AJ Styles debuted in WWE by making a huge and immediate impact at the Royal Rumble earlier this year. Styles continued to rise up the card and once he found himself in contention for the WWE Championship, the long awaited rumors were proven correct when Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson joined AJ at the beginning of May. The group identified themselves as The Club, and Gallows and Anderson showed they were as big impact players as AJ in short time, assisting him in his feud against The Bloodline.
The Club already seems to have broken up as a trio with Gallows and Anderson turning on AJ, but those two will probably continue as a tag team throughout the unforeseeable future. The group also has far more history than just a few weeks, as WWE is often alluding to, but not completely explaining. There are also a great deal of facts about The Club WWE is actively ignoring, and probably hoping that fans have forgotten. Our duty is to make sure fans never forget, so in lieu of the group’s apparent break-up we’re going to look back and talk about 15 things WWE don’t want you to know about The Club.
15 Gallows Was The Impostor Kane
14 Gallows Was Involved In A NSFW Incident With Bill DeMott
13 Gallows Was Festus
12 Gallows Was In The Straight Edge Society
11 Gallows Was Once Trapped In Nigeria
10 Gallows Was D.O.C. In TNA
Luke Gallows has had far too many bad gimmicks for such a talented wrestler, and it wasn’t just in WWE that he was struggling to be seen for the talent he is. Gallows debuted in Total Nonstop Action in late 2012 as a member of the much-maligned Aces & Eights stable. In the group, Gallows was known as D.O.C., or the Director of Chaos. Although Aces & Eights were a major focus of TNA storylines for the better part of two years, D.O.C. never actually made that much of an impact on that story. The biggest problem with the group is generally considered how bloated and directionless they were, with endless new surprise leaders that made virtually no sense in the first place. Despite a big debut that had D.O.C. teaming with D-Von Dudley in a main event match against Sting and Kurt Angle. He and D-Von lost, but the caliber of their opponents implied it may have finally been time for Gallows to be taken seriously in the wrestling world. Alas, it was not to be, as he only lasted a few months in TNA and mostly participated in losing efforts tag team matches and battle royales. Gallows finally started to get respected in Japan, but not until he met a seasoned tag team veteran to become his partner…
9 Anderson's Original Partner Was Albert
8 The Original Bullet Club
7 Anderson Is The Only Original Member
Now that we’re in the clear about The Club actually being The Bullet Club, it’s worth pointing out that out of the three members who wrestled under the name in WWE, only one of them is actually an original member. The Bullet Club formed in May of 2013 when Prince Devitt turned on his partner Ryusuke Taguchi and joined with fellow non-Japanese wrestlers Karl Anderson, Bad Luck Fale, and Tama Tonga. Gallows joined the group in November of that year immediately after signing with the company, and started his famous association with Anderson as a tag team by winning that year’s World Tag League tournament. They remained the foundation of The Bullet Club until jumping to WWE in 2016. Devitt lead the group for nearly its first year, while Fale and Tonga actually remain in the group to this day. Another way in which The Bullet Club, and The Club, are arguably the nWo of their era is the huge and fluid roster of wrestlers that move in and out of the group throughout it’s existence. As The Club goes international, many fans are hoping that previous members join the new iterations, and no doubt Japanese fans are waiting in anticipation for the day when someone inevitably jumps back to the original Club.
6 The Bálor Club
5 AJ Joined The Group By Usurping Leadership
4 They've All Held Major Titles
2/3 of The Club is arguably too new to WWE to have earned any championship success, and the other third was forced to suffer through gimmicks that could never gain any titles regardless of the length of their tenure. However, all three members have held a seemingly endless number of titles in Japan and around the world. Gallows and Anderson held the IWGP Tag Team championship three times, and Anderson held the title an additional time with Giant Bernard. Styles is a 2-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, in addition to holding dozens of singles and tag team titles during his time in Total Nonstop Action. While competing for TNA, AJ was actually the first wrestler to win the Triple Crown or Grand Slam Championships, and is actually the only wrestler to have actually won every single title in company history when considering the split between the NWA and TNA World Championships. He has also won major titles in PWG, FWE, ROH, WWA, and RPW. On top of their title success in the wrestling world, they’ve also received unprecedented fan support as a unit, winning countless Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards. It’s probably just a matter of time before The Club start racking up titles in WWE, but their past success is far behind them.
3 The Bullet Club Still Exists In Japan
One confusing aspect of The Club existing in WWE is that The Bullet Club still exists in Japan. Although the WWE version contains some of the most important members and their name stands as a winking reference that makes it feel like the original might be gone, The Bullet Club continue to play a major role in all of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s storylines. These days, the group is lead by Kenny Omega, as long time members like The Young Bucks and Bad Luck Fale join him and newer members like Adam Cole alike. The Bullet Club remain quite possibly the most dominant and noteworthy group in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling, but regardless of what they or WWE do with their Clubs, neither side will bring the other one up on television. The Bullet Club will, however, likely to continue in a cross-promotional manner across various independent promotions in the United States including Ring of Honor and Mexican promotions like CMLL. Through their association with CMLL, there is actually a second Bullet Club offshoot known as Bullet Club Latinoamerica. El Terrible and Mephisto are the highlights of that group, having won the CMLL World Heavyweight and Mexican Heavyweight titles respectively.
2 Anderson Is A Successful Solo Wrestler
1 They Signed The Same Day As Shinsuke Nakamura
While The Club made it clear straight from the beginning they were entering WWE as a unit, fans might not realize there was actually a fourth superstar who announced his signing with WWE the exact same day as they did. Shinsuke Nakamura, like The Club, was a huge star in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and all four announced their resignation from that company and decision to sign with WWE on the same day. In fact, earlier that very day, Nakamura and Styles had wrestled in an instant classic match at Wrestling Kingdom 10. Nakamura was IWGP Intercontinental Champion at the time, but returned the title in exchange for a clean break from the company and a chance to shine in WWE. Since they’ve all signed on the same day, the WWE Universe has been begging for a chance to see Nakamura get another chance to lock up with Styles—or any member of The Club for that matter. Nakamura is currently one of the major selling points of NXT, and though he has only wrestled a handful of classics, he’s already proved himself as one of the most charismatic and individualistic superstars in wrestling history, so perhaps WWE should simply speed things up on this matter and give the fans what they want instead of having Nakamura effortlessly steal the show against audiences with less than 500 people in them.
Sources: http://www.rollingstone.com; www.cagesideseats.com
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