This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw ended on a dramatic note, as AJ Styles assumed a villainous role for the first time in more than two years, attacking Ricochet after their United States Championship match and reuniting The Club alongside the tag team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
As recapped by Cageside Seats, Styles’ heel turn came one week after he defeated Ricochet in a non-title match on Raw, as he issued a formal challenge to the reigning U.S. Champion early on this week’s episode of the show. This came after Gallows and Anderson egged both men on, leading to a tense moment where they slapped each other backstage.
After a “surprisingly” quick match where Styles came close to winning his second United States title, only for the match to be restarted after the referee spotted Ricochet’s foot under the rope, the recent NXT call-up successfully retained the championship with a surprise roll-up on “The Phenomenal One.” Both competitors then shook hands, before Gallows and Anderson climbed the ring apron and seemingly encouraged Styles to attack his in-ring rival.
As the tension started brewing once again, Styles ostensibly asked Gallows and Anderson to back off, before turning on Ricochet as he and the “Good Brothers” laid a beatdown on the champion. This essentially allowed the three now-villainous wrestlers to re-form The Club — a three-man faction named for the fact that its members first teamed up in New Japan Pro Wrestling as the driving forces behind the Bullet Club stable.
— WrestleZone on Mandatory (@WRESTLEZONEcom) July 2, 2019
The Club’s reunion on Monday Night Raw came about as “interesting” due to the long-running rumors suggesting that Gallows and Anderson are planning to leave WWE once their contracts expire in September, according to WrestlingNews.co. The outlet speculated that this creative move could be a sign that the duo has changed their minds and is planning to stay with the company after all.
While AJ Styles has evidently enjoyed a successful stint in WWE since signing with the company early in 2016, Gallows and Anderson have mostly struggled since they joined WWE later that year as much-hyped arrivals from New Japan. The pair did get to hold the Raw Tag Team Championships in 2017, but as Bleacher Report recalled, it wasn’t long before they dropped the titles and saw their relevance on WWE programming decline. A move to SmackDown Live via the Superstar Shake-Up in 2018 didn’t help matters for Gallows and Anderson, while this year’s return to the Raw brand saw the team still hardly utilized on television prior to their involvement in Styles and Ricochet’s storyline.