With Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson showing up on Dynamite, are we seeing a version of Bullet Club taking shape in All Elite Wrestling?
If you tuned in to the entire two hours of All Elite Wrestling (AEW): Dynamite, you not only saw AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and Rey Fenix turn in an early favorite for best television match of the year, but also an unadvertised appearance by IMPACT World Tag Team Champions Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Now, this appearance shouldn’t have been much of a shock considering that Omega, Gallows, and Anderson are scheduled to face IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) at IMPACT’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view on Jan. 16 and The Good Brothers appearing served as a bit of cross-promotion for that show.
However, fans had no reason to expect what happened when AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks ran down to the ring to confront their former Bullet Club stablemates.
After Gallows, Anderson, and Omega steamrolled Jon Moxley — who came out to save Fenix from an Omega post-match beatdown — and some of the AEW lower midcard babyfaces — and a couple of heels to sell the “invasion” aspect of this angle — The Bucks ran down to attempt to talks some sense into their longtime friends.
But when Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr. held Omega against the ropes, Matt Jackson leveled Garrison with a superkick — Gallows nailed Pillman with his tag title belt — before he and his brother, Nick, reluctantly exchanged the “Too Sweet” hand gesture with Omega, Gallows, and Anderson as Dynamite went off the air.
So, what does this mean? Is some version of the Bullet Club reformed in AEW? Does this have any connection to Jay White seemingly leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling, in kayfabe (play-by-play announcer Excalibur did mention Omega’s former tag team partner, Kota Ibushi, winning the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 15)? Have the Bucks turned heel?
Well, it’s gonna take some time to get clear answers to these questions. The New Japan stuff seems the most unlikely, but you never know, especially with Gallows and Anderson slated to return to New Japan at some point in the future. And of course, if there’s no NJPW connection/involvement, you can also throw the Bullet Club name out the window since New Japan owns that trademark (to be clear, though, AEW could still reform the group under a different name).
The Bucks question is the easiest to answer, especially with Omega and Don Callis suggesting that Omega and The Bucks join forces on next week’s Dynamite in six-man tag team action. Judging by their body language at the end of Dynamite, it seems like they will remain on the babyface side for a bit longer while trying to reason with their longtime friends.
If their pleas are unsuccessful, that could set up an intriguing champion vs. champion match between The Bucks and The Good Brothers at some point. Or, if The Jacksons, say, help out their buddies in that main event tag match at Hard to Kill, we could see the rekindle their past rivalry with the Machine Guns in future inter-promotional matches, even if the interference is inadvertent.
At this point, it’s a coin flip. The Bucks, with their crowd-pleasing offense, are solid-to-good babyfaces, and with Best Friends sidelined due to Trent?’s injury, they have few other protagonist duos ready to step in right away to take that top face spot.
On the other hand, The Bucks have also shown how good they can be as heels, and forming a villainous version of The Elite alongside arguably the hottest heel act in wrestling might be too alluring for AEW to resist much longer, particularly if they only have limited access to Anderson and Gallows.
No matter which path the company chooses, this excellent chapter has set the stage nicely for them. We’ll soon see if the next one is just as compelling.