Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are not Paul Heyman guys.
Gallows & Anderson had been up-and-down the WWE card since joining the company together in 2016, but found stability in July 2019 when they formed The OC with AJ Styles. The reformation of the trio got off to a hot start that quickly turned sour under the leadership of Raw executive director Paul Heyman.
"We got a text about our creative after we just formed The OC, beat the fuck out of Ricochet, got a nice pop, turned heel. The very next week, creative sent us an email of what we were gonna do. It had Ricochet beating me in two seconds, Gallows comes in and gets beat in two seconds. I remember going, 'What the fuck.' I text Triple H and I forward him [the email]. I thought they would wait until at least three months in to kill us off. That's when he asked, 'Have you talked to Paul Heyman?' We had been so checked out from giving a fuck what was going on on Raw because we thought we were leaving that I didn't even realize that Paul was now writing Raw. I said, 'no,' then Paul Heyman called. We had a great talk, I wouldn't call myself a Paul Heyman guy, but I thought Paul Heyman was a big fan of mine. Gallows even said, 'Paul loves you,'" said Anderson on Talk'N Shop Live.
Anderson said that Heyman explained to him that The OC would eventually get their heat back on Ricochet, but for the time being, they needed to get the babyfaces over.
Luke Gallows was a little less kind when discussing his dealings with Heyman and how he would charm, but also bullshit, the talent.
"It's great to be a good charmer, but when you're 100% full of bullshit -- we had this conversation in a rental car before we got on the phone with him. 'All you ever read, all these guys that came before us, is that he's a great charmer but the biggest bullshitter in the history of the business.' We're both going, 'We hope he's not bullshitting us.' We have these big contracts, we're rolling with AJ, you gotta think positive. To the end, he's putting us over and telling us how good we are and 'we're gonna put the straps on you a month down the line, but you deserve them now, but you're gonna go to Saudi and be the best tag team in the world. If you ever have a problem with creative or if I ever lie to you, go on social media and fucking bury me. Fucking put me under the dirt because I fucking deserve it! I want those guys in the locker room to know that I can't fucking be trusted!' Guys in the locker room, he can't fucking be trusted and I just buried him," stated Gallows.
Despite the issues between Heyman and The OC, the parties worked together throughout Heyman's stint as executive director of Raw, which began in June 2019.
Everything came to a head on April 15 when Gallows & Anderson were among the most surprising names released by WWE. They had just been featured in the Boneyard match at WrestleMania 36 and seemingly sitting pretty thanks to having four years left on their contracts and their position on Raw.
Gallows noted that the talent received a message from Vince McMahon, alerting them to the cutbacks. Fightful transcribed the message, which you can view by clicking here.
Anderson went on to say, "We're in a text group with people and they were a little worried. I looked at my wife and go, 'Vince sent us a video saying they are going to lay people off, but I'm going to be honest, I feel highly confident about everything.' I look at my phone and I see Mark Carano calling me. I go, 'Noooo.' He calls me and I go, 'You been busy today?' He goes, 'Yeah, unfortunately, I've got bad news for you.' I was like, It's just business, bro.' I just wanted him off the phone. He was very nice. He goes, 'I gotta call your partner now' and he hung up. He calls Gallows and says, 'I just got off the phone with your partner' and Gallows goes, 'For what?'"
Gallows continued, saying, "[Carano] goes, 'Bad news.' 'Are you fucking kidding me, us?' 'I'm sorry buddy.' I go, 'Jesus Christ.' I thought he was gonna tell me how cool I was."
Ultimately, according to Gallows & Anderson, it was Heyman who pushed for their release.
"Brodie Lee texted me and goes, 'They fucked you guys.' We fucked our friends over or we feel we fucked them over. We didn't feel good about it because we knew where we wanted to be. Getting that call, it didn't feel good. It took me back to having these conversations with Triple H and he looks at me and goes, 'Dude, I look at you and I see your kids. I think about, what if AEW doesn't last? I can promise you one thing, WWE will always be here.' We stopped being boss and employee at that point and we were, obviously not friends, but two humans talking. I'm not saying that Triple H could have stopped anything or even cared, but hearing that from your boss and then having it happen, it's like damn, they don't give a fuck. Trying to get to the bottom of it, because it did feel weird. Asking around, we heard 'well, it was Paul Heyman inspired.' 'Really?' We told AJ that. He asked somebody what they think of it. That person said 'Yes,'" recalled Anderson.
He continued, "AJ went to Paul and said, 'Did you fire these guys or put the word in?' Paul said, 'No, you have my word that I didn't do this. If I would have known, I would have gone to bat for them.' AJ went back to the same guy, asked again, and then went to Vince. AJ goes to Vince and said, 'Tell me the truth, is Paul the one that said fire these guys?' Vince told AJ, 'They weren't on my list, but yes, it was a Heyman thing.'"
Gallows added, "He said we were making too much money for what we were doing and he's a fucking liar and a piece of shit."
Both men noted that Vince McMahon could have not listened to Heyman and that the decision was his, but believed Heyman had a big influence on the decision.
Gallows & Anderson confirmed that AJ pushed to be off SmackDown in an effort to get away from Heyman, who was ultimately fired from his position as executive director a few weeks after Styles moved to SmackDown.
Styles recently had his own comments about Heyman, calling him a liar. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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