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This is actually an idea that’s been rattling around my head for a while now, but just very recently did I get the motivation to actually bring it to fruition. Maybe it’s because I recently went to my very first New Japan Pro Wrestling show, and even in spite of the mass departure of all the guys that ended up birthing All-Elite Wrestling, Bullet Club remains as relevant as ever, even if it’s sort of kind of beginning to feel like the nWo black and white after Hogan and Nash basically imploded the entire faction.
The point is, Bullet Club started to become kind of lame once it reached peak popularity, and much like the nWo, hit a level of where it began saturating so much of NJPW, it was basically the only thing you saw fans gravitating towards. Suddenly, the whole world’s wrestling fans all started becoming huge Bullet Club marks, and it wasn’t that they were fans of NJPW, it’s just they were fans of this idea that didn’t originate in the WWE, and it was cool to like wrestling things that weren’t WWE.
And in my own little head, when things become too popular, they become lame, and I barely had any time learning about Bullet Club before I began thinking they were so popular, that it was nigh impossible for them to live up to the hype that the collective internet had put them on a pedestal with.
A year or so ago, I went to Dallas, and with my brother, we went to a Ring of Honor show. Back in like 2012, I went to an ROH show in Baltimore, and it was an enjoyable experience seeing a lot of talent that I’d never seen before and just witnessing a brand new scene, very different than that of the WWE crowds that I have little desire of going to their shows anymore. So I had high hopes that this ROH show in Dallas was going to be as good as my first time.
However, ROH has this working agreement with NJPW, therefore it’s very common for NJPW talent to regularly appear in ROH. That being said, the whole night was fairly dominated by Bullet Club members, with there being one in just about every single match of the night. Not only were Bullet Club guys in just about every single match, the vast majority of the crowd were all these Bullet Club marks, and a solid 65% of the crowd were wearing various Bullet Club or Bullet Club-variant shirts, of the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Marty Scurll, etc. They lost their shit whenever a Bullet Club guy did anything, and I kind of felt bad for any of the actual ROH talents who couldn’t get over due to how popular Bullet Club was.
But I think the tip of the iceberg for me, what started this whole idea for Neck Beard Club, was this one particular guy at that show. He was a fat roly-poly kind of guy that ironically didn’t have a beard at all, but was still basically a neck beard mark in the sense that he was wearing this ridiculous denim and leather outfit in the middle of a Dallas, Texas summer with a giant Bullet Club logo on it, and was carrying around replicas of both an ROH World championship as well as an IWGP World championship belts; yes I know the irony of a guy who collects wrestling replica belts calling a guy a tool for carrying around replica belts, but if you saw this guy, you’d probably agree.
Frankly, he was the seed to me, to make this Neck Beard Club logo. Because the vast majority of Bullet Club/The Elite/AEW fanboy marks are neck beard tools, drunk on this hipster kool aid of automatically thinking that something not being a WWE product is automatically superior to the WWE, because they’re the mainstream giants who must be hated.
It only took me like a year after I thought of it, to finally bring this thing to life. It’s not often these days that I feel any motivation to do anything graphically on my own time, but I dunno, the mood was right, and after seeing how over Bullet Club still was in the NJPW live scene, it just brought it all bubbling back to the surface.
Bullet Club is lame, and so are all their neck beard fans. Neck Beard Club, (ironically) 2 sweeeeeet!