The Good Brothers are in IMPACT Wrestling now, but they had serious talks with a previous regime in TNA in 2015.
Ultimately, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson would end up in WWE after the NJPW exodus of January 2016. Negotiations with TNA got far enough almost five years ago that the two, along with AJ Styles foudn themselves in Tennessee at Dixie Carter's home.
"We were at Dixie Carter’s house in Nashville for a meeting with her and John Gaburick, and we went outside into her backyard and just to get away from them for a second," Gallows told Fightful. "We’re having this serious brother talk, and we’re all kinda going—"
"I wasn’t really feeling it," Anderson admitted.
Gallows said that even though they were looking to make a move, and did, it was more schedule minded than anything else. The 2015 year that they were just finishing out saw them working over 110 matches each overseas, and had them contemplating TNA.
''I mean, I don’t know. What do we do here?,'" Gallows said of the backyard meeting. "Because we were looking not to leave Japan because we wanted to, but the schedule had become insane. It just felt like it was time to make a move. Like, our last year there we did like 35 weeks in Japan, and, you know, Karl has 84 kids and I have a son, too. It was really wearing on our family life,"
The talks with TNA actually could have been almost any other company by the sounds of it. Anderson simply stated that TNA was quickest to contact them in regards to their futures.
"Yeah. We just thought it was, we always loved New Japan, we just felt like it was time to try and broaden our horizons into America and TNA were the first ones that reached out. Then at that same time, I remember walking around the arenas with Rocky and talking to him. I’d be telling him what’s going on. Each day was a new thing, something else happened, we got a different offer. Then WWE came along calling and it was like, “Oh, man.” Then money started to become involved, and it’s like, “We gotta take a backflip into America, babe.” Here we are changing the game again, like we did then," Anderson said.
While all this is going on, the aforementioned Rocky Romero was watching his best friends hit the bricks. What was going through his mind?
"Rocky’s thinking, “I’m about to get paid! Thanks boys!,'" Anderson joked of New Japan's budget opening up.
Rocky Romero remembers being concerned for how his trips would go, but not for New Japan Pro Wrestling in general.
"It’s 2015, so first I’m just thinking, “Shit, my friends are being let go.” Fuck, you know? What am I gonna personally gonna do to get through these tours and stuff? But, outside of that, I’m happy for them. Especially at that time. I was like, “You guys gotta try and go for it. ‘Cause if you guys do this, then the rest of it will follow. It’s going to make all of the wrestlers in New Japan Pro Wrestling worth even more.” So, outside of New Japan, inside New Japan. So, it was kind of a necessary evolution and step that somebody had to make and revolutionize. We always talk about the revolution. There’s been a couple of revolutions in New Japan and that’s definitely one of them, you know?," Romero said.
WWE swooped in and signed Gallows and Anderson, and four years later, they're finally in IMPACT. But the saga wasn't over when the two left NJPW. TNA, clearly upset about the situation, released a statement putting Gallows, Anderson and Styles on blast for changing their minds. It should be noted that this was several regimes ago in the company:
For the past several months, AJ and TNA were involved in serious discussions to bring him back home to TNA. Creative discussions escalated and two additional wrestlers, Drew Hankinson [Gallows] and Chad Allegra (Anderson), were enthusiastically added.
These discussions culminated on December 14th in Nashville, Tenn., where all attended a meeting at [TNA President] Dixie Carter's home. A handshake and written deal between AJ, Drew, Chad and TNA was agreed upon and signed by all. Start dates were determined, creative decided, merchandise designed and plane tickets purchased.
Over the Christmas holiday, and after the lawyers finalized the long form agreement, all communication with TNA stopped.
AJ's lawyer contacted TNA and stated the wrestlers had changed their mind and would not be honoring their commitment to TNA.
Styles' agent Bill Behrens would retort:
No contract was ever finalized nor signed by the parties.
That I would need to be involved in the contract process was known by TNA prior to my involvement and understood by them.
TNA and its 1st lawyer did not present in a timely fashion a contract that accurately reflected previous discussions at all. That created great concern tied to past experiences. In that time and prior there was other interest and there were other firm offers on the table and other discussions.
TNA was aware of other interest and various conflicts. TNA was aware a final contract was required. It was creating that contract and controlled that timetable. Too much time passed early on. Other things came into play. No contract was ever finalized with TNA.
To suggest I make any decision for my clients is to misunderstand my role and diminish the role each talent has in making their own decisions, and insults the talent in the process.
"That was kind of weird, right?," Anderson recalled. "They called AJ, but everybody was Chad Allegra, Drew Hankinson and AJ Styles. But, they wouldn’t call him Allen. It was something weird like that."
Gallows added "There was some weird shit coming out. Like, the first thing they released was so sour grapes it made it look weird. It had a weird feel to it. I’m still waiting on all the thank you cards from all the boys who got raises when we did leave (NJPW). I’m hoping they’ll show up with some Amazon gift cards or something in the coming weeks."
In 2020, there were no sour grapes from Anderson and Gallows' side, probably made easier by the fact that almost everyone involved with TNA at the time has been replaced. Now, Anderson says he couldn't be happier with the company.
"You can’t take that one away from us. We’re pretty good at negotiating and we got an awesome deal from IMPACT!. I honestly want to stay there for 25 years now. So, I hope you guys are ready," Anderson said.
Beyond the good deals that were negotiated, promotion for TalknShop-A-Mania has also been worked into the deal.
"It’s funny, too, because when somebody tells you something, like “We’re going to promote this parody, this shit you guys came up with,” and their EVPs on the property while we’re doing it, watching this going, “What in the hell did we signed these guys up for?” But, then stay true to their word, to have that lower third graphic, to have the commentary putting over the TalknShop-A-Mania show coming up—Saturday, August 1st at 9PM—it’s awesome and earlier it’s such a team feeling. Like, earlier today, he sent me a 30 second spot we’re going to drop into the show that will air tomorrow night. It couldn’t have been a better decision for us because they’re on board to support out podcast, TalknShop-A-Mania [?] podcast, and they’re supporting our pay-per-view. We got some other projects—a beer coming out that’s a little delayed and all that—they have come on board full scale to just go “Okay, let’s co-brand together. We’ll build our brands together,” and that’s really what we were looking for. So, it’s been a blessing man," said Gallows.
You can see Gallows, Anderson and Rocky Romero on TalkNShop-A-Mania on Saturday, August 1 at 9 PM EST. The show is available via FITE, and traditional PPV.