PARKS’S TAKE: New Japan’s G1 an important test for Bullet Club’s Firing Squad

By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist


New Japan’s G1 special from San Francisco featured a shocking end, when the Guerillas of Destiny, Tonga Loa and Tama Tonga, as well as their father Haku, attacked and laid out most of the rest of the Bullet Club. That included IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, and Cody.

It was a big angle leading into the G1, and it put a lot on the shoulders of the Tongans, the self-proclaimed Firing Squad of the Bullet Club. They’ve been background players in the group, but they were thrust into the forefront with this angle.

The timing is interesting, as one wouldn’t expect Tama Tonga to win the G1. Nevertheless, he needs a strong showing to further legitimize his group. There may not be a lot of angle and storyline advancement of what was set up in San Francisco during the G1, aside from perhaps on Being The Elite. But Tama can use the G1 as a springboard, like others have before him, to cement himself as a major player in NJPW. He’s on the right track already, having beaten United States Champion Juice Robinson, who himself has a lot of momentum, in Tama’s first B Block match.

It’ll be more difficult for his brother, Tonga Loa, to establish himself during this time as he’s not in the tournament. However, Loa has been involved in three tag matches thus far on the three shows, coming out on the winning end of all of them. Though Haku was involved in the initial attack, it’s worth wondering what kind of role he’ll play moving forward. He’s already over as a notorious tough guy, so there’s no need to put in a lot of work to get him over.

I’ve been a fan of Tama Tonga for a while and am excited for the opportunity that’s in front of him. Though NJPW has pushed some new blood recently, it’s never a bad idea to develop possible main eventers earlier than you may need them. Hopefully, Tama and Loa live up to the big-league feel of the storyline that was set in motion a few weeks ago.

Greg Parks hosts the “Wrestling Night in America” Livecast every Sunday night on Read additional columns from him at Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to

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