Austin is joined on today’s show by Anderson and Gallows, The Club.
Austin asks Karl Anderson about his experience training in the Dojo in Japan. Anderson says he had been working some indie shows for 4-5 years locally in the United States before considering a move to Japan. He wishes he would have made that move to Japan two years earlier because he learned a lot very quickly in Japan.
Anderson says that he initially met Shinsuke Nakamura during his time at the Dojo and he had some terrific matches with Nakamura. He believes the only way to improve is to work with people who are at or above your technical level, and working with Nakamura really helped him.
Austin mentions that working in Japan can be a terrific experience but you’re simply punching the clock, working your matches and earning your money. In WWE things are different because you still get paid to wrestle, but you also get the national exposure that accompanies working for the largest wrestling company in the world.
Anderson agrees, but mentions that he began to notice a difference in Japan during his last couple of years there when The Bullet Club started picking up steam. They really became a mainstream news story over there at that time and PPV shows were selling out 10,000 seat arenas, so he got a little taste of what that kind of exposure felt like but he knew he’d have to work for WWE to really understand it.
Austin asks Gallows about the origins of his ‘Festus’ gimmick in WWE. Gallows says that he spent 3 years working on he indies and he was constantly calling and e-mailing WWE, urging them to give him an opportunity. Finally he received a call because WWE needed a replacement for Henry Godwinn on a certain string of shows.
He was 23-years old at the time and was very intimidated working in WWE, and one day he was asked to meet Vince McMahon in his office. McMahon said that he knew a kid in high school who was very slow but when someone angered him he’d snap, and McMahon wanted Gallows to adopt this character. Gallows says that he and McMahon sat in the office for 10 minutes, doing the ‘Festus face’ back and forth to each other until Gallows successfully made the face that McMahon wanted to see.
Austin points out that it’s like talking to God when you initially have a conversation with McMahon because he’s been around for a long time, and he has seen and done everything. Gallows agrees but adds that he and Anderson have had a couple of personal talks with McMahon and he’s been terrific. He wishes that they were a bit closer with McMahon so they could have those talks more often. He adds that Triple H has been terrific to talk to and deal with as well.
Austin asks Anderson and Gallows about the development of The Bullet Club. Anderson says Gedo was a very progressive booker who saw something in Finn Balor. They turned Balor heel and the Bullet Club was formed shortly after. Gallows knew that they had something special going when their first print of t-shirts sold thousands of units and when the office started to receive calls from people who were demanding the group be released from the company for being ‘too bad’.
Gallows had a lot of fun in TNA during his 1-year run there. He was just coming off his WWE run and was excited about the thought of working around the world for a while and then eventually returning to WWE. He mentions that he wasn’t paid well during that time but he had fun, and Hulk Hogan was particularly nice to him.
Part two of this interview will air next Thursday on The Steve Austin Show Unleashed.
That sums up today’s episode of The Steve Austin Show Unleashed. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!