When Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were released by WWE in 2020, AJ Styles reportedly blamed Paul Heyman for letting them go even though it was a Vince McMahon decision.
Shortly after their departures, Styles was moved to SmackDown until Heyman was no longer the Raw Executive Director.
While speaking with Inside The Ropes, Heyman discussed this.
“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.”
“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.”