Karl Anderson: Facing Jon Moxley At ‘AEW Fyter Fest Night 1’ Is ‘The Biggest Opportunity I’ve Ever Had’
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for Singapore Sports Hub
Ahead of the bout, in an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Anderson explained the importance of this match, as he made it clear that this is his opportunity to show everyone what he can do, and he fully intends to capitalize.
“It’s the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had,” said Anderson. “Me and Doc, we had a big tag team at WrestleMania , but I don’t look at that as the greatest thing to ever happen in my career. I look back at matches in Hiroshima and Ryogoku and Tokyo, but nothing like this showcase. I’ve always said that when I get the opportunity, I am going to take it. This is my opportunity.”
It’s fair to say that Anderson didn’t get this kind of opportunity during his WWE run. Though The O.C. won the RAW Tag Team Championship twice, their time with the company was bittersweet, and it ended when WWE released the duo in 2020. In the interview, Anderson shared his belief that he thought he deserved better in WWE, and this frustration affected his life at home.
“What we do is scripted entertainment, and I’ll be honest, there are times when I felt like I deserved more in WWE,” said Anderson. “Going on the road in WWE, especially in 2018 and 2019, I was taking my frustrations from the road back home. My wife didn’t understand what I was going through; my kids couldn’t understand why I was in a bad mood. All I wanted to do was get out of that bad mood.
“I was only home for two or three days, and then I had to go back to this f—— place I didn’t want to go back to. A couple weeks very quickly turns into six months. I love my family so much, but that affected my life at home. Getting released by WWE was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Anderson’s WWE release allowed him to gain a fresh perspective, and looking back on this period, “The Machine Gun” described how he continues to prove his doubters wrong.
“I’ve been counted against my entire life,” said Anderson. “When I first told people that I was going to be a pro wrestler, I was told I was too small. When I moved to Los Angeles for more opportunities, I was told I wouldn’t make it. Then I got hired by New Japan, and people told me I’d only be a job boy there. Next thing you know, I’m IWGP tag champ with Giant Bernard [Matt Bloom] for a record amount of days. Then Giant Bernard goes to WWE, and I get a chance in a singles match in 2012 against Nakamura in the New Japan Cup at Korakuen Hall, and I beat him.
“I’ll always bet on myself. I knew we could bring more eyes to Impact, and now we’re able to work with New Japan and AEW. It’s such a unique time, and we’re making the most of it.”
In his match with Moxley, Anderson is being viewed as a sizable underdog, but he’ll surely enter the bout with a chip on his shoulder, determined to prove everyone wrong once again.