The WWE Universe witnessed one of the most highly anticipated faction formations on Raw. Former WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor has formed a union with former Raw Tag Team titleholders Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows.
For wrestling fans who have followed the trio’s careers in the last 6-7 years, it was a joyful site to see the three former members of the Bullet Club standing aside each other and throwing up a too sweet.
Some fans speculate whether or not WWE would acknowledge these three were at one time in the Bullet Club. Anderson and Balor, when he was Prince Devitt, were two of the founding members when the group formed on May 3, 2013 and served as leaders of the faction. Gallows joined the group on Nov. 23 of that year.
Broadcasters have run down Balor’s accolades in New Japan, as well as Anderson’s and Gallows’, but they have never given much air to mentioning Bullet Club, except for when talent did it themselves or social posted a reference to the NJPW stable, and in those instances they were usually edited out.
However, WWE has in fact acknowledged the trio as former Bullet Club members in a video it released on its Youtube page.
The video, “Who are The Bálor Club and how do they know each other?” shares some information about the trio’s days in New Japan Pro Wrestling and founding of the Bullet Club. It also references how the three were on seperate paths when they came to WWE – Balor’s journey from NJPW to NXT and main roster while Gallows and Anderson formed “The Club” with A.J. Styles when they arrived.
The video does not feature any audio narration, but displays still images with text and music. It’s not the usual style of WWE videos and it’s reminiscent of pieces produced from pro wrestling Youtube channels.
The trio teamed up on the Jan. 1 episode of Raw to defeat Elias, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. The next week, they formed the Balor Club and defeated Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan, and Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns in a 6 man tag team match.
The win against Rollins, Jordan and Reigns was a good way to introduce the group as a new force on Raw. IT also gives Anderson and Gallows something to do, and associates them with a major talent on the roster in Balor.
The Balor Club may not reach the heights that the Bullet Club has, but it is an opportunity for Anderson and Gallows, and especially Balor, for have a fresh start in the WWE and really get over with the crowd. Balor also has a chance to delve back into his heel Prince Devitt persona and try it out in front of a WWE audience. Fans may not see him make gun gestures with his fingers, but they could get some of his personality to shine.
The WWE does not have to limit the Balor to Club to just Balor, Anderson and Gallows. The company could move the stable to Smackdown Live and add A.J. Styles. There is also room for the group to add its first female member, possibly Balor’s Mixed Match Challenge partner Sasha Banks.
That does not mean the Balor Club needs more members to be successful.
Balor, Gallows and Anderson have good chemistry together and when you get wrestlers in a faction who are good friends in real life, it translates well in and out of the ring. Fans have seen this type of chemistry with the current incarnation of the Bullet Club, The Shield and The New Day. If WWE allows the Balor Club to be themselves in front of the camera and in the ring, fans will see how much fun they are having together and how they cool they are and gravitate toward them.
As Balor said during a backstage segment, 2018 is the year of the Balor Club. He may be right.
WWE Smackdown vs. Raw: Who won this week? January 7, 2019
For Raw, the main event between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental championship was a great match and a good way to end this rivalry and move forward with both competitors. Ambrose ended up winning after Bobby Lashley interfered and attacked Rollins. This made sense as the show opened with Rollins and Lashley brawling and these two have been at each other for the past few weeks. What’s really good to take out of this is now Rollins can focus on the Royal Rumble and Ambrose can focus on who is next contender is for his championship.
For Smackdown, the push for Shane McMahon and The Miz to go for the tag team championship was an entertaining way to help build this match up at the Royal Rumble. After Shane expressed aggressiveness and prove worthiness to earn a championship match, the Miz tried to impress him by going out there and challenging the Bar to that match by himself. The challenge was accepted and even though that isn’t what Shane meant, they are getting the match that wanted when they first formed.
For Raw, the Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar “face to face” segment fell flat. Strowman struggled on his delivery of insults to Lesnar, and the “face to face” was more of just Lesnar walking around the ring over and over again without getting in Strowman’s face. At this point, anybody but Brock Lesnar needs to hold the Universal championship in order to give it a more important feel.
For Smackdown, there was nothing they had that was really too bad. Smackdown was able to give proper time for all the rivalries they are building up.
The Final Verdict
Smackdown has been hitting on all the right cylinders with their shows for a while now. Once they establish a championship match for the PPV, they give proper buildup and interesting scenarios for each one. Along with that, when Smackdown wants to build up a rivalry just for their show, they are able to do that effectively as well. While Raw does try to do the same, there segments and matches just don’t have the spark that Smackdown is able to deliver. So, with that said, Smackdown had the better show this week. In conclusion, the Royal Rumble is one of the big 4 PPV’s for the year of 2019 for WWE, and so far it looks like everything is going right for Smackdown while Raw is still trying to find their footing.
Nikki Cross Posts Farewell to NXT
WWE superstar Nikki Cross is on her way to the main roster, looking likely to land on the SmackDown roster.
Cross posted the following farewell to NXT, where he has spent the past few years, on her social media page:
See you down the road @WWENXT
This isn’t goodbye…we caused far too much mischief and had too much fun doing it for this to be it… pic.twitter.com/0Fk8wEEUzX— Nikki Cross (@NikkiCrossWWE) January 10, 2019
Matt Hardy Hinting at In-Ring Return
Matt Hardy may not be done wrestling after all.
The WWE superstar, and future WWE Hall of Famer, had been rumored to been winding down his career and transitioning to a backstage role in 2018 as he was dealing with a number of nagging injuries.
Hardy also posted a couple of videos, and posts on social media, that echoed those intentions, at least they appeared to.
Now, Hardy seems to be hinting at an in-ring return in WWE.
Excited to check out the 1st #RAW of 2019 tonight, especially with all the interesting things that are advertised. Most importantly, I need to see where all the pieces are positioned & moving to on the @WWE chess board.
ALMOST TIME TO GET BACK INTO THE GREAT GAME…. AGEEN! pic.twitter.com/WFXeCiHb1h— #WOKEN, yet #BROKEN, Matt Hardy (@MATTHARDYBRAND) January 8, 2019
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