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FORMER RAW TAG CHAMPIONS TURN DOWN HUGE DEAL TO REMAIN WITH COMPANY, INTEND TO EXIT WWE

By Mike Johnson on 2019-03-08 17:09:00

One of the big topics of conversation at this week’s Smackdown tapings were the future of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, PWInsider.com has learned.

The former WWE Raw and multi-time IWGP Tag Team Champions have been among the talents that WWE management approached about signing new deals well in advance of their current contracts expiring this fall.    

While Gallows, 35 years old and Anderson, 39, had multiple meetings with WWE about their future, we have been told by three sources over the last two days that the pair have turned down “multi-million-dollar deals” from the company and intend to exit after their current deals expire.

From sources we have spoken to, part of the reason the pair are looking to exit is how they have been handled in recent years.   While they were signed with great fanfare at the onset of 2016 and debuted in April of that year, the last several years have seen the team relegated to live events and inconsistent televised appearances and storylines.  A planned WWE Network series starring the pair titled Botch Club was abruptly dropped after its debut episode as well.

One source pointed out that while the pair has been brought to TV, they aren’t currently even being booked on live events, claiming their removal followed initial meetings that didn’t lead to a new deal.

Obviously, Gallows and Anderson would be in demand should they leave the company.  Karl Anderson was a cornerstone performer for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Gallows, upon joining the promotion after his WWE Straight Edge Society run alongside CM Punk, found himself in a major way.  Of course, they would also likely be coveted by All Elite Wrestling, which has pushed it wants tag teams to main event their shows.  Gallows and Anderson have a long past relationship with members of the Elite from their time in NJPW and Ring of Honor.  ROH could also be a possibility, as could Impact Wrestling, since the management team there would not be the one that Gallows and Anderson negotiated with then turned down to sign with WWE in 2016.

Before their WWE run, Anderson spent a long time working for New Japan as one of the cornerstones of the original Bullet Club franchise, teaming with Giant Bernard (Matt Bloom, current WWE Performance Center Head Coach) before meshing with Gallows.  Gallows had a long run in WWE under a myriad of personalities, including a long-forgotten fake Kane and Festus before finding himself as a performer as Luke Gallows.  Upon leaving WWE, he was rechristened Doc Gallows in New Japan, reclaiming the Luke name when he returned to WWE.  The team's WWE debut almost didn't come to pass as they were negotiating, along with AJ Styles to go to Impact Wrestling. Before signing their deals, a call was made to WWE management, which was willing to sign all three, changing their trajectories within minutes and leading to all three instead heading to WWE.

While obviously there is a long period of time between March and late September (which two sources have stated is the end of Gallows and Anderson’s current WWE deals), as of this week, the talk among wrestlers in the company is that the pair are determined to find their futures outside of World Wrestling Entertainment.

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