AJ Styles was traded to SmackDown last week and in a new interview the wrestler says he’s hoping the change of scenery will help him get over the release of The OC.
Appearing on the “After The Bell” podcast, Styles said he’s taken the release of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson hard. “Doing something different is good for me. I needed a change. Losing Gallows & Anderson really hurt me,” he confessed. “Getting away from Raw helps me get over it. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it, but it helps change the atmosphere around me to do something different.”
Gallows & Anderson, who were released as part of widespread company layoffs in April, were last seen alongside Styles in his Boneyard Match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Now, Styles feels burdened by their situation.
“I brought their names to WWE and, when they got released, I immediately felt responsible for them because I helped them get here and I wanted them to stay,” he said. “I thought if I hadn’t encouraged them to stay, maybe they wouldn’t be behind right now. A lot of it fell on me and I felt like I let them down. I talked to them about this and I was just crushed. I’m the oldest and I didn’t take care of them. That really bothered me. And it still does.”
In July of last year, Gallows & Anderson both signed new five-year contracts with WWE and, shortly after, formed The O.C. with Styles. On July 29th, they won the Raw Tag Team Championships, but only held them for a matter of weeks. They struggled to gain much traction as a tag team after that, mostly acting as Styles’ henchmen.
The Phenomenal One will have no choice to look toward the future without his buddies, as he’s set to face Elias in the semifinals of the Intercontinental Championship Tournament tomorrow on Friday Night SmackDown.
As for Gallows & Anderson, their non-complete clauses expire in mid-July.