The collective hearts of millions of NJPW and Bullet Club fans skipped a beat when Kenny Omega took to Twitter to announce he was taking a short leave from wrestling to recuperate from building injuries and rest up.
Unfortunately, I'll have to take a short break. Hold the fort, Leo Tonga. See you in Kobe.
You deserve a break! Heal up soon my friend🙏🏻
While it not only changed things from a singles match perspective, with Kenny Omega the defending IWGP United States Champion, it also threw a wrench into the booking plans of the fall, as Kenny was slated to team with Bullet Club’s heavyweight tag team specialists, the Guerrillas of Destiny, featuring brothers Tama Tonga and Tanga Lao, in a series of 6-man matches.
New Japan was quick to announce his replacement – and new Bullet Club member – and they didn’t stray far from the family. Joining the squad – perhaps even as a third member of G.o.D. to work Freebird-style in tag team or complete the 6-man unit – is G.o.D.’s real life brother, and third son of WWE/WCW Legend Haku/Meng, Leo Tonga.
BOYZ II MENG
Guerrillas of Destiny became Bullet Club’s heavyweight tag team contenders following the departure of Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows to the WWE in 2016 and took NJPW by storm, winning three IWGP Tag Team championships. They even worked the US indie scene, capturing the inaugural WrestleCircus Big Top Tag Team Champions. The brother combo of 34-year old Tama Tonga and 34-year old Tanga Loa (formerly Camacho in WWE and Micah on Impact Wrestling) have been pairing together since their early indie days in 2008, when they went by The Sons of Tonga, an ode to their father Meng, aka Haku, aka King Tonga (and whose real name is Tonga Fifita). While Lao did tours in WWE and Impact, Tama worked in New Japan, before the two reunited last year.
The addition of Leo Tonga, the 27-year old bigger little brother (he stands 6’7″ and weighs 265 lbs.), completes the unit of Tonga’s three sons, although only one is biological (Tanga Loa). Tama and the new recruit Leo are both Haku’s adopted sons – they were adopted a young age and brought to the US to live by Haku and his wife (the two boys were her nephews) and raised as their sons. All three Tonga boys were trained at the Team 3D Academy by the Dudley Boyz and Ricky Santana, with a few tips here and there from pops as well.
With Old Man Meng accompanying his sons to the ring of late, the addition of a fourth Tonga man to the unit will only solidify the place of the Meng Dynasty in NJPW (or fifth member, if you include their cousin – and Meng’s nephew – Bad Luck Fale).
LIST OF ALL MATCHES THAT LEO TONGA WILL JOIN BULLET CLUB ON DURING THE NEXT TOUR:
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Tokyo, Night One, Thursday September 7, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan – G.o.D. & Leo Tonga vs. War Machine & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Tokyo, Night Two, Saturday, September 9, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan – Leo Tonga & Chase Owens vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- DESTRUCTION in FUKUSHIMA, Sunday, September 10, Azuma Sports Park, Fukushima, Japan – Leo Tonga & Bad Luck Fale vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Niigata, Monday, September 11, Shibata-shi Culture Centre, Niigata, Japan – G.o.D. & Leo Tonga vs. War Machine & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Toyama, Tuesday, September 12, Uozu City General Gymnasium, Toyama, Japan – G.o.D. & Leo Tonga vs. David Finlay, Togi Makabe & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Yokkaichi-Mie, Thursday, September 14, Yokkaichi City Green Park Gymnasium, Yokkaichi-Mie, Japan – G.o.D. & Leo Tonga vs. War Machine & Juice Robinson
- DESTRUCTION in HIROSHIMA, Saturday, September 16, Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall, Hiroshima, Japan – Leo Tonga & Bad Luck Fale vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Ehime, Sunday, September 17, Saijo City General Gymnasium, Ehime, Japan – Leo Tonga & Chase Owens vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Tokushima, Tuesday, September 19, Kitajimakita Park Gymnasium, Tokushima, Japan – G.o.D., Leo Tonga & Bad Luck Fale vs. War Machine, David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Osaka, Wednesday, September 20, Osaka Municipal Centre, Osaka, Japan – Leo Tonga & Chase Owens vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson
- Road to DESTRUCTION: Yamaguchi, Friday, September 22, Kirin Beverage Shunan Sports Centre, Yamaguchi, Japan – G.o.D., Leo Tonga & Bad Luck Fale vs. War Machine, David Finlay & Juice Robinson.