Anyone who gets in the habit of keeping up with all the behind-the-scenes action of professional wrestling has by now heard of the crazy news of four major stars from New Japan Pro Wrestling coming to WWE: Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows.
The last three names all have something in common, they were all a part of the New Japan stable, the Bullet Club. Who was the founder of that stable? None other than the current NXT Champion, Finn Balor, formerly Prince Devitt in NJPW. So it’s not out of the question, hell it’s almost a guarantee that we will be seeing WWE’s version of Bullet Club, aptly named ‘Balor Club’ after Finn Balor. But the real question is what does the debut of Balor Club entail?
For starters, AJ Styles should not under any circumstance be in the Balor Club, at least not until Balor and the rest make the jump to the main roster. I fully expect AJ Styles to be a main roster debut, I do not want to see him debut in NXT. Maybe if the NXT Brand was in the Smackdown slot, but it’s not and he is a main eventer, not a developmental talent. Maybe when AJ is possibly in the world title hunt and you need a shocking way to have him defeat Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (because let’s be honest, that’s who the champion would be at that time), so then you would debut the Balor club to help him win the match and you have a strong main event stable.
But for now, let’s get to how the group should debut.
If we need to debut this stable as soon as possible then let’s get this ball rolling! The next possible title match should be BEFORE the NXT Takeover show before Wrestlemania, this is super important! The match is Apollo Crews challenging Finn Balor for the NXT Championship. No bullshit interference from Baron Corbin and no Samoa Joe heel turn, it’s a uninterrupted match. And Crews wins, convincingly so, like Balor has a bit of a run in the match, but Crews dominates the second half of the match and wins the title.
The following show, Balor should be coming out, calling out Crews and shaking his hand, congratulating him on besting him. But he wants his rematch and he wants it right now. They set it as the main event and once again Crews dominates him and wins. Make it look like a big deal that Balor lost again, almost as if he’s going to the main roster. Play on the idea of the Balor Club stable beginning, make people believe “Holy shit! He’s going to Raw (or Smackdown)! And they’re gonna debut Balor Club then!”.
He disappears, not a word from him. A month or so should pass and we get to the NXT Takeover show before Wrestlemania. The main event is Baron Corbin challenging Apollo Crews for the NXT Championship. I know people are still a bit unenthusiastic about Corbin, but it makes sense, he beat Crews at Takeover: London so he should have the first shot at Crews’ title post-Balor. And in the end, while it’s a hard fought battle, Crews manages to pull out the win and retain the title. Celebrating his victory, Crews is in the ring when suddenly the lights go out. And on the screen you see this:
“We are dominant, we are strong. We are one, we are…for life.”
New music hits, something as slow and heavy as Balor’s music, but less of the orchestral backing, just slow, methodical hard rock. If you can make it close to Bullet Club’s music without being a carbon copy, then do it. Balor walks out, holding up the ‘Too Sweet’ gestures, wearing his Balor Club t-shirt when two men walk out from behind him, Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows. And they surround Crews and put a giant beatdown on him, leaving him dead as can be in the ring. Balor walks over, grabs a mic and simply says. “We’re here.” and leaves.
Crews does not appear the next week. Have William Regal come out and announce at the beginning of NXT that Apollo Crews will be out injured the next two weeks, but wants to let Finn Balor know, that when he returns, he’ll be getting his revenge. Balor interrupts Regal’s speech and officially introduces Anderson and Gallows. And says to the NXT crowd and all those watching on the WWE Network (cause you know that’s how they’d script it) that fun and games are over for everyone else except Balor Club. They run NXT now and will take out anyone who disagrees.
If Sami Zayn is still in NXT after Wrestlemania, then he should be the Balor Club’s first target. You need to go after the favourites to get them over as heels (as if Balor Club needs any help getting over in NXT). But if Zayn is not in NXT anymore, then move to the next best thing, Enzo & Cass. If they’re all not in NXT then uh…Bull Dempsey? Because if I’m booking this, I’m not having Gable & Jordan get destroyed, they’re too precious a commodity, gotta keep them on fire. And we don’t know at this time if Hideo Itami will be back yet. Regardless, whoever it may be, depending on the pecking order, the story will remain the same.
Later in the same show Balor Club interrupts Regal, the main event is Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin (or Cass & Enzo vs Joe & Corbin). The match doesn’t even get anywhere, the bell rings and as they’re about to lock up, lights go out again and the Balor Club entrance begins, the three of them walking out to the ring. They slaughter the babyface(s) in the ring, while the heel(s) retreat, wanting zero part of it. After decimating those in question, Balor takes the mic again and says the following:
“Apollo Crews! We haven’t settled our little rivalry just yet. I want my NXT Championship back! So when you come back from the beatdown I put on you…I’ll be waiting.”
And I can’t stress enough how important it is that every promo Balor does, he talks like he’s the only one doing the damage, not acknowledging Anderson/Gallows’ interference. Why would they not turn on Balor then? A very good reason. Balor got into WWE, he got friendly with the boss and got his buddies a fat contract. So regardless of Balor’s words, the boys love him, they’re still best buddies, they’re in the big time, making big money!
If they can stew this all the way until the next Takeover special, do it. Otherwise, the next NXT Championship match will be Finn Balor vs Apollo Crews. Balor will win a Battle Royal to win the #1 contendership when the entire trio are the final three in the battle royal and they all ‘Too Sweet’ and Anderson/Gallows eliminate themselves. So the main event is set, Balor vs Crews.
The match is what you’d expect. Crews is still dominating Balor, but Anderson and Gallows constantly distract Crews, giving Balor plenty of chances to put him away, but can’t. Then the ref gets knocked out and Anderson/Gallows come into the ring to take out Crews. It’s then that Zayn, Enzo & Cass, anyone to even the odds comes out and helps Crews deal with Balor Club. As Crews looks to finish off Balor, from the crowd, comes Baron Corbin. End of Days, Balor hits the Coup de Grace, 1…2…3. And you have your fourth member of Balor Club, Baron Corbin. You’re probably asking why I’m all about Corbin here. Simple, he needs the rub and I do think with the right people with him, you can turn him into a mega-star. He also fits the bill for what WWE likes, so if we can take this guy who they already like and make him into someone who’s over with the fans too, bonus!
The Balor Club should run rampant in NXT all the way until SummerSlam, Balor eventually losing the NXT title to a returning Hideo Itami. By this point, AJ Styles not only has debuted in WWE, but should be constantly pushing for a WWE title match. He finally gets it at SummerSlam against Roman Reigns. When Reigns looks to finally win the match, after another ref bump, the Balor Club suddenly emerges from the crowd, completely flooding the ring and destroying Roman Reigns. Thus, AJ Styles hits whatever his finisher will be (since you know WWE’s not letting him do the Styles Clash) and wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The following night on RAW, you introduce Balor, Anderson, Gallows and Corbin, announcing Balor Club is here in WWE (because NXT doesn’t count as WWE, you know that’s how they’d say it). Over the next 3-4 weeks, Balor Club runs rampant. At the end of SummerSlam, you should have a face run of title holders, minus Styles with the WHC and perhaps the
Women’s Divas Championship, since that title doesn’t matter in this storyline. Their targets are all the champions. So that at the next pay-per-view, Vengeance: Night of Champions, what a perfect night for Balor Club to snatch every possible title. Baron Corbin dominates Neville to win the United States championship (if it’s still around), Anderson and Gallows defeat The Usos to win the Tag Team Championships and Finn Balor through all the possible bullshit, beats Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship. AJ Styles obviously retains over Roman Reigns and you have Balor Club holding every male-associated title in the company.
And we end with a return the following night on RAW to challenge AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This man:
There you have it. I could go further, but I figure the best way to stop is with Balor Club fully established a major threat in the WWE. You have a bunch of fresh matchups now, especially for the titles. There’s just a few questions left I’ll quickly go through:
What about Shinsuke Nakamura? Where does he fit into all this? – Shinsuke Nakamura (or whatever WWE decides to call him, hopefully the worst is just Nakamura) would’ve by now already had a singles feud with AJ Styles, which in the end has the goal of giving both men credibility but in the end cementing AJ Styles as the next challenger for Reigns’ title. In fact, that should be the #1 contender’s match to set up that SummerSlam match between Styles and Reigns. After that, have Nakamura challenge Balor for the IC title, would it not be amazing to see him prop up a second company’s Intercontinental Championship?
When would you break up Balor Club? – Not until at least 2 Wrestlemania-s after their debut. They should have a good two years together. So when Balor does finally turn babyface, it’s a big deal. And I mean BIG!
Would Finn Balor ever wear his demon paint with the Balor Club? – Absolutely, but at no point is it ever his red and black. Because it’s Balor Club, it should be only black and white. Have an awesome Venom tribute bodypaint getup, that would be fantastic!
Do you bring anyone else into Balor Club? – Unless it’s an original Bullet Club member (Tama Tonga, Cody Hall, etc.) that aren’t the Young Bucks, because let’s face it, they’re probably never coming to WWE, they’re smart enough to know that unless they’re offered the biggest deal in the history of professional wrestling, they can make more money outside of WWE, then no. Unless there’s a massive injury to someone, I would not add a single new member to Balor Club that isn’t already attached to the Bullet Club.
And there you have it, that’s how I’d book the debut of Balor Club. Let me know what you think in the comments below, as well as things you’d do to get the Balor Club gimmick over.