Shortly after it was announced that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were among the many wrestlers released by WWE on April 15 as part of coronavirus-related budget cuts, rumors suggested that the two-time Raw Tag Team Champions could be headed back to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Now, it appears that Gallows and Anderson might be bound for All Elite Wrestling instead, as suggested by new reports on the duo’s recent trademark filings.
As noted by WrestlingNews.co on Saturday, Anderson’s filing shows that he applied for a trademark on the name “Chad 2 Badd,” while Gallows, through his lawyer, tried to have “Sex Ferguson” trademarked. Save for Gallows using the slightly tweaked first name “Tex,” these are the exact monikers the duo used when they appeared on WWE’s old-school wrestling parody series Southpaw Regional Wrestling. Both characters, as further pointed out, were developed by the pair before they joined WWE, thus giving them a good chance of securing the trademarks.
Talking about how these filings could hint at a potential move to AEW, WrestlingNews.co wrote that both Anderson and Gallows retained the services of Michael E. Dockins, who is in charge of filing trademarks for the promotion’s wrestlers. Dockins had also done the same in the past for other former WWE superstars, including AEW executive vice president Cody Rhodes, Lance Archer, The Revolt (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler, formerly The Revival), and Matt Cardona (formerly Zack Ryder).
— Karl Anderson (@MachineGunKA) May 5, 2020
Rumors of Gallows and Anderson signing deals with AEW once their non-compete clauses expire in July are nothing new. Last month, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote that the former Bullet Club members did not have any deal in place with NJPW and had not been approached by the company for a potential return. It was also speculated around that time that the pair might be planning to surprise their fans by publicly hinting at joining NJPW but ultimately ending up with AEW.
At the moment, AEW’s roster features a number of former Bullet Club members, including Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks — all of whom are co-executive vice presidents like Rhodes — and Adam “Hangman” Page.
Owing to concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact on the wrestling business, it’s far from certain whether AEW will sign Gallows, Anderson, and other prominent names who were let go by WWE last month. Rhodes seemed to hint at this toward the end of April during an Instagram live session, telling a fan that he has no plans to bring longtime WWE lower-carder Heath Slater into the company, as reported by Cultaholic.