On May 3rd of 2023 will be the tenth anniversary of the foundation of one of the most important factions in modern wrestling history, Bullet Club. It’s hard to imagine we are close to a decade of Bullet Club, for better and worse, but in that time, wrestling has evolved a lot since their creation and a good portion of that change can be traced back to Bullet Club.
There’s no doubt that Bullet Club were once one of the hottest acts in wrestling, and even the hottest act at one point, but a decade later and that’s not the case anymore. How did Bullet Club go from the hottest act in wrestling to one people just don’t care about anymore is something worth talking about. There are several factors to why this change on the perception of Bullet Club took place.
The first and obvious reason is longevity. To put it into context, the original run of the nWo in WCW only took place for around 5 years, and by the time of nWo’s third to fourth year fans were already tired of nWo going in circles and doing the same thing. Back to Bullet Club, a decade can be a long time for an act, and especially one with few changes to it like Bullet Club.
Bad booking decisions have also been a factor to people slowly not caring about Bullet Club. The missed opportunity of NJPW not taking advantage of the Bullet Club Civil War back in 2018 was a huge mistake, and not to mention the horrific run of House Torture under EVIL, Dick Togo and Jado. In general, NJPW played it too safe with Bullet Club and missed several opportunities to tell some interesting stories when the group was hot.
Another obvious factor is that other groups taking their role as heel, like United Empire, which actually feel like Bullet Club back when they were hot. Generally, the best foreign wrestler in the NJPW roster takes the role of Bullet Cub leader, and currently that’s Will Ospreay, current leader of United Empire. While NJPW and Bullet Club are in a transitional period with the faction since the departure of Jay White from NJPW.
The future of Bullet Club seems to be directed towards pushing David Finlay, which is an interesting choice for the role as leader of Bullet Club. You also have whatever is going on with Juice Robinson in AEW. Some think it’s time to put to rest Bullet Club, especially with other groups in NJPW also occupying the role of top heel faction in NJPW; but the truth is that Bullet Club shirts still sell like fresh bread in the morning so with that it makes no sense to end the group when is still a strong cash cow for NJPW.
The legacy of Bullet Club is remarkable considering they were a key factor to the formation of AEW, and the growth of the wrestling business outside of the WWE bubble. While the faction isn’t as hot as it once was, their legacy in wrestling as arguably a GOAT faction is unmatched.