On the May 11, 2007 edition of SmackDown, a vignette aired suggesting that Hankinson would be repackaged as Festus Dalton as part of a tag team using a 'Southern' gimmick, alongside fellow WWE developmental talent Ray Gordy. On June 2, 2007, however, it was reported that WWE was dropping the "Dalton Boys" gimmick. The explanation for them not showing up on SmackDown was because kayfabe they got lost on their way to the arena. Hankinson and Gordy had actually been sent back to OVW and Hankinson changed his name to Justice Dalton. It marked the second time Hankinson had been dropped from the main roster.

Hankinson was then renamed "Festus", while Gordy was dubbed "Jesse", and on the June 29, 2007 edition of SmackDown, vignettes hyping Jesse and Festus began to air. On the September 7, 2007 edition of SmackDown, there was a segment featuring Jesse and Festus now actually in the arena rather than in a studio. On October 5, Hankinson won his debut match on SmackDown with his partner Jesse. When the opening bell rang, Festus' persona changed into a very focused competitor as compared to the mentally retarded character he had portrayed. When the bell rang signifying the end of the match, Festus returned to his "normal" docile self. On the December 21, 2007 of SmackDown, Festus defeated Deuce in a Santa Match with both of them wearing Santa Claus outfits. On the January 25 edition of SmackDown Jesse explained the reason that they hadn't been on television since the new year was because Festus has been seeing doctors about his "problems".

In 2008, Jesse and Festus came out and before the bell rang Jesse explained that Festus had changed. Festus did not change and continues to make a determined and monstrous face after the bell has rung. On the March 21, 2008 edition of SmackDown, Jesse and Festus had a chance to face John Morrison and The Miz for the WWE Tag Team Championship; Morrison and The Miz retained their titles in this match. Festus received his first loss against World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker on the April 11, 2008 edition of SmackDown after passing out while in the Hell's Gate.

On April 15, 2009, Festus was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft and, as a result, separated from his tag team partner Jesse, who remained on SmackDown.[16] He had his first match, teaming with Brian Kendrick in a losing effort to The Colons.

After a hiatus, Hankinson, now using the name Luke Gallows, returned to television on November 27, 2009, as an accomplice of CM Punk. Punk claimed that his friends had him on pills, which lead to Gallows being in the state he was in, but is now cured.He Attacked Both Matt Hardy And R-Truth, Two Weeks In A Row.  

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