Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows reveal how close they came to signing with AEW

Jul 18, 2020 - by Steve Gerweck

Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows reveal how close they came to signing with AEW and original plans for the first AEW Dynamite episode
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson talked about how they almost signed with AEW last year. Anderson noted that in June of 2019, Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks pitched an idea for them to appear at the end of the first episode of Dynamite:

“Machine Gun music is gonna hit. I’m gonna come out. Gallows comes from behind. We walk to the ring. We too sweet The Young Bucks and Kenny [Omega]. Turn around, everyone’s happy, and then we beat the f*ck out of them. It’s one of the biggest regrets of my life that that didn’t f*cking happen. It kills me. Badly.”

“I would say for a good six months we told the Bucks and Kenny we’re coming. We’re f*cking coming. No matter what. Because we were that ready to go. There were some hard feelings, I think. Because I think people trusted the Bucks and they told other parties that we were coming, and then we didn’t come and it made them look like they couldn’t close the deal.”

It was noted that the decision to stay with WWE came down to money and that Triple H said the following to Anderson:
“I look and you and I see your kids, and what if AEW doesn’t last? I promise you WWE will always be here.”
Gallows explained the decision to stay with WWE:

“We have other friends in that company, we don’t have to drop a bunch of names. It’s not that kind of an interview, but it’s not hard to figure out. A friend who is in a high power position there and wrestler who was like, ‘what the f***, guys?’ I think that he’s still a little offended by it and my answer to him, if he ever hears this or reads the transcript, was none of this was ever personal. We appreciated the offer and everything everyone was trying to do for us.

It was clearly just a business decision. We’re looking at a five-year deal as opposed to a two-year deal with maybe a one-year option. When you start calculating that money and where you’re going to be in five years, especially with ‘you’re gonna be here for the full term’ and there’s plans for you after and all that. You’re stacking millions and millions and millions and millions up against, ultimately a smaller figure. Should we have taken the smaller figure, bet on ourselves and done something really cool again like we were in New Japan? F*CK YES! Is the egg on our face?

It’s running down my f*cking face right now, BUT I think a lot of other people in that situation would go back and look at your kids and your wife and go … ‘Alright, honey. How do I say no to them backing a bank truck up to the front of the house and dropping the load in front of the door?!’ That’s a hard answer. It’s hard to even talk about right now, we talk about it a lot privately, we talked about it to death privately. A mistake was made, but there was logic behind it. It wasn’t to be harmful or spiteful or back-door anybody. It was truly, honestly a business decision to do what we thought was best for our families.”

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