New Japan seems to have exits annually, but they're always ready to restock the cupboards.
Bullet Club has been an act that has specifically seen the post-Wrestle Kingdom departures hit hard. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Kenny Omega, Cody, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Adam Cole and Hangman Page all split over the course of three years. However, we've seen the likes of Jay White, KENTA, El Phantasmo, among others step up and help replenish things.
When speaking to Bullet Club founder Bad Luck Fale, after seven years, the group is still open to many different approaches to adding members. Whether it be planning ahead or just accepting some new recruits as they come along.
"It’s a combination of both," Fale admitted to Fightful. "We already have guys in our minds. ‘Cause ultimately it’s all about the company. If we see somebody who could help us as the Bullet Club, maybe in the future, of course it’ll help the company as well. But, at the same time if the company brings somebody without us knowing about it or whatever, we embrace that. Because that’s us. We work together with anybody. We work well with anybody. You put somebody you’ve never met before in front of us, we’ll find you a spot."
If there's another big series of talent leaving this year or next, Fale won't be among them. He tells Fightful that he's locked in past Wrestle Kingdom in 2022.
"I have two years left on my contract. I was on a five year [contract]," Fale specified. "Something unheard of in New Japan. It works both ways. For me, if you give me a short term deal then that means I’m going to be looking at other places. If you give me a long term deal, that means they want me to stay around and that will impress me to work towards helping develop whatever it is the company wants."
Though Fale has been around for quite a while, we've seen a lot of new blood emerge in NJPW. Shota Umino, the return of the Young Lion's cup and more have brought a new light to some of the fresh names and faces. Fale sees a specific reason for that.
"I think it all has to do deal with the mass exodus we talked about earlier. There was a lot of people being brought in, but brought in from other different levels. But, I think they realized we need to grow more homegrown talent. Because I’ve been through it and I felt that longing to Japan. They want the new kids to feel the same when they come through the system. They feel that belonging that really is genuine. Instead of just coming in and leaving. So, it’s a long term investment and spreading it out to the United States and Australian and New Zealand will help up with the international talent, keeping them in the future," he said.
You can see Fale at the Bullet Club Beach Party, Saturday April 4th from 10 am - 4 pm EST at Whiskey Joe's in Tampa. KENTA, Tama Tona, Tonga Loa, El Phantasmo, Haku, Matt Taven, RUSH and more already announced for the event. Pick up tickets at this link.