All good things must come to an end, and such is the case with The Elite and The Bullet Club.
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks have made no bones about their exit from the popular New Japan Pro Wrestling stable. The same goes for Cody Rhodes and Adam Page. All of the performers recently advertised the fact that their latest t-shirts issued with Bullet Club tie-ins would be the final Bullet Club merchandise they put out.
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) originally started referring to themselves as "The Elite" in 2016, a sub-group within the Bullet Club. Out of that sub-group was born the popular Being The Elite YouTube series.
Now, it appears the group would prefer to continue pushing themselves solely as The Elite, and they recently spoke about this decision with Chris Jericho during an episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast.
"We [very] much support The Bullet Club and what they're doing moving forward," Omega said. "It's just that our goals and what we have in mind for the [professional wrestling] business and us moving forward, it just doesn't really align with what The Bullet Club OGs are doing. We take a lot of extra time, for example, to do the Being The Elite show, we really feel that it is important for us to give back to you fans and to appear on cool things like the Chris Jericho cruise. Whereas, The Bullet Club OGs, they prioritize the other aspects and elements of professional wrestling and they'd rather not do the extra stuff, which is fine. It's okay to punch the clock. It's okay to just show up and do your job. It's just that we always felt that if we had this incredible feedback, this incredible support from all you people, just showing up to do a show, just showing up to do a match, it isn't enough."
He continued, "If you guys are willing to bring us into your life, if you guys are willing to spend your hard earned money, make your vacation this Chris Jericho cruise… this is your vacation time, guys, and you've chosen to spend it on a wrestling cruise. The least we can do is give our free time back and make your experience that much better. That [has] always been The Elite's mission statement. Unfortunately, that wasn't what The Bullet Club was about lately, so it's probably best for us to part ways and do things on our own." Omega noted, "as time goes by, the wheels have kind of spun out of control and The Bullet Club is something that I can't even really recognize and relate to anymore. But, The Elite, the best friends that I have in the business and in my personal life, these are guys that I can still talk to as friends and as family, and that goes both ways for these guys as well. So I'd rather make these statements and change the business with The Elite and with you guys as well rather than try to adhere to what Switchblade, and Gedo, and The Tongans would like to do."
Matt Jackson explained the separation further, looking into it more from a business perspective. There's probably no group that has been able to thrive in merchandise on the independent scene quite like Matt and his brother Nick, but surprisingly Matt revealed that the duo makes virtually no money from Bullet Club merchandise. We would assume this is due to the fact that New Japan owns the Bullet Club rights.
"I was going to mention, in a business sense, my family is out there in the crowd right here and every time they slap that skull logo on a t-shirt, I make about $0!" Jackson stated, "and do you know what? You're still supporting a good cause, and I'll never forget it, and you guys made The Bullet Club shirt the most famous shirt probably in the history of [pro] wrestling. Honestly, it's up there, right? It's up there with Austin 3:16. It's up there with the nWo. And I'll never forget it. The Bullet Club is the best thing of our career, but it's time to do something new, something fresh, and to look out for ourselves, and to look out for our families, and make a little bit of money on those t-shirts, for the love of God!"
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.]