This isn’t the first time Bullet Club has experienced a division within its ranks, nor is it the most severe of its divisions. The most stark division within Bullet Club is undoubtedly the feud between the Elite and the OGs. As of the moment, there is no explicit, boiling tension in Bullet Club. There is, though, an unmistakable dissonance.
Evil’s defection to Bullet Club was in many ways, a lifeline thrown to the faction so they could make it through quarantine. With the majority of members locked out of Japan, the stable was left with just Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, Gedo and Jado. Evil coming in gave them a much needed heavyweight star to lead the faction.
Under Evil’s leadership, the new, ragtag Bullet Club started to develop its own identity. They had a much more ordered, militaristic feel as opposed to the looser structure the club had under Jay White.
Now that the gaijins have returned, though, there’s seemingly two clubs thrown into one. While there hasn’t been any outright fighting between Evil and Jay White, there has been some arguments between the two. For instance, Jay accused Evil of trying to play mind games with him, and accused Yujiro of conspiring against him in Evil’s favor. Besides verbal jabs and accusations, though, there has been no real violence in Bullet Club.
So, what’s the solution to this dissonance?
Time to Cut the Switchblade
Jay White is at his strongest when he can utilize his cunning. He’s a bit like NJPW’s Loki, in this sense. Tying him down to a faction, at least in my opinion, is a shot in the foot for the Switchblade. Jay White is incredibly talented, both in the ring and on the mic, and I think he’s ready to stand on his own as a tweener in NJPW.
Much of the reason why Jay was booked the way he was (beating Tanahashi for the Heavyweight title, facing Okada at Madison Square Garden), was because he was a stand-in for former Bullet Club leader Kenny Omega. Heading into 2021, Jay has far surpassed his role of being another man’s replacement. New Japan shouldn’t keep holding him in that mold.
Bullet Club is Evil
Evil carries himself like a leader. From his grandiose entrance, to the large shoulder armor he wears to the ring, to the absoluteness of his finisher, “Everything is Evil,” everything about Evil has a “final boss” type of feeling to him. It’s odd, then, to see him as the second in command to anyone, especially when considering that being in Tetsuya Naito’s shadow is why Evil left LIJ in the first place.
In almost every aspect of the stable, Evil should be the leader (I say almost since his lack of experience with Bullet Club takes some credibility away from the King of Darkness, and favors a BC OG like Tama Tonga). I think putting him in charge would bring about a very fascinating structure of the stable, as well; At the top you’d have the King and his confidant, Togo, and with them you’d have the Bullet Club army. The current names of many BC members already lend themselves well to this militaristic theme: the general, the bone soldier, the guerillas, etc (the pimp is a bit of an oddball here, the motifs still stand).
The G1 finals would’ve been the perfect place to address the discordance between Evil and Jay with a match between the two. New Japan chose instead to give the platform to two other wrestlers, and effectively put any tension there might be in Bullet Club on the back burner. From a storytelling perspective, I think this was a waste of potential, but knowing the long term booking of NJPW this feud could very well be brought up later.
You could easily make the argument that Bullet Club doesn’t really need to be strictly unified; Chaos, for example, has a broad range of personalities with no clear theme running through them besides the fact that they’re all babyfaces. But given how popular Bullet Club is as a faction, especially in the United States, I think it would be smart to make sure the stable has a strong identity within it. The clearest way to do this would be to let Jay loose and unify the faction under Evil’s reign.
Then again, this is all just speculation. After all, if you ask anyone in the stable, they’d most likely assure you that Bullet Club is fine.