April 15th 2020 will go down in the records as a dark day for the WWE and for wrestling generally. A series of producers, backstage staff and in-ring talent has been let go or furloughed so as to make short-term cost reductions in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whilst no job losses are desirable or to be made light of, two names stood out on the list of those released, two men with much acclaim from both the audience and within the business. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are an extremely talented team who, whilst being in the tradition of great, versatile bruisers like Hansen, Brody and Vader, also have a surprising amount of agility and speed for two men of their size.
Right now, the business, much like the world, is up in the air. Whilst it might take a little bit of time to find new employment, I’m in no doubt that there will be plenty of companies chomping at the bit to get their signatures on a contract.
So, with that said, where do we think the good brothers will end up?
Looking at the options, two stand out more than the rest. So, let’s take a look at what those options might be.
Whilst having already been to New Japan, and being three-time IWGP champions, there is no reason that renewing their relationship wouldn’t be beneficial to both sides. NJPW is arguably the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet outside of WWE and chances are they’d be willing to pay big money to secure the return of Anderson and Gallows.
New Japan, at least before the pandemic, were also looking to move further into the American market. What better pair to use to do this than two men who are New Japan legends but have also had that mainstream American wrestling exposure to an audience that might not be as familiar with NJPW.
For Gallows and Anderson, both workhorses, the amount of talent that New Japan has, with some big changes since his last tenure, must also be attractive to two men who love to wrestle. Surely, it’s a no-brainer?
Since the last time Gallows and Anderson had to find gainful employment, a new contender on the block has thrown its claim to greatness into the ring.
AEW would be a strong shout for the two men. They have regular exposure on a major television network in TNT. They have a lot of new, young talent to work with, which presents the opportunity for fresh, exciting match ups. There’s a good chance Big Tony Khan would pay handsomely to secure their services.
And there’s also the little factor of the Bullet Club alumni serving as EVP’s in the company. Although Cody and Co. have been at pains to show us they don’t go in for biased, preferential booking based on themselves and their friends, chances are the BC connection wouldn’t do them any harm in terms of getting a solid upper mid-card push. They’d also reap the benefit of the disproportion of big men in the company, helping to bring some variety to proceedings and giving the likes of Wardlow, Jake Hagar, Luchasaurus and Luke Harper some company (as well as Jeff Cobb, should he choose to return). That, if nothing else, would make it a smart buy on AEW’s part.
What do you think? Which promotions can you see Gallows and Anderson signing up with? Let me know in the comments!