AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door: Match Card Overview & Staff Predictions
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view is this Sunday, June 26th. This is the first time that AEW and NJPW have teamed up for a pay-per-view. The card is stacked with dream matches, so this should be an amazing show. With nine matches on the main card and three on the pre-show, wrestling fans are in for one hell of a night of professional wrestling. This pay-per-view is going to expose NJPW to a lot of people that don’t know much about the company or it’s wrestlers. Along with my overview, I asked fellow staff member, Max Everett, for his AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door predictions.
*The Buy-In Pre-Show*
Gunn Club & Max Caster vs NJPW LA Dojo
Gunn Club and Max Caster formed their team in the past couple months. Shortly after the Acclaimed teamed up with the Gunn Club, Anthony Bowens suffered an injury. Max Caster and the Gunn Club have been really good as a team. I love them — every time they come out, they make me laugh. Their whole gimmick is so ridiculous that it’s awesome. The NJPW LA Dojo are looking to show wrestling fans what NJPW is all about. They are the students from the LA Dojo and have a lot of potential. I think this match is going to be very entertaining. Everyone should watch it.
Mark: NJPW LA Dojo
Max: The Gunn Club & Max Caster
Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
Lee and Strickland have had a bumpy road in their tag-team recently. Strickland eliminated Lee from the Battle Royal where the winner had a chance to earn a shot at the Interim AEW World Championship. Lee has reluctantly teamed back up with Strickland and the two are trying to move on. Lee is very hesitant about if he can trust Strickland again after what he did. They look to move in the right direction by defeating Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado of NJPW. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru are 4x IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions and they’re a part of the Suzuki Gun faction. They’ve been a tag-team for about six years, so they will work well together. They’ve held gold in NJPW so they know how to win on the biggest stage.
I love Lee and Strickland, both as singles competitors and as a tag-team. I think a feud between them might benefit them the most. Although I do think Strickland is going to turn on Lee again, I don’t think it’s going to happen tonight. They definitely need a win to move forward on a positive note.
Mark: Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland
Max: Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland
Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto vs. Aaron Solo & QT Marshall
This match was added after AEW Rampage. There isn’t much hype for this match, so my expectations are low. I do think they have the ability to put on a solid match, but I think they could’ve done without it. Just like most matches, the point of this is to expose NJPW stars to a new audience. I think this match will serve that purpose.
Mark: Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto
Max: Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto
Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, & Sammy Guevara vs Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, & Shota Umino
This match has an interesting group of wrestlers. Jericho and Kingston have been feuding for quite some time now. The two just don’t like each other and there is no telling if, or when, this is going to end. Guevara recently joined the Jericho Appreciation Society, and has been having Jericho’s back the last few weeks. Wheeler Yuta aligned himself with Kingston, helping him try to even the odds. It seems like every time Kingston and Jericho are in the same arena, they’re fighting each other. Suzuki and Umino are no strangers either. All of these guys can wrestle, so I expect a pretty good match. This past week has been pure craziness with Jericho and Kingston fighting each other at every show. I think this match is going to be pure chaos.
Mark: Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, & Minoru Suzuki
Max: Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, & Minoru Suzuki
The Young Bucks, El Phantasmo, & Hikuleo vs Darby Allin, Sting, Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi
On this week’s Dynamite, the Young Bucks said they were, in fact, going to wrestle at forbidden door. They said they were going to join the Bullet Club for one night only. Darby Allin and Sting answered the call and they’re facing off against each other. Sting and Allin found allies in Takahashi and Takagi. It’s the classic tale of having a common enemy and teaming up to take them down. I think this match should be a fun one with some crazy spots.
Mark: The Young Bucks, El Phantasmo, & Hikuleo (Bullet Club)
Max: Darby Allin, Sting, Hiromu Takahashi, & Shingo Takagi (Dudes With Attitudes)
Zack Sabre Jr vs Mystery Opponent
Sabre Jr. called out Bryan Danielson in a press conference after a NJPW show. He wanted to prove that he is the best technical wrestler in the world, not Danielson. The two were set to face off at Forbidden Door, but now Daniel is hurt. Danielson announced on Dynamite that he can’t compete at Forbidden Door or Blood and Guts. He said he is going to hand select Sabre Jr’s. opponent for Forbidden Door and the mystery opponent would also take his place at Blood and Guts.
Danielson said he is picking the only person he trusts to beat Sabre Jr. and the only person who is as good of a technical wrestler as him. We are going to have to wait until Sunday to find out who it is, but I think there are two obvious choices. I think it’s going to be Johnny Gargano or Cesaro. If I had to pick one, I would say Cesaro. Regardless of who it is, if they’re as good of a technical wrestler as Danielson claims, then this should be a very good match and I’m really excited for it.
Mark: Mystery Opponent (Cesaro)
Max: Mystery Opponent (Cesaro)
*ROH & IWGP Tag-Team Championship Match*
Roppongi Vice vs FTR (c) vs Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan
FTR has been on tear ever since getting released by WWE. They’re an old-school tag-team that is focused on ground and pound, not flying through the air. They’re currently the AAA Tag-Team Champions and the ROH Tag-Team Champions. FTR are former AEW Tag-Team Champions as well. They’ve stated that they want to wrestle the best in the world and they have done nothing short of that. Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan are the IGWP Heavyweight Tag-Team Champions. We got a little preview of this match on this week’s Rampage. It was Cash Wheeler vs Jeff Cobb, and it did not disappoint.
Watching those two wrestle got me excited for this tag-team championship match. The winner of this match is going to take home the ROH and IWGP Tag-Team Championships. FTR are the real belt collectors and I think they’re going to get another notch in their tag-team belts by winning this one. This match is going to be great and showcase what tag-team wrestling is all about.
Mark: FTR (c)
Max: FTR (c)
*AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match*
Miro vs PAC vs Malakai Black vs Clark Connors
AEW recently announced they have added a new title to the company, the All-Atlantic Championship. It is pretty much their version of the Intercontinental Championship in WWE. I love the idea of adding another mid-card title because AEW has such a massive roster full of incredible talent. Tomohiro Ishii was originally in the match after he beat Clark Conners to qualify for the match. He got hurt in their battle, though, and now Clark Connors is taking his place. It’s his turn to show a lot of people, including myself, what he’s about. I think Miro, Black, and PAC are severely underrated, so I’m extremely excited to see them in a match together. Miro recently made his return to AEW and this is the first thing he’s doing.
He’s a former TNT champion, so he knows what it takes to win gold. This has the potential to be the match of the night, and I have very high expectations for it. I believe Miro is going to win because I think AEW is going to introduce trios tag titles soon, so PAC and Black will be chasing those.
Max: Malakai Black
*IWGP United States Championship Match*
Orange Cassidy vs Will Osprey (c)
Since Osprey arrived at AEW two weeks ago, he has been nothing short of impressive. To get to this match he went after Chaos and FTR Cassidy. He recently returned from injury, so I’m excited to see him back. These two have very different styles of wrestling, and it’s going to be so much fun watching them clash. Cassidy has shown a slightly more serious and wrestling-based approach since his return. Osprey gets to showcase his skills in front of a huge audience and I have no doubt he will rise to the occasion. He is one of the most original characters I’ve seen in wrestling in a long time, so I hope he gets the success he deserves.
Mark: Will Osprey (c)
Max: Will Osprey (c)
*AEW Women’s World Championship Match*
Toni Storm vs Thunder Rosa (c)
Toni Storm climbed up in the rankings, earning herself a shot at the title. She recently helped Thunder Rosa when Marina Shafir attacked Rosa post match, and Storm came down to fend off Shafir. This match is interesting because it’s babyface vs babyface. These two women don’t hate each other. They just both want to be world champion. Storm and Thunder Rosa are two of the best female wrestlers in the world, so I have no doubt this match is going to be a good one. This is a big opportunity for Storm to prove herself as one of the best in the world and as championship material. Storm’s hip attack is one of the most intense moves at the moment. I’m really excited for this match and I think they’re going to put on an amazing performance at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.
Mark: Toni Storm
Max: Thunder Rosa (c)
*IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match*
Adam Cole vs Hangman Page vs Kazuchika Okada vs Jay White (c)
Jay White appeared on Dynamite a few weeks ago, once the pay-per-view was announced. He never said who he was going to face. He just said who it wasn’t going to be. Cole wanted it to be him vs White, but White said no. However, White said he would decide who it was going to be. This past week on Dynmite, Page was taking on Silas Young. Cole was on commentary for the whole episode, trying to convince everyone White made a mistake. After Page won the match, Cole was about to cut a promo when he was interrupted by White.
White went on to say that his opponent still isn’t Cole because he lost to hangman twice. He went down to the ring and said it wasn’t going to be Hangman either. Hangman attacked White, but Cole came down to the rescue. The two teamed up on Hangman when, suddenly, Kazuchika Okada came out to even the odds. He ran down to the ring and Cole and White retreated. Later on, AEW announced the fatal four-way match for the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view. These are four of the best wrestlers in the world, currently, so this match has to be spectacular. The bar is set extremely high, but I expect it will live up to the hype.
Mark: Jay White (c)
Max: Jay White (c)
*Interim AEW World Championship Match*
Jon Moxley vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Shortly after winning the AEW World Championship, CM Punk announced he had an injury and was going to be out of action for a while. He wanted to relinquish the title, but Tony Khan said no. AEW is going to crown an interim world champion. Once Punk is healthy, they will fight to unify the title. AEW had a battle royal to determine who was to face Moxley to qualify for this match. Moxley was the number one ranked wrestler, which is why he wasn’t in the battle royal. Kyle O’Reilly won, but Moxley beat him and, therfore, got into this match. So, Moxley is facing Tanahashi at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.
Moxley has been chasing Tanahashi for quite some time and now the two get to face off. This one is history in the making. Tanahashi is a megastar not only in Japan, but all over the world. This one is going to be a classic and I look forward to it. I’m predicting Kenny Omega returns tonight, after either the IWGP title match or this one. If I had to pick, I would say this one. Moxley is going to win and it’s going to be lights off, lights on, and Omega will be standing in the ring.
Mark: Jon Moxley
Max: Jon Moxley
Max: Kenny Omega will return to confront the winner of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match. MJF will return throughout the night to gatecrash the event.
Mark: Kenny Omega will return to confront the winner of the AEW World Championship match.
Max: Cesaro will replace Bryan Danielson in his match against Zack Sabre Jr.
Mark: Cesaro will replace Bryan Danielson in his match against Zack Sabre Jr.
Max: Daniel Garcia will turn on the Jericho Appreciation Society and join the Blackpool Combat Club.