While AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura are the big guys leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling, I would be remiss without writing about the last two guys who put in their notices to New Japan. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, key members of The Bullet Club, are also leaving, and seem to be destined to join their colleagues in the WWE. Guns & Gallows do not have the upside that Styles and Nakamura have, but they can be valuable cogs in the machine, particularly in NXT.
“The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson has been a long time contributor to New Japan. He was only the second gaijin to make the finals of the G1 Climax Tournament, and has had programs with all the NJPW stars. He never broke though like Styles did, but remained a upper-mid card act, particularly when teaming with Doc Gallows. Doc Gallows is the former Luke Gallows, the muscle of CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society. He has never had the success in singles matches that Anderson had, but together they dominated the tag team division.
By all accounts, they are not going to receive the same money that Styles and Nakamura are, which means they are probably heading to NXT. They are likely to have similar roles to guys like Samoa Joe, used to enhance the developing talents while headlining their touring shows. There is one way they could have a major impact though, and it involves reforming their old faction.
The Bullet Club was created in New Japan by Prince Devitt, now known as Finn Balor. Karl Anderson was a founding member, along with Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale. The faction of gaijins was soon joined by others, and Devitt left, replaced by AJ Styles, who led the group to new heights. But now, with Balor as the NXT champion, and guys like Samoa Joe and Baron Corbin breathing down his neck, it would be very useful to have a couple of friends to watch his back.
With Guns & Gallows joining “The Balor Club,” the trio could dominate NXT, and provide a vessel to the main roster if they choose to go that direction. The idea of being gaijins would be gone, of course, but the WWE can always use a badass heel trio. It would certainly bring some fond memories of the Shield, but I expect The Balor Club to have a mean streak to them. Balor has a lot of potential, but there are several drawbacks to him, including his size and mediocre promo abilities. Gallows has the size, Anderson has the promo skills, and Balor could have the Shawn Michaels-esque star power.