AJ Styles recently talked about Paul Heyman, his move from Raw to SmackDown, and the release of his friends Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on his Twitch stream. Heyman was ousted as Executive Director of Raw last month for reasons not explained by WWE, but Styles has some ideas, saying he was “not well liked” on the red brand because he is a “liar”.
The Intercontinental Champion went so far to say that “the reason I went to SmackDown is because I couldn’t stand looking at him,” and explained that while Heyman told AJ he had no idea Gallows and Anderson were being released and he would have fought for them if he did, the reality was that Heyman is the one who pushed to release them, saying “they’re getting paid too much.”
AJ’s perspective here is fascinating, as while Heyman is known for having an adversarial relationship with the truth dating back to his ECW days, he is generally revered as a brilliant mind in the wrestling business.
Check out the full transcript below, courtesy of Fightful:
It came down to Money in the Bank, I found out that my guys were getting released, I was upset. I wanted to go talk to Vince, but it’s already in motion and already been done. Paul Heyman pulls me into his office and tells me he had nothing to do with it and knew nothing about it. If he knew Gallows & Anderson were getting released, he would have fought for them and that’s why they didn’t tell him they were getting released. I said, ‘Okay, I appreciate that, it makes a lot of sense.’”
It was later, I told a friend what was said and he told me what he knew, which is that Gallows & Anderson weren’t on the list, but Paul Heyman spoke out abundantly like ‘we gotta get these guys out of here. We don’t need them, they’re getting paid too much.’ The one thing Paul Heyman is good at is talking, he’s very convincing. One thing led to another, Paul advocated to get them released. Their name wasn’t on the list until Paul brought it up. I think the reason why he did what he did, well, he’s just a liar, but it’s because he knew he had nothing we wanted to do with them. He didn’t want to get them to the next level or do anything for them. The best way to do that after what he said, was to get them out of there.
The reason I went to SmackDown is because I couldn’t stand looking at him. I can’t stand a liar. I’m a grown man, you’re a grown man, why lie? I talked to a lot of guys about this situation. You wouldn’t believe how many people that I work with despise this guy because of his lies and he’d find ways to throw them under the bus when he screwed up. I heard this from several people. It’s almost hard to find someone who likes him. I didn’t know this, I assumed everyone liked him and I was the only one. Vince is a very smart man and he can see through a lot of crap and I think he saw what everybody knew. ‘You’ve done some great things in the past, but you’re not well liked here, hit the bricks.’ The only person he can blame for this is himself. Just don’t lie to people.
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