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Wrestling / Drew Hankinson

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Andrew William "Drew" Hankinson (born December 22, 1983) is an American professional wrestler.

Shortly after beginning his career in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland-based promotions, Hankinson auditioned for the $1,000,000 Tough Enough in 2005. Despite failing to make it as one of the final ten contestants, he was signed to a contract by WWE and was assigned to the Deep South Wrestling (DSW) developmental territory, where he wrestled as Deacon Deville before changing his ring name to The Freakin' Deacon.

On May 2006, Hankinson debuted on the main roster as an impostor Kane; wearing Kane's old mask and ring attire, attacking the real Kane during or after his matches. The pair finally faced off in a match at the Vengeance pay-per-view, with the impostor Kane winning. One night later, however, the storyline was abruptly ended when the original Kane attacked the impostor Kane, removed his mask, and threw him out of the building.

Hankinson returned to Deep South Wrestling, until he re-appeared on the SmackDown! brand in 2007 as Festus, alongside Ray Gordy (son of Terry Gordy of The Fabulous Freebirds fame) as "Jesse", with the gimmick of a pair of Southern boys. Festus in particular had the gimmick of, despite looking dimwitted and unresponsive, once the opening bell of a match rang, transforming into a very focused and angry competitor, only to return to his docile self once the bell rang again to signify the end of the match. On April 2009, Festus was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft and, as a result, was separated from his tag team partner Jesse, who remained on SmackDown!.

Hankinson returned to SmackDown! on November, however, repackaged and now under the name Luke Gallows, with CM Punk claiming that Gallows was actually Festus' true identity and that Gallows' family and friends plied him with drugs, which led to the mental state he was in as Festus, but that now Gallows was cured due to Punk showing him the Straight Edge lifestyle. Thus, Gallows became the enforcer and "disciple" of Punk, forming the Straight Edge Society alongside Serena Deeb, and later, Joey Mercury. After the stable broke up in September 2010, Hankinson was released from his WWE contract on November.

Hankinson would next appear prominently in TNA two years later in November 2012, where he was revealed to be a member of the heel Aces And Eights stable under the ring name D.O.C. (short for Director of Chaos). However, eight months later he left TNA after contract negotiations fell through, the departure being explained on-screen as him having turned in his kutte after losing the bid of Vice President of the stable to Mr. Anderson.

On November 2013, Hankinson was revealed to have been brought in by New Japan Pro-Wrestling as a participant in the 2013 World Tag League, under the name Doc Gallows, teaming with Karl Anderson as part of Bullet Club. Instant chemistry and success followed, as Anderson and Gallows won the 2013 World Tag League tournament, then went on to become IWGP Tag Team Champions at Wrestle Kingdom 8. Throughout the next couple of years, Anderson and Gallows would gain back and lose the IWGP Tag Team titles three times before both left the company for WWE in February 2016, shortly after fellow Bullet Club member AJ Styles did the same.

Returning to his former WWE ring name, Luke Gallows, he made his return to WWE alongside Anderson on May 11, eight days after WrestleMania 32, and very quickly they made their intentions known: to reform their alliance with AJ Styles. It took some convincing initially, but eventually it got done. Still, their WWE run was largely seen as disappointing; despite two tag team championship runs, two reunions with Styles, and one reunion with original Bullet Club leader Finn Bálor, all of them were brief, and were the sole highlights of a run marred by constant losses, including some in matches with comedy stipulations. WWE eventually released Gallows and Anderson in April 2020, less than a year into a five-year restructured contract, in a wave of budget cuts.

Following their release, Gallows and Anderson teased joining numerous companies, with Gallows mainly hinting at a possible return to Impact Wrestling, the former TNA. In July, Gallows returned to Impact and brought his fellow Good Brother with him; the two also stated their intent to resign part-time with NJPW as soon as conditions allowed, which eventually came to pass in 2022.

"Gallows Tropes":

  • A Day In The Life: Doc Gallows is the subject of The Good Brother, a Reality Show on ASY TV about days in the life of "The Big LG And Family"
  • Affably Evil: He may be a loud and coarse individual who revels in kicking ass by hook or by crook, but damn if he isn't one of the coolest guys to do it.
  • Badass Biker: If Bullet Club wasn't already inspired by the trope, it certainly became so when it added Doc, given the fact that he was outright this in TNA, via both its international sister fed Ring Ka King as "The Outlaw" Isaiah Cash and the mainline product itself as a member of Aces & Eights. In fact he recycled "The Outlaw" Red Baron as Doc Gallows.
  • Badass Longcoat: Wore them occasionally in NJPW and on the indies, does so regularly in his second WWE run.
  • Bald of Evil: He's usually a heel, and he's been bald since the beginning of his career.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • With Jesse as Jesse and Festus, and CM Punk as the Straight Edge Society in WWE.
    • With whoever he would be teaming as Aces & Eights in TNA. After all, all of the stablemates (except their boss, as they found out later) considered themselves True Companions of each other. This especially holds true with Mike Knox AKA Knux, who he often worked in tandem with as the stable's big bruisers and who he considers to be his best friend in the business.
    • With Karl Anderson as The Good Brothers in several companies.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Has been the Big Guy to at least 3 Little Guys: Jesse (in his Festus gimmick), CM Punk (in Straight Edge Society), and currently Karl Anderson.
  • Beard of Evil: He's usually a heel, and rocks a tight goatee.
  • The Brute: He served this role in every stable he was part of; the Straight Edge Society, Aces & Eights (alongside Knux and, on rare occasions, Bully Ray), and Bullet Club (alongside Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga).
  • Canon Discontinuity: Gallows' previous run in WWE has yet to be mentioned since his return, even though he's using the same name. Probably to avoid mentioning CM Punk.
  • Catchphrase: In his second run in WWE, he tends to call his adversaries "nerds."
  • Cluster F-Bomb: He and Karl Anderson spewed the F-Bomb often in NJPW.
  • Co-Dragons: He and Mr. Anderson were a competitive/combative version of this when both were vying for the Vice President bid in Aces & Eights. The winner was bound to be this anyway, with Bully's brother Devon being the Sgt. at Arms.
  • Drugs Are Bad: According to CM Punk, Luke Gallows used to be Festus because of them.
  • Dumb Muscle: Played with, in that prior to resurfacing in 2010 as CM Punk's bodyguard he was, for some time, the Gentle Giant Festus; Punk claimed that it was pills that caused Luke to act "how other people wanted him to act", that those people were the ones who got him addicted to said pills, and that Punk had "saved" Gallows from those people by pulling him into the Straight Edge lifestyle.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": DOC is a clubhouse nickname TNA came up with to avoid using his character's more well-known name since it's owned by WWE.
  • Facial Markings: Wore facepaint as the Freakin' Deacon in Deep South Wrestling, and went back to the practice in New Japan.
  • Finishing Move:
    • As the Freakin' Deacon, he had the Deacon Bomb (chokebomb), Deacon Death Drop (a lifting inverted DDT), Spider Lock (cobra clutch) and a spinning side slam.
    • As Festus, he used the Festus Flip (fireman's carry flapjack) and more rarely a sitout gutbuster drop.
    • During his 2009–2010 run in the Straight Edge Society, the 12th Step or Gallows Pole (a sort of inverted full nelson slam, like a spinebuster but with the arms entangled).
    • As Keith Hanson, the Blockbuster (essentially an F-5).
    • As DOC in TNA, a chokeslam.
    • From his career in NJPW onwards, the 12th Step or Gallows Pole (now a chokebomb), also called the Hangman's Noose, and an unnamed version of the fireman's carry flapjack.
    • With Karl Anderson he's got the Magic Killer (an aided snap swinging neckbreaker).
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: For about 2½ years at least in Japan.
  • Fun with Acronyms: DOC stands for "Director of Chaos".
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In 2015, Gallows was one of many Bullet Club members who found themselves working traveling back and forth between Japan and the US, working heel in New Japan, face in ROH and US independent feds, so on and so forth.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Was one of the few men in New Japan that resisted the charms of Maria Kanellis. Keep in mind that among Maria's victims was Gallows's own tag team partner Karl Anderson (this was before Anderson's "hot Asian wife" would become memetic).
  • I Have Many Names: Deacon Deville, The Freakin' Deacon, (Impostor) Kane, Festus, Luke Gallows, DOC, Doc Gallows, Isaiah Cash, Keith Hanson, Big XLG.
  • Irony:
    • Left Aces & Eights because he was passed over for second-in-command in favor of a man named K. Anderson. Turned up in Bullet Club just three months later as the tag team partner of its second-in-command and eventual leader, a man named K. Anderson.
    • The stark difference between the above two stables and the Straight Edge Society. Being the "DOC" to two vicious clubs out to take over places, wreak havoc, kick ass, and celebrate with the occasional cold beer is a stark cry from his days as a minion to CM Punk's Drugs Are Bad Straight Edge Evil crusade. That said, when he and Punk fell out and they had a match a week or so later, he did tell Punk to his face he planned on beating him and then celebrating with a beer. Granted, he lost that match to Punk, but he's beaten a lot of other people since.
  • Karma Meter: The "Nerd-O-Meter" on his and Anderson's 2019 merchandise. If the meter goes all the way to the left, it's "GB 4 Life"note . Likewise, if the meter goes all the way to the right, it's "NERD".
  • Lightning Bruiser: 6'7" and 300 lb, yet has lots of speed and agility, and understated power.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Festus was generally portrayed as this during the character's run, going from docile and unresponsive to intense, angry, and focused (and vice versa) as some sort of Pavlovian response to the sound of a ring bell and in neither state being able to form coherent words.
  • N-Word Privileges: His go-to insult is to call his opponents a "nerd".
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: A man nicknamed "Director of Chaos" can't have good intentions in mind.
  • Power Stable:
    • In WWE, the Straight Edge Society.
    • In TNA, Aces & Eights.
    • In NJPW, Bullet Club. This later carried over to Impact Wrestling.
    • In AEW and Impact (pre-Bullet Club return), The Super Elite.
  • Power Trio: With AJ Styles and Karl Anderson in what WWE simply calls The Club/The OC.
  • Rage Quit: Turned in his kutte and left when Aces & Eights voted Mr. Anderson the vice president over him.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: He was written out of the Aces & Eights by having him having turned in his kutte when the club voted Mr. Anderson the vice president over him due to contract negotiations with TNA falling through.
  • Red Baron: "The Corn-Fed Colossus" as Festus, "The Detoxified Disciple" and "The Sin-Free Soldier" in the Straight Edge Society, "The Outlaw" as Isaiah Cash and Doc Gallows.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Was usually the Red to Karl Anderson's Blue in Bullet Club, which really says something, as Anderson was the Red to AJ Styles instead.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Nearly every sentence out of his mouth in NJPW contained a swear. They would've made a lot of money off him and Anderson if they had a Swear Jar.
  • Sore Loser: Turned in his kutte and left when Aces & Eights voted Mr. Anderson the vice president over him.
  • Smug Straight Edge: Was a minion of CM Punk, who sure was smug about being Straight Edge, and some of it rubbed onto Gallows. Gallows later was a Smug non-Straight Edge, as the break-up of the Straight Edge Society included Gallows telling Punk once that after defeating him in a match, he would have a beer (he lost the match, though).
  • Straight Edge Evil: As a member of the Straight Edge Society, Gallows was a violent brute formerly pacified by medication.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Twice in WWE; from his Festus gimmick to Luke Gallows, he went from something of a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass character to CM Punk's dangerous muscle. And then, after a several-year sojourn to TNA and Japan, he returned as a legitimately terrifying giant heel — with longtime partner Karl Anderson in tow.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Gallows and Anderson are this in WWE to both their fellow Bullet Club alumni. They provoking AJ Styles into not one Face–Heel Turn, but two of them, and managed to get the most arrogance out of Finn Bálor prior to late 2019 despite their brief alliance with him being their Heel–Face Turn. This seems to be intentional as a way of distinguishing them from being simple lackeys, as Styles outright refuses to accept being called the leader of the team.
  • True Companions: Was part of two stables made of this, Aces & Eightsnote  and Bullet Club. Also applies to Real Life with some of the members of each, as well as CM Punk and his close circle of friends — which may have something to do with his being the enforcer in the Straight Edge Society.
  • Writing Around Trademarks:
    • TNA came up with the DOC name since his more well-known name of Luke Gallows is owned by WWE, yet portrayed DOC as a nickname and title the Aces And Eights gave him, covertly implying that Gallows was still the character's real name.
    • New Japan ran with this by combining both above names, making him Doc Gallows. If we want to add to the mix, his Red Baron at the same time was taken straight from his days in Ring Ka King ("The Outlaw").
    • Eventually WWE got hit with this, as the trio of Gallows, Karl Anderson and AJ Styles that's clearly a spinoff of Bullet Club is simply called The Club before being renamed to The OC, then his and Anderson's reunion with Finn Bálor in 2018 was dubbed the Bálor Club.

Alternative Title(s): Festus, Luke Gallows, DOC, Keith Hanson, Isaiah Cash, Doc Gallows