AEW X NJPW: Forbidden Door: What to Expect

On the April 20 episode of Dynamite, All elite wrestling President Tony Khan and New Japan Pro-Wrestling President Takami Ohbari were interrupted by Adam Cole, who announced that the two companies would collaborate to put on a pay-per-view event. The event was titled Forbidden Door in reference to the wrestling term often used to refer to a competitor appearing in a promotion, usually while under contract to another. The announcement of the event left many drafting dream matches once thought impossible.


The card for the joint AEW and NJPW pay-per-view includes title defenses from both promotions. AEW will crown an interim world champion, an inaugural champion and present the defense of its AEW Women’s World Championship. NJPW will have three of their IWGP Championships defended on pay-per-view. The Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship will also be on the line with Khan’s previous acquisition of the company. AEW and NJPW hope to make Forbidden Door an annual event and how it goes will be a roadmap for future crossover events.

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In Dynamite, it was announced that The Acclaimed’s Max Caster will team with Austin, Billy and Colten Gunn to take on The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin and Yuya Uemura at Forbidden Door’s Buy In. The DKC prepared for Forbidden Door by taking on HOOK in a one-on-one match on Rampage.

On June 8, AEW announced a tournament to crown the inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion, with the goal of representing AEW’s audience from over 130 countries. Each competitor in the tournament represented a different country: PAC (UK), Buddy Matthews (Australia), Miro (Bulgaria), Ethan Page (Canada), Tomohiro Ishii (Japan), Clark Connors (USA), Malakai Black ( Netherlands). ), and Dark Penta (Mexico). The matchup could see outside interference, as the House of Black may step in not only in hopes of helping Black, but also to avenge Matthews’ first-round loss.

After forming the Jericho Appreciation Society, Jericho hasn’t forgotten about his issues with Kingston. Jericho’s ongoing feud with the Blackpool Combat Club will continue after Forbidden Door, as the factions will compete in Blood & Guts. Yuta and Umino will make an impressive team, given their relationship forged in fire with Moxley. Kingston will lead his team, making this matchup the epitome of violence. Following Suzuki’s former tag team partner Lance Archer’s alliance with JAS, Suzuki’s addition to the matchup only makes for a much more violent fight that no one wants to miss.

After his team’s defeat in DOMAIN, Saber Jr. called out Bryan Danielson for Forbidden Door. Unfortunately, Danielson announced that he was not medically cleared to compete, but he had personally chosen an opponent to take his place whom he praised for his technical prowess. The commentary added that the mystery opponent would be the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club. Among the list of possible opponents are the current ROH world champion, Jonathan Gresham, Claudio or Johnny Gargano.

Ever since she won the AEW World Women’s Championship in March, many have expected to see Rosa have a high-stakes matchup. Storm made her debut the same month, participating in the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament. Despite being defeated by Britt Baker in the semifinals, Storm has proven that she is a force to be reckoned with in the women’s division. While neither woman is technically signed to a Japanese promotion, Storm previously worked for Stardom. There, Storm won the 2017 Cinderella Tournament, becoming the longest reigning World of Stardom Champion and SWA World Champion with an impressive record of 612 days. At Forbidden Door, Storm looks to claim her first championship since 2019.

In his surprising AEW debut, Ospreay continued the work of Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb, setting his sights on Roppongi Vice and FTR. Opsreay, Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis lost a match against Trent Beretta and FTR. The following week Ospreay defeated Dax Harwood, and the Aussie Open, FTR and Roppongi Vice would fight afterwards, only to be interrupted by Cassidy. Ospreay and Cassidy will compete for Ospreay’s IWGP United States Championship at Forbidden Door and following Cassidy’s tag team victory alongside Roppongi Vice at DynamiteHe has the momentum going into the game.

On May 25, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defended their ROH Tag Team Championship against Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero. The match was interrupted by Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb before a winner could be crowned. At Forbidden Door, Harwood and Wheeler will defend their ROH Tag Team Championship, while Khan and Cobb will defend their IWGP Tag Team Championship in a Winner Takes All match. Beretta and Romero are 4-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and are aiming to capture their first tag team gold medal since 2017. Wheeler and Harwood are also the current AAA Tag Team Champions and while they will not be defended at Forbidden Door, they do hope to add another coveted championship to their impressive resume. Khan and Cobb hope to do the same as they expand their second reign as IWGP Tag Team Champions.

After defeating David Finlay, Page announced his intentions to challenge Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Okada lost that championship to White in DOMAIN, and White ridiculed Page’s comments afterwards. Cole and Page continued to argue over which man deserved to challenge more for the title, while White said neither, leading many fans to believe that White would issue an open challenge at Forbidden Door. Instead, Okada made his AEW debut to end a feud between the three men. At Forbidden Door, Okada hopes to claim the championship from him, while both Page and Cole look to claim their first taste of NJPW gold.

After making AEW history as the first two-time AEW Tag Team Champions, the Young Bucks announced that they would be returning to the Bullet Club for one night only at Forbidden Door. They will team up with Hikuleo and El Phantasmo from Bullet Club to take on the team of Darby Allin, Sting, Hiromu Takahashi, and Shingo Takagi. Allin has previously expressed his appreciation for Takagi’s fighting style, hoping to one day have a fight with him. With an eye on Bullet Club, it’s unlikely that the match will plant the seeds for a feud between the two, though it certainly can’t be ruled out in the future.

Moxley and Tanahashi will compete to become the interim AEW World Champion. Shortly after winning the AEW World Championship from Hangman Adam Page at Double or Nothing, CM Punk announced that he needed ankle surgery. Moxley was the number one contender for the Punk Championship and defeated Kyle O’Reilly to earn his spot at Forbidden Door. Tanahashi defeated his old rival Hirooki Goto in DOMAIN to earn his shot at the interim championship. The interim AEW Champion will face Punk following his return to crown an undisputed champion. Moxley looks to become AEW’s first two-time world champion, while Tanahashi hopes to add another accolade to his career, where he is already NJPW Triple Crown Champion and NJPW Grand Slam Champion.

There is also a small chance that Danielson or a returning Kenny Omega could appear at the event, despite not competing on the card. Whether these men are in attendance or the event holds surprises in addition to Saber Jr.’s opponent, Forbidden Door has one of the most promising cards to date.

AEW X NJPW: Forbidden Door will be live from the United Center in Chicago on June 26, 2022.

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