Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows discuss returning to WWE, idea for AJ Styles-NJPW appearance, almost re-signing with IMPACT

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Gallows and Anderson open up about their returns to WWE. 

Back in October 2022, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows made their returns to WWE to realign with A.J. Styles as The OC. Mia Yim would later join the group and present day, they’re a part of Friday Night SmackDown.

At the time of their returns, Anderson was holding NJPW’s NEVER Openweight Championship. They spoke about that and more concerning their returns on a new edition of Talk’n Shop

Both talents felt that with the content they released after exiting WWE in 2020, they might not be welcomed back. Anderson feels they made one of the greatest returns of all time. 

Anderson: Well it was a pretty surreal day (The Good Brothers’ return to WWE) because like we’ve said a couple of times, I think we kind of thought WWE was in the rearview mirror. 

Gallows: I think we kind of thought that after our exit and some of our content, some of the things we were doing, we weren’t gonna be welcomed back with open arms but we were. It was great. 

Anderson: Business was business and we moved on, we worked it all out and I think we made one of the greatest returns of all time, and you can look back and you can see that. 

Gallows: Well, people are gonna look back and debate that and I’ve seen some really great returns. But if you go back and watch it and you listen, it’s really hard to ‘crizzap’ on that. 

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was where Gallows and Anderson returned. Anderson revealed that they almost came back in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on the September 26th episode of Raw. Gallows added that he’s glad things worked out the way they did. 

He said it’s not because he’s not a fan of Edmonton and feels they would’ve been great, but knew the New York crowd would give them the reaction they were looking for. 

Anderson: Little known fact, we almost debuted in Edmonton, in Canada a couple weeks before that (Barclays Center show in October). 

Gallows: We were happy that logistically and with what was going on in prior commitments that it didn’t work out. Not because we don’t like Edmonton. We had a great time in Edmonton but we knew that the New York faithful would give it to us and I think Edmonton would have given it to us as well but, New York’s a hot place to make a comeback. We’ve been lucky with two WWE debuts together, first being Staples Center in Los Angeles and then the return in the Barclays Center, New York City. WWE Staples but kind of old school, old school BULLET CLUB Staples like maybe you call it a smarter audience, I don’t know. But they always are welcoming and give us a little love. We love that. 

Anderson went on to share that when they were on FaceTime with their ‘boss at the time’, A.J. Styles and WWE Chief Content Officer Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque, they almost decided on Styles coming back to New Japan Pro-Wrestling to assist him in retaining the NEVER Openweight Championship over Tanahashi at Burning Spirit

That was a day before the Edmonton show but logistically, they would have not have been able to make Monday Night Raw. 

Anderson: This will be good clickbait as well. We were doing a FaceTime with — it was our boss at the time, Triple H, Gallows, Anderson, A.J. Styles and we were figuring out what we were gonna do. This would have probably been in September and maybe August? I don’t know but end of August, whatever it was. But we’d almost basically decided on A.J. Styles coming over and helping me win that match versus (Hiroshi) Tanahashi (at NJPW Burning Spirit) and then, the very next night would’ve been Monday Raw. 

Gallows: So we had to travel and get to Raw which would’ve been… 

Anderson: That would have got us to Edmonton for a re-debut. 

Gallows: But we would’ve not made it. 

Anderson: We wouldn’t have made it, yes. 

Gallows: Logistically, that would’ve been awesome. 

Anderson: Well that is what almost happened. 

From the summer of 2020 through the summer of 2022, Gallows and Anderson were signed to IMPACT Wrestling and are three-time World Tag Team Champions in the company. Anderson expressed that those were a good two years and they learned a lot. He’s glad they left WWE, went to IMPACT and then came back to WWE. 

He shared that they were almost set on re-signing for multiple years. Gallows added that Scott D’Amore offered them lucrative deals which they appreciated. The Good Brothers explained that it was nothing personal, but they wanted to do big shows in NJPW which collided with big dates for IMPACT. They ended up signing a short-term extension with IMPACT for a month and when that came up, they were contacted by Paul Levesque. 

Anderson: Well since you wanted to work backwards, I guess that leads up to where our IMPACT contract was finishing up all at the same time. Our IMPACT contract, we signed from July of 2020 until July of 2022. 

Gallows: Thanks Scotty D. 

Anderson: That was two great years. We learned a lot. 

Gallows: I was gonna say ‘tumultuous’ but it sounds sultry and I just wanted to say the word. Well it wasn’t tumultuous. It was fun. 

Anderson: Personally (he laughed). That’s a whole different thing. Professionally, but it taught us a lot. We say it now. We’re glad we left, we were glad we went there, we’re glad we came back. 

Gallows: I would say that we were also pretty positive brothers. I think we find a positive in every move that we ever make and we never leave a door fully closed, which we’ve proven with this return which we thought is the one we would never make. So it’s cool. 

Anderson: I look back on my IMPACT memories as very, very fond. I know that our contract ended in July and we were trying to figure out what we were gonna do and we were almost dead set on re-signing a brand-new contract for multiple years with IMPACT. 

Gallows: And we were made a very generous offer too which we appreciate. 

Anderson: Scott (D’Amore) will love that we put that in there of course. 

Gallows: Scott, let’s put you over buddy. I’ll see you for dinner next week in ATL. 

Anderson: And Scott did, it was great and we almost re-signed it but there was just this personal thing that we needed to do, we just wanted to do a couple of really big shows in Japan. 

Gallows: Yeah, and they were conflicting with some of Scott’s dates and as a boss, I got Scott’s point. Even being a little promoter on my level, you understand that if the guys can’t make the shows you need them for then it doesn’t necessarily work so there was never a personal grievance. It was a business separation there. We wanted to make these shows and they ended up falling on big pay-per-view dates for them so… We basically said can we have a break for a few months? And let’s revisit it and during that, go ahead and fill it in. 

Anderson: Well actually, we re-upped with IMPACT for another month. 

Gallows: We didn’t wanna leave anybody, you know, hanging out (in) the wind. It’s really hard for me to talk without cursing like we used to do. 

Anderson: We actually got to put over the Motor City Machine Guns. 

Gallows: Yes we did. That was awesome. 

Anderson: And The Briscoes. Peace to the hoot. 

Gallows: Ah, rest in peace Jay. 

Anderson: And at that moment, we decided around at the end of August, this is actually something I don’t think we talked about often but, the last day of our IMPACT contracts finished, that night, we got a text from our big new boss. 

Gallows: The Game. 

Anderson: Out of nowhere, he said, ‘Hey, would you guys wanna chat?’ 

Gallows: We said, ‘Okay.’ 

Anderson: We almost signed a new multi-year deal there. 

Gallows: I love IMPACT. 

Anderson: Yeah. We hope everybody there is doing great and doing well. 

Later in the conversation, Anderson touched on his NEVER Openweight Championship reign and the comments that he ‘phoned it in’ in some of his matches based off of in-character comments he made in an interview. 

Anderson: So after that, I had a match with (Hiroshi) Tanahashi — or a couple months later and the only comments about that and comments are comments. It doesn’t matter… Because everyone’s saying how bad that match was and then how bad another match was. They’re all saying how boring and how mailed in it is and I’m going, ‘Geez.’ But they’re saying, ‘Anderson is not working hard… He’s trying not to work hard.’ I’m going — and my only thought was, these people have to be kidding. Do they think I walk in and I run the show with Tanahashi?… I didn’t hold the NEVER Openweight Title hostage, I didn’t mail in matches. I was kidding guys. 

On the 6/16 Friday Night SmackDown, Gallows and Anderson were a part of Gauntlet match to determine number one contenders to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships. 

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Talk’n Shop with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 7740 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.