Tama Tonga has been riding with Bullet Club since the very beginning and is undoubtedly the best go-to-guy for any information on the infamous faction’s formation.
Chris Van Vliet asked Tonga all about Bullet Club’s origins in a recent interview and Tonga talked about how he put a lot of his own self into the group, specifically his experience in the Air Force.
“I really applied a lot of what I learned in military into that group. Just teamwork and adaptation and overcoming. If you look at the beginning of Bullet Club, the guns, we were very military style. I was putting a lot of my military uniqueness into it. If that makes sense.”
Van Vliet asked him how did the faction all come together and Tonga said it all started because he, Karl Anderson, Bad Luck Fale and Finn Balor (then Prince Devitt) were the only four of five foreigners in New Japan at the time.
“We were the only foreigners besides Tensai that were in New Japan so we were always hanging out all the time and they were like, ‘Look, we’re gonna put you guys together.’
“Prince Devitt was gonna be the frontman,” Tonga notes, “He was leveling up from Juniors to Heavy and so he needed a support group. So Fale was on this excursion from Missouri, they brought him back. He was going to be his bodyguard and me and Karl Anderson, I was like Karl Anderson’s second so I was just like be with him always, he was like my mentor.”
As for the name of Bullet Club, it was all Balor’s invention (except for the “Club” part).
“The first name that was brought up, I didn’t have not say in the name,” he said, “But Prince Devitt was thinking of calling it ‘The Bullet Brigade’ and Fale was like, “Ahhh, Brigade sounds…what if you called it club?’ Fale’s from New Zealand and he played professional rugby and club is thing. So that’s where Bullet Club came. So took that and ran with it.”
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)
You can check out the clip of the interview below: