Great show this week. Glad to hear the positive takes on the Long Beach shows; maybe I needed some reassurance. The Cody thing to a degree, and much moreso the Billy Gunn thing... you just don't want to feel misunderstood as American NJPW fans. I don't want to see Billy Gunn in a big match.
I would counter some of the online response to say something like: I get it, but keep in mind they aren't just catering to current NJPW fans, they're trying to appeal to new fans probably most of all.
Of course the counter is that why would a rando want to see Billy Gunn in 2017 against some Japanese guy they don't know. Beats me, but as ever I'll reserve judgement to see how it goes. The Cody thing in particular could go anywhere from brilliant booking to nuclear disaster. Even if Cody gets the title and they do it in a great way that sets up a great heel act... I don't want to see Cody and the idea of him ending this legendary run makes me woozy.
I just wonder if Cody has the right mindset about Japan. Maybe he does. But someone like Juice came into NJPW ready to learn and grow, and although Cody's a relative veteran, you'd hope he'd have an open enough mind to learn something outside of the WWE style matches. And if he had a volume of matches in New Japan I wouldn't be shocked if he became a really good worker, but he's not really wrestling enough there to deprogram his boring in-ring style in the way a Juice did, who was wrestling matches constantly from underneath. I'd love to see Cody really grow into an in-ring talent, but I don't know if it's possible.
As for the NJPW US tournament, your discussion has me all abuzz wondering who it could be.
Wiki's got a bracket up for anyone else who likes to stare at brackets: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IWGP_Unit ... ampionship
If not Omega, then who? Elgin I'd like a lot. Juice I'd fucking LOVE (if Juice gets a good run I'll be so happy). Maybe....Ishii?! I'd melt in my chair that happened.