The Bullet Club’s origin dates back to 2013, formed by Finn Balor (then wrestling under the name Prince Devitt) along with Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, and Karl Anderson for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Luke Gallows and The Young Bucks would soon join them. A year later, Devitt left to pursue a career in NXT and would be replaced by AJ Styles.
Much like the nWo before it, The Bullet Club has had many versions, comprised of different leaders and members. But in the three years since it’s inception, it has managed to be one of the hottest acts in all of professional wrestling, a difficult feat considering it’s unfolded outside of the juggernaut that is the WWE. Styles was the first Bullet Club representative to emerge in the WWE, debuting at this year’s Royal Rumble and catapulting himself into a legitimate main-eventer.
Gallows and Anderson would soon follow, making their much-anticipated debuts this past April by attacking The Usos on RAW. Balor’s long-overdue promotion finally came at the WWE Draft and was followed-up with wins on the flagship show elevating him into a SummerSlam showdown with Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship later this month. The Bullet Club made their names elsewhere, and now the WWE has capitalized on their success.
Initially, Styles wanted to remain separate from Gallows and Anderson in WWE, but his heel turn on John Cena led to the formation of The Club, a not-so-subtle nod to their roots in Japan. But after two marquee matches in successive pay-per-views, Styles was drafted to Smackdown with Anderson and Gallows headed to RAW. Some argued that the split was premature, but the members of The Club simply proclaimed that it was expanding.
Karl Anderson was a recent guest on the Sam Roberts’ Wrestling Podcast to discuss the first few months of his WWE run and the impact The Club has had since their mainstream arrival. At the time, it was interesting that unlike Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries, and others, neither Anderson, Gallows or Styles were required to report to NXT before heading to the main roster. Anderson admitted that they all would have, but it just didn’t work out that way (Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription).
“It never came up in our contract negotiations and it was never something that we were against doing because I would have gladly [gone to NXT] if they wanted me to or needed me to. Whatever the WWE wanted me to do, I would have done because I felt like, if they’re going to give me this opportunity, I know that we can do it. I would have gone, man. It just never came up when they called and offered me my job, NXT was never an option.”
As noted, that was the option for Finn Balor. The Demon made his NXT debut in September of 2014, finally getting the call to WWE just last week. Anderson told Sam Roberts that his promotion was delayed because Triple H wanted to make sure something major was waiting for him on the main roster.
While Styles is on the blue brand (expected to continue a feud with John Cena), Balor is now on the same show as his former Bullet Club brothers, Anderson and Gallows. For the time being, Balor will focus on Rollins and the newly-minted WWE Universal Championship, while Gallows and Anderson target The New Day and the tag team championships.
If The Club is to be revived, it only makes sense for Balor, Anderson, and Gallows to form it on RAW. Anderson is anxious to work with Balor again, no matter what form it shakes out to be.
“If there’s an opportunity for [Bálor] to work with us, or I get a chance to work against him, which would be even sweeter, because we’ve got a lot of chemistry in the ring against each other. A lot of people don’t even know that with the Bullet Club stuff, but I can’t wait for him to get on the road with us.”
[Image via WWE]