Craig Wilson, Russ Morgan, Jamie Lithgow & Brian Damage
Undoubtedly one of the biggest wrestling stories of last week was the WWE’s spending spree that seen some of NJPW’s biggest names jump ship and join the WWE. In today’s Sunday Sermon we look at what the future holds for these performers.
Craig: Even as someone that’s viewing of Japanese wrestling has been fleeting at best over the last few years, that doesn’t mean that I don’t recognise how significant these signings are.
Out of them all I’m probably most excited about Shinsuke Nakamura while for many there’ll be a sense of excitement in seeing how AJ Styles gets on in a WWE ring.
But how will they get booked? Will the Bullet Club be thrown back together complete with Finn Balor or will they plough a different furrow?
Russ: If Balor is aligned with the the other “Bullet club” members, it could saddle him with a massive push that from what I have seen, wouldn’t be undeserved. With The Royal Rumble and WrestleMania not that far away, there is a lot of talent currently either injured or on hiatus from the squared circle. If this is booked correctly, this could help save the two biggest PPV’s of the year.
Craig: I’d be staggered that with injuries mounting up that consideration hasn’t been given to speeding up when they debut on WWE TV.
I wonder, though, and based on the belief that the Bullet Club will just run as is in the WWE, will they debut before Royal Rumble? Wouldn’t such a move lead them to being lost a bit and wouldn’t, then, a debut, say, the following night not suit them better? From the Bullet Club’s standpoint, rather than the WWE’s and a need for star-power?
Jamie: Russ’ suggestion is the ideal, it’s what fans who are familiar with the wider world of wrestling would love to see. A debut and strong showing by Finn Balor in the Royal Rumble match would be good on it’s own, but throw in potential interaction with his old mates and WWE could find themselves with a wealth of long term opportunities. In the short term, I can totally see Bullet Club brought in as Triple H’s hired guns to assault Roman Reigns. Thus, they would fall under The Authority tree. While that doesn’t sound too imaginative, it would still create a short term buzz and it’s not as if such a role did The Shield much harm.
Either way, Bullet Club – at least – should be thrown straight into the mix. WWE’s current structure is predictable by design, by that I mean – other than Braun Strowman, who rarely wrestles anyway – we no longer see ‘new’ wrestlers debut on the main roster without having been seen on NXT previously. Bullet Club are ideal for shaking this up a little because they are experienced guys and Doc has already had a decent run in the WWE previously, so technically he would be returning not debuting. There’s potential for something different from the norm here, I hope WWE make the most of this opportunity.
Russ: Dave Meltzer has already suggested that “The Bullet Club” members will bypass NXT, if so, that surely means Balor will be called up to the main roster. WWE have a real opportunity to get viewers in. Giving them a strong showing in the Rumble would make the “Road To Wrestlemania” a bit more exciting. As I mentioned, there is a real depletion of talent at the top end of the roster right now, Bullet Club could fill in a decent chunk.
Brian: If done right, the Royal Rumble could be extremely exciting and could potentially set up one of the best Wrestlemania’s in years. The signing of Shinsuke Nakamura is what really excites me….even more than the Bullet Club. Nakamura is a true star both his in ring skills and charisma are top notch. Dare I say, that Nakamura could be the first ever WWE champion from Japan. Something I never thought I would see. His potential is a lot more brighter than Hideo Itami and I love Itami…but Nakamura is a special talent.
Craig: Now that’s a very interesting thought. What I have seen I’ve been mightily impressed by. The real test will be seeing just how much star power they see him having and avoiding giving him the sort of gimmick or character each of us sort of worries that the WWE will…
Brian: Exactly, nothing stereotypical of the Japanese like they seem to do. All fans will know he’s from there. Just let him be him and I assure you….he should get over. The other point I would like to make surrounds AJ Styles and the Bullet Club.
I think NXT could have the angle of the year if you have AJ and Finn Balor feud a while as the two former leaders of the BC.
Craig: I’d read, though, that the deals for AJ Styles and Nakamura involve reasonable contracts, suggesting that any stint in NXT would predominantly be to adapt to the WWE style before moving up to the main roster. But you’re absolutely right, absolutely no reason to use whatever stint in NXT to develop a big storyline.
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.