A wide-ranging podcast from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson released today detailed their WWE releases, their 2019 negotiations with AEW, and their signing with Impact Wrestling.
The Talk'N Shop Podcast, hosted by Ryan Satin and also featuring NJPW's Rocky Romero, took a deep dive into Gallows and Anderson's 2019 negotiations with WWE, AEW, Impact Wrestling and NJPW. The show also gives details on AJ Styles' recent move from Raw to SmackDown and his reported refusal to work with Paul Heyman.
2019 contract talks with WWE, AEW, NJPW, Impact Wrestling --
Gallows and Anderson discussed receiving good offers from AEW, Impact, NJPW and WWE when their WWE contract was coming due in 2019. NJPW originally offered a contract through Rocky Romero that would have initially called for exclusivity. Later, NJPW changed their offer and would have allowed them to work AEW as well. Anderson said that NJPW's creative plans called for him to work a program with Jon Moxley that would have culminated with a match at Wrestle Kingdom.
Gallows and Anderson detailed a meeting with Matt and Nick Jackson in Ontario, California in January 2019 and a later meeting with Kenny Omega in Winnipeg.
Anderson detailed a text message from Matt around June 2019 that laid out plans for their debut on the first episode of Dynamite. Gallows said that they were offered a two-year deal with an option for a third year with AEW, while WWE offered a five-year deal.
Gallows went on to recount that Triple H became intent on re-signing the duo and talked about signing them to a deal that would "set them up for the rest of their lives."
Ultimately, Gallows and Anderson reached a verbal agreement with Triple H while on a tour of Japan that saw Triple H team with Styles, Gallows and Anderson. After the match, Triple H gave a concrete offer that was too big for Gallows and Anderson to turn down.
At the time, Gallows had a meeting scheduled with Tony Khan to discuss coming to AEW. Anderson said that they had told The Young Bucks that they were intent on coming to AEW for months. After they reversed course and re-signed with WWE, Anderson says there was heat from key people in AEW.
Re-signing with WWE, creative issues --
Anderson said that a week after agreeing to their new WWE deals, he was scripted to lose to Ricochet in seconds, while Gallows would then run in and get laid out. Anderson said that he thought they would at least wait for a few months before being buried, but the process began right away.
Anderson said he took his concerns to Triple H who put him in touch with Paul Heyman. Gallows said that he was wary of dealing with Heyman given his track record as "the biggest bullsh*tter in the history of the business."
Gallows said that Heyman told them that there were already plans to make then tag champs but that he was accelerating the plan and putting the titles on them immediately. Gallows said that Heyman claimed "If I ever lie to you, go on social media and f*cking bury me."
Gallows and Anderson said that after their WrestleMania match they were sent congratulatory text messages from officials in WWE. They said that when WWE began making cuts after WrestleMania, they did not suspect that heir jobs were in jeopardy.
In hindsight, Anderson said, they should have suspected that their jobs were not secure after being double-pinned by Drew McIntyre on Raw. Anderson said that Heyman approached him the next week and assured him that "this will not hurt you in the long run."
WWE releases, Styles/Heyman heat --
Later, Styles heard from a WWE source that Gallows and Anderson being released was a Heyman decision. Anderson said Styles then went to Heyman and asked if Heyman had called for Gallows and Anderson to be released. Heyman denied it. Styles went to Vince McMahon and asked if that was true. Anderson said that McMahon confirmed that Gallows and Anderson were not on "his list" of people to be let go, but that this was a "Heyman decision."
Gallows said that Styles then demanded to be moved to SmackDown to get away from Heyman. "[Heyman]'s a f*cking liar and a piece of sh*t," Gallows said.
Anderson said that he believes that when word of their big contracts got around, some people "...higher on the card... some agents, people like Jamie Noble, Michael Hayes, probably started to hear the rumblings of that money and probably didn't like it," which planted seeds that led to their releases.
Gallows said that their contract terms with Impact are the same terms that Impact offered when they negotiated in 2019 and their two-year deal allows them to work NJPW.
The shoot also details Gallows and Anderson's recollections of the 2019 trip to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel that saw their return to the U.S. delayed.
The full podcast can be seen in the video below.