Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows joined Chris Van Vliet recently to discuss what led to their Impact Wrestling debut.
Unsurprisingly, there was a stark contrast for the duo coming to WWE after their run in Japan with NJPW. This wasn’t lost on them and, from the start, they couldn’t help to begin comparing apples to oranges. This was especially true for Anderson, who was in his first run there.
“Day one, because Gallows told me about it and just once I saw how big this thing is man, and how this creative process and these writers telling us day one, what they wanted to do or something and then I’d see none of that happen or then I realized that it’s not because he didn’t want it to,” Anderson said, describing the creative structure. “But because this writer has to say it to this writer then this writer has to say it to the head writer and then that writer has to say it to Ed Kosky. Then Ed Kosky has to say it to the whole team. Then that whole team has to say it to Vince and then the right person has to say it to Vince for it to pass to Vince. F–k. As confusing as it sounds, it is how that is.”
Bringing it full circle back to their time in Japan, Karl confirmed just how polar opposite the two companies are.
“New Japan is you do what you do to it,” Anderson affirmed. “WWE is a different ball game. You have to go through a lot of different avenues.”
This alone was not what caused their downfall, at least in Gallows’ perspective.
“We just were never booked consistently, man. We would get like those WWE terms, like the shot in the arm or the fresh coat of paint. When we were sitting here going, ‘Guys, we wouldn’t keep needing these fresh coats of paint and shots in the arm if we could just have some consistent fu–ing booking’,” Gallows detailed on his opinion of their fall. “Like you win the titles and then the next week, you’re in two minutes in a singles match or you win a trophy and then the next week, you’re off TV and the week after that you lose to so and so.”
This inconsistency was what he believed to be their biggest detriment. That, and perhaps a bit of watering down of their characters from NJPW.
“It’s just not that we cared about always winning but we would have liked to have had some.. if we would have had some momentum with the booking, we could have kept the momentum with the little things that we were able to you know,” Gallows said. “Kind of get over on our own. Like the nerds thing, the hot asian wife thing. These are things that we said and inserted. Nobody writes them for us because we were like, ‘They’re not giving us anything, so we have to do something so that people have a reason to react’ because we’re not the cool, badass G & A Bullet Club guys anymore. We’re kind of a watered-down WWE Version that they’re not all the way committed to.”
Speaking again on the constant need for the “shot in the arm” or “fresh coat of paint”, Gallows shared a story about The Dudley Boyz’ departure from WWE that served as a prime example.
“There’s a couple of different things but I remember once they said that we needed a shot in the arm right, and it was the Dudley Boyz last show. It was not their retirement, but it was like their last show in the WWE,” Doc recalled. “They were saying their goodbye maybe and then you know we came in from behind and we beat the s–t out of them and like, we gave Bubba the Magic Killer on the floor and we put D-Von through a table and we stood tall over the Dudley Boyz.”
Despite the hot angle, it was pretty much forgotten the following week.
“We get a promo the next week and we sadly had to clear things a lot and they didn’t even want us to say we finished it off,” Gallows said. “‘We retired the Dudleys’, they didn’t even want us to say that.”
Gallows started preparing for a post WWE future back in September. He noted that both he and Anderson trademarked a lot of their names during that time.
“We trademarked a bunch of stuff with Michael Dawkins, our world-famous wrestling trademark lawyer because we knew, we started doing that back in September,” Gallows revealed. “Because we knew when we left, we wanted to have our own s–t. So I own the Big LG, I own Doc Gallows, We own Talk N Shop, we own Good Brothers, he owns Machine Gun, Karl Anderson. There’s a laundry list of them and a lot of lawyer bills, but it was worth it so.”
You can view the full interview above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.