Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have been around the block a few times at this point in their respective careers. They’ve traveled the world, winning the IWGP Tag Team Championships in NJPW and the Raw Tag Team Championships in WWE. Times weren’t always the best financially for the duo, however, as Anderson discusses in a recent interview on CBS Sports’ Jim Rome Show.
During the show, ‘Machine Gun’ Karl detailed the dramatic financial change after he was signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling as well as what changed between wrestling in and out of the promotion:
“I was there for eight years,” Anderson explained. “When I first signed that contract, 2008, it was the coolest thing that ever happened. It was the first time I started getting paid, ’cause I did it from 2002 and – I went from probably $5,000 in 2007 to making, probably, $55,000 in 2008. And that was like I just struck gold. Then each year, the contracts got better, and by the end, we were pulling some bank in.
“It’s still the same thing [with fans]. Good guy vs. bad guys still telling the story, but there’s nothing like competing in Japan. Wrestling in Tokyo, or Osaka, or Sapporo, or Fukuoka, or Nagoya, all those towns that we hit, those people believe. And they love the sport of professional wrestling.”
Gallows mentioned playing high school football to Rome and began to delve into how travel is the main difference between being a top-level American Football and being a WWE superstar:
“I respect the hell out of guys that play football at a high level because I know how that felt,” Gallows said. “I think the difference with us is the grind, because we’re on the road so much. We’re a live event, touring, media based company, but we’re out there 200 nights a year doing this, and feeling it, and then getting in the car driving 3 or 4 hours. It’s a grind. There’s no off season.”
Following this, Gallows began discussing the idea that wrestling is fake. Although he openly admits that it is idiotic to believe something like a leg drop could keep someone down for a three count, there is still danger in the weapons occasionally used and the firmness of the ring itself:
“You’re moronic to think the big boot and a leg drop is going to pin somebody, but on the other hand, I was saying in the car on the way over here, I wish all the things that we’ve heard about ourselves for years were true,” Gallows said. “Like, I wish there were fake chairs, I wish the ring felt like a trampoline, I wish all of those things because I would feel so much better, but it’s funny because the WWE has cleaned up the business so much. When we first broke in fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years ago, if you took a chair shot to the head and put your hands up, you were considered not a man. So, we’re standing there for twenty bucks just gelling are el kabonged. And now, the head shots are out of there. The drug testing policy, it’s the most advanced one in sports that I know of. So, they really cleaned it up and they take a lot better care of the guys than twenty years ago. It’s a lot different.”
Transcription credit: Wrestling Inc.