A huge part of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Bullet Club has exploded in popularity over the past three years. The act, consisting primarily of American talent, has found a ton of success stateside as well, with Young Bucks, AJ Styles and several other names bringing their talents to Ring of Honor. One of the more prominent names, and one of the only constants from beginning to end, is "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson.
Anderson, half of the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions with Doc Gallows, has found huge success in Japan for nearly a decade. When the North Carolina and Cincinnati native helped found the Bullet Club, he had no clue it would carry over to WWE with co-founder Finn Balor's "Balor Club" tee-shirts. Anderson is more than happy to see, it though.
"It's great. Ferg is one of my best buddies in the world," Anderson told me in an exclusive interview. "It's awesome. WWE is WWE. It's cool, it's huge, it's great, I have a lot of friends there. I loved it, I'm glad they made Balor Club. You never know, one day it might be cool to join Balor Club."
Anderson, who is a part of New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4, said that he's actually had some talks with the WWE. Even though he's found a huge level of success in Japan both before and since Bullet Club, he said that the right offer could see him joining WWE.
"Yeah, I've had lots of conversations. I don't want to give the cliche answer and say business is business. If the right offer came along, you never know what could happen. I love New Japan, I love wrestling in Japan and I love the fans and how comfortable I am over there. I've been there for 8 years, but if the right offer came, I'm not scared to come to America," Anderson said.
Another WWE tie Anderson has is that of Jason Albert, who is the head coach at NXT. The two held the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles, a crown he holds today alongside the aforementioned Gallows. The two will face Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe at WK10, which will have full English commentary from Kevin Kelly and Matt Striker. Anderson told me that his former partner Albert loves to rub his new position in, but that it was a great move.
"Yeah, he likes to let me know that he's the head coach down there," Anderson explained. "He lets me know a lot. It's a smart move. He's always been a respected guy within professional wrestling, but he taught me a lot in Japan. He has an unbelievably smart mind for professional wrestling and I think it was a great move to make him head coach at NXT. I'm glad for him and happy for his family. He gets to be home more."
We'll have the full interview with Karl Anderson here on Wrestling Inc Tuesday, and be sure to join our viewing party for NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 early on Monday, January 4. You can order the event on NJPW World at this link. If you use any of the transcripts from this interview, please credit WrestlingInc with an h/t to Sean Ross Sapp.