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    Monday, May 9, 2022

    Cafe Puro: The Bullet Club Needs To Trim Down
















    Last Sunday New Japan Pro-Wrestling returned to its roots during their Wrestling Dontaku event.

    The show saw Bullet Club return in full blast with the arrivals of Jay White, Doc Gallows, and "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson after being stuck in the States. Luckily Japan is finally letting entertainers into the country, as a recent report showed that NJPW was working on acquiring working visas for their foreign talent.

    Now we know that some of those visas have already cleared when The Good Brothers aka Doc Gallows and Machine Gun (with gun sound effects) Karl Anderson attacked Tama Tonga after Tama won the NEVER Openweight Championship from EVIL.

    Anderson's attack on Tama continues the story that saw Jay White kick Tama out of the Club for defying him.


    Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Jado would find a new home as part of the Hontai or NJPW's Main Unit of good guys aka Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata, and Master Wato, among other familiar faces who are neither Bullet Club, Suzuki-Gun, LIJ, or United Empire.

    As excited as I was for the return of foreign talent there was something lingering in my head that needs to be addressed... BULLET CLUB IS TOO BIG!

    Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

    Japanese wrestling factions have always been known to have many members. As of this writing CHAOS has 14 members, while Bullet Club has 16. Now the difference isn't much but some of the members of CHAOS are more honorary than formal members, such as Sue Beretta aka Trent's Mom! So if we remove Sue Beretta, that gives CHAOS 13 members. Bullet Club has three more members and sadly there are a ton of redundancies.

    Let's compare the CHAOS roster to Bullet Club which currently includes the following along with their roles:

    CHAOS

    1. Kazuchika Okada - Leader/Ace
    2. Toru Yano - Comedic Foil
    3. Hirooki Goto - B Guy (too old to be the top guy but still a reliable hand)/tag specialist
    4. YOSHI-HASHI - Former Pin taker now tag specialist
    5. Robbie Eagles - Top Junior
    6. SHO - Junior
    7. Tomohiro Ishii - B Guy
    8. Rocky Romero - Manager who occasionally wrestles
    9. Chuck Taylor - US Tag Team
    10. Trent Beretta - US Tag Team
    11. Orange Cassidy - Comedic Foil for the US
    12. Kris Statlander - competes in AEW's Women's Division
    13. Sue Beretta - more honorary than formal member
    14. Mikey Nicholls - Occasional member

    Bullet Club

    1. Jay White - Leader/Ace
    2. KENTA - Gatekeeper to the Ace
    3. Karl Anderson - Tag Team/Mouthpiece
    4. Juice Robinson - It looks like Juice is already going to take the gatekeeper role that KENTA has
    5. Bad Luck Fale - Tag Team
    6. Chase Owens - Tag Team
    7. Doc Gallows - Tag Team
    8. Taiji Ishimori - Top Junior
    9. El Phantasmo - Another Junior
    10. Gedo - Manager
    11. Dick Togo - Manager
    12. EVIL - B Guy?
    13. YOH - Should be Top Junior seriously
    14. Yujiro Takahashi - Guy who occasionally wrestles
    15. Hikuleo - should be with his brothers in Hontai
    16. Chris Bey - US Junior 

    The BC simply has TOO. MANY. MEMBERS. Looking at this list we have several wrestlers who serve the same purpose. ELP, Ishimori, YOH and Bey are all juniors but you don't really need four Juniors when it's clear that Ishimori is the top Junior of the BC. Where does that leave YOH when he should be another one of the people contending for the Junior Heavyweight Belt? Three juniors are enough so that you have a singles competitor and a Junior tag team. Just look at CHAOS—Robbie Eagles is the clear-cut top Junior while SHO is rebuilding himself, and Rocky is the manager who occasionally wrestles and is no longer in title pictures as much.

    Know Your Role

    The roles of CHAOS members are clear but look at Bullet Club! 

    Chris Bey is just there as a member of the BC on IMPACT when he should be participating in the BOSJ tournament with current X-Division Champion Ace Austin.

    Sure YOH is already in the BOSJ but he doesn't need to be in Bullet Club while doing it. In fact the sub-unit of House of Torture is big enough to form its own stable.

    As of this writing House of Torture or H.O.T. has the following members:

    1. EVIL - Top guy
    2. Dick Togo - Manager
    3. YOH - Junior
    4. Yujiro Takahashi - Manager who occasionally wrestlers
    5. Gedo - Manager

    That's five members and that's big enough for a stable in most wrestling companies. Heck, you can even move KENTA to H.O.T. to give the group a proven main eventer if EVIL can't be their main event guy.

    Let's go even further and look at the United Empire which has the following members:

    1. Will Ospreay - Leader/Ace
    2. Great-O-Khan - Soon to be IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and Leader
    3. Jeff Cobb - Gatekeeper to the Ace
    4. Kyle Fletcher
    5. Mark Davis
    6. Francesco Akira
    7. TJP

    Wrestling stables don't have to be gigantic all the time when there are so many redundancies in roles.
    I really hope that we get a decrease in the number of BC members soon because the members we saw in Dontaku are more than enough to serve their purpose in the stable. I mean look at the photo. Do we REALLY need more members?

    The Good Brothers with Fale and Owens already serve the same purpose as Heavyweight Tag Teams. It's redundant! I can go on and on but I think I've ranted enough.

    Enough is Enough

    The Bullet Club has so many redundant members that they have become Aces & Eights. Gedo needs to start trimming down the numbers in Bullet Club so we can have more variety in the storytelling in NJPW. Enough is enough!

    What do you think of the number of members in Bullet Club? Are there too many? Are they just enough? Should Bullet Club end already? Share your thoughts below!

    Photo from NJPW

    *****

    Steven Tan (@steviesaidyup) works for an e-commerce company by day and operates The Geeky Juans podcast and blog by night. He's a fan of the Anaheim Ducks hockey team, comic books, and the Moomin franchise. You can find more of his geeky thoughts on Twitter.
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    Item Reviewed: Cafe Puro: The Bullet Club Needs To Trim Down Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Steven Maxwell Tan
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