Tonga was a founding member of the now-famous group of foreign rebels in NJPW back in 2013, and was there when The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega made their first ventures into the stable. Over time, the future EVP's of AEW would grow in popularity to the point where they were able to operate solely on the back of their work as The Elite and not their association with the "Bullet Club."
It's been three years since AEW was formed and in an interview on the "All Real Wrestling Podcast," Tonga revealed that he has never received an offer from his former partners in The Elite.
"Not me, I didn't get any offer, but I think some other guys have gotten it, but not me. I'm happy where I'm at," Tama Tonga said. (H/T Fightful)
Despite not getting the call to jump ship over to AEW, the former IWGP tag team champion says there is no bad blood from either side.
"I don't have any ill will or animosity towards what they did. I always respect the hustle and the work that is put in. I have a lot of respect for them and what they did and are still doing. That's always. When they were in Bullet Club doing their thing, sometimes, with anything, people like to do it one way and you like to do it another way and sometimes you clash but you overcome and move forward," Tama Tonga added. (H/T Fightful)
Members of The Elite return to the AEW ring this week
While Kenny Omega sits on the shelf rehabbing multiple injuries, the other two members of The Elite will compete in their first match of 2022.
The Young Bucks will be in action on the January 21 edition of AEW Rampage. They take on the team of Trent and Rocky Romero a.k.a. "Roppongi Vice," a team that the Jacksons know very well from their time in the Bullet Club.
The Young Bucks and Roppongi Vice had multiple battles in NJPW over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships between 2015 and 2017, before Trent moved up to the heavyweight division and Romero took a break from the ring to become a manager.
The match will be the first time these two teams have squared off since July 2017. A lot has changed since then. All four men are much more experienced and in some cases a lot more dangerous. How will this match play out? Tune into Rampage to find out.