Paul Heyman Reacts To Criticism From AJ Styles

paul heyman talking on a microphone on WWE television

Paul Heyman has commented on the issues that AJ Styles has been vocal about regarding Heyman and his involvement in Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson leaving WWE.

Gallows and Anderson had their four-year spell in WWE brought to an end in April 2020 as budget cuts began to bite in the company. The Good Brothers made their last appearance during the Boneyard Match at WrestleMania 36 that saw The Undertaker take on Gallows and Anderson’s OC stablemate AJ Styles.

Since then AJ Styles’ relationship with Heyman has been fraught with The Phenomenal One being open regarding his feelings towards Heyman in relation to his friend’s release. Paul Heyman was Executive Director of Raw at the time of the releases before relinquishing that role himself months later.

Speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes’ own Kenny McIntosh for issue 10 of Inside The Ropes magazine, the current Special Counsel to Roman Reigns addressed the issues with Styles head-on. But first, he was quick to clear up any confusion as to remarks Styles had made, insisting that Styles has never stated that he had an issue with Heyman or that the pair had clashed over working together on Raw:

“That is an inaccurate portrayal of what AJ Styles has said. AJ Styles has not said that we weren’t on the same page or that we clashed. AJ Styles has been quoted as blaming me for the departure from WWE of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. That is what AJ Styles has been quoted as saying. He has never made a statement regarding whether or not our collaboration on Monday Night RAW was to his liking or not—and if he wishes to, I’d be happy to accept whatever assessment he had on our time together behind the scenes.”

Regarding the release of Gallows and Anderson, Heyman uses an analogy of a magician performing an illusion and he feels he does not want to be the one to expose the inner workings of the trick:

“In terms of what AJ Styles said regarding the departure of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, I am still of the old school belief—that I would suggest is also a new school belief—what goes on behind those closed doors, in those creative meetings, as far as I’m concerned, is privileged conversation. It’s not for public consumption. Triple H had a very interesting analogy the other day that he and Stephanie love to take their kids to magic shows and that the kids are fascinated by the magic that happens in front of their eyes, despite the fact that they understand it’s a trick. And even though you know it’s a trick, no one wants to see the wires that lift the magician up in the air and bring the magician back down, and I really enjoyed that analogy.”

“Whatever you think of sports entertainment, I’m not here to expose the wires, so whatever happened between Gallows and Anderson happened behind the scenes, behind closed doors in a meeting that I’m not going to expose to the public because it was an inner sanctum meeting with the Chairman of the board, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. And unless Vince wants to talk about it publicly, I’m not going to be the one to expose what happened, why, and what the other conversations were in that meeting.”

Paul Heyman also discussed his commentary partnership in 2001 with Jim Ross and gives his view as to why they managed to bring their best work to WrestleMania 17.

To read the full interview with Paul Heyman then you can order issue 10 of Inside The Ropes magazine here or subscribe to get great wrestling interviews, features, and a whole lot more delivered to your door or available to download every single month.