When it comes to the world of pro-wrestling, keeping a secret can be quite difficult. Many like to give things away, get paid to deliver news in any way they can, or some simply are overheard talking about something. How the news gets out is various, but the fact is that it does get out and WWE is ticked off whenever this happens. As you may have heard, WWE is close to bringing in four major players out of New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Bullet Club members AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, and Karl Anderson have all reportedly spoken with WWE about coming in. In addition to the three major Bullet Club members, WWE has also spoken with Shinsuke Nakamura, a NJPW and Japanese wrestling god of sorts. Nakamura has been a top name in Japan for over a decade, and it should come as no surprise that WWE had an interest in him even in his older age.
WWE has decided to reportedly offer big money deals to Styles and Nakamura, which means that while they may work down in WWE NXT to start with, they won’t be working there for very long. WWE simply has too much invested in them to have them work there for long. WWE really did want all four to be a big surprise however, but when news got out this kind of ruined such a thing.
According to The Wrestling Observer, WWE was really ticked off about the news getting out about the NJPW performers coming in. WWE was apparently wanting some of them to be part of the Royal Rumble match in a few weeks. AJ Styles had been removed from all Ring of Honor advertisements that he was set for, and said his goodbyes to the NJPW audience this past week after he was “fired” from the Bullet Club. This meant AJ Styles easily could have been a surprise entrant in the match.
In a surprise to many fans, WWE.com did a report on the “rumors” of the NJPW four coming in. This pretty much confirmed all of the rumors regarding the four jumping to WWE, as the company NEVER responds to rumors on potential talent coming in.
The Bullet Club is a NJPW property, meaning they own and operate the name and all it provides. This is why seeing WWE mention them above all others was surprising. WWE kept the entire report kayfabe, which fans loved to see, and even NJPW had to bow its head at the company doing so. However, due to the fact that NJPW owns the name to the Bullet Club, WWE cannot use this name. NJPW and WWE are said to not be in any kind of working relationship, so there is NO invasion angle of any kind going on with this.
WWE may end up going with the Balor Club idea for some of the people coming in, however. WWE may also have the former BC members team up to become a force on the WWE roster as a big new faction. However, this will not be an invasion of any kind as it is only four men against an entire roster of WWE Superstars. It can also be assumed that Nakamura won’t be working with the others.
In an interesting news bit, WWE may be running into a bit of an issue when it comes to signing some of the guys. PWInsider reports that, while both Styles and Gallows are no longer under contract and can speak with WWE about a contract at any time, both Nakamura and Anderson are still under contract with NJPW.
This means they cannot even negotiate with WWE due to the way their deal is structured. WWE very well could have spoken through someone like AJ or Doc when it comes to speaking with Anderson while something similar could have occurred with Nakamura. So WWE may have found a “creative” way around the contract lingo. This happens all the time in the world of sports, so it is not surprising.
WWE has not signed any of the four at this point, and even when they do plan to do so, they will all have to take the standard WWE physical and medical testing before they can be signed to a full deal. If they do not pass the testing, WWE will not hire them. This may seem like a worrisome thing for someone like AJ Styles, who has been working for a very long time. But since he does not have a major history of concussions for example, he may not have an issue passing despite a lot of wear and tear on his body.
While people such as AJ Styles could be in WWE before the end of the month, we may not see people like Shinsuke Nakamura until the end of Feb. Could this allow WWE to have both men perform at WrestleMania 32 at a time when they need stars more than ever for the biggest event of the wrestling year? It seems likely.
[Image via WWE.com]