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Bullet Club

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This article is about the Bullet Club stable. For the WWE spin-off stable, see The Club (professional wrestling).
Bullet Club
Bullet Club logo.jpg
The logo of Bullet Club
Stable
Members See below
Name(s) (The) Bullet Club[1]
Debut May 3, 2013[2]
Years active 2013–present
Promotions 2CW[3]
Chikara[4]
CMLL[5]
FWE[6]
GFW[7]
NJPW
PWS[8]
ROH[9]
RPW[10]
WC[11]
WCPW[12]
WM[13]
wXw[14]
WXW[15]

Bullet Club (バレットクラブ Barettokurabu?), sometimes shortened to BC,[16] is a professional wrestling group, primarily appearing in the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). In the U.S., the group appears most notably in Ring of Honor (ROH).

The group was formed in May 2013, when Irish wrestler Prince Devitt turned on his partner Ryusuke Taguchi and came together with American wrestler Karl Anderson and Tongan wrestlers Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga to form a villainous stable of foreigners, which they subsequently named "Bullet Club". Before the end of the year, the stable was also joined by three other Americans; The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and Doc Gallows. Wrestlers from the Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) promotion have also worked tours of NJPW as members of Bullet Club, which led to the formation of an offshoot group named Bullet Club Latinoamerica in CMLL in October 2013. At the end of 2013, Bullet Club held both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, while also having conquered three of NJPW's five annual tournaments. The stable marked a major turning point for the career of Devitt, a longtime fan favorite, who began his ascent out of the junior heavyweight division and into the IWGP Heavyweight Championship picture.

In April 2014, Devitt left NJPW and was replaced in Bullet Club by American wrestler A.J. Styles. The following month, Bullet Club received its first Japanese member, when Yujiro Takahashi joined and helped Styles capture the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The following June, members of Bullet Club also won the IWGP Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight Championships, meaning that the stable had now held all titles NJPW had to offer. When NJPW added a seventh title, the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, at the start of 2016, Bullet Club quickly won that as well. The stable continued adding members, most notably Canadian Kenny Omega, who took over its leadership in early 2016, when Styles, Anderson, and Gallows all left NJPW for WWE — with this trio appearing in WWE as "The Club" in reference to the group.

Concept[edit]

Bullet Club was conceived by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) in early 2013, following a positive fan response to a storyline, where Prince Devitt turned on his longtime tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi to form a villainous partnership with Bad Luck Fale. Originally, Devitt and Fale were scheduled to go on as a duo, but the storyline was altered with them instead coming together with Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga to form an all-gaijin (foreigner) stable.[17] Devitt came up with the name Bullet Club, which was in reference to his finger gun hand gesture and "Real Shooter" nickname and Anderson's nickname, "The Machine Gun".[17][18] In naming the group, Devitt has stated that he specifically did not want the word "the" in front of the name or a name consisting of just three letters.[17] Other names considered for the group included "Bullet Parade" and "Bullet League".[19] As of May 2016, the Bullet Club trademark is owned by NJPW.[20][21] Behind the scenes, the four founding members of Bullet Club were best friends and travel partners.[17][22]

The group has been compared to the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) stable New World Order (nWo).[23] As a way of paying homage to the nWo, members of Bullet Club began using the stable's signature "Too Sweet" hand gesture.[24] In March 2015, WWE filed a trademark application for the hand gesture.[25] Some, including Matt and Nick Jackson, suggested this was done due to Bullet Club's popularity.[26][27] The application was ultimately abandoned by WWE.[28] In August 2015, after Devitt had joined WWE as "Finn Bálor", WWE released "Bálor Club" merchandise playing off Bullet Club.[29] WWE recognized Bullet Club in the first week of January 2016, when discussing rumors about members of the stable joining the promotion,[30] preceding A.J. Styles' debut in the WWE as a 2016 Royal Rumble contestant.[31] In April 2016, the former Bullet Club tag team of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows debuted for WWE, with their NJPW background again being acknowledged by the company,[32] eventually forming "The Club" with Styles.[33]

nWo's founding member Kevin Nash has praised Bullet Club as a more athletic version of the nWo, stating that there is mutual respect between the two stables,[34] and informally passing the torch from his stable to Bullet Club.[35] Jeff Jarrett, who has represented both Bullet Club and nWo, has named in-ring ability as the main difference between the two stables, stating "Bullet Club is off the charts bell to bell more talented".[36] Former NJPW wrestler Matt Bloom has stated that Bullet Club's popularity helped the promotion become global.[37]

Bullet Club's matches often involve excessive outside interference, ref bumps and other tactics, which are more common in "American" professional wrestling and are rarely seen in Japanese puroresu, even in matches involving other villainous acts. This disregard for Japanese traditions and culture got the stable over as a top act.[38][39] Bullet Club has garnered a substantial amount of worldwide popularity,[23] especially among American professional wrestling fans.[39] As of March 2016, the stable's original "Bone Soldier" shirt was the top selling shirt on the Pro Wrestling Tees store, outselling all top independent wrestlers and WWE veterans that are affiliated with the site.[40] Bullet Club's popularity in the United States has led to members of the stable working as babyfaces at events held in the country.[41][42]

As Bullet Club is owned by NJPW, all wrestlers joining the stable, including those who have joined at Ring of Honor (ROH) events, have to be approved by NJPW booker Gedo.[43]

History[edit]

Formation (2013)[edit]

Prince Devitt, the original leader of Bullet Club, on the shoulders of Bad Luck Fale

On February 3, 2013, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Prince Devitt pinned IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in a tag team match, where he and Karl Anderson faced Tanahashi and Devitt's longtime Apollo 55 tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi.[44] This led to a match between Devitt and Tanahashi on March 3 at NJPW's 41st anniversary event. Though neither man's title was on the line in the match, Tanahashi vowed to relinquish the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in case Devitt was victorious.[45] After defeating Devitt, Tanahashi went to help his opponent up, but was pushed away by the disappointed Junior Heavyweight Champion.[46][47] The following weeks, Devitt began portraying a more cocky and villainous persona, regularly disrespecting both partners and opponents, with the exception of Ryusuke Taguchi, whom he tried to get to go along with his new attitude.[48][49] However, this changed on April 7 at the Invasion Attack pay-per-view, when Devitt turned on Taguchi, after the two had failed to recapture the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship from the Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and Kushida). During the attack, Devitt was helped by the returning King Fale, who attacked not only Taguchi, but also Shelley, Kushida and Captain New Japan, whom Devitt then proceeded to unmask. Following the attack, Devitt took a microphone, introduced Fale as his new "bouncer", giving him the new name "The Underboss" Bad Luck Fale and dubbed himself the "Real Rock 'n' Rolla".[50][51] At the following pay-per-view, Wrestling Dontaku 2013 on May 3, Devitt and Fale teamed up for the first time to defeat Taguchi and Captain New Japan in a tag team match.[52] Later in the event, Devitt and Fale entered the ring to attack the now former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, after he had defeated Karl Anderson in a singles match. Anderson first went to stop Devitt and Fale, but then turned on Tanahashi, hitting him with the Gun Stun. As the three men continued their attack on Tanahashi, they were also joined by Tama Tonga,[2] with whom Anderson had formed a partnership during the past two weeks.[53][54][55] In a post-match interview, the four men announced the formation of an all-gaijin stable named "Bullet Club".[56][57]

Prince Devitt's leadership (2013–2014)[edit]

Karl Anderson, founding member and second leader of Bullet Club as one half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions

The four members of Bullet Club wrestled their first match together on May 22, when they defeated Captain New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi in an eight-man tag team match.[58] Two days later, Devitt entered the 2013 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, where he won his block with a clean record of eight wins and zero losses,[59] advancing to the knockout stage on June 9, where he first defeated Kenny Omega in the semifinals and then Alex Shelley in the finals to win the tournament,[60] after which he proceeded to challenge Hiroshi Tanahashi.[61][62] Devitt's old tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi had originally earned a spot in the semifinals of the tournament, but a legitimate hip injury forced him to pull out.[63][64] During the following day's press conference, Devitt also mentioned a move to the heavyweight division, aiming to become the first wrestler to hold the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight Championships simultaneously.[65][66] On June 22 at Dominion 6.22, Devitt defeated Tanahashi, again following interference from the rest of the Bullet Club, to earn his first-ever shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.[67] The reigning champion, Kazuchika Okada, accepted Devitt's challenge for the title later in the event on the condition that he first defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against his Chaos stablemate Gedo.[68][69] Bullet Club's feud with Tanahashi continued at the July 5 Kizuna Road 2013 pay-per-view, where Tama Tonga and visiting Mexican wrestler Terrible lost the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) World Tag Team Championship to Tanahashi and Jushin Thunder Liger.[70] Terrible worked also the rest of his two-week NJPW tour as a member of Bullet Club.[71][72][73] After successfully defending his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Gedo,[74] Devitt received his match for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on July 20, but was defeated by Okada, despite interference from the rest of Bullet Club.[75][76] From August 1 to 11, both Devitt and Anderson took part in the 2013 G1 Climax, wrestling in separate round-robin blocks.[77] During the tournament, Devitt picked up big wins, albeit through outside interference, over reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and former champions Hiroshi Tanahashi, Satoshi Kojima and Togi Makabe,[78][79][80] but failed to advance from his block. Meanwhile, Anderson entered the final day with a chance to reach the finals, but a loss against Tetsuya Naito eliminated him from the tournament.[81][82] On September 5, Rey Bucanero, another CMLL wrestler, started a NJPW tour working as a member of Bullet Club.[83][84] On September 14, the rest of Bullet Club helped Bucanero and Tama Tonga defeat Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin Thunder Liger for the CMLL World Tag Team Championship.[85][86] The rivalry between Devitt and Tanahashi culminated in a Lumberjack Deathmatch on September 29 at Destruction, where Tanahashi was victorious.[87][88]

Tama Tonga, one of the four founding members of Bullet Club

On October 11, Tonga and Bucanero returned to CMLL, where they formed "Bullet Club Latinoamerica" with CMLL World Heavyweight Champion Terrible and female wrestler and manager La Comandante.[5][89] However, a week later, Tonga and Bucanero were stripped of the CMLL World Tag Team Championship, when they were unable to defend the title against La Máscara and Rush due to Bucanero being sidelined with an injury.[90][91] On October 25, American tag team The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) made their NJPW debut as the newest members of Bullet Club by entering the 2013 Super Jr. Tag Tournament.[92][93] In early November, The Young Bucks first defeated the Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov and Rocky Romero) in the finals to win the tournament,[94][95] and then Suzuki-gun (Taichi and Taka Michinoku) to become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.[96][97] On November 11, NJPW announced the participating teams in the 2013 World Tag League. In the tournament, Bullet Club would be represented by two teams in separate blocks; Devitt and Fale in block A and Anderson and the debuting American Doc Gallows in block B.[98] On December 7, both teams entered the final day of the round-robin portion of the tournament with a chance to advance to the semifinals. Anderson and Gallows won their block with a record of four wins and two losses by defeating NWA World Tag Team Champions The IronGodz (Jax Dane and Rob Conway), while Devitt and Fale were eliminated with a record of three wins and three losses, after losing to Captain New Japan and Hiroshi Tanahashi, who had lost all their other matches in the tournament.[99] The following day, Anderson and Gallows first defeated Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in the semifinals and then Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima in the finals to win the tournament.[100][101] This led to a match on January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome, where they defeated K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[102][103] During the same event, Devitt lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to Kota Ibushi, ending his fourteen-month reign.[102][104]

February's The New Beginning tour featured Bullet Club defending both of their tag team championships and the re-ignition of a rivalry between Devitt and his former partner Ryusuke Taguchi, who returned from an eight-month injury break.[105] Devitt dominated his encounters with Taguchi for most of the tour, including pinning him in his return eight-man tag team match on February 2,[106][107][108] but at the tour ending event, The New Beginning in Osaka, Taguchi pinned his former partner in a tag team match, where he teamed with Togi Makabe and Devitt with Fale.[109][110] In March, Bad Luck Fale made it to the finals of the 2014 New Japan Cup, but was defeated there by Shinsuke Nakamura.[111] As the one-year anniversary of the break-up of Apollo 55 approached, the rivalry between Devitt and Taguchi escalated, leading to Taguchi challenging his rival to a Loser Leaves Town match.[112] The stipulation, however, was never made official for their April 6 Invasion Attack 2014 match. During the match, Devitt got into an argument with The Young Bucks, after the two repeatedly interfered in the match despite his orders not to do so. This led to The Young Bucks turning on Devitt, who responded by diving onto his Bullet Club stablemates. After Taguchi defeated Devitt, the two men shook hands, ending their rivalry with each other and Devitt's association with Bullet Club.[113][114] Devitt's resignation from NJPW was announced the following day.[115][116][117]

A.J. Styles' leadership (2014–2016)[edit]

A.J. Styles, who joined Bullet Club in April 2014 and brought the IWGP Heavyweight Championship over to the stable the following month

Later at Invasion Attack 2014, American wrestler A.J. Styles debuted as the newest member of Bullet Club, attacking IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. Styles, who knew Okada from their days working together for the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion, claimed that Okada was still the same "young boy" (rookie) he had known in TNA and asserted himself as the next challenger for his title.[114][118] Following Invasion Attack 2014, with Styles still working a full schedule on the American independent circuit and only booked to work NJPW's larger events,[119] Anderson was positioned as the new leader of Bullet Club.[120][121] However, Styles was considered the leader of the ROH version of Bullet Club,[9] a role which was also given to him by NJPW by the end of 2015.[122] Styles, however, has maintained that he was never the leader as, according to him, the group "[did not] follow anybody".[123] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2014, Styles defeated Okada to become the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion, when Yujiro Takahashi turned on Okada and the Chaos stable and jumped to Bullet Club, becoming its first Japanese member.[124][125] With Bullet Club capturing NJPW's top title, while also holding both of its tag team titles, and adding new members, this was billed as a "rebirth" for the stable, which was celebrating its one-year anniversary during the event.[126]

Later in the month, Bullet Club took part in NJPW's North American tour, produced in collaboration with ROH.[127] The Young Bucks, who entered the tour as both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and ROH World Tag Team Champions,[128] lost the latter title to reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) on May 17, ending their two-month reign in their first defense.[129] Meanwhile, their seven-month reign as the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions ended on June 21 at Dominion 6.21, where they were defeated by the Time Splitters in their sixth defense.[130][131] Later that same event, Bad Luck Fale defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.[130][131] On June 29, Yujiro Takahashi brought another title over to the Bullet Club, when he defeated Tomohiro Ishii with help from his stablemates for the NEVER Openweight Championship.[132][133] With the win, Bullet Club had won every title in NJPW, now simultaneously holding all four of its heavyweight titles.[134]

Yujiro Takahashi, Bullet Club's first Japanese member

From July 21 to August 8, five members of Bullet Club took part in the 2014 G1 Climax with Fale and Gallows wrestling in block A and Anderson, Styles and Takahashi in block B.[135][136] All five failed to advance from their blocks with Fale finishing third and Gallows ninth in their block of eleven and Styles finishing second, Anderson third and Takahashi tied sixth in their block. Styles was eliminated due to losing to block winner Okada in their head-to-head match.[137][138] On August 10, Global Force Wrestling (GFW) founder Jeff Jarrett joined Bullet Club, attacking Hiroshi Tanahashi after he had defeated Styles in a non-title match.[139][140] On September 21 at Destruction in Kobe, Fale lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back to Shinsuke Nakamura in his first defense.[141][142] Bullet Club lost their two remaining singles titles on October 13 at King of Pro-Wrestling with Takahashi losing the NEVER Openweight Championship back to Tomohiro Ishii in his second title defense, while in the main event Styles lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi in his third defense, after Jeff Jarrett's outside interference was stopped by the returning Yoshitatsu.[143][144]

On November 8 at Power Struggle, Kenny Omega, who had joined NJPW at the beginning of the month,[145] became the newest member of Bullet Club, challenging Ryusuke Taguchi to a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.[146][147] Omega had earlier dismissed the idea of joining Bullet Club as he did not consider himself a gaijin after six years of living in Japan,[145] but now claimed he had lied and only wanted money and the title.[148][149] Refusing to speak Japanese despite being fluent in the language,[150][151] Omega dubbed himself "The Cleaner" with the idea of him being there to "clean up" the junior heavyweight division.[149] From November 22 to December 5, three Bullet Club teams took part in the 2014 World Tag League; Anderson and Gallows and Styles and Takahashi in block A and Fale and Tonga in block B.[152] Anderson and Gallows won their block with a record of five wins and two losses, while Styles and Takahashi finished close behind with four wins and three losses.[153] Styles and Takahashi were victorious over the reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions in the head-to-head match between the Bullet Club teams,[154] but were left behind them in the final standings due to losing to Okada and Yoshi-Hashi on the final day.[155] Meanwhile, Fale and Tonga finished at the bottom of their block with a record of three wins and four losses.[153] On December 7, Anderson and Gallows were defeated in the finals of the tournament by Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata.[156][157]

Cody Hall, the first "young boy" brought in as a personal understudy of Bullet Club

On January 4, 2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, Omega, in his first match as a member of Bullet Club, defeated Ryusuke Taguchi to become the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, while Anderson and Gallows lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to Goto and Shibata, ending their year-long reign in their seventh defense.[158][159] The following day, Cody Hall, the son of nWo founding member Scott Hall, joined Bullet Club as the stable's personal "young boy" with Anderson stating that he would have to earn his spot as a full-fledged member.[160][161] Later that month, NJPW relaunched Bullet Club Latin America in time for the Fantastica Mania 2015 tour, co-produced by NJPW and CMLL.[162] On January 18, during the fifth day of Fantastica Mania 2015, CMLL wrestler Mephisto joined Bullet Club, prior to successfully defending his Mexican National Light Heavyweight Championship against Stuka Jr.[163][164] On February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka, The Young Bucks regained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship by defeating defending champions reDRagon and Time Splitters in a three-way match.[165][166][167] Later that same event, Anderson and Gallows regained the IWGP Tag Team Championship from Goto and Shibata,[168] while in the main event A.J. Styles defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to also bring the IWGP Heavyweight Championship back to Bullet Club.[166][169] Both of Bullet Club's tag team championship reigns ended in their first title defenses on April 5 at Invasion Attack 2015 with The Young Bucks being defeated by Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero) and Anderson and Gallows by the ROH tag team The Kingdom (Matt Taven and Michael Bennett).[170][171]

The Young Bucks regained the title on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2015 in a three-way match with Roppongi Vice and reDRagon.[172][173] Also during the event, Bullet Club was involved in the first NJPW match to feature female wrestlers in over twelve years,[174] where Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and his wife Amber Gallows were defeated by Maria Kanellis, Matt Taven and Michael Bennett in a six-person intergender tag team match.[172][173] On July 5 at Dominion 7.5 in Osaka-jo Hall, Kenny Omega lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to the 2015 Best of the Super Juniors winner Kushida in his fourth defense,[175][176] while Anderson and Gallows defeated Bennett and Taven in a rematch to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship for the third time.[175][176] In the main event, Styles lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kazuchika Okada in his second defense.[175][176] From July 20 to August 15, five members of Bullet Club took part in the 2015 G1 Climax with Fale, Gallows and Styles in block A and Anderson and Takahashi in block B.[177] Both Styles and Anderson entered their last round-robin matches with a chance to advance to the finals, but were eliminated after losing to Hiroshi Tanahashi and Satoshi Kojima, respectively.[178][179] On August 16, The Young Bucks lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to reDRagon in their second defense.[180][181] From September 4 to 6, Styles and The Young Bucks represented Bullet Club in American promotion Chikara's 2015 King of Trios tournament, where they made it to the finals, before losing to Team AAA (Aero Star, Drago and Fénix).[4] On September 23 at Destruction in Okayama, Omega defeated Kushida, following outside interference from Anderson, to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.[182][183] On October 23, Chase Owens became the newest member of Bullet Club.[184]

Kenny Omega's leadership (2016–present)[edit]

Kenny Omega, who took over the leadership of Bullet Club in January 2016

On January 4, 2016, at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome, Bullet Club was involved in five championship matches. In the first, The Young Bucks defeated reDRagon, Roppongi Vice and the team of Matt Sydal and Ricochet to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.[185] In the following match, Fale, Takahashi and Tonga were defeated by Toru Yano and the ROH tag team The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) in a match to determine the inaugural NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions.[185] This was followed by two title matches, where Bullet Club lost two of their championships with Omega losing the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back to Kushida and Anderson and Gallows losing the IWGP Tag Team Championship to Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.[185] In Bullet Club's final title match of the event, Styles unsuccessfully challenged Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[185] Hours after the event it was reported that Anderson, Gallows and Styles had all given their notice to NJPW and would be leaving the promotion for WWE.[186][187] The following day, the rest of Bullet Club turned on Styles and kicked him out of the group with Omega taking over the leadership.[188] Omega also announced his graduation from the junior heavyweight division,[189] stating that he did not want a rematch with Kushida, but instead a match with Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[190]

In the aftermath of Omega taking over Bullet Club's leadership, he and The Young Bucks formed their own subgroup within the stable, called "The Elite".[191][192][193] Omega and The Young Bucks came up with the idea for The Elite themselves, feeling the need to create something new after being forced by NJPW into Bullet Club and what Omega called a "Too Sweet", "Suck it" parody of the nWo.[194] Omega stated that he and The Young Bucks were The Elite, but accepted if NJPW continued calling them Bullet Club "in parentheses" as the stable was their "cash cow". He explained the name change by stating that following Anderson, Gallows and Styles' departures from NJPW, "Bullet Club [was not] so much the Bullet Club anymore", adding that the stable "had all sorts of wrestlers come and go. Some were good, some were bad, some were god-awful", but that "there's a place you can go to watch the most ridiculous and entertaining stuff in pro wrestling, and it's The Elite".[195] Omega later added his opinion that Anderson, Gallows and Styles' departures had "watered down" Bullet Club's ranks, which is why he wanted to push The Elite to the forefront, claiming that when people said that "Bullet Club [had] been doing some really cool stuff", they always meant him and The Young Bucks and not the other members of the group.[194]

Tanga Roa, who was brought in to form the Guerrillas of Destiny tag team as part of Bullet Club

On February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka, Fale, Takahashi and Tonga defeated the Briscoes and Yano in a rematch to capture the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.[196][197] Later that same event, The Young Bucks lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Matt Sydal and Ricochet in a three-way match, also involving reDRagon.[196][198] Three days later at The New Beginning in Niigata, Fale, Takahashi and Tonga lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship back to the Briscoes and Yano.[199] Also during the event, Anderson and Gallows received a rematch for the IWGP Tag Team Championship, but were again defeated by Makabe and Honma, who were afterwards challenged by Tonga, who stated that his partner would be a new member of Bullet Club.[199][200] In the main event of the show, Omega defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which had been vacated following Shinsuke Nakamura's departure from NJPW.[199][201] On February 20 at Honor Rising: Japan 2016, Anderson and Gallows wrestled their final NJPW match, an eight-man tag team match, where they, along with Fale and Tonga, were defeated by Bobby Fish, Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata and Kyle O'Reilly.[192][202] Later that same event, Omega and The Young Bucks defeated the Briscoes and Yano to bring the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship back to Bullet Club, while also making Omega a double champion in the process.[192]

Adam Cole, who brought the Ring of Honor (ROH) World Championship to the stable

On March 12, Tonga revealed that his partner for the upcoming IWGP Tag Team Championship match and the newest member of Bullet Club was his real-life brother Tevita Fifita,[203] who was two days later given the ring name "Tanga Roa", with the tag team between him and Tonga dubbed "Guerrillas of Destiny" (GOD).[204][205][206] On April 10 at Invasion Attack 2016, The Elite lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu.[207][208] Later that same event, Guerrillas of Destiny defeated Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[207][209] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2016, The Elite regained the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship from Tanahashi, Elgin and Yoshitatsu.[210][211] Five days later at the NJPW and ROH co-produced Global Wars show, Adam Cole was revealed as the newest member of Bullet Club as he helped the Guerrillas of Destiny and The Young Bucks take over the ring in a show-closing angle.[212] The following day, during the first show on the War of the Worlds tour, Adam Page also joined Bullet Club.[213] In NJPW, Page was given the ring name "Hangman Page",[214] which he eventually also began using in ROH.[215] On June 19 at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall, The Young Bucks won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship for the fifth time by defeating Matt Sydal and Ricochet, reDRagon and Roppongi Vice in a four-way elimination match.[216] Later that same event, Bullet Club lost two titles, with the Briscoe Brothers defeating the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Tag Team Championship and Michael Elgin defeating Kenny Omega for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in NJPW's first ever ladder match.[216] On July 3, Omega and The Young Bucks lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Matt Sydal, Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima.[217]

Cody, who joined Bullet Club in December 2016

From July 18 to August 13, three members of Bullet Club took part in the 2016 G1 Climax with Fale and Tonga in block A and Omega in block B. Fale finished his tournament with a record of five wins and four losses and Tonga with four wins and five losses, with Tonga winning the head-to-head match between the two. Meanwhile, Omega won his block with a record of six wins and three losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament.[218] On August 14, Omega defeated Hirooki Goto in the finals to win the 2016 G1 Climax,[219] becoming the third wrestler to win the tournament in his first attempt as well as the first non-Japanese wrestler in history to win the tournament.[220][221] On August 19 at Death Before Dishonor XIV, Adam Cole defeated Jay Lethal to bring the ROH World Championship to Bullet Club.[222] On September 25 at Destruction in Kobe, Captain New Japan, upon being forced out of the anti-Bullet Club stable Hunter Club following a fan poll, turned on Yoshitatsu and joined Bullet Club, becoming its second Japanese member.[223] In a backstage interview, Omega welcomed Captain New Japan to Bullet Club, but called his character ridiculous and told him to come up with a new name and costume.[224] The following day, NJPW announced that Bullet Club's newest member, "Bone Soldier", would be making his debut on October 8.[225] On September 30 at ROH's All Star Extravaganza VIII, The Young Bucks won the ROH World Tag Team Championship for the second time by defeating defending champions The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) and The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) in a three-way ladder match.[226] On October 10 at King of Pro-Wrestling, the Guerrillas of Destiny regained the IWGP Tag Team Championship from the Briscoe Brothers.[227] On December 2 at Final Battle, Adam Cole lost the ROH World Championship to Kyle O'Reilly.[228]

From November 18 to December 8, four Bullet Club teams took part in the 2016 World Tag League; Guerrillas of Destiny and Page/Takahashi in block A and Fale/Bone Soldier and Owens/Omega in block B.[229] Guerrillas of Destiny won their block with a record of six wins and one loss, advancing to the finals, while Page and Takahashi finished second with a record of four wins and three losses.[230] In block B, Fale and Bone Soldier finished last by losing all seven of their matches, while Owens and Omega finished second to last with three wins and four losses.[231] On December 10, Cody was revealed as the newest member of Bullet Club.[232][233] Later that same day, the Guerrillas of Destiny were defeated in the finals of the 2016 World Tag League by Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.[233] On January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, The Young Bucks lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship to Roppongi Vice.[234][235] Later that same event, Adam Cole regained the ROH World Championship from Kyle O'Reilly,[236] while the Guerrillas of Destiny lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in a three-way match, also involving Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma.[234][237] In the main event of the show, Kenny Omega unsuccessfully challenged Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.[234][238] On February 11, Frankie Kazarian joined Bullet Club, turning on longtime tag team partner Christopher Daniels at a taping of Ring of Honor Wrestling.[239]

Other media[edit]

In January 2016, NJPW announced a DVD chronicling the history of Bullet Club and featuring interviews with members of the stable, which was released on March 30, 2016.[240] In January 2017, it was announced that the Tekken 7: Fated Retribution video game would feature a Bullet Club shirt as an alternate outfit for all characters.[241]

Members[edit]

The 2015 incarnation of Bullet Club, featuring A.J. Styles being hoisted as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion as well as Nick Jackson wearing the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship belt and Karl Anderson wearing the IWGP Tag Team Championship belt
Bullet Club in September 2013: (left to right) Rey Bucanero, Bad Luck Fale, Karl Anderson, Prince Devitt, and Tama Tonga
* Founding member
I First leader
II Second leader
III Third leader
IV Fourth leader

Current[edit]

Member Arrival
Cole, AdamAdam Cole May 8, 2016
Bad Luck Fale * May 3, 2013
Bone Soldier September 25, 2016
Owens, ChaseChase Owens October 23, 2015
Cody December 10, 2016
Kazarian, FrankieFrankie Kazarian February 11, 2017
Page, HangmanHangman Page May 9, 2016
Omega, KennyKenny Omega IV November 8, 2014
Jackson, MattMatt Jackson October 25, 2013
Jackson, NickNick Jackson October 25, 2013
Tonga, TamaTama Tonga * May 3, 2013
Roa/Loa, TangaTanga Roa/Loa March 12, 2016
Takahashi, YujiroYujiro Takahashi May 3, 2014

Former[edit]

Member Arrival Departure
Styles, A.J.A.J. Styles III April 6, 2014 January 5, 2016
Hall, CodyCody Hall January 5, 2015 January 11, 2017
Gallows, DocDoc Gallows November 23, 2013 February 20, 2016
Anderson, KarlKarl Anderson * II May 3, 2013 February 20, 2016
Devitt, PrincePrince Devitt * I May 3, 2013 April 6, 2014

Part-time[edit]

Name First appearance
Gallows, AmberAmber Gallows January 4, 2015
Comandante, LaLa Comandante October 11, 2013
Jarrett, JeffJeff Jarrett August 10, 2014
King Haku January 4, 2016
Mephisto January 18, 2015
Bucanero, ReyRey Bucanero September 5, 2013
Terrible, Terrible July 5, 2013

Sub-groups[edit]

Affiliate Members Tenure Type Promotion(s)
Bullet Club Latinoamerica La Comandante
Mephisto
Rey Bucanero
Tama Tonga
El Terrible
2013
2015
Stable CMLL
The Elite Kenny Omega
Matt Jackson
Nick Jackson
2015–present Trio NJPW
ROH
Gallows and Anderson Doc Gallows
Karl Anderson
2013–2016 Tag team NJPW
ROH
Independent circuit
Guerrillas of Destiny Tama Tonga
Tanga Roa/Tanga Loa
2016–present Tag team CMLL
NJPW
ROH
The Young Bucks Matt Jackson
Nick Jackson
2013–present Tag team NJPW
ROH
Independent circuit
Timeline

In wrestling[edit]

Anderson and Gallows' Magic Killer
Guerrillas of Destiny's Guerrilla Warfare
The Young Bucks' Meltzer Driver

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

(Left to right) Matt and Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks, representing Bullet Club as both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team and ROH World Tag Team Champions

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • ^ The name has been written as both "Tanga Roa" and "Tanga Loa". NJPW and CMLL use the spelling Roa, while ROH has used both Loa and Roa.[283][284][285][286]

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