If you’re not aware by now, there is quite a lot of news regarding WWE and NJPW. While none of them have come over to the company just yet, WWE has managed to speak with AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Shinsuke Nakamura. While none of them have signed just yet, the plan for them to do so is quite high. In fact, many believe AJ Styles might even show up at the Royal Rumble.
Clearly, The Bullet Club have made an impact in NJPW and have been the act for them, and they have received worldwide press. Everyone seems to love them, and the group has become almost a household name among wrestling fans. WWE is trying to get in three of the top members of the group. One former member, Finn Balor, is with WWE right now and could pair up with his former friends.
It appeared that WWE was all for trying to use the Balor Club name. Now it looks like they will be going with The Bullet Club franchise. According to Pro Wrestling Tees, the leading merchandise seller for Bullet Club material, WWE has bought the license for the name. While they very well could have simply bought the name in America, they could have paid a hefty sum to NJPW for the license.
This is what PWTees told a fan regarding the merch on Instagram.
It can clearly be seen that PWtees now can no longer go with the name, so they appear to be going with the new name that NJPW or the group members most likely sent their way recently.
It appears that NJPW is now going with “The Elite” as the new name of the remaining Bullet Club members. Of course, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson seem to be leaving, which leaves new leader Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks as the three major members left. While the group could still make waves in the pro-wrestling scene, there is a lot of doubt by some fans that they can have the same impact The Bullet Club has.
WWE must have just bought the name of The Bullet Club recently, as WWE seemed to be really pushing The Balor Club name. Even the club told Balor to keep some of the Balor Club T-shirts for them.
NJPW can easily write out Anderson and Gallows soon, and the name change is also a good plan anyway, due to the fresh look the group will have with Omega as the new leader. AJ Styles and Finn Balor could potentially be seen fighting over the group in WWE, and it could make for some great television.
WWE has enjoyed doing the faction idea. They like the gang warfare ideology that worked very well in the Attitude Era. With so many groups popping up in WWE, they clearly need a big new group to add that would be huge for them. With The Bullet Club already a well-known name around the world, they could sell a ton of merchandise under their banner.
WWE now seems to own a huge name that can make a lot of waves in not just America, but around the world. Now that they own such a huge name, could we see them debut the group at a major event such as the Royal Rumble or even on a random WWE RAW episode? With WWE obviously wanting to push Finn Balor the moment he arrives at the main roster, it might benefit him to come up with his Bullet Club partners.
Imagine if he came up with them right before WrestleMania 32. Balor could instantly be a legit threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. In New Japan, he won three IWGP Junior Heavyweight Titles and has the second-longest total reign in the history of the title. All of this due to his affiliation with The Bullet Club. Such things could be seen again in WWE, which would make a lot of fans happy and could drive up ratings.
WWE Superstars and Divas seem to be commenting a lot on the NJPW stars coming in. So now we are just waiting on them with a lot of anticipation.
Update: While NJPW apparently still owns the name, they are still going with The Elite name in merchandise. Bullet Club material does seem to be up on the site still. However, NJPW going with the Elite name is still a bit weird to see. WWE could be attempting to buy the name domestically, but we will have to wait and see. Balor and others can be seen wearing the shirt on social media to promote the name, so it does seem to be that WWE does want it if they can get it. The trademark area on the name is also not filled out, which is normally an indication for change.
[Image via NJPW]