Early Criticism of The Bullet Club’s Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows Addressed


We’ve only seen them twice since their appearance on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, but Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have already made a big splash on the scene, which is no surprise. Ever since there were rumors that the two would join WWE, people have been clamoring for them to debut and to have a big impact in some fashion as The Bullet Club was one of the most popular factions outside of WWE in years.

It’s far too early to judge in full what the future has in store for these two, but after having a little bit of time to digest my first impressions and react to some new developments in their story, a few things are running through my mind—some great, some good, and some leaning more towards cautious skepticism.


The AJ Styles Association

Because of his affiliation with The Bullet Club, it wasn’t outside of the realm of possibility to assume that AJ Styles would continue leading the tag team, reforming to form a smaller version of the stable under WWE’s roof. Obviously, they would likely go by another name that WWE could trademark unless they could purchase the rights to “The Bullet Club”, but that remains to be seen with everything from Bulletproof to Balor Club offered up as alternatives. More on the latter one in a bit.

However, after this week’s Raw, all signs appear to point away from that direction. AJ Styles denounced their actions in attacking Roman Reigns and said he had nothing to do with it. The story going forward is to ask ourselves whether this is setting up a swerve where Styles is indeed aligned with them and was lying about it, or if he is steadfast in remaining a babyface and truthfully did not send them on that mission.

Here’s the kicker, though: pretty much either choice has a lot of potential to backfire. If Styles turns heel, he’ll be doing so against a guy who gets booed more than almost anybody on the roster, meaning it won’t be a very effective heel turn. The majority of the crowd isn’t going to boo Styles over Reigns, so it’s not worth sacrificing one of your top babyfaces for.

If Styles stays a babyface and away from Gallows and Anderson, it’s the better option in the long run, but the short term will mean disappointing fans that want to see those three team up. WWE would basically be teasing everyone with this stable and then ripping it out from under the audience’s feet super fast. History shows that that never goes down well, as fans are always looking for reasons to call for a revolution.

Separately, they can refer to themselves as Bulletproof, but if Styles is not in the group, some fans are calling for a twist where Finn Balor is pulling the strings and will make a main roster debut, officially dubbing them The Balor Club. Would it be cool in theory? Sure, but the practicality isn’t there.

Similarly to the AJ Styles situation, Finn Balor is one of the most over babyfaces, so why turn him heel? Also, NXT just lost Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, Enzo Amore, Colin Cassady, Simon Gotch, Aiden English and Sami Zayn with speculation that Bayley may soon follow. Can that brand really survive losing Finn Balor as well? Even if that were the case, it adds such a big wrinkle to everything that I can’t see WWE going through all that effort trying to craft storylines around when it’s so much easier to just have Anderson and Gallows be a duo. There doesn’t have to be someone orchestrating everything.

The Tag Team Title Shot Tournament

Currently going on right now is a tournament to determine the #1 contenders for The New Day’s WWE Tag Team Championship. Usually, these quick tournaments are just a means to an end with nothing of real substance making up the matches, but this time around, there are quite a lot of elements tossed into the mix.

We have the storyline of Goldust and R-Truth for some reason still going on, the emergence of The Vaudevillains on the main roster, Kalisto’s injury could be setting up some tension within The Lucha Dragons that builds to a United States Championship feud, and The Dudley Boyz are far from over with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. Hell, even The Social Outcasts and The Ascension have both lost a member of their teams for 60 days due to the suspensions of Adam Rose and Konnor.

Out of the blue, though, The Usos were attacked by Anderson and Gallows, which screamed one thing very loudly: The Usos were definitely not going to win this tournament. Almost immediately after, though, I also saw a heavy response from people asking why Anderson and Gallows weren’t in the tournament themselves.

For those wondering that same thing, the answer is simply that WWE didn’t want them to have the title shot, nor did they want them to lose in the quest to receive it. It’s much easier to keep them away from the tournament and have them interfere to establish their dominance and importance, starting a feud with The Usos by proxy, than to try to figure out a way to have them fail and still look strong.

It’s a smart decision to keep them away from the tournament and to do something separate. At the moment, I would bank on them being the two that dethrone The New Day more so than either The Vaudevillains or Enzo and Cass, and that can happen at Money in the Bank, SummerSlam or whenever the two teams clash.

Rushing them to that spot too soon would upset fans, as more often than not, people reject this type of a push as being “shoved down our throats” or at least not allowing the superstars time to gain a proper footing with the crowd. Ideally, you should establish who they are before they win championships, and for all the people who don’t follow New Japan Pro Wrestling and don’t remember Luke Gallows from his Straight Edge Society days, these two are brand new. Putting them in a feud with a fan favorite team like The Usos is a better fit than jumping straight to giving them gold.

Bypassing NXT

For that matter, some people are still debating whether or not it was a good idea to bring them to the main roster or put them on NXT. While I personally would have been okay with either decision, I think the bigger problem WWE has right now is not where to place this team, but where to place Primo and Epico.

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