Luke Gallows Reveals What Inspired Vince McMahon For His Festus Character

As noted, former WWE RAW Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were recently guests on The Steve Austin Show podcast. Among other things, Gallows talked about the origins of his Festus gimmick and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon coaching him on the character, who 'The Good Brothers' travel with, and Gallows' Impact Wrestling run.


According to Gallows, he called Tommy Dreamer and Johnny Ace constantly for a WWE job after doing the indies for a few years.

"I called Tommy Dreamer and Johnny Ace every week, like, 'hey guys, you should probably hire me – I'm pretty good.' I was having the bulls–t matches in West Virginia against guys in furniture stores and stuff! Terrible! So finally they were opening Deep South and I think they needed to fill it and I wouldn't leave them alone, so I somehow got my ass in there after three years of terrible indies."

Apparently, Henry O. Godwinn was brought into developmental to be Ray Gordy's tag team partner, but that did not work out, so Gallows pitched doing a hillbilly gimmick.

"They bring in Henry Godwinn and my partner eventually ended up being Terry Gordy's son, Ray Gordy. And the way that happened was Michael [Hayes] brought Henry back and they were going to be the new Godwinns with Henry and Ray. And Ray was always really cool to me, sold me these Tex Slazenger boots. I wore them around for a while. And something happened with him. He had to leave the company. I don't know what it was, but whatever. But they needed a partner, so some guys from TNA, some old school guys came in, but they couldn't match this hillbilly thing, so I just watched, like, Larry The Cable Guy stuff and Bill Engvall. I got material for this stuff and I asked 'Doctor' Tom Prichard, who I always had a great relationship with, 'can I please do something with Ray?' because I know I've got nothing. They just killed this weird gimmick that I had. We cut a couple of promos and they loved it!"


Gallows claimed that McMahon directed him on the slack-jawed Festus character.

"So we go to Vince's office and I'm 23 [years old] and this is Vince McMahon and I'm like, 'I can't be a mark, but this is some s–t right here.' I'm looking at Vince and he goes, he starts telling me a story, 'I knew this kid in school and he looked like this' and he did this face. 'This is the way he looked and when something would happen, he'd lose his mind like crazy!' And I'm looking at him, going, 'I can do that – that's not a problem.' So he goes, 'do this face!' and I do the Festus open mouth, tongue out face and he looked at me and he goes, 'can you do that?' And I start doing it and then we start doing it back and forth. And Vince is like, 'not like that! Like this! Make you jaw more slack!' And I'm like, 'oh my God! I must make Vince happy!'"

Gallows stated that he is not bitter about the experience at all.  

"When you're that young and then they call you up, you're just like, 'I'm going to do this and good as I can and hope that they keep me for a minute,' so that's what I did, and had a pretty good time doing it, and the kids liked it and stuff. It was what it was, but I don't look back on that stuff at all. I feel like a lot of wrestlers would get bitter about that stuff. I thought that was a good experience."


On the subject of travel partners, Gallows said it depends on what brand they are working.

"It's always us and a rotating third or fourth. We get each other so [well] from when we first clicked, so sometimes Finn Bálor, sometimes Curt Hawkins. We were on SmackDown, so it was always AJ [Styles]. And then, we had Jinder [Mahal] for a while and he left to go to SmackDown and blew up. And we always do good, but we're always together no matter what. I just think AJ and Jinder put up with us because we were funny and silly when we were reading."

Anderson said that they love Bálor, but he likes to get up and get coffee and that does not coincide with their plans.

"We love Finn Bálor. My best buddy, one of my best buddies. Well, he wants to wake up and go get coffee in the morning and I'm trying to shake off the night before. I don't want [any] coffee at nine in the morning. I want to sleep in till 1 pm and then go to the gym. We always get our pump no matter what. We sweat the hate out, but I don't want to get up at 9 am."

With respect to him Impact Wrestling stint, Gallows said he did not make a lot of money, but it was a lot of fun.  

"It was fun. I don't want to bury anybody there. It was a lot of fun and I had a lot of fun. It was just really different coming out of WWE because I went from bulls–t indies to the WWE. Then I left and I got fired right after my 26th birthday. I was a young cat. I started wrestling when I was just 18 [years old], so I was like, 'this is not a bad thing – this is a good thing. I'm going to go everywhere and then hopefully go back.'"


Gallows continued, "so I had a lot of fun there. I didn't make a lot of money, but it was a lot of fun. It was a one-year run and then they were having their issues or whatever."

Also during the interview, Gallows shared that Hogan was "awesome" to him from complementing his work and offering him beer after matches. Gallows said Hogan was one pro wrestling legend who did not disappoint.

Gallows added, "oh man, Hulk was awesome. I always say because I started so young and I loved wrestling so much, I've met a lot of guys that were a little bit of a letdown."

Click here to check out the show. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Source: The Steve Austin Show