AJ Styles says he moved to SmackDown because he couldn't take being around Paul Heyman

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/07/23/aj-styles-says-he-moved-to-smackdown-because-he-couldnt-take-being-around-paul-heyman/

If any of the quotes from this article are used, please credit AJ Styles’ Twitch channel with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

As the non-compete clauses in their respective WWE contracts expired, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson went live on their Talk ‘N Shop YouTube channel and discussed their exits from WWE, the original plans for them to debut in All Elite Wrestling among other topics. Gallows and Anderson detailed how former Executive Director of Monday Night RAW, Paul Heyman explained to AJ Styles that he had nothing to do with the release of The Good Brothers from WWE.

AJ Styles went live on his Twitch channel on Wednesday night and shared his thoughts in-depth about Paul Heyman and why exactly he wanted to get away from the RAW brand. Styles added that he’s heard from multiple people that they disliked Heyman and that Heyman was the one who threw Gallows and Anderson’s names to the wolves because he had nothing for them creatively.

“So, it was said that I was so angry with RAW that Gallows and Anderson were released. I was so angry, that I said, ‘I don’t wanna be on RAW anymore.’ That’s not the way it went down, at all. It was the person who was in charge of RAW who lied to me to my face. Just the most believable lie I’d ever seen, directly to my face.

I’m talking about Paul Heyman. Basically said to me — and here’s the kicker to this whole Paul Heyman thing; having put other guys over and Gallows and Anderson were getting beat by one guy and I’m like, ‘What the heck?’ And he’s like, ‘Hey, I need ya. Gotta trust me. We gotta get this guy over’ and of course that’s what you do. You help guys get over and be bigger getting released. ‘I appreciate that. I understand. That makes a lot of sense. Well, I mean, listen, we understand what’s going on.’ The COVID, you should’ve seen headquarters. It was sad. It’s a huge building and there was hardly anyone there. So it sucks for everybody, I understand. Even Gallows and Anderson understand to a certain extent. I mean you’re talking about two guys who got released when they were in the main event of WrestleMania. At least one of them. Had one of the bigger matches for sure, but, it was later that I told a friend what was said and he told me what he knew was the truth which was basically, Gallows and Anderson weren’t even on the list, but Paul Heyman just spoke out abundantly like, ‘Hey, we gotta get these guys out of here. We don’t need ‘em, they’re getting paid too much,’ all these things, and the one thing Paul Heyman is good at is talking. He’s very convincing, very, and one thing led to another, Paul advocated for Gallows and Anderson to get released. It’s that simple. Their names wasn’t even on the list until Paul brought it up and I think that the reason why he did what he did — well there’s a couple reasons. He’s a liar. That’s what they do, but it was because he knew he had nothing he wanted to do with them, that he didn’t wanna do anything for them, he didn’t wanna help them become bigger stars. He didn’t wanna do any of that. So the best way to do that after everything he said to ‘em was boom, get ‘em out of there. That’s the real story, and the reason I went to SmackDown is because I couldn’t stand looking at him. I just can’t stand a liar. I’m a grown man, you’re a grown man. Why lie? You don’t even have to say anything. So, I just couldn’t stand to look at him and I was just like, ‘You know, if and when the opportunity if SmackDown’s available, I can’t be around Paul Heyman. I just can’t stand him. But if there’s ever an opportunity, I don’t mind coming over. That’d be great. I don’t wanna do anything now because if my son plays football on Friday nights, I wanna be there.’”

Styles continued and said that Heyman finds ways to throw people under the bus when he makes mistakes. He followed that up by saying that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon can “see through crap” and realized what multiple people were saying about Heyman behind-the-scenes.

“Well, I talked to a lot of guys about this situation, and you wouldn’t believe how many people that I’ve worked with despised this guy, because of his lies and he’d try and find ways to throw them under the bus. When he screwed up, he would try to throw them under the bus so they could get in trouble. I heard this from several, several different people. Like, it was almost kinda hard to find somebody who liked him, and I didn’t know this. I just assumed everybody liked him, and I was the only one . But I think the reason why — Vince is a very smart man and he can see through a lot of crap and I think he finally saw what everybody already knew and said, ‘You know what man? You’ve done some great things in the past but you’re just not well liked here. Maybe hit the bricks and we’ll let you be the advocate for Brock Lesnar. You do it well.’ We can’t deny that. He’s good at that. But I think that is as far as it needs to go and the only person he can blame for this is himself. Just don’t lie to people man. This is the business that he — I don’t wanna say grew up in but, found a way to be successful in, probably by lying. I’m not the first guy to say this, as I found out. So, anyway, it was a lot of trash and I wanted to clear those things up.”

Styles is the current WWE Intercontinental Champion on the SmackDown brand and was mixed in with Matt Riddle. Styles’ comrades Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are members of the IMPACT Wrestling roster and were a part of the company’s recent television tapings. Gallows and Anderson have both stated that they have something lined up with New Japan Pro-Wrestling as well.

Wow! I didnt see that coming. Praising Vince and bashing Paul, I have a feeling this is going to piss off some of the internet fans. Love it, lol.

1 Like

I’ve wondered this often…AJ Styles is a top guy in that company. He clearly has a good relationship with Vince McMahon. You’d think you want to keep him happy. Why release his two best friends like that? They could’ve maneuvered this a million different ways to not piss off AJ.

I work in pro sports. When you want to recruit a top guy, you bring his friends in. That’s what WWE did when they initially signed Anderson/Gallows. Both of those guys were constantly asked to re-sign for long term deals for big money. To which they signed. Good or bad idea, they committed to it. Which would indicate to AJ that they’re all going to be together another 5 years, which would likely be the end of his career anyways.

At least, if Gallows and Anderson are granted their release by their own volition earlier, AJ isn’t pissed at the company. He knows his friends just aren’t happy. Now, he’s got this weird survivor’s guilt and pent up resentment towards Heyman, who may have pushed Vince to release those guys, but obviously doesn’t have the final say anyway. It’s been said on Talk N Shop that the three weren’t really close to anyone else in the locker room and were really only with one another - so I’m sure AJ’s day-to-day is harder now.

This all sounds super melodramatic. And it is. But that’s pro sports essentially. I get why WWE cut Gallows/Anderson. I’m sure Vince had buyer’s remorse to spend that much on a team he was never into. It’s shitty that WWE led them on, offered them that money, and cut them the second a pandemic hit. Cuts should’ve never even happened. But, it is what it is. Cutting a top guy’s two closest confidants weeks removed from a Mania main event after signing big money commitments is a very low feel move on WWE’s part. And it’s clear AJ is not happy.

1 Like

Internet fans know Heyman has a reputation of being untrustworthy. Will some still get annoyed at him being called out instead of Vince? Definitely. Heyman is supposed to be the saviour.

1 Like

AJ just doesn’t seem too bright here. If he actually believes that whatever happened to Gallows and Anderson led to Heyman being removed from RAW he probably also believes the earth is flat… oh wait


What was it Cornette said the other week?

Calling Paul Heyman a liar is like calling early 90’s Lex Luger “physically fit.”

1 Like