The Bullet Club might be the most important faction in wrestling over the past 25 years, even though it never appeared in the WWE.
The Bullet Club were founded by Prince Devitt (Finn Balor in WWE) in New Japan Pro Wrestling, as the top heel faction in the company. Adding stars later on like Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and more, the group became one of the biggest stables since the NWO, in WCW.
The group has been likened to the NWO in many ways. They co-opted the “Too Sweet” gesture from the group, although that originated from The Kliq in WWE. They also had a black and white colour scheme, clearly inspired by the Hulk Hogan-led faction.
Bullet Club also led the wrestling world in T-Shirt sales. Despite not being available to buy there, their classic shirts were seen all over WWE events, leaving Vince McMahon to ponder who they were and even trying to buy the Bullet Club.
He did seem to get his wish, in a roundabout way. WWE signed multiple Bullet Club members, including their founder and two of their leaders. They could add a third in the coming months, so keep an ear out to hear on Atletifo for more Bullet Club WWE news.
Bullet Club In WWE
Bullet Club was started by Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) in 2013, when he betrayed his long-time partner Ryusuke Taguchi to team up with Karl Anderson, Tama Tonga and Bad Luke Fale. They formed a stable of villainous foreigners (or Gaijin) who eventually went by the name Bullet Club.
Finn Balor left the club in 2015, when he would sign for the WWE as one of the biggest signings of all time. He debuted for their NXT brand, instantly becoming a huge success in the company.
The Irishman impressed in NXT, winning the NXT Championship twice in an incredible feud against Samoa Joe. He returned to the brand during the pandemic era, winning a third and final belt there as a heel.
During this time, he released a t-shirt which was very similar to the classic Bullet Club design. However, it said Balor Club on the front, differing it from the NJPW-exclusive one. This was very popular, although no Balor Club ever came to fruition in the WWE.
AJ Styles is one of the best signings WWE ever made, when they tempted him away from the Bullet Club and NJPW when he penned a deal with the company in 2016.
AJ Styles was ousted as Bullet Club leader before joining WWE, being attacked by Kenny Omega on his way out. He soon made an unforgettable WWE debut, being a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble and facing off with WWE Champion Roman Reigns inside the ring.
Since leaving Bullet Club for WWE, AJ Styles has crafted himself a main-event career in the company. He is a two-time WWE Champion, holding the belt for almost a year in one of his reigns.
AJ Styles has become a constant main-eventer in the company, having huge feuds with the likes of John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar, to name but a few.
He is by far the most successful Bullet Club leader who left for the WWE, and will surely be inducted into the WWE Hall of Famer once his career is done.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Also known as The Club in the WWE, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were part of a wave of signings in WWE in 2016. They joined the aforementioned AJ Styles, as well as Shinsuke Nakamura, in jumping ship from NJPW to WWE in January 2016.
The group are former tag team champions in WWE and formed a group with AJ Styles on multiple occasions, referencing their past together in Bullet Club in years gone by.
The pair were released in 2020 due to the global pandemic. They signed for AEW and returned to NJPW, but re-signed with the WWE in 2022 once Triple H took over control of the company.
While it wasn’t a defining part of his personality, the Bullet Club helped Cody Rhodes to reinvent himself before his big return to the WWE.
After leaving the company in 2016, he wrestled all over the world, including in TNA, ROH and NJPW. He went to Japan in late 2016 and immediately joined the Bullet Club and their spin-off faction, The Elite.
The team helped to form AEW in 2019, and Rhodes was a huge part of that. He was the first TNT Champion in the company, but for many reasons never won the AEW Championship.
He returned to the WWE in 2022, answering Seth Rollins open challenge at WrestleMania 38. Rhodes then won the 2023 Royal Rumble match, earning a WrestleMania 39 main event match against World Champion Roman Reigns.
Cody Rhodes is so far the first WWE talent to leave, join Bullet Club and then come back (unless you count AJ Styles short spell with WCW, which WWE bought soon after)
Former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White recently left NJPW, ending years in the company as one of the top stars in Japan.
The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion recently losts two “Loser Leaves” matches, falling to both Hikuleo and Eddie Kingston in seperate New Japan shows.
Some claim Jay White is signing for WWE, debuting possibly at Wrestlemania in a similar fashion to Cody Rhodes in 2022.
He is a fantastic wrestler and a great character, as well as having some of the top promo skills in the world. He would be a huge get for the WWE and would be put into the main event of the show as soon as he signed for the company.
According to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, WWE is “certainly the favorite” to sign Jay White, using the logic that he would be able to wrestle for New Japan if he joined AEW and therefore would not have needed to lose any “Loser Leaves Japan” matches.
“Nobody in WWE has confirmed Jay White coming in, but they are certainly the favorite. One would think if White was going to AEW, he’d be able to work big shows with New Japan and would continue to do so, but they wouldn’t do the loser leaves for good stipulation.”
If he does join, Jay White will be the third Bullet Club leader to sign for the WWE. He will join Finn Balor and AJ Styles, which could lead to a huge feud between the three men, referencing their history in Japan.
Who is your favourite former Bullet Club member in WWE? let us know what you think down below in the comments, or read about Jay White’s best matches in NJPW, to get read for his WWE debut.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.