After spending a few years in Japan as a member of arguably the most popular wrestling faction in the world, Luke Gallows returned to WWE immediately following WrestleMania 32 alongside his tag team partner Karl Anderson and seemed primed to take over the tag team division.
Despite being split up from AJ Styles during the WWE Draft, The Club eventually captured the Raw Tag Team Championship at the Royal Rumble by beating the team of Cesaro and Sheamus. Gallows and Anderson will defend their tag titles in a Triple Threat tag match at WrestleMania 33 against the co-No. 1 contenders.
With less than 20 days until WrestleMania, Gallows spoke to Fox Sports about coming back to WWE, the zany upcoming WWE Network special "Southpaw Regional Wrestling," and the requirements for being a "good brother."
You can watch WrestleMania 33 on the WWE Network on April 2nd starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Fox Sports: We're just a couple weeks away from WrestleMania 33. How does the atmosphere change for you as you get closer to such a huge event?
Luke Gallows: “I think there’s a different energy in the air for all the WWE Superstars heading into WrestleMania, myself included, because this is the biggest show on Earth. I don’t like to compare to other sports, but I guess for a lack of a better term, this is the Super Bowl. So everybody’s focused. Everybody wants to look their best, they want to perform their best, and it’s the highest level of competition that there is in our industry. So a lot of positive vibes are going into this thing, a lot of positive energy, and we’re going to come out on the other side looking great.
I’m here in Georgia right now before I head up to live events. Just opened the Bulletproof Dojo here, so we have our own training center. I’ve been with my good friend, former WWE Superstar Joey Mercury, working out in the ring all the time. So everybody’s focused and getting ready. When they’re at home, on the road or at these live events, everybody’s trying to tighten things up. We know there will be a lot of scrutiny when we get to WrestleMania in Orlando, but it’s a very exciting time. It’s a very exciting feeling, for sure.”
Fox Sports: WWE released a teaser for a new Network series called Southpaw Regional Wrestling, which you’re featured in. What should fans expect from that?
Luke Gallows: “Southpaw Regional Wrestling is a concept of this … basically 1980s southern regional wrestling promotion or territory, and it’s a lot of stuff that the guys have been doing for years backstage to entertain each other. I know my character in particular has been an ongoing thing for the better part of a decade.
It was really us getting to kind of take the gloves off and use our… comedic style, if there is one. You’ll get the chance to judge for yourself, but you’ll see a lot of people step outside of the realm of what you’ve seen them do, character-wise, and as in-ring performers as a part of WWE. So it’s kind of a chance for everybody to let their hair down. I didn’t get to because I don’t have any, but everybody else. And we had a blast doing it, man. That thing drops tomorrow. I just watched the teaser myself, I was trying to get them to shoot me a link but they won’t do it.”
Fox Sports: Next month it will be one year since you returned to WWE as a member of The Club. How different has this second run been for you, and is it fair to say you’re enjoying it more?
Luke Gallows: “I think I matured as a performer during my time in Japan, with Karl Anderson, and we kind of found our niche with The Club stuff over in Japan. And then bringing it here to WWE with AJ Styles and Finn Balor. So that faction grew and the fans accepted it and they dug it, they were into what we were doing. It kind of got everybody over, and pushed us into or back into the WWE spotlight.
I know all four of us have certainly been enjoying the ride, and there’s a lot more untapped potential there, so the sky’s the limit. We’re all looking forward to our WrestleMania moments come Orlando at the beginning of April.”
Fox Sports: What’s it been like sharing the experience of coming back with Karl Anderson, who had spent of lot of time in Japan and is now finally here in WWE?
Luke Gallows: “It’s been a happy experience for me, because I always thought - you know, I would stand on the apron, I’ve been able to do this in my career with a lot of great performers and great talents, from CM Punk to Joey Mercury and then on to Karl Anderson.
I would stand on the apron watching him work in Japan and the things he could do, and I always thought it was a such a shame that, you know, we had a great audience that appreciated him there, but on a worldwide scale I always thought he was a very underrated performer. It’s nice to see him get that spotlight that the WWE provides… it’s been a lot of fun for me getting to see him do that and come into his own on the biggest stage that there is in our industry.”
Fox Sports: Gallows and Anderson are known as "good brothers." What are the prerequisites for being a good brother?
Luke Gallows: “A Good Brother means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but I think it’s being one of the boys. It’s being a good guy in the back, a morale booster. The Good Brothers all love doing what we do. We all love being professional wrestlers or sports entertainers. We all grew up wanting to do it, and we all appreciate the history of where the business came from.
A lot of the Good Brother-isms and the things you’ll see in Southpaw Regional Wrestling are things that we’ve all enjoyed growing up and then getting to be a part of the business and perform in it and meet the guys who came before us and stuff like that. So that’s all part of the Good Brother code, I’d say.”
Fox Sports: Who would you say is the biggest nerd in the WWE locker room?
Luke Gallows: "Oh man. Probably Enzo Amore. That’s the biggest nerd I have my eye on right now, you know, going into this Triple-Threat Tag Team Championship match at WrestleMania. There’s nothing that I will enjoy more than superkicking his head into the third row in front of 90,000 people. It’s going to be a great thrill for me."
Fox Sports: The Rock ’n’ Roll Express will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame a couple days before WrestleMania this year. Do you have a favorite memory of them?
Luke Gallows: “I have a lot. Karl has a lot too, he grew up in North Carolina and watching those guys live. A lot of mine came from - you know I broke into the business in West Virginia at 18 years old and those guys were coming around there.
I kind of feel like I grew up in the business with those guys. I’ve had Ricky [Morton] and Robert [Gibson] on my show down here, my local promotion that I own, and it’s fun to watch guys who have been doing what they do for so long, and they still do it so well. I don’t think there’s a more deserving tag team to go into the Hall of Fame right now than the Rock ’n’ Roll Express. I would love to get my hands on them in a WWE ring, as well.”
Fox Sports: You mentioned that you own a tattoo shop in Georgia. What’s the story behind your first tattoo?
Luke Gallows: “Well my first tattoo, you can still kind of see it, I need to get it covered up again. Well, I’ll go back to Painted Gypsy Tattoo in Conyers, Georgia.
I first started wrestling and the guy that I was working out with, we were trying to come up with creative wrestling names to get up noticed. And mine was “The Human Cadillac, Dorian Deville.”
So I tattooed a D on my left arm and immediately found out that that was not going to be my name going forward and I had to cover that tattoo.”
Fox Sports: You just opened up the Bulletproof Dojo recently, right? What’s that experience been like, teaching guys who are hoping to break into the business? Do you see that as a career after wrestling?
Luke Gallows: “Well it’s kind of an opportunity to give back, because I’ve been blessed throughout my career. And to have somebody with amount of knowledge… you know Joey, a former WWE producer, a former trainer at NXT, multiple time tag-team champion. A very great performer himself.
To be able to give that to the other people, the up-and-coming students of our business who are trying to break in or have already broken in and are trying to make their mark - it’s a rewarding feeling and it keeps me sharp as well. It’s mutually beneficial, and yeah I definitely see that as something going down the line. I have a tattoo shop here in Georgia, we have a local wrestling promotion here as well. I like to come home but still have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in our industry. I think the best way to do that is to stay involved all the time.”