It was January 5th 2016, at New Years Bash, the annual event that takes place the day after Wrestle Kingdom. A major twist took place that immediately changed the direction of the faction and its leadership.
Before AJ Styles left New Japan Pro Wrestling to pursue other interests, the rest of the faction turned their backs on him. They beat him down and excommunicated him from the group. As a result, 'The Cleaner' Kenny Omega assumed the role of the leader, also moving from being a Junior Heavyweight to the Heavyweight division. He made clear he would now be pursuing IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura for his championship.
Over recent years, the Bullet Club has created subgroups within the faction, and this new leadership resulted in the first such subgroup. Omega and the Young Bucks began to refer to themselves as 'The Elite.' Omega's belief that was by pushing himself and the Young Bucks to the forefront of the group that they would be the reason the faction would survive in the long run.
A little more than a month after Omega assumed the role of leader within the group, Tama Tonga challenged IWGP Tag Team Champions Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma. Tonga stated that his partner would be a new addition to the Bullet Club. A month after that, he announced that his brother, recently departed from WWE, would now be known as Tango Loa, and the duo would be known as G.O.D., the Guerillas of Destiny.
And at Invasion Attack 2016, G.O.D. captured the IWGP Tag Team Championships for the first time. The additions to the ranks of the Club continued as a month later former Ring of Honor champion Adam Cole was revealed as the newest member.
Cole would primarily be a Club representative in North America, in his home promotion of ROH, and much like with the Bucks and Omega, Cole and The Young Bucks within ROH would create another subgroup known as the Superkliq. The following day, Adam 'Hangman" Page would also join the group.
In the fall of 2016, Captain New Japan joined after turning his back on his previous group, the Hunter Club. He would be redubbed as 'Bone Soldier.' It would be just before 2017 that 'The American Nightmare' Cody would join, becoming the most well-established name to join the faction since the departure of AJ Styles.
As many can see, there was a great deal of movement within the Bullet Club. All of these additions helped to offset the losses of Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows to WWE. However, tensions within the group would arise. Despite capturing the Ring of Honor world championship and adding it to the collection of championships held by the group, Adam Cole was walking a fine line within the group.
In fact, at one point he attempted to fire the Young Bucks, who were quick to share with him that he couldn't as he wasn't the leader, Kenny Omega was. This did, however, plant the seeds for another betrayal within the group. During the 2017 War of the Worlds tour, The Bucks turned on Cole, and a video was shown where Omega announced that Cole was being kicked out of the group, and that 'The Villain' Marty Scurll had joined.
A Club Divided
It appeared all was settled within the group, and a big area of focus soon became Omega's pursuit of the IWGP Heavyweight championship. However, this helped create new issues within the group regarding its leadership. Cody and Kenny Omega often bickered over whom was the true leader of the group. Months of squabbling regarding leadership ensued.
While behind the scenes it appeared they were unaware that another uprising was beginning centred upon the Tongans, Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale and Tonga Loa. Eventually Cody turned on Omega and beat him down, only for 'The Cleaner' to be rescued by his old tag team partner Kota Ibushi. A while after that, Cody and Kenny had a brutal match. One in which Cody was victorious only because dual superkicks aimed at him by the Young Bucks inadvertently hit Omega.
Once Kenny Omega finally captured the IWGP Heavyweight championship it seemed as though he had ultimately had the last laugh. However, a few months later at the G1 Special, after he retained the championship in another war with Cody, Omega was betrayed, as he and the Bucks were the victims of a surprise attack by Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, who revealed themselves to be the B.C Firing Squad.
Fale, who was not at that event, soon after declared his alliance with the Tongans. Interestingly, the father of Loa and Tonga, former WWF tag team champion Haku, joined them in that attack, which also resulted to beat downs to Scurll, Page, and even Cody.
The Firing Squad is Born
Throughout the pursuits of championships and the creation of subgroups that overshadowed the rest of the group, those who were instrumental to the faction's original creation were ignored or neglected. The Firing Squad, or O.G. B.C., seems poised to add additional members: the latest incarnation of 'Bone Soldier' Tajiri Ishimori allied with them, and presumably when Tonga’s and Loa's brother Hikuleo returns from injury he will join them as well.
During the G1 Climax 28 finals event, the team of Ishimori, Tonga, and Loa captured the NEVER Openweight six-man championships from former allies Marty Scurll and the Young Bucks. A group that initially prided itself on being about family had fractured, with alliances being formed between those with close friendships or family ties. Whether this is to be the future of the group or not remains to be seen.
The group has been in operation for nearly six years and has seen a number of twists and turns along the way. Has the group lost sight of its original vision or did the vision of the group simply evolve? We aren't certain, and the current status of the group is a house divided.
Will this result in the end of the group, or will there be a resolution amongst those involved? After shots have been fired within the group, one hopes this will be the last time the trigger is pulled.
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