The ELITE were a major part of New Japan Pro Wrestling before leaving to start AEW. They were a subgroup of Bullet Club which is still going strong with Tama Tonga as a founding member.
Tonga talked about The ELITE leaving for AEW when he joined The Wrestling Inc. Daily.
“I think everything worked out perfectly. I’m happy they went out and started their own company as they did very well for themselves,” Tonga said before then talking about the specific way that New Japan rid themselves of the group.
“I think the way we brought out the execution firing squads ? you have to understand the style of New Japan as we’re very traditional. We called the shot, came out and executed it. Thank you very much and farewell. Good luck in all your endeavors and we’ll see you down the road.”
New Japan has been highly successful in Japan but it hasn’t received the same popularity in The States. Tonga was asked if New Japan needs to change its presentation for the American audience.
“I think it’s fine. The reason why New Japan is the way they are is because of the product they show in Japan. That is the product we’re bringing to America. That’s what they fans wanna see and what they see on TV is what they’re gonna get live at a show,” Tonga said before adding that he likes the mix of New Japan’s style with the American style thrown in on occasion.”
New Japan was broadcast on AXS TV until 2019 at which Impact became the network’s wrestling show. Tonga discussed New Japan losing that AXS TV network.
“We don’t need that outlet. Someone will pick us up next and they’ll be the lucky ones,” said Tonga. “They’ve got wrestling already and I’m sure we can find someone else that doesn’t have wrestling that could pick New Japan up.”
The Bullet Club will be hosting an upcoming Beach Party and Tonga was asked if the parties are a way to help aide NJPW’s North American expansion.
“Definitely. We do things like this in Japan as the other factions do similar things for their group of hardcore fans,” revealed Tonga. “This is something we felt that in America we have a nice fan community and let’s do the same thing and bring awareness of New Japan and Bullet Club.”
Tonga noted that LIJ is another one of those stables that hold parties like this but he also said that no one can compare to the Bullet Club parties.
Tama Tonga hosts the Bullet Club Block Party on Saturday April 4th from Whiskey Joe’s in Tampa, FL. For tickets and more information please visit https://www.tickettailor.com/events/bcbp/224017/.
Tama’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon: by clicking here. The full interview can be heard via the embedded audio player below: