These Big-Time Wrestlers Have All Been Members Of NJPW's Bullet Club

The intricate web of the modern professional wrestling world covers the globe, stretches across languages and cultures, and extends from low-lit gymnasiums in the U.S. heartland to the halls of the Tokyo Dome in Japan. And perhaps no part of it is untouched by New Japan Pro-Wrestling's most famous faction, Bullet Club.


Since Prince Devitt first turned on his former tag team partner, Ryusuke Taguchi, in 2013 and joined forces with Karl Anderson, Bad Luck Fale, and Tama Tonga, professional wrestling has never been the same. The villainous Bullet Club faction has conquered NJPW time and time again, at points holding every title the company has to offer, and many of its members have splintered off to become pillars in other major companies around the world, including WWE and AEW.

Bullet Club was "born from a desire for unhinged greatness, worldwide recognition, and ultimately personal power," according to NJPW announcer Kevin Kelly, and it has simultaneously paid homage to pro wrestling's past while carving its path into the future. The faction has undeniably bolstered the industry's health and popularity. From the twists and turns of its dramatic storylines drawing a worldwide fan base to Japanese wrestling, to the booming popularity of its bone skull t-shirts sweeping every promotion, to the eventual formation of AEW, its impact is felt almost everywhere in pro wrestling. Its members continue to top rosters in nearly every major promotion. Here are some of the biggest names to ever throw up the "too sweet" sign and swear allegiance to Bullet Club.


Finn Bálor

Balor is the bullet that started it all. Known as Prince Devitt during his days in NJPW, Balor formed Bullet Club after blowing up his relationship with longtime Apollo 55 tag team partner Taguchi, turning on him and joining forces with Anderson, Fale, and Tonga in 2013. 


"Really, the four original members are best pals and travel together in Japan anyway, so it made sense," Balor told Culture Crossfire. "The name again was my idea. I had been using the 'Real Shooter' and pistol sign, and then of course 'Machine Gun' [Anderson] had his thing, so I wanted to tie them together."

Balor's Bullet Club ran roughshod over NJPW for a year as the Irish wrestling star began catching the attention of fans and promoters around the world. But Balor never obtained the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, NJPW's top gold, despite the destruction Bullet Club left in its wake. At Invasion Attack 2014, he was kicked out of the group the same night AJ Styles debuted and was introduced as Bullet Club's new leader. 


The infamous angle laid the foundation for Bullet Club's carousel of backstabbing, shocking member reveals, and perhaps most importantly, its storytelling device of introducing new top stars. Balor has carried on both his momentum and Bullet Club's legacy. To this day, he continues to flash the group's "too sweet" hand gesture with fellow OG members Anderson and Doc Gallows in WWE while building a legacy of his own by becoming WWE Universal Champion.

AJ Styles

While Balor pulled the initial trigger that sent Bullet Club's trajectory shooting toward the top of professional wrestling, Styles' tumultuous tenure as the group's leader was what launched the faction into its heyday in the mid-to-late 2010s. Styles' introduction not only solidified Bullet Club's long history of its members staging coups in order to replace its leaders, but it also set the stage for in-fighting and paranoia among the stable.


Styles would win two IWGP Heavyweight Championships as Bullet Club's leader and gained notoriety around the world for impressive matches with the likes of Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kota Ibushi, among others. When Styles captured the IWGP Heavyweight title a second time while the promotion's heavyweight and junior tag team titles also were in the hands of Bullet Club members, Anderson stood in the NJPW ring to proclaim that Bullet Club was "the greatest faction in professional wrestling in the last 20 years." 

While that was hard to argue given the group's soaring popularity and championships, it also meant other major promotions would once again come knocking at its leader's door. Styles would soon drop his title to Bullet Club's biggest individual rival, Okada, and jump ship to WWE, clearing the way for another leader to take charge and keeping the turnstile at the top spinning.


Kenny Omega

After Styles followed Balor's path from NJPW to WWE, Kenny Omega would soon rise to the top of Bullet Club's food chain. Omega's time as Bullet Club's leader cemented the group as not only being a vehicle for dramatic storytelling, but also for being comprised of the top performers in the world. No other wrestlers in history have had more matches rated five stars by The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer than Omega and longtime rival Okada. The two men would repeatedly square off on NJPW's biggest stages while "The Cleaner" led Bullet Club. After Omega delivered a One-Winged Angel to Styles and claimed the Bullet Club throne, the Canadian star would go on a hot streak, racking up accolade after accolade in NJPW. 


In 2016, Omega became the first non-Japanese wrestler to win the prestigious G1 Climax tournament and captured the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. But Omega's conflicting allegiances to Ibushi, his former Golden Lovers tag partner, and The Young Bucks' Matt and Nick Jackson, would stand at the center of a tug-of-war over Bullet Club's leadership following the NJPW debut of Cody Rhodes. The pressure Rhodes placed on Omega to set aside good will and friendship in pursuit of reclaiming NJPW's IWGP Heavyweight Title would fracture the group and ultimately lead to original member Tonga siphoning off half the faction into Bullet Club's new "Firing Squad," which aimed to bring the group back to its destructive heel roots.


Cody Rhodes

Rhodes' debut in NJPW was one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Often dressed in business attire, business is exactly what Rhodes came to NJPW to take care of. He immediately aligned himself with Omega and The Young Bucks in Bullet Club and made his intentions clear in aiming for the promotion's top prize, even if it meant being at odds with the group's leader, Omega. Rhodes' debut marked a unique point in Bullet Club's history, as a former WWE star had invaded NJPW for the first time, and it also proved the catalyst for Bullet Club's family tree to begin breaking off into sub-groups. 


Despite a constant intra-faction rivalry with Omega that eventually spilled over into the ring, Rhodes wound up joining forces with Omega and The Young Bucks on-screen and backstage as "The Elite." This version of Bullet Club wouldn't settle for just NJPW's top prize. On the heels of Bullet Club's ballooning popularity in the years preceding it, The Elite aimed to take over pro wrestling, forming the building blocks for what would become AEW. The four men would leave NJPW, recruit the likes of superstar Chris Jericho and wealthy wrestling fan Tony Khan, and in 2019 started what would soon become one of the top promotions in the world and WWE's first legitimate competitor in decades.

The Young Bucks

If success in pro wrestling is measured by winning titles, then The Young Bucks' Matt and Nick Jackson might be the most successful members in Bullet Club's decorated history. The Young Bucks have not only won 11 tag titles throughout their NJPW career, but they have also had four five-star matches and helped bring Bullet Club's iconic bone skull t-shirts to stores around the world, making the faction the hottest group in pro wrestling in decades. 


"The reason the Bullet Club became so popular is because a lot of that [18-to-30-year-old] demographic grew up watching the nWo, and we're very similar to that act. I feel like we've gotten a lot of that fan base because of it," Matt Jackson told CBS, via TJR Wrestling.

While Styles, Omega, and Rhodes all came and went, fighting over Bullet Club's leadership, The Young Bucks were two of the group's longest-tenured members. They're also perhaps the wrestlers most associated with Bullet Club because of their role in the faction's merchandise sales and the fact that they are at the center of Bullet Club offshoots The Elite and AEW. Still today the Jackson brothers are aligned with Omega as the AEW's World Trios Champions and still throw up the "too sweet" gesture each week on "Dynamite."


The Club

While The Young Bucks are the most popular tag team in Bullet Club's history, Anderson and Gallows are the faction's most dominant and feared duo. The pair stood tall in NJPW as members of Bullet Club, holding the IWGP Tag Team Championship three times before moving on to WWE, where they'd continue to find success as two-time WWE "Raw" Tag Team Champions. 


While The Young Bucks continued their friendship with Omega across the landscapes of ROH and AEW, Anderson and Gallows, aka The Club, remained closely connected with Styles and followed him to WWE, where the trio continues to reference their days in Bullet Club together.

Despite the fabled "forbidden door" standing between WWE and NJPW, Anderson recently held NJPW's NEVER Openweight Championship while under contract with WWE, holding open some sliver of possibility that The Club's days as members of Bullet Club might not be finished.

Adam Cole

Around 2016, Bullet Club began to capitalize on its global traction and the group started to pop up in other promotions around the world. While some appearances would make for one-off cameos, memberships such as Adam Cole's made for new envoy-type scenarios in which Bullet Club would be represented full-time in partner promotions outside NJPW. Mainly, Cole waved Bullet Club's flag in Ring of Honor, where he was simultaneously a member of the villainous Japanese faction and the top guy in ROH as the ROH World Champion. The unique link between companies gave nod to Bullet Club's international members' ties to other brands around the world, such as The Young Bucks' long history with ROH. 


Together, Cole and The Young Bucks formed Superkliq, another offshoot of Bullet Club that shared all the flare, pomp, and attitude the faction became known for over the years in Japan, not to mention the titles to back up their puffed-up personalities. Cole represented Bullet Club when he won the ROH World Title an unprecedented third time at WrestleKingdom 11, but dissension with Omega and The Young Bucks soon followed. At the center of it all again was each man's drive to lead the group. The Jacksons kicked Cole out of Bullet Club but ultimately mended fences when their former friend reunited with them and Omega in AEW as a member of The Elite.

Adam Page

While Omega and The Young Bucks led Bullet Club storylines in NJPW, future AEW World Champion Adam Page would make a name for himself when he joined the group's United States faction. Page's villainous actions during that time would earn him the nickname "Hangman" when he and The Young Bucks hanged Chris Sabin from the ring ropes following an ROH War of the Worlds main event, establishing a brutality not seen since the early days of Bullet Club when Balor would perform finger-gun "executions" on wrestlers he laid waste to in the ring. 


Page would continue to represent Bullet Club in ROH, teaming on-and-off with The Young Bucks, original member Tonga and his partner Tanga Loa, and often coming to the aid of one-time Bullet Club member Marty Scurll. Page ultimately turned babyface near the end of his ROH run and rekindled an on-again, off-again friendship with The Young Bucks and The Elite in NJPW and once he joined AEW in late 2019.

Jeff Jarrett

Bullet Club has found ways to recruit members from all over the world and many different promotions, and sometimes the group has even found ways to pique the interest of top stars from past generations. Take two-time hall of famer Jeff Jarrett, for example. The wrestler-turned-promoter joined Bullet Club for a brief period after his Global Force Wrestling company had inked a deal with NJPW to create a working partnership. 


At the 2014 G1 Climax tournament, Jarrett made his presence known when he turned heel and attacked Tanahashi shortly after signing the NJPW-GFW deal in the ring earlier that night. But what made headlines was that when Jarrett pulled out his infamous guitar, it was revealed to have "BULLET CLUB" written on the back of it before he smashed it over Tanahashi's head, signaling another major recruitment for the Japanese faction. Jarrett's tenure with Bullet Club didn't amount to much beyond a few guitar shots when he'd run interference for Bullet Club leader Styles, but it would solidify the group as the top faction in pro wrestling.

Jay White and What's Next for Bullet Club

Although Devitt, Styles, and Omega may have made bigger waves during their turns as Bullet Club's leader, the group's fourth and most recent captain, "Switchblade" Jay White, has led the faction longer than anyone who's come before him. And perhaps no one has aimed to represent Bullet Club across as many pro wrestling promotions as White has during his time at the top. White, a two-time world champion in NJPW, helped establish Bullet Club in Impact Wrestling when he recruited Chris Bey in 2021. A year later, White brought the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship with him to AEW while promoting the promotions' joint Forbidden Door event. 


But history often repeats itself — especially with Bullet Club –—and again the top promotions around the world have been knocking at the Bullet Club leader's door. White has reportedly received interest from both WWE and AEW with his NJPW contract set to soon expire, leaving Bullet Club's future in question once more. Whether White remains in NJPW or leaves the company to join either of North America's top brands remains to be seen, but Bullet Club's fans have come to learn the faction rarely leaves its members' blood. 

Original members such as Anderson and Fale officially remain tied to the group and could be poised to finally get their due leading Bullet Club. Or as fans have seen before, Bullet Club's members may have their eyes on an outside prospect they could welcome in and hand over the reins. Or could the unthinkable happen and Bullet Club leaves NJPW along with White? No matter what happens, the storied faction undoubtedly will undoubtedly continue to make an impact on pro wrestling.