The Wrestling World owes a huge thank you to The Bullet Club
On May 23, 2014, Prince Devitt (Finn Balor in WWE) turned on his long-time tag team partner, Rsyuke Taguchi after the duo failed to capture the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship from The Time Splitters (Alex Shelly and Kushida).
Accompanied by his bouncer, Bad Luck Fale, Devitt would run rough shots over the entire New Japan roster. The duo would then be joined by Machine Gun, Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga, and they would call themselves the Bullet Club, with Devitt re-christening himself as ' The Real Rock N Rolla'.
Initially, a set-up for Devitt to move up to heavyweight and challenge the likes of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada. Bullet Club would become a worldwide phenomenon with the induction of superstars like Luke Gallows, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Adam Cole, AJ Styles, and Hangman Page.
It is safe to say that New Japan wouldn't have achieved the worldwide attention that it was it not for the Bullet Club. This group of gaijin superstars took over the Japanese promotion and made it the global brand that is today.
After the departure of AJ Styles in 2015, Kenny Omega would take over the reins of the stable and become its de-facto leader. Under Omega's leadership, the group would continue to grow and achieve unparalleled success. It was during this time that Omega and The Young Bucks formed a sub-group within The Bullet Club, called ' The Elite', and we all know the rest.
The genesis of All Elite Wrestling and the success and adulation that it has been getting can in part attributed to The Bullet Club. Kenny Omega was a recognized face in the Japanese circuit prior to joining Bullet Club. His work in the Japanese promotion, DDT was very well documented. But he truly became a main-event star when he was a part of 'Bullet Club'.
While we do believe that a performer of Omega's caliber would've eventually made a mark in the wrestling business, his association with The Bullet Club helped him garner traction within in the industry and helped mold him into the star that he is today, and the same goes for The Young Bucks.
Likewise, when Cody left WWE in 2016, he was just another ex-WWE trying to make it in the independent circuit. Joining the Bullet Club at the height of its popularity gave Cody the instant notoriety that he had craving for a long time, and The American Nightmare would go on to become one of the hottest stars in the independent circuit during his time with the infamous stable.
It's funny how sometimes things just fall in place one by one. The formation of Bullet Club as a renegade group of gaijin wrestlers to it becoming a pop culture phenomenon to the formation of The Elite, and now, AEW is a story unlike any other. If AEW does end up being what many believe it's going to be, the wrestling owes a huge amount of gratitude to the Bullet Club as, without it, none of this would've existed in the first place.