The History Of Bullet Club Part 6. Bullet Club has become one of the most known stables within professional wrestling. You can watch any major promotion and see a Bullet Club t-shirt being worn in the crowd, proving how popular this all-heel faction truly is within the wrestling community. Bullet Club was started in 2013 within the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion.
Since then, the club has had five leaders, leading up to a brand-new leader in 2020 after the New Japan Cup 2020 Final. Over seven parts, we are going to explore the history of Bullet Club and the different leaders who have held the reigns of this now historical faction. This week we dive back into the current leadership of Bullet Club and how the era of EVIL came about. This is the History of Bullet Club Part 6.
The History Of Bullet Club Part 6
The Switchblade Era Continues
After the 2019 G1 Climax, Bullet Club was full to the brim of talented new members after the additions of KENTA and El Phantasmo.
During the later part of that year, the faction continued to showcase their dominance with KENTA defeating Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship during the Royal Quest show. In September, it seems as if the luck was continuing after leader Jay White defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in the main event of the Destruction in Kobe event.
Unfortunately, something seemed to change at the start of 2020, and the once-dominant Bullet Club faction seemed to have hit a stumbling block, especially during Wrestle Kingdom 14. During this event, the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) lost their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Championships to Juice Robinson and David Finlay. In addition, Ishimori and Phantasmo lost the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles to Roppongi 3K. If that wasn’t enough, Jay White also lost his IWGP Intercontinental title to Naito while Hirooki Goto beat KENTA for the NEVER title.
This luck seemed to have continued in the wrong direction after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. With most of Bullet Club stuck in different countries, the faction was left to depend on their Japanese members.
It was time for something new. Or someone.
Although the faction still had the likes of Taiji Ishimori in Japan, it was definitely struggling in the Heavyweight department, and that was evident during the New Japan Cup 2020. With only the likes of Yujiro Takahashi, Gedo, Jado, and Ishimori, it wasn’t enough to gain control of the company. However, something changed after the final of the New Japan Cup.
After years in the company, EVIL finally managed to win the New Japan Cup for the first time. However, fans worldwide were shocked after the final when he turned on fellow Los Ingobernables de Japon member Tetsuya Naito. If that wasn’t enough, a new pareja in veteran wrestler Dick Togo came to help this heel turn be complete before EVIL announced himself as the newest member of Bullet Club.
For many, this was shocking. Since its creation, LIJ had been one of the premier factions and prided itself on being strong and inseparable. However, this definitely created an air of uncertainty in the company during a time where the world was as uncertain as ever.
It was time for a brief change of leadership.
With Jay White unable to compete due to the pandemic, EVIL cemented himself as the temporary leader of the faction. For many, it was unthinkable to have a Japanese leader for a group that was formed by gaijins who wanted to rebel against the New Japan system.
It seemed as if, with the new additions, Bullet Club was finally beginning to find its feet again. With the creation of New Japan Strong in America, for those unable to travel due to the pandemic, the faction was beginning to take over both shows and emphasizing why they were, at one point, a dominant faction.
In August 2020, KENTA defeated David Finlay to win the first-ever New Japan Cup USA. At Summer Struggle in Jingu on August 29, 2020, Ishimori would bring back the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship by beating Hiromu Takahashi. Although EVIL lost the Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles back to Naito, things were starting to change.
The History Of Bullet Club Part 6 – It was time to bring the faction back together!
After months away from Japan, Jay White and KENTA returned to New Japan to compete alongside EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi in the annual G1 Climax 30. As soon as Jay stepped back into the company, many fans felt a stroke of deja vu as the issue of having two leaders began to show. Yet, as both men were in two different the other, there were no real issues on show during the tournament. Both White (in block A) and Evil (in block B) came close to winning their respective blocks with scores of 12 but were ultimately unsuccessful.
Yet, that didn’t stop the faction from continuing their attempt at New Japan dominance. On November 7 at Power Struggle, Kenta defended his New Japan Cup USA-earned IWGP United States Championship challenge rights certificate. Jay White also defeated G1 Climax winner Kota Ibushi to win Ibushi’s IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships challenge rights certificate for Wrestle Kingdom 15.
This was particularly significant because it was the first time in the tournament’s history that the winner failed to defend their challenge rights certificate successfully. Yet, it wasn’t all positive as Evil failed to defeat Naito to regain the Heavyweight and Intercontinental title.
With 2020 coming to an end, there was a lot for the faction to be excited about and look forward to. However, it wasn’t going to be an easy year and was full of twists, turns, and a lot of drama.
All images and videos courtesy of New Japan Pro Wrestling and Bullet Club