Former IWGP Intercontinental Champion and original Bullet Club member Bad Luck Fale was interviewed by the New Japan Pro Wrestling website to discuss the origin and success of the faction. Fale, along with Prince Devitt (Finn Balor), Karl Anderson, and Tama Tonga formed Bullet Club in 2013, and quickly became the most villainous faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling as gaijins attempting to take over the company.
With the group being over five years old now, Fale commented on whether he expected Bullet Club to be successful.
“No, not at all,” said Fale. “But we were given a chance to start something, and embraced it, went with it and here we are. I think really it’s a credit to how smart we were in bringing in the right people at the right time, and changing with the times. Those guys (like nWo), it was a case of throwing everyone in together, it was super hot and explosive but it couldn’t last long.”
Fale also revealed the original intent of forming Bullet Club.
“Initially it was me and Ferg (Devitt) and the idea was for me to help make him legit as a heavyweight,” said Fale. “When he turned (on Apollo 55 partner Ryusuke Taguchi), it just exploded and we knew we were onto something. At the time I’d been in America, on my learning excursion. I was really trying to figure out who I was, and where I could fit in. I was King Fale, this savage killer kind of character and then I was called back as someone very different, kind of a bouncer.”
Devitt left Bullet Club to pursue a WWE career in 2014, and became Finn Balor. Balor a the leader of Bullet Club was replaced by AJ Styles, and eventually Kenny Omega when Styles left New Japan to pursue a WWE career as well. Fale commented on Balor leaving Bullet Club, and Styles taking over as leader.
“Well, we knew for a while to be honest,” Fale said. “And I think that was part of the impetus behind the whole idea of Bullet Club, that he would have gone sooner but this gave him added motivation to stay. So we knew from the outset that it was inevitable, it wasn’t a surprise… we really liked the group as it was, so when Ferg left, we turned to Karl Anderson. We’d had a lot of people come in, but of the original boys, we always felt that Karl was someone who had our backs, that the office would listen to a little bit. So we weren’t worried.
“AJ was a few months after. There was a little bit of animosity at first, about him coming in and being the leader of what we had started, y’know. We were bitter but we accepted it. But the best thing that happened was when he came in, won the (IWGP) belt, and nobody knows this story, but we came back to the hotel and he got all of us in a huddle. And he said ‘I know I’ve come in as an outsider, but I’m here to try and make things work with everyone.’ He just addressed the elephant in the room.
“From that night forward… Look, nobody decided there was a leader. That’s why the Bullet Club worked, because nobody pegged themselves as ‘I’m the leader, I’m the leader’. Because when you become like that, it becomes about the one guy and not the group. So to AJ’s credit, he never called himself the leader. That way we were all on the same level. So if someone had a push, everybody supported them. Everybody would be there to say ‘this guy’s the best wrestler in the world’, and we could all rely on the same support.
“That’s why is to us as the OGs, it all fell apart when Kenny (Omega) took the helm. (The Elite) took it somewhere else and it felt like we weren’t part of the narrative anymore. It was so different to what we had started. So that’s why during the G1 we started taking things back to where they were.”
Fale also talked about the exodus of New Japan in 2016, when Styles, Luke (Doc) Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Shinsuke Nakamura all left New Japan for WWE.
“It was a crazy thing to happen,” said Fale. “Loyalty, money, family, friends, it was all in the balance. We knew about it a couple of days earlier, and at that point of course the first thing you think is ‘what’s gonna happen now?’ Myself and Tama both had the same opportunity, had offers. But I was lucky I think to be able to see that my future was in New Japan, not over there. I knew that if anything happened to the Bullet Club that I still had a future here, and could do what it took to stay. It was an emotional rollercoaster though. We had done so much in such a short period of time to make a real difference and for that to suddenly come crashing to a halt.. it was definitely scary.”
Currently, Fale is a part of the “Firing Squad” stable, formed by Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, and Haku when they attacked Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks at the G1 Special in July. Fale stated that he does not believe that Bullet Club will ever get back together, because “our views of how to take the group forward are too different at this point.”