Another week, another surprising bout of news from the unpredictable wrestling world of 2020.
It has been reported that Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have signed with Impact Wrestling, although neither Impact nor Gallows and Anderson have confirmed the news as of yet.
Should the news be true, it will certainly be a surprising decision by The Good Brothers. A lot of that surprise hinges on the fact of how highly Gallows and Anderson are thought of by wrestling fans and how far down the hierarchy of promotions Impact is perceived to be, whether rightly or wrongly.
Previously here at Sports Obsessive, I predicted that we would see Gallows and Anderson in AEW, as did a lot of fans. It seemed a sure thing: Gallows and Anderson would surely want to go to another big company after being with WWE, plus they had history with The Elite when they were in Bullet Club together. Surely that presented a ready made story in itself?
Perhaps the assumption that AEW would throw everything at the brothers was incorrect. For starters, AEW have said previously how they wouldn’t bring in every ex-WWE guy that gets released. While it can be argued AEW have done exactly the opposite, it could be the case that enough is enough. The AEW tag team division is pretty stacked, and with the rivalry between FTR, also former WWE guys, and The Young Bucks heating up, it could be that there was legitimately not a place for Gallows and Anderson on the AEW roster.
There is also the outside chance that Tony Khan wasn’t prepared to pay the amount of money Anderson and Gallows thought they were worth. While this is less likely – I can’t imagine Gallows and Anderson being divas over money and Tony Khan seems reasonable enough in that respect – it can’t be ruled out. I’ve seen people online question how Impact can afford Gallows and Anderson, but let’s not forget that suddenly not having to pay for Joey Ryan, Tessa Blanchard, Michael Elgin and Dave Crist frees up your cash flow just a little bit.
There’s also the possibility, not out of the realms of possibility, that The Good Brothers didn’t want to sign with AEW and don’t enjoy the product and the style of wrestling on offer. Would that stop them signing there, with the opportunity for much larger exposure on offer? Well, after their misuse in WWE, maybe Gallows and Anderson are more interested in going somewhere they will be used, and used well, as opposed to being jobbed out. Not to say AEW would have jobbed them out, but perhaps mass exposure isn’t their main concern at this time.
For me, though, I suspect that the problem is more likely to revolve around that common factor that links The Elite to Gallows and Anderson – no, not Bullet Club, but New Japan. It has been reported that part of The Good Brothers’ deal with Impact is that it will allow them to tour with New Japan, which suggests Gallows and Anderson already have some sort of deal in place with ‘The King of Sports’. The benefit of this is that it gives the Brothers work in the US now whilst they are unable to travel, whilst also allowing them to work abroad when travel restrictions are eventually relaxed. It should also be noted that with Impact, there’s less monthly dates than there would be with AEW, which would make also working with New Japan easier.
Conversely, it is no secret that Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks do not currently have a good relationship with New Japan. Indeed, there is a great deal of bitterness apparent. Even Tony Khan made a flippant comment in public after he let Chris Jericho defend the AEW Heavyweight title at Wrestle Kingdom, suggesting he had done a lot for New Japan and they had done nothing for AEW. Regardless of the truth, or not, of that statement, remarks such as these will not endear themselves to New Japan, nor smooth the path for a working relationship.
If that is Gallows and Anderson’s ultimate goal – to end up in New Japan – then AEW might actually more of hindrance or an obstacle to that goal than an aid. It would make sense, then, for them to go with someone who will help facilitate that relationship with New Japan instead.
What do you think? Have the Brothers made the right choice? What do you think the reasoning was behind their reported signing with Impact? Let me know in the comments!