Hiroshi Tanahashi Calls New Japan Faction The Most Important Of The Last 20 Years

Hiroshi Tanahashi may be "The Ace of New Japan Pro-Wrestling," but the NJPW star isn't afraid to give credit elsewhere when it's due. In an interview with the company's official website ahead of Wrestle Kingdom 17, Tanahashi credited the infamous Bullet Club for having a monumental amount of influence across the globe.

"That was the core four, Devitt, Fale, Anderson and Tama Tonga," Tanahashi said. "I think from there it's no exaggeration to say that Bullet Club is the most important faction of the last twenty years at least. Wherever you go overseas you still see fans in Bullet Club shirts, and all those people in the top slot over the years, [Prince] Devitt to AJ [Styles] to Kenny Omega to Jay White are really best of the best."

Founded in 2013 by Devitt (AKA Finn Balor), Tama Tonga, Karl Anderson, and Bad Luck Fale, Bullet Club is still running strong today. One of the running themes of the faction is betrayal, with new leaders inevitably pushing the old guard aside in a bid for control. Today, Bullet Club is led by "Switchblade" Jay White and, in addition to Tonga and Fale, features Gedo, Evil, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, and more.

Along with the wide prevalence of Bullet Club shirts in wrestling crowds around the world, the faction has even made its way in some form to WWE. Former Bullet Club leader AJ Styles currently heads up a group known as the O.C., or Original Club, featuring fellow Bullet Club alumni Luke Gallows and Anderson. Anderson, who still currently holds the IWGP NEVER Openweight Championship despite his status in WWE, is scheduled to appear alongside Gallows at Wrestle Kingdom 17, and the official Bullet Club status of the duo is still up in the air.