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The Grapevine (1/8/15): The Siege of New Japan, Day 4




Good morning everyone, and welcome to the Grapevine! This is our daily post rounding up all the interesting rumors from the wild, wild world of pro wrestling that you may have missed over the evening.

This New Japan talent raid is far from being over:



  • Fellow Bullet Club members Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale could be coming over to WWE as well. Word is Finn Balor suggested recruiting them, and Fale has had offers before due to his size, but turned them down due to unwillingness to relocate to Orlando from New Zealand. However, neither man nor Rocky Romero as well have yet to give their notices to NJPW, so this rumor is unsubstantiated for the moment.

    Tonga and Fale are set to be the top foreign team following Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows's departure, with Tonga especially in line for a push. Kenny Omega is now set to be the top heavyweight, with the Young Bucks still in their position as the top junior heavyweight tag team. This doesn't totally disprove the rumors of Tonga and Fale negotiating with the WWE, however. Omega and the Bucks have been tweeting about how they are now the Elite of the Bullet Club. (Source: WON)

We say: As much as we find this wildly exciting, we also can't help but feel that adding Tonga and Fale to the rumors seems a lot like overkill. This might be the particular facet that is likely to not be true, so we're going to assume that business will be going on as usual for these two. But we'll let you know about any updates.


  • WWE has not purchased the rights to the Bullet Club name. This rumor started off as a joke from Pro Wrestling Tees, who said they might have to pull their Bullet Club merchandise from their site because of WWE. They clarified that it was a joke, but some people didn't catch it. NJPW registered the "Bullet Club" IP in the States last year. In fact, WWE would rather push new Balor Club shirts thanks to the popularity of Bullet Club merchandise. (Source: WON)

We say: There you go. Vince McMahon is rich and powerful and can hire a damn good lawyer, but he won't get NJPW to turn over the rights to their biggest-selling brands that easily.


  • Part of the reason for Shinsuke Nakamura's WWE signing was to make him the face of the WWE Network in Japan. The service launched in the country just this Tuesday. (Source: MLW)

We say: Let it not be said that Vince was not a smart businessman. An out-of-touch booker yes, but definitely not a terrible entrepeneur.


  • In WWE injury news, Sasha Banks is apparently also out with an injury. The injury hasn't been disclosed yet. She has not worked since the December 28 episode of RAW, in a match against Becky Lynch.

    Meanwhile, Cena had apparently been having issues with his shoulder for a while now, and they worsened while he was training. He's still expected to miss WrestleMania, but they'll have a better idea on his timetable when he starts rehab.  (Source: WON)

We say: Another one bites the dust. How many more will fall before the WWE decides to make some sort of significant change to the way they do business? It's like gun violence in the U.S.—this should be the year they stop ignoring this issue. As much as it's nice to sign the biggest names in the business, this shouldn't be the way they put a band-aid on this glaring issue. Get well soon, Sasha.

What do you think? We've gotten so much news on who's rumored to come over, but which NJPW stars do you really want to see jump ship to WWE? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Photo from NJPW

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