Despite their love for being mean and making green time, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows may not be long for WWE if recent reports are to be believed.
Two weeks ago, PWInsider revealed that despite recently being offered new deals by WWE, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are considering exiting the promotion when their current contracts expire in the fall.
In light of so many other Superstars requesting (and being granted) their release from WWE lately (i.e. Hideo Itami, Tye Dillinger), this news should hardly come as a surprise to fans. Contrary to popular belief, there is in fact life outside of WWE, specifically in organizations such as All Elite Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor and IMPACT, just to name a few.
Truth be told, the departures of Gallows and Anderson from WWE were only inevitable based off their booking over the last two years. There can be no denying that they were criminally wasted while with the company and could have achieved much more than they did.
Along with AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, NJPW stalwarts Gallows and Anderson were rumored to be joining WWE at the onset of 2016. Styles debuted as a member of the main roster in the Royal Rumble match while Nakamura was immediately assigned to NXT, so it was unknown where the duo would start out.
Then, eight days removed from WrestleMania 32, the former IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions crashed Monday Night Raw and targeted The Usos. The moment felt organic and the reaction they received from the fans in attendance that night solidified them as stars from the get-go.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill for them from there in WWE. The feud with The Usos and alliance with AJ Styles were fun, but when neither of those things led to them becoming tag team champions that summer, it was clear the company didn’t view them as the top talent they are.
Although they started out with such promise, Gallows and Anderson quickly faded off into obscurity. Aside from a brief reign as Raw Tag Team champions in early 2017, the duo has hardly been a focal point on WWE TV.
When Balor Club first formed last year, there was a chance for WWE to really run with Finn Balor, Andrews and Gallows as a force to be reckoned with on Raw. They had tremendous chemistry together from their time in Japan and could have been a breath of fresh air on either brand.
As a result of Gallows and Anderson moving to SmackDown Live in the 2018 Superstar Shake-up, however, Balor Club was cut short. They reunited with Styles for one night only in April and unsuccessfully challenged for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship soon after but have barely been featured on SmackDown since.
Although SmackDown’s tag team division is stockpiled with star power, there is no excuse for why Anderson and Gallows have been persona non grata as of late on the show. It doesn’t look like they’ll be featured in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania, and will be instead be sitting on the sidelines until they come to terms on a new deal with WWE.
Needless to say, the duo is better off exploring other options come the fall when their contracts are rumored to expire. With the independent wrestling scene booming these days, they probably won’t be unemployed for long.
New Japan Pro Wrestling would be lucky to have them back as part of their tag team ranks, though All Elite Wrestling could prove to be the perfect landing place for them considering their documented history with The Young Bucks. Either way, the team that thrives off being mean and making green will be successful wherever they wind up.
If Anderson and Gallows are determined to exit the promotion later this year, don’t be shocked to see them pushed out of nowhere. Both The Revival and The Usos have expressed interest in leaving WWE recently, which led to officials turning around and almost immediately putting the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championship on them, respectively.
In the three years they have been with WWE, it’s amazing to think how little of that time they’ve actually spent in prominent roles on television. They could have been game-changers for tag team wrestling in WWE had they not fallen victim to WWE’s atrocious booking.
Of course, the same can be said about many current WWE Superstars, and with more and more notable names realizing their worth and requesting their releases from the organization, the coming months will be an exciting time for fans and wrestlers alike, especially Anderson and Gallows.