There was massive news, prior to the War of The Worlds pay-per-view on Friday. New Japan Pro Wrestling announced a new singles title which is the first one in over four decades called the IWGP United States Championship.
This is special because NJPW will their first-ever shows in the US in California for two G1 specials at the beginning of July. Therefore the inaugural Champion will be crowned at these shows. It is perfect timing to look at different options for who could be crowned the inaugural IWGP United States Champion.
Jay Lethal is one of the men that have been announced so far for G1 specials in Los Angeles. Lethal has done everything there is to do in Ring Of Honor and this would be another great challenge for him.
ROH Championship success
In 2014, he decided to turn heel and he defeated Tommaso Ciampa to become a two-time ROH TV Champion. Lethal made history, he became the longest reigning ROH TV Champion he held the title for over a year.
At Best in the World 2015, Lethal would face Jay Briscoe in a winner-takes-all Battle of the Belts. This was the biggest match in ROH history at the time. It was the first time that both ROH’s World Championship and the World Television Championships were on the line.
Lethal defeated Briscoe after he hit Briscoe with his own move Jay Driller. This was followed up with a Lethal Injection to win the ROH World Championship. Lethal became the first African-American to win the ROH Championship. Having Lethal win the championship would ultimately be a great choice.
Ricochet is one of the hottest wrestlers in the industry right now other than Kenny Omega. When fans watch him in the ring they are always speechless with his high-flying and athletic abilities. He has had several memorable moments in NJPW. First, he won the Best of the Super Juniors in 2014. Then he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships twice with Matt Sydal. More recently he won NJPW NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships.
Ricochet has never held a singles title in NJPW. He recently challenged Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship but came up short. The aspect that makes Ricochet unique is he could steal the show on a nightly basis.
You can make the case that Kenny Omega is the biggest star in the wrestling right now. It’s a hard statement to disagree against because the Bullet Club is a global brand, in addition, he is a part of The Elite. Omega and Kazuchika Okada faced off at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in the main event for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The match was an instant classic, the fans loved the match it was already named as a match of the year candidate.
He will face Okada once again for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion on June 11th. Therefore the result of the match could affect the overall title picture of the IWGP United States Championship. Omega is Canadian, however, an exception can be made due to his global appeal. Omega made history last year, he became the first ever foreign wrestler to win the G1 Climax tournament.
Cody has made a serious name for himself since his release from the WWE. He decided to join the Bullet Club and New Japan at the start of 2017. His booking of his character has been amazing with his new gimmick The American Nightmare. Cody has not disappointed in the ring constantly delivering high-profile matches.
New Japan would want to put the IWGP United States Championship a wrestler that is well-known. Therefore Cody becoming the first-ever IWGP United States Champion makes perfect sense. Just imagine the promo’s that Cody would have he could make a tribute to his late great father Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes.
New Japan introducing this new IWGP United States title is very intriguing. However, at the same time, I am skeptical of the idea. Due to the fact, that this Championship needs to be defended in the states which means NJPW would have to do shows more often in the states in order to make to prestigious.