Long time Bullet Club member Bad Luck Fale recently gave an interview to NJPW1972.com in which he lamented the changes the Bullet Club underwent whilst The Elite were members.
Bullet Club was founded in NJPW in 2013 when Fale, Tama Tonga and Karl Anderson joined with leader Fergal ‘Prince’ Devitt (Finn Balor) joined together as a villainous band of gaijin.
When Devitt left for WWE 11 months into the stable’s run, AJ Styles took over as leader and took the group to new heights of popularity and recognition outside of Japan.
After Styles’ own WWE departure, Kenny Omega took over as leader as the group and was soon joined in BC by Cody, The Young Bucks, Adam ‘Hangman’ Page and Marty Scurll.
During this ‘Elite’ era, the group’s fame skyrocketed to such an extent that it was almost unheard of to go to a wrestling event anywhere on the planet without seeing multiple Bullet Club t-shirts.
However, it seems Fale was not as enamoured with the new found positioning of the group. Of the new set-up he said:
“Yeah, I thought this was our chance to take what we had built and bring it to the States, bring it to the world. It got us a lot of notoriety, as a brand, but… No. It wasn’t taking what we had built overseas, it was taking Kenny and the Elite’s vision overseas. We weren’t wrestling the way we did, we were wrestling the way they did. It really felt like we were losing our identity.”
In 2018, The Elite officially split from the group and Jay White was installed as the new leader.
Whilst that may have cost the group an enormous part of their global spotlight, Fale felt it took them back to their roots and enabled them to reconnect with their original fans. From a merchandising perspective, it meant the group took a hit but Fale felt that this, ultimately, was for the good of the brand:
“Doing that, it brought some of our fans back. People that were fans of AJ and Karl that had gone away because the style had changed under Kenny.”