I can confirm from years upon years of personal, firsthand experience that a significant chunk of this forum's userbase has never even HEARD OF The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, or any of Sergio Leone's work, nor do they even know what Spaghetti Westerns are in the slightest or how they differ from traditional Westerns. I'm not in any way joking.
The the crux of the problem outlined throughout your entire post here stems significantly from the fact that a staggeringly large amount of Dragon Ball's 2000s and 2010s Western fanbase (along with that of much of broader anime fandom of this same period) has rarely to never experienced and does not know or care to anything about nearly ANY piece of media that isn't some form of popular children's merchandise-driven media. Overwhelmingly this encompasses almost entirely television cartoons, but there's some bits of live action and film mixed in there (Power Rangers, Pixar, MCU, etc).
If a given work isn't something aimed at very small children/families and isn't attached to a merchandising juggernaut of some kind, then a vast, VAST chunk of contemporary Dragon Ball, anime, and broader "geek media" culture does not care to show it the slightest bit of intellectual curiosity. This has been increasingly the case since at least the middle-ish 2000s or so, so probably for the past 15 or so years now roughly (give or take).
That really is a LOT of the crux of the problem here with the fanbase's complete and utter ahistorical lack of any media awareness that extends outside of children's escapist fantasy from maybe the past 20 to 30 years at most: on a broad contemporary nerd cultural level today, there is just almost ZERO regard for or interest in almost ANYTHING that isn't on a continuum with the likes of the Marvel films, Pokemon and other "action Shonen" merchandise megafranchises, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and other assorted "nostalgia" vehicles. For a gigantic number of people today, something like Toy Story is as close to a "high brow art film" as they ever get: not an exaggeration in the slightest. And an "old, classic film" for them is something along the lines of maybe Space Jam, the 1980s Transformers animated film, or the original Men in Black.
There's just been almost next to NOTHING in the way of personal/parental or broader cultural encouragement for intellectual or emotional engagement in works of media or art that are strictly, solely, and specifically for adult thinking and adult sensibilities within the lives of a broad chunk of the past generation or so. Not the ENTIRETY of the last generation mind you, not by any means 100% of it of course: but certainly within a significant enough of a slice of it to have a very real impact on the wider cultural discourse on art and media as a whole for throughout much of the past decade+ now.
For this chunk of the culture in the 2000s and 2010s (which again, encompasses not just most of modern Dragon Ball fandom and anime fandom today, but a vast swath of millennial "geek culture") they remain permanently "stuck" at more or less largely the same exact level of art and media interest, awareness, and engagement that they held as elementary school children arguing about Yu Gi Oh trading cards on the playground.
That's... not even entirely the case really, unless we're solely defining "the West" rigidly by, once again, mainstream children's media. I remember you've made some very detailed and thorough (and generally very pinpoint accurate within this specific context) posts outlining the history of Dragon Ball's impact on mainstream Western children's TV cartoons, and I meant to respond to a few similar points in those quite awhile back: but one of the crucial mistakes that a lot of fans make today (largely for the above described problems, but even some more genuinely knowledgeable fans of a certain age often make this error as well) is solely viewing the pop cultural cultural lens of the 1980s and 90s through the prism of children's-focused media of the time.
In reality of course, there was quite obviously a WHOLE TREMENDOUSLY GREAT DEAL more going on media-wise back in those years than just whatever was big in children's TV animation. Media awareness and cultural impact involved far, FAR more than just works like Transformers, He-Man, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, and whatnot: there was a whole entirely SEPARATE (and far, FAR more important/prominent) mainstream of non-children's media of the time - as well as layers upon layers upon layers worth of subcultures and niches within that realm - that vastly, VASTLY eclipsed stuff like Beast Wars and Ninja Turtles and Pokemon and Power Rangers and so on in their cultural cache and relevance.
Despite how all-consumingly important such children's "action" titles may have been to the kids who grew up on them back then, "real" action films from the likes of John Carpenter, John Woo, Tony Scott, Luc Besson, Tsui Hark, etc. were of IMMENSELY greater overall/broader significance and impact at that time in the eyes of a VAST majority of adults at the time: for perfectly valid, justified, and flat-out correct reasons.
Wuxia/martial arts fantasy itself, along with other such forms of over the top genre action films and media, while certainly within a particular niche of varying degrees, were also hardly THAT unknown nor their niches quite AS thoroughly buried underground as many fans of today - who's entire cultural frame of reference for the 1980s and 90s often tends to extend largely if not solely to the Fox Kids, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon programming lineups, and very little else besides (generally Network TV sitcoms or TV staples like Star Trek and whatnot) - seem to be under the mistaken impression they were.
A lot of it unfortunately just boils down to the classic fallacy of "because I didn't know what this was back then, no one else must've known either." Which is, of course, DEMONSTRABLY untrue in this case (and many others as well). Countless are the times I've seen now where some of the more adventurous folks from within today's nerd media landscape will backtrack to an older non-children's work along the lines of Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, La Femme Nikita, True Romance, A Better Tomorrow, or what have you and regard them as somehow "totally inaccessible" during their time compared to today (cue the usual self-congratulatory platitudes about the internet today and how "forever lost all this stuff would've remained without it").
And its like... yeah, I guess maybe a lot of those kinds of works could be seen as "completely inaccessible" if you lived either miles upon miles far, far away from any remote vestige of civilization and/or had the most overzealously sheltering parents of all time: but for most average/normal people, they were as easy to see as flipping to late night cable, making an afternoon trip to the video store, or just... going to a regular-ass movie theater and paying attention to all the countless legions of non-Disney films that were also playing at the time.
This exact same logic applies to all the absurd amount of people today who genuinely still think (despite the veritable SHITLOADS of easily Google-able and Wiki-able information and historical documentation that's freely and easily available to the contrary) that as far as the entirety of American society as concerned, all of Japanese anime & manga was this heavily guarded secret that the Japanese government kept locked away in a titanium vault encased in laser-tripwires until the tail-end late 90s/early 2000s when Pokemon & Toonami came and unveiled them to the whole Western world for the very first time ever, and regard me with absolute and utter incredulity when I say that I, along with tons of other people as well, were heavily into anime as early at the late 1980s.
Back in my early days on here, I actually used to have a fairly good deal folks here genuinely believe that I somehow must've grown up in Japan in order for that to have in any remote way possibly been the case.
Here's the simple reality of how you could've more than easily gotten into "hard" anime (uncut, dubbed and subbed), or watched any kind of Wuxia or Wuxia-esque over the top martial arts/action film in the late 1980s and early 1990s, broken down in three very simple steps by a guy who had gotten heavily into those things back during those years as a very, very young kid in much a similar fashion:
Step 1: Live in an actual urban area or city that isn't a tiny midwestern village or farm flush in the middle of ass-fuck nowhere.
Step 2: Go to any given video store or major retail outlet, which most cities (of any size) were positively loaded to the gills with back then.
Step 3: Walk into any given aisle that isn't the Children's or Family section. Many of them were even helpfully labeled as "Japanimation" or "Martial Arts/Action".
Voila. You're in the club. No secret handshake, password, code, or ritual blood sacrificial offering necessary.
The ONLY way that much of this stuff could even charitably be seen as so thoroughly deep, deep, deep underground and completely unknown and hidden from view of anyone as far back as the early/mid 90s or so (if not even earlier in some cases), is if you lived in an INCREDIBLY insulated and suffocating little protective bubble/cocoon for the first 20 or so years of your life. And sadly that... seems to have indeed been largely the depressing reality for a great many (if not the majority) of folks in this fanbase today.