When former WWE superstar, Cody Rhodes joined Bullet Club, arguably the most popular wrestling faction in the world of pro wrestling, fans were ecstatic. From their borderline iconic black t-shirt to their nostalgic 90’s catchphrases, Bullet Club are the superkicking, fourth-wall breaking, title-winning kings of the wrestling world. Adding a talented, world-famous wrestling like Cody Rhodes can only be a good thing, right?
The Case Against Cody Rhodes in Bullet Club
nWo vs. Bullet Club
Despite being similar in many ways, there’s one way that the nWo and Bullet Club are very different. The nWo was also a group of invaders, like the mostly-Gaijin (foreign) Bullet Club was in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but unlike the club, the nWo weren’t invading from another country. The nWo was most successful when they were portrayed as a group of invaders from the WWE (then the WWF). Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan were all invaders from the WWE, come to declare war on Ted Turner and WCW.
Bullet Club is made up of Gaijin, but few have WWE experience. Before Rhodes joined the faction, only two wrestlers, Luke “Doc” Gallows and Tanga Roa (known in WWE as Camacho) had WWE experience, and neither of their runs were memorable for good reasons. The only member that had previously been brought in that was successful elsewhere was AJ Styles, and he was brought in to replace Prince Devitt (known now as Finn Balor).
Bullet Club are not the New York Yankees. They aren’t a dream team (Despite what Kenny Omega, Adam Cole (baybay), and the Young Bucks might tell you), and they’re mostly built out of foreigners that just so happen to wrestle in Japan. The addition of Cody Rhodes simply doesn’t fit their style, except…
Cody Rhodes is a huge star right now. After leaving the WWE in early 2016, Rhodes has been tearing it up on the independent wrestling scene. He’s wrestled everywhere from TNA and Ring of Honor to WCPW and PWG. It was anticipated that he would work in New Japan as well, as he wrote on his list that he wanted to face Katsuyori Shibata, a wrestler currently signed to NJPW. Ironically, it was after he shared that list on twitter that he received this peculiar tweet from a couple of young bucks.
@CodyRhodes Bullet Club?
— The Young Bucks (@MattJackson13) May 28, 2016
But that’s just the thing. Cody Rhodes will be the biggest acquisition by Bullet Club since AJ Styles. Stars like Gallows, Omega, and the Young Bucks were beloved in the wrestling community before joining Bullet Club, but none of them had the mainstream appeal of Styles or Rhodes. Cody Rhodes was a bonafide WWE superstar, winning multiple championships.
What role will Rhodes play in the faction? Is he merely a complimentary piece like Dennis Rodman was for the nWo? Because Rhodes is so much more than just a part-time attraction. And in all reality, if Rhodes is going to continue wrestling in Ring of Honor, there’s an elephant in the room.
Cody Rhodes is a much, much bigger star than Adam Cole (baybay). Cole is beloved by Ring of Honor fans, but if Rhodes’ reaction at this month’s television tapings was any indication, they’re pretty fond of the grandson of a plummer. Where is Rhodes supposed to stand among the ranks of “The Elite” when the faction already has two leaders.
That would be like if tomorrow, Shawn Michaels came out of retirement and joined the Wyatt family. Obviously the legendary Hearbreak Kid would be the leader, right? It just raises too many questions.
Going Down the Only Rhodes I’ve Ever Known
Frankly, as much as Bullet Club didn’t need Cody Rhodes, Cody Rhodes didn’t need Bullet Club. He’s been arguably the biggest attraction in independent wrestling in 2016, and he was doing just fine without the faction. He’s already wrestled the likes of Kurt Angle, Zack Sabre Jr., Chris Hero, Jay Lethal, and Steve Corino, and he’s done so without a single “suck-it” or a superkick. Especially when you consider the fluid status of his contracts with all the different wrestling promotions, it seems a little ridiculous to align him with such a well known faction.
But, maybe the questions will be answered. Maybe there are storylines in place, and this is all going to sort itself out. Cole and the Young Bucks were both on the list, and Rhodes mentioned that he wanted to wrestle Omega. Maybe Rhodes will only briefly be a member of the famous group before turning on them or being turned on.
It might be too soon to call, but as a knee-jerk reaction, this feels rushed. This feels like something thrown together without much thought to earn a cheap pop (RIGHT HERE! On Lastwordonprowrestling.com!). Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the “American Nightmare” will reinvent the infamous faction, restoring them to their 2014 glory.