Source: Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast
On episode 90 of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, Karl Anderson discussed his transition from New Japan Pro-Wrestling to WWE. Anderson admitted that he, Luke Gallows, and AJ Styles all believed that they missed their chance at signing with WWE. Anderson said that the trio would have been fine with changing their ring names upon entering WWE, but they were not asked to do so. Also, Anderson claimed that they have a great deal of creative freedom in WWE.
"I'm loving, loving life right now, man. It has been a crazy whirlwind change in schedule and in life. It's awesome, man." Anderson added, "basically, myself, Gallows, and AJ, we wanted to come to WWE. 100 percent we wanted to, but we just figured the opportunity had passed us by. And we were happy doing what we did and we didn't want to beg anybody for anything and we just thought, like, 'man, we're going to keep doing what we're doing, we're going to keep New Japan [Pro-Wrestling] and indy stuff, keep making as much money as we possibly can, and if WWE comes calling, great. But maybe it won't, maybe it will'. And then, all of a sudden, December 2015 or January 2016, life just flips completely."
Although Anderson, Gallows, and Styles would have been willing to take on new ring names in WWE, Anderson stated that WWE would have been "silly" to make them do that, given their level of notoriety in the professional wrestling universe.
"I figured when we took the opportunity to go to WWE that maybe there would be a name change. And if there was, then we were fine with it because, like, it was a chance, we thought, to just get as global as possible. But I guess in our defense, or in the positive way we look at it was that we'd done so much cool stuff and so much big stuff with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and we had gotten our names out there, so much that the WWE decided that they didn't have to change our names and they didn't want to change our names. Maybe we had so many fans that recognized us as Karl Anderson, AJ Styles, and Luke Gallows that it'd be kind of silly to change our names. That's how I kind of looked at it."
Also, Anderson suggested that they have not been creatively stifled in WWE.
"Who would have thought I would have had the freedom? Before I signed with WWE, all I ever heard from negative people was, 'you're not going to have any freedom to do anything'. And if you watched us come out on RAW, you'd know that all that stuff is not true. We get to be us. We're being ourselves."
Click here to check out the interview. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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