THE HISTORY OF BULLET CLUB: PART 1

One of the biggest things fans find difficult when first watching NJPW is that it seems to be a company shrouded in mystery, and it can be pretty difficult learning about the history. Here we will take a look at the factions that define the company to help new fans to get accustomed with the legacy, starting in this blog with Bullet Club.

In this blog I will focus on the current and active members in the faction, along with Prince Devitt, as I feel its important to start with original leader of the group. Part two will then feature past members of the faction.

BULLET CLUB BEGINNING:

First, a little history. Bullet club was formed in May of 2013, when Prince Devitt turned his back on his then tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi. Plans were to have Devitt then team up with Bad Luck Fale, but the booking was altered to create a foreign heel faction within New Japan.

Devitt, Bad Luck Fale, Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga came together to create the first incarnation of the Bullet Club. The name of the faction was chosen by its first Leader Devitt himself, other names that were considered at the time were Bullet Parade, Bullet League, and Bullet Brigade.

As of 2016, NJPW owns the trade mark for Bullet Club; though during working relationships with other companies, different incarnations of the faction have shown up – most notably in Ring Of Honor.

MEMBERS:

PRINCE DEVITT: MAY 3rd 2013-APRIL 6th 2014

Before leaving for WWE in 2014, Prince Devitt (now known now as Finn Balor) spent 6 years in New Japan. During his time there, Devitt won 9 titles. He was 3 time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion along with winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team titles 6 times (2x with Minoru Tanaka and x 4 with Ryusuke Taguchi). Along with these titles, Devitt won the Best of Super Juniors tournament twice in 2010 and 2013, along with winning the J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament in 2010 and 2011, teaming with Ryusuke Taguchi and Hirooki Goto.

Along with all of this, his match with then tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi against Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi won the Tokyo Sports best bout award in 2010.

BAD LUCK FALE: MAY 3rd 2013-ACTIVE

One of the two remaining founding Bullet Club members, Fale has had a stellar career in Japan since joining NJPW in 2010. Winning the IWGP Intercontinental championship and IWGP NEVER Openweight 6-man tag titles 6 times, Fale remains an important piece of the group. Fale also ranked Ranked No. 71 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017.

CHASE OWENS: OCTOBER 23rd 2015-ACTIVE

After joining New Japan in 2014, Chase Owens joined Bullet Club the following year. Despite having not yet won a championship in NJPW, Owens finished in the final 4 of the NJPW Rambo at Wrestle Kingdom 15 on Night 1.

DICK TOGO: JULY 12th 2020-ACTIVE

On July 12th 2020, ‘The Spoiler’ Dick Togo re-emerged at Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall – helping EVIL win the IWGP Intercontinental and IWGP Heavyweight titles from Tetsuya Naito.

EL Phantasmo: MARCH 8th 2019-ACTIVE

Since joining New Japan and Bullet Club in 2019, EL Phantasmo has won the Super J Cup in 2019 and 2020, along with winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag team championships with tag team partner Taiji Ishimori.

EVIL: JULY 11th 2020-ACTIVE

After being a part of the popular faction LIJ for 5 years, EVIL turned his back on his friends and team mates, aligning with Bullet Club in one of the most shocking moments in wrestling during 2020. During his time in NJPW, EVIL’S accomplishments include winning the following:

IWGP Heavyweight title, IWGP Intercontinental title, IWGP Tag team titles x2 with SANADA, NEVER Openweight 6-man tag titles x4 with BUSHI, SANADA and Shingo Takagi, NEVER Openweight title, New Japan Cup 2020, World Tag League 2017 and 2018 with SANADA.

EVIL was also Ranked No. 61 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2019, and was the given the Wrestling Observer best gimmick award in 2017.

GEDO: OCTOBER 18th 2018-ACTIVE

After turning his back on Kazuchika Okada in 2018, Gedo and fellow Chaos member Jay White joined Bullet Club in late 2018. Gedo is also the head booker for NJPW after a stellar wrestling career. Gedo captured the IWGP Junior tag team titles 4 times with fellow Bullet Club member Jado. The team of Gedo and Jado also won the Super J-Tag league in 2010.

HIKULEO: SEPTEMBER 6th 2017-ACTIVE

Brother of fellow Bullet Club members Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, and son of legendary wrestler Haku, Hikuleo joined the faction after the summer in 2017. With a huge upside, Hikuelo has only made a handful of appearances in New Japan so far.

JADO: OCTOBER 8th 2018-ACTIVE

Jado is best known currently for his handy work with his signature kendo stick, most notably getting involved in matches featuring the Guerrillas of Destiny.

JAY WHITE: OCTOBER 8th 2018-ACTIVE

The current Bullet Club leader, ‘Switchblade’ Jay White turned his back on his former Chaos team mates in 2018 and joined Bullet Club, taking over the leadership role left vacant by Kenny Omega. During his NJPW run, White has won the IWGP US title, IWGP Intercontinental title and the IWGP Heavyweight title. In 2019 Jay White was ranked number 12 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500.

KENTA: AUGUST 12th 2019-ACTIVE

After leaving WWE in 2019, KENTA became the newest Bullet Club member, and so far has won the NEVER Openweight title and the New Japan Cup USA. He is currently the number 1 contender to Jon Moxley’s US title.

TAIJI ISHIMORI: MAY 4th 2018-ACTIVE

Taiji Ishimori, also known as the ‘Bone Soldier’, returned to NJPW in 2018 after a short stint in Impact Wrestling. He is a former 2-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, along with winning the Junior Heavyweight tag titles along with ELP, and the NEVER Openweight tag titles.

TAMA TONGA: MAY 3rd 2013-ACTIVE & TANGA LOA: MARCH 12th 2016-ACTIVE

The other founding Bullet club member and current IWGP Tag team champion Tama Tonga joined NJPW in 2010. After an excursion to CMLL in 2012, Tama Tonga returned in 2013 and has since been the backbone of the group. Along with Tanga Loa, he has won the IWGP Tag team titles a record breaking 7 times, along with winning the NEVER weight 6-man tag titles 4 times. Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa won the World Tag League for the first time in 2020. They were also ranked number 6 in the top 50 tag teams in the PWI TAG TEAM 50 in that same year.

YUJIRO TAKAHASHI: MAY 3rd 2014-ACTIVE

After spending 2009-2014 in Chaos, Yujiro joined Bullet Club. His accomplishments in NJPW include winning the IWGP Junior tag team/ IWGP Tag team Championships along with Tetsuya Naito. He has also won the NEVER Openweight championship, along with the NEVER Openweight 6-Man tag titles with Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga.

In part 2 of the history of the Bullet Club, I will focus on the former members of the faction. To make sure you don’t miss out – subscribe to the One Stop Wrestling e-mail list today.

AUTHOR:  CRAIG SMITH
AUTHOR: CRAIG SMITH 

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @1Stop_Wrestling

Published by One Stop Wrestling

Wrestling fan

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