Luke Owen fantasy books the debut of the Bullet Club in WWE…
With the news of AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling to join WWE taking over a lot of the wrestling news at the moment (John Cena’s injury notwithstanding), I felt it was time to Fantasy Book their debut at this year’s Royal Rumble. Now, much of this can’t happen as it’s being reported that none of the four have officially signed (although they’ve handed their notices into NJPW), and Nakamura has to drop his IWGP Intercontinental Championship while Gallows and Anderson have some ROH dates to finish up before January is over.
But with that out of the way, let’s Fantasy Book.
It was revealed on Monday’s Raw that Roman Reigns had a hell of a challenge on his hands going into this year’s Royal Rumble. For the first time in many, many years, the winner of the Rumble will not earn a title shot at WrestleMania and will in fact win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That means Roman has to go into the Rumble as entrant #1 and fight off 29 other men in order to retain and headline the biggest WrestleMania of all-time. He’ll have some big challenges to overcome (and a bunch of midcard geeks), not to mention The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar, who is scheduled to come in as #30.
But prior to the Rumble match beginning, Brock Lesnar is mysteriously taken out backstage. He’s battered, he’s bloody and he’s in desperate need of medical attention. The Beast is down, but who has taken him out?
The Rumble match is tricky for Reigns (he’s fighting off 29 other men after all), but he fights his way through valiantly. By the time the famed #30 position comes around, he’s left with the seemingly insurmountable task of fighting off eight-or-so other heels, including Sheamus and his League of Nations. But Reigns – like the badass Samoan that he is – fires up and takes out every single member of the League and dumps them over the ropes. He stands alone in the ring – inches away from victory. Vince and Stephanie, who are on the outside watching this madness, are furious at this turn of events. With Reigns alone in the ring, the klaxon sounds and number 30 is revealed.
The sound of a beating heart drifts around the arena, and those who recognise the tones will know who is about to make his main roster debut. The crowd starts to buzz as NXT Champion Finn Balor slowly walks down to the ring in his Balor Club t-shirt. Reigns stands in the ring, unsure of what to make of this ‘rookie’, but before Balor can even make it to the ring he stops suddenly. Through the crowd, four unknown faces wearing Balor Club t-shirts emerge and jump over the guardrails. Michael Cole and JBL start screaming – naming the four men as AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows and “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson, formally of New Japan Pro Wrestling. “Those guys don’t work here,” Cole screams as Reigns looks around the ring at this new challenge he’s about to face. Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson surround the ring and jump up on the apron. The McMahons are stunned and don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Reigns tries to attack Nakamura first before he even gets into the ring, but the numbers game takes over. Suddenly, Reigns is being given the Horseman beating of his life, with Finn Balor on the outside barking orders. From backstage, out runs Dean Ambrose, The Usos, The Lucha Dragons, Dolph Ziggler and any other babyface on the roster – but these NJPW Invaders beat up each one of them individually. They dump all of the babyfaces over the top rope and go back to beating up Reigns. The League of Nations roll back in, and try to join in the beatdown – but they also get beaten up by the foursome! No one is safe! Reigns makes a firery babyface comeback and hits a couple of Superman Punches, but Nakamura hits the Boma Ye and Anderson and Gallows hit the Magic Killer to put a stop to that. They pick up Reigns’ limp body so AJ Styles can give a thunderous Styles Clash. Finally, Finn Balor rolls into the ring and picks up Reigns’ body with ease and dumps him over the top rope. We have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and The Balor Club is born. The PPV ends with Michael Cole screaming about what this means for the future of WWE as The Balor Club parade their new champion and leader around on their shoulders.
So, what would my fantasy booking lead to? Well it could lead to Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship while AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar is your semi-main event when it’s revealed it was The Balor Club took him out at Royal Rumble, and Shinsuke Nakamura can take on The Undertaker who is defending ‘his yard’ and the legacy of WWE from this NJPW Invader. As for Gallows and Anderson, well they’ll be defending their newly won WWE Tag Team Championships they’d taken from The New Day from an episode of Raw shortly after their debut.
But more importantly you’ve create a new set of main eventers in Balor, Styles, Nakamura, Gallows and Anderson – as well as a new heel faction that, unlike the League of Nations, can be taken seriously. It wouldn’t be too dissimilar to how the New World Order came into WCW and made The Dungeon of Doom look irrelevant. You’re introducing The Balor Club as a main event act, and a team to be taken seriously. The reason Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose are stars today is because The Shield were slotted into main event angles and they were protected right from their debut. Their first match was headlining a PPV – and since then it’s only been Dean Ambrose who’s felt the effects of WWE’s even-steven booking. Even when you split the team up (I’d suggest turning Styles babyface to feud with Balor), they’re all legitimate main eventers who can carry the company into the future. In a WWE landscape when only Roman Reigns is your top star because your other stars are injured or on part-time schedules (Seth Rollins, John Cena, Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Sting, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan), you need to create a batch of new stars to take the company into a new era.
For me, this is the perfect way to debut The Bullet Club in WWE. You just have to ignore the fact Nakamura wasn’t part of the Bullet Club…
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and a contributor for Flickering Myth TV. You can follow him on Twitter @ThisisLukeOwen.