out for them. But like many tag team wrestlers in WWE, Gallows and Anderson were presented as chumps for most of their time in WWE, not just their time under Heyman’s creative lead. It’s pretty clear that Vince McMahon was not interested in pushing them ever since they arrived to WWE in 2016. Once WWE decided that budget cuts were necessary due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it’s straightforward to see why WWE was no longer interested in paying millions of dollars to a tag team that didn’t figure into creative plans.
There’s no doubt that Paul Heyman is an expert BS artist, but it’s a skill that is equally shared by Vince McMahon. Isn’t it entirely plausible that Vince could have someone else get AJ’s ear and throw Heyman under the bus for the release of Gallows and Anderson?
For now all we have is the side of the story from Styles, Anderson, and Gallows, and they are all convinced that Heyman is the one who pulled the strings to get the Good Brothers released from WWE, and then lied to them all about it.
What do you make of this situation, Cagesiders?