The man formerly known as Festus was released back in 2010 following the implosion of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society. However, the newly named Gallows would only get hotter during his time in the independent scene and was in one of the biggest factions in the modern era. Gallows and Anderson were the original members of The Bullet Club with Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) and the duo was tearing it up in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. The former WWE star easily shed his previous image and was a member of the coolest faction in professional wrestling. Former three-time IWGP Tag Team Champions and the winners of the 2013 World Tag League, it’s not a surprise that WWE was interested in signing the duo back in 2016. Instantly, Gallows and Anderson made an impact upon their arrival, thrusting themselves into the main scene by attacking The Usos and then Roman Reigns.
However, once AJ Styles was drafted to a different brand, the cracks of the former IWGP Tag Team Champions began. Gallows and Anderson were a necessary addition to the tag team division because they helped add depth to a division that was sorely lacking. Their characters were simple and straightforward, a no-nonsense aggressive duo who could care less about the rules. Unfortunately, creative felt that Gallows and Anderson needed to be repackaged to fit the sports entertainment mold. Once they were in pursuit of the WWE RAW Tag Team Titles, the duo was forced to do horrendous comedy segments with The New Day. In fact, the old day segment is considered one of the worst moments in modern history due to how painfully boring the whole segment is. Instead of making the story simple by having the challengers push the New Day past their breaking point, WWE did the opposite by having them go down the level of The New Day. Gallows and Anderson weren’t taken seriously and because of the bad segments leading into their title matches, they failed to get over. Entertainment silliness is a big part of WWE’s brand. Who could forget the beer segment with Stone Cold Steve Austin? Or Shawn Michaels turning on his partner, Marty Jannetty, on The Barbershop? There are plenty of moments throughout WWE history that were incredible, but adding an unnecessary layer that doesn’t bring anything important to the feud was ridiculous.
Shawn Michaels turning on his partner was a sign that he was moving forward with his career as a solo act. Stone Cold’s legendary beer bath advanced the rivalry between him and The Corporation. Exactly what purpose was their for Gallows and Anderson to mock The New Day like Elementary school bullies? It didn’t heat up the rivalry nor was there any type of character development displayed during this moment. Even when the duo finally won the belts a year later, they absolutely did nothing to put over the Gallows and Anderson act. It was business as usual, so that meant trading wins back and forth to the challengers of the month. When they dropped the belts to the Hardys at WrestleMania 33, it etched their names as one of the most worthless titles reigns in company history. This is no fault to Gallows and Anderson themselves as it’s been well reported that Vince McMahon doesn’t particularly see value in tag team wrestling. It’s an insane mindset as the era of The Hardys, Dudleys, and Edge & Christian are one of the reasons fans are fond of tag team wrestling. The tag division can be as compelling as the singles division, yet the reason the company doesn’t see any major success when it comes to tag teams is due to the fact that consistently tell audiences that they don’t matter.
None of Gallows and Andersons WWE Tag Team title reigns felt significant. Even when they were paired back with AJ Styles, the duo felt like they were nothing more than two goofy henchman for the big boss. They weren’t presented as threats nor did their gimmicks expand much throughout their WWE tenure. Gallows and Anderson never really had a shot at succeeding because the boss had a negative worldview of tag team wrestling. It’s hard to care about characters when the formula is a weekly exchanging of wins that does nothing for either teams. Even when moments were given for tag team feuds, they were given bad material that certainly did no one favors. Gallows and Anderson’s best run was the early months with AJ Styles. They felt fresh and exciting, and they seemed to be hope of something great in the future. It’s a shame that they turned out to glorified jobbers in the end.
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