With the departures of Cody and The Young Bucks to AEW, the Bullet Club underwent yet another reincarnation. It resulted in original member Tama Tonga naming Jay White as the new leader in the absence of The Elite.
Tonga joined our WINCLY podcast where he talked about these new beginnings and how the Bullet Club has felt without the ELITE guys.
"It's the same as before as they weren't really here much before," said Tonga. "They showed up pretty much not on an everyday basis unlike me, my brother and father. We're on every tour, every month. They come in sporadically.
"Guys leave and we just fill the spot and move forward."
To the outside world, many fans had a sense that Cody and The Bucks were planning something special before they officially left New Japan to start AEW. Tonga reveals how much knowledge he had on them leaving.
"We kinda knew ever since All In – we just kinda had an idea," stated Tonga. "We knew their contracts were up and The Bucks are business guys. Cody's a smart guy and they like things on their own terms."
In regards to if he will be jumping to AEW anytime soon, Tonga says he's with New Japan for the long haul.
"No, no. I'm locked here in New Japan for a very long time," said Tonga.
"I see there's two common denominators in all eras of Bullet Club. That's Fale and I. They call us the heart and soul of Bullet Club. We keep it pumping, bring in guys that The Club needs and unselfishly step aside to make this whole thing work."
Many critics of this newest version of the Bullet Club think that Jay White is too young and inexperienced to be the leader of the group. Tonga makes a parallel between White being the leader and Kazuchika Okada becoming the youngest G1 Climax winner.
"Those same people said Okada was way too young," Tonga said of White being the Bullet Club's leader. "You put somebody in a position and you get them ready for it. They grow to that responsibility. That's how New Japan is."
Tonga believes that White will excel as a leader as long as he blocks out the outside noise and is just himself.
"Do you man! Do you," Tonga said on the advice he gave White. "Don't worry about anybody else's opinion.
Tonga said that White is handling the pressure, "Like it's nothing. Just another day at the job for him. He's a natural. We've known Jay for a very long time… He's a Kiwi New Zealander so he fit right into the mold."
With Tonga and Fale being the longest-serving members of the Bullet Club, there is natural speculation that one of them should be the leader. Tonga refuted that notion and says he's simply a pillar of the Bullet Club.
"I'm a good… support system. There you go! You gotta know your strengths and I think of myself as a pillar that holds this all up," stated Tonga.
The Bullet Club will hold a Bullet Club Block Party in New Jersey in April. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
You can listen to the full audio from Tama Tonga's exclusive WINCLY interview in the embedded player below. In it he goes into more detail about the Bullet Club Block Party, his relationship with KUSHIDA, which WWE talent he's interested in seeing in Bullet Club and more. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get all of our podcasts as soon as they are released: