Are the Good Brothers leaving WWE? If so, Rob has some thoughts on what it all means.
The word has come down the Gallows and Anderson have turned down a ‘multi million dollar offer’ (That’s a NEWZ!!! phrase – multi million means that over the life of the deal they would make $2 million or more, but it’s supposed to give you the impression that they were going to get paid millions of dollars each year, which is just not true. Keep that in mind when you read these stories about other wrestlers in the future.) Speculation now is that they are going to move on from WWE after that. They are prime ‘misused! buried!’ riff bait because for the past year they were relegated to mostly house shows and occasional TV. If you ask me a fair assessment of their time in WWE reads as such:
- Good first year – did six mans with AJ Styles against Roman and The Usos and then John Cena and partners, were in limbo for a few months after the brand split, then won the RAW tag team titles at the 2017 Royal Rumble and held them through WrestleMania 33.
- Second and third years they fell victim to the numbers game – the Hardys coming back at Mania 33 squeezed them down the tag team roster, then Ambrose and Rollins tagging against the Bar over the titles took that over scene over. After Mania 34 they moved over to Smackdown, but so did the Bar and they got stuck behind the Bludgeon Brothers experiment with the titles and the Bar/Usos/New Day trio. There was no reason to put them ahead of any of those teams, unfortunately for them.
The reality of being on a large roster is that if you’re not someone who is a priority just by being there and don’t go hard to make yourself a priority you’re going to get caught in the numbers game. They would have been better served on RAW this past year, especially given how that tag team division went in 2018, but beyond that who knows. The numbers game is what it is, and it’s understandable if they don’t want to get lost in the shuffle for three more years. As far as where they go AEW is the name on everyone’s lips of course, and it could happen, but I wouldn’t call it a lock. Why? Because they’re not going to sign everyone who leaves WWE and they’re not going to sign that many people, period. If they do go there it will be the ‘Dates for AEW plus you can work for these other places’ deal that most everyone there is getting. The only other serious option would be back to New Japan but Anderson is on record as not wanting to be too far from his kids now and there may not be a guaranteed opening to rejoin the Bullet Club like we all assume. Right now nobody really knows New Japan’s MO now that the Elite guys are gone – the Western expansion was largely hanging on those guys, after all. Which brings me to the next point.
The market isn’t going to be as wide open as people think. Yes for people like Tye Dellinger who were never going to be more than enhancement talent in WWE it’s worth it to take a shot in another company or on the indies. But the notion that there are all there opportunities out there for anyone who was making good money and was a midcarder or more in WWE to make similar money along with the other branding opportunities is very much exaggerated. Given that Cody has already said the AEW roster is going to be 30 to 40 people and most of those spots are filled, and that we don’t really know what anyone else is doing as far as signings go, there’s a lot of fools gold out there. Now of course staying in WWE is a gamble if you want to work more, be on TV more, etc. There are only a few regular spots and those get eaten up quickly by people who have established fanbases. So yes some people are going to leave, maybe even some ‘name’ people, but that doesn’t mean they’re all going to flourish like Cody who had a plan the moment he got out. WWE has always had a revolving door, even in the Hulkamania era. Plenty of guys came through for short stints and disappeared so it’s not the big thing people are making it out to be now.
What’s different now is the existence of NXT, and the pipeline of people who can be added in to take anyone’s place who leaves. The Street Profits and Forgotten Sons are right there waiting for a call up in September should Gallows & Anderson leave. Or it could just mean more time for the teams who are there, like Sanity. Outside the top tier that’s life in WWE now. So I don’t begrudge anyone who gets their fill and moves on if opportunities are available but at the same time it’s important to keep things in perspective. Everyone that leaves isn’t a sign of misuse just like everyone who stays isn’t a sign of good roster management, either. In a world where the number of viable good wrestlers may be at an all time high, just being good in the ring doesn’t secure you anything. Some guys and gals just aren’t going to hit like we think they should. And that goes for other companies, too – funny how we never talk about Ring of Honor and how many people they did nothing with like Keith Lee, Lio Rush, and Cedric Alexander or how they never saw fit to make Cesaro their World Champion but some of you all think Vince should in WWE. Stuff happens. In the end what matters the most is that everyone makes as much as they can while they have the chance doing something they like to do, not whether they reach the heights on the roster that we fantasy book for them.