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Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: why they are not mad at AJ Styles, Gallows first run in WWE as Festus, was AJ close to jumping to AEW

Chris Van Vliet spoke with former WWE stars Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson this week for his YouTube channel and podcast. They talked about their WWE departure, Paul Heyman, AJ Styles, their Impact Wrestling debut and much more.

Here are some transcribed highlights and scroll down to watch the full interview.

Chris asked them why they didn’t go to AEW now: “I don’t know if AEW is throwing out any kind of offers right now in the middle of this global pandemic. We are friends with the Bucks, we are friends with Chris Jericho, we are friends with Kenny Omega now. We spoke with them a lot. But honestly, nothing ever came up. Scott D’Amore hit us up the day we got released and he has been very open with the fact they wanted to bring us to Impact. They had an offer for us within a couple of days after getting released. I wasn’t dying to go back and wrestle again because WWE sucked some shit away from my brain away from even wanting to wrestle. He pushed it really hard and made it something we wanted to do. Impact literally courted us so well, that’s where we chose to go and it turned out fun and great.”

They went on to explain they are not mad at AJ Styles: “I don’t want to put it all on AJ but AJ was very influential in us staying. That’s not a bad thing. He didn’t know either and I think that’s why he felt so bad about it. We are grown men. It’s nobody else’s responsibility but he was like, I feel so bad. I convinced you guys to stay. I told you everything was going to be all right and then it wasn’t. But we were never mad at him. We were never mad at him for two seconds. It’s wrestling. It’s entertainment. The wheel keeps on turning. If he would have gone to AEW, we would have gone. We would have been out of there because his contract was up too in January and we could have all gone together.

How close do you think AJ was close to going to AEW: “He’s on a different level than us. He reached a different top guy WWE level. He’s working with a different kind of money than we are working with and working with a different kind of creative than what we were working with. I don’t know how close he got to leaving. They always treated AJ Styles properly. He’s a few years older than us. In confidence, he told us what his offer was and it was amazing. No matter how good it is outside, that’s going to be real hard to say no to anybody giving you that money. It just is.”

Gallows talked about his first run in WWE: “I was 23 years old and they told me to get out of shape and this was the character they had for me. Originally we (Gallows and Gordy) were going to be hillbillies. How far is this hillbilly thing going to be able to go. Originally Gordy was teaming with Henry Godwinn and then I became the hillbilly. We cut this hillbilly promo that we came up with and they said ok, you can be the hillbillies. We were getting ready to debut. We were told Vince McMahon wanted us in his office. We went in there and Vince said, hey big man, can you do this? I’m trying to make the face he made back to him. We did the Festus face to each other for 10 minutes. Finally, he explains that he wants me to portray this catatonic character, the bell triggers him. He goes wild and kicks everyone’s ass and then he hears the bell again and he is back to being catatonic so to speak.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to for the transcription

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