Who Will Be the Inaugural IWGP United States Champion?

New Japan Pro Wrestling have unveiled a brand new championship and will be crowning the inaugural champion at the G1 Special events at Long Beach in July. New Japan’s official English language site NJPW1972.com had this to say about the brand new United States Championship:

“New Japan Pro-Wrestling Chairman Naoki Sugabayshi, and referee Tiger Hattori, Kevin Kelly, Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff, George Carroll Jr and ROH Ambassador Cary Silkin stood in a sold out Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan, New York and shocked the world.

New Japan officials took note of the demand for the global branding and wanted to ensure that the already epic G1 in the USA specials on July 1 & 2 become truly landmark events in the history of professional wrestling.

It was announced that at the G1 in the US Specials in Long Beach California, the stars of New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Ring of Honor will complete in a round robin tournament.

For the first time in its 45 year history, New Japan Pro-Wrestling will add their first championship based in the US. At the G1 Specials in the USA, The winner of this tournament will become the New IWGP United States Champion!

The question is….who is likely to win this brand new Championship?

Former Ring of Honor Champion Jay Lethal was announced as the first entrant in the 2 day round robin tournament. While we learn the names of the rest of the field in the coming weeks here is the man that we believe will be crowned the inaugural champion:

  • The ‘American Nightmare’ Cody – We here are Turnbuckle are big fans of Cody, his presence in the ring and adaption to the New Japan style has not been as quick as anticipated but with his upcoming match against Michael Elgin we truly believe that the American Nightmare will break out and establish himself as a mainstay on the New Japan roster. With that in mind Cody would be the ideal choice in our minds as the inaugural United States Champion. In terms of name recognition and New Japan establishing their brand in the US no-one on the NJPW roster has as much experience and is as well known in America as Cody Rhodes. As Cody mentioned in his interview with us recently (check it out here) that he is always looking to build his brand and would absolutely suit being the face of the New Japan US expansion.

Another name to consider as a left-field option would be this man:

  • ‘The Villain’ Marty Scurll – The newest member of the Bullet Club would also be an excellent choice for the new strap. Scurll is currently the Ring of Honor Television Champion and has been slowly building his ‘villainous’ brand across the pond in the United States since his debut last year. Although we believe that Cody is likely the recipient of the US title you could consider Marty Scurll a dark horse option, with his impending debut in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament it all depends on whether New Japan is set on building Marty as a Juniors star or if this is a temporary move to introduce him to the New Japan audience, time will tell.

Who do you think will be crowned the inaugural US Champion? Let us know in the comments

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