Consider what happened at Battle in the Valley last month, the big story coming out of New Japan’s 51st Anniversary show today (Mar. 6) is more confirmation than news.
In San Jose, Jay White lost his “Loser Leaves New Japan” match to Eddie Kingston. Before he could address the crowd, he was attacked by David Finlay. In a promo after the attack, the 28 year old Finlay more or less vowed to become NJPW’s top gaijin (“foreigner”).
And what do a lot of New Japan’s top gaijin do? They join Bullet Club, of course. And with the Switchblade Era over, the group had an opening....
At Tokyo’s Ota Ward General Gymnasium for his first round New Japan Cup match against Tomohiro Ishii at 51st Anniversary, Finlay had a new entrance video that included scenes from Battle in the Valley, and showed him considering a Bullet Club jacket. He then walked out with Gedo — White’s former and Bullet Club’s de facto manager (and NJPW’s longtime head booker) — and the screen showed a custom logo for Finlay which read “Rebel Club”.
旗揚げ記念日 大田区総合体育館大会‼️— njpwworld (@njpwworld) March 6, 2023
まさかのBULLET CLUB 入り…!!
⇒https://t.co/CcdQ1XamUA#njpw51st #njcup #NJPW #njpwworld pic.twitter.com/PYwvJr3zgL
After he beat Ishii clean to advance in the tournament, Gedo got on the microphone to declare that it doesn’t matter that White is gone, and that Bullet Club needed a rebel.
Today’s show also featured another payoff to something teased in California, as the dream team of Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi challenged Bishamon for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles. The story of that main event match was that Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI are an experienced team, while the two Aces aren’t used to working together. It cost them, as Tanahashi took the pin as the champ’s retained.
Here are the rest of the results from today’s show:
• KENTA & El Phantasmo def. Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita
• Will Ospreay & Aussie Open def. Tama Tonga, Toru Yano & Satoshi Kojima
• Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Ren Narita def. EVIL, SHO & Dick Togo
• Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare def. Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & SANADA
• Lio Rush & YOH def. Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI
• Shota Umino def. Yujiro Takahashi to advance to the second round of the New Japan Cup Tournament
• David Finlay def. Tomohiro Ishii to advance to the second round of the New Japan Cup Tournament
• Bishamon def. Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi to retain their IWGP Tag Team championship
Excited for David Finlay in the Biz Cliz? What do you think is next for IWGP World Heavyweight champ Okada?