Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson a.k.a. “The Club” have been a part of WWE for over a year now since debuting on Monday Night RAW – April 11, 2016. Watching them over the last year I have found them to be nothing more then “just another team”. These two superstars had the background to be great within WWE. But between lacklustre promos, predictable feuds and an uneventful Tag Team Championship reign you have to wonder where did WWE go wrong. Although I feel bad for both superstars, this is not the first time WWE has lead Luke Gallows down the path of mediocrity. From his time as Festus, the simple-minded companion with anger issues to his under utilization with the Straight Edge Society (a storyline that could have done wonders for his career) Gallows has never been pushed the way he should be.
One thing I will give WWE is the way The Club debuted. Coming out of the audience and beating done a well-known team like The Usos was a way to turn the spotlight on them but like many of these moments the spotlight did not stay on them and it was turned into something that more benefited the feud of Roman Reigns and AJ Styles at the time. From there they joined forces with AJ Styles to join the battle against John Cena and starting the faction of “The Club”, a take on the Bullet Club from NJPW/Ring of Honour. As that storyline continued we approached the WWE Brand Split which saw Anderson & Gallows on the RAW roster while AJ Styles headed up the Smackdown Roster. From that point on Anderson & Gallows enter into an endless circle of empty threats and disappointing loses. While the WWE Universe waited for The Club to receive the push and title reign as a top heel tag team which would make sense looking at their resume, we were treated to embarrassing moments. These moments included countless matches with Enzo Amore & Big Cass, segments that did nothing to their quest to win the title and finally one of my least favourite moments a handicap match LOSS to Roman Reigns which made them look incredibly weak.
Finally on the pre-show for Royal Rumble Anderson & Gallows captured the WWE RAW Tag Team Titles. Now this should have been day one of a push this team has earned and could accomplish great things with. Sadly this was not the case and they seem to be treated like a place holder. They were the equivalent to the nerdy best friend that treats the prom queen (The WWE) like gold until the captain of the football team (The Hardys) became available. So the night after Wrestlemania Anderson & Gallows received their rematch but after that loss they were sent back to nothing.
In my opinion the two competitors pictured above deserve more and given the correct booking could be a tag team set in WWE history. The key part to that statement is “given the correct booking”. So going forward in this post I will describe three times so far in their [Anderson & Gallows] current WWE run where if handled different or even slightly tweaked could have steered them in a better direction.
1. The Debut
I must lead off by telling you that I thoroughly enjoyed how Anderson & Gallows debuted. They came off as wrecking machines coming out of nowhere with a slightly unknown past and attacking The Usos, one of the most well-known tag teams of the last several years. But quickly their entrance seem to have one purpose and that was to blend in and build the AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns feud.
The Club should have continued its run in attacks on the tag team division. At the time of their [The Club] debut the WWE was having a Contenders Tournament which would have made it easier for them to slowly make their way through the division. Teams such as the Social Outcasts and El Matadors were in need of re-branding so they could have been written off TV with injury stories. Throughout their interfering moments I would have had Shane being seen becoming very frustrating wondering how this is continuing. He [Shane] would add more security, offer a bounty on Gallows & Anderson for any superstars that catch them and even add stipulations to tag matches like Steel Cage and Lumberjacks to deter any inference. Having the conclusion of the tournament at Payback would still be booked. But would never take place due to The Club attacking both teams (Enzo Amore & Big Cass/The Vaudevillians) backstage. This would lead to The New Day [Champions at the time] calling out The Club and a brawl ensuing between the two teams. Shane and security would come out to break up the brawl.
The following night on RAW Shane would come out stating that he started this tournament to ensure that every team got their chance to prove they deserve a shit at the champions, The New Day. He would continue saying that because of the constant interference that did not happen but nonetheless business with go one so at Extreme Rules The New Day will defend their titles in a Triple Threat Match against Enzo Amore & Big Cass and The Vaudevillians. This cues all the teams to come out and cutting a promo. Stephanie would interrupt this promo and announce the she will be changing that match at Extreme Rules to a Fatal 4-way Elimination match and adding the newest members of the roster and then Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson walks out.
This build-up would set up The Club as more of threat to the division and through doing it this way you are drawing more attention to the Tag Team division. They could still have ties to AJ Styles but they don’t need to be supporting characters in what he is doing.
2. The 2016 DRAFT
So in the summer of 2016 WWE announced they were doing a brand split and drafting all available talent to either Smackdown or RAW. During this draft AJ Styles was split from the other two members of The Club, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. This to me was a waste of the introduction of The Club which was just established months prior. Smackdown needed that solid heel presence seeing RAW was still going strong with Seth Rollins and his ties to The Authority at that moment. Styles was finishing his feud with John Cena and then moving on to a program for the WWE World Championship. So looking at that and adding Anderson & Gallows becoming the first WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions you get a group of superstars controlling the top spots and allowing the build of true faces within the blue brand.
Gallows & Anderson were not needed on RAW post-draft. They were at a time in their build where they were still establishing themselves to the WWE Universe and more importantly the casual fans. Smackdown would have been perfect for them for 2 reasons;
- AJ Styles was about to go on a solid run and needed to build himself as a heel. The Club could have assisted building some strong heel heat for Styles while getting the rub from him launching them to the top of the roster.
- WWE was building a new tag division and through that they could have focused on building and re-branding teams. One of those teams were American Alpha, a squeaky clean band of All-Americans. Having them build fans by taking on anti-establishment tough guys like Anderson & Gallows would have been the first feud they needed.
Anderson & Gallows have the making of a dominant team and truly the centre of any future The Club may have as a faction in the WWE. Having them introduced only to be split up made no sense at the time and really left Anderson & Gallows floating out in “creative limbo” after the draft. They needed more and keeping them with AJ Styles would have done more for every superstar involved.
3. Superstar Shake-Up
Just after Wrestlemania this year a “Superstar Shake-up” was announced and it gave most of us fans some hope for the superstars that were currently not doing much creatively. I believe that with the Shake-up some superstars were merely moved to do the exact same thing on a different brand. In the case on Gallows & Anderson I believe they needed to be moved to get away from the same old thing. Having them on the “blue brand” opens the door for one of two things;
- Added to the tag division…right now the tag division on both shows is lacking in the area of mid-card storylines. I have said multiple times but there was once a period in WWE where every tag team was involved in some sort of feud and the universe was paying attention to every feud. Having a rough around the edges team like The Club would add to feuds against American Alpha and The Hype Bros.
- New enemies for SD’s new babyface AJ Styles… At the time of the superstar shake up AJ Styles had just finished his program with Shane McMahon and had declared that Smackdown was the “house that he had built”. So why not bring in a wrecking crew. Having The Club debuting on Smackdown the following week they could come in congratulating AJ Styles on a victory. And as they meet in the ring and exchange hugs and greetings then boom kick to the gut and Gallows & Anderson drop the Phenomenal One with a Magic Killer and end the show standing over him. This could lead to an angle where The Club starts a feud with AJ Styles and a partner, such as ShinskeNakamura. This would give credibility to the feud seeing all these men have a storied past in NJPW. Once this feud started to faid and The CLub needs something to keep them on top a new member could be added to The Club. My choice would be Adam Cole (former Bullet Club member from Ring of Honour) due to the fact that it puts a big spotlight on his debut and has him starting off with a big feud.
Like I said above I feel that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson are a very talented team that have the tools necessary to be a top tiered tag team in the WWE now and the foreseeable future. But for this to be the outcome they need the right stories and the right direction from a booking standpoint. If WWE Creative were to really focus on them and where they want them to be we can see some fantastic moments. Currently the WWE is in need of some serious heel antics and heat and The Club can provide that. There are Hardy’s that need to be “broken”, an Architect that needs “tearing down” to be built as a top face and a Beast that needs slaying to make way for the future.