One of the most highly-anticipated nights in professional wrestling this year, All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling presents AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door. Emanating from “The Windy City” Chicago, Illinois, this historic night will surely provide fans with terrific matches and unforgettable moments that will be spoken of for years to come.
The battle lines have been drawn, and there’s only one thing left to do; wage war. We shall briefly preview all of the championship matches from both AEW and NJPW, and give our prediction for each one. Let’s not keep anyone waiting any longer, the “Forbidden Door” is getting busted down! Buckle up, and enjoy the ride.
Editor’s Note: AEW lead writer Michael Joseph Sugue and NJPW lead writer Scott Edwards split the duties for this preview.
Full AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door Match Card:
- Forbidden Door “Buy-In” Pre-Show: Gunn Club & Max Caster vs. The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin, & Yuya Uemura
- Forbidden Door “Buy-In” Pre-Show: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Forbidden Door “Buy-In” Pre-Show: QT Marshall & Aaron Solo vs YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto
- The Young Bucks, El Phantasmo & Hikuleo vs. Darby Allin, Sting, Hiromu Takahashi, & Shingo Takagi
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs. ???
- Trios Match: Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, & Sammy Guevara vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta & Shota Umino
- IWGP United States Championship Match: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Orange Cassidy
- IWGP & ROH World Tag Team Championship Match – “Winner Takes All”: FTR (c) vs. Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan (c) vs. Roppongi Vice
- AEW Women’s World Championship Match: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Toni Storm
- AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match: Malakai Black vs. PAC vs. Miro vs. Clark Connors
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Jay White (c) vs. Hangman Page vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. Adam Cole
- AEW Interim World Championship Match: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s World Championship
The #AEW Women's World Title is on the line at #ForbiddenDoor when champ @thunderrosa22 faces challenger #ToniStorm LIVE on PPV Sunday 6/26 at 8p ET/5p PT available on all major providers, @BleacherReport, @FiteTV (intl)! Will it be Thunder or Storm leaving Chicago with the gold? pic.twitter.com/IVdMIrCLC8
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 17, 2022
Two of the absolute best the AEW Women’s Division has to offer will go one on one at Forbidden Door with the gold on the line. Both the champion Thunder Rosa and her challenger Toni Storm have been on quite the hot streak. This past AEW Dynamite, Storm solved “The Problem” and took down Marina Shafir. After a few exchanges with the duo of Shafir and Nyla Rose, Storm and Rosa had a staredown filled with admiration and respect. Unfortunately, only one can go out on top.
Thunder Rosa has the obvious experience advantage, being the current AEW Women’s World Champion and a former NWA Women’s World Champion. However, you can’t count Storm out. With her unpredictable offense, and proving she can hang with the best by beating Shafir and Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., she just might surprise a lot of people. – MJS
Prediction: Thunder Rosa
FTR (c) vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan (c) vs. Roppongi Vice for the IWGP & ROH World Tag Team Championships
This Sunday, the WINNER TAKES ALL when #ROH World Tag Team champs #FTR @DaxFTR/@CashWheelerFTR, #NJPW's IWGP World Tag Team champs @RealJeffCobb/@Great_O_Khan & #RoppongiVice @trentylocks/@azucarRoc throw it all on the line at #ForbiddenDoor LIVE on PPV 8p ET/5p PT! pic.twitter.com/aJ2EvHSMhQ
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 21, 2022
When you thought FTR, one of the most dominant tag teams in all of wrestling, couldn’t be stopped. Enter: Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan. The United Empire’s monstrous duo, Cobb and O-Khan could give both FTR and Roppongi Vice a run for their money. However, don’t count FTR out just yet. After all, both the IWGP and Ring of Honor tag team titles are on the line.
Dax and Cash have a lot to fight for, and want to add to their collection of titles. Now, for the dark horse team in this equation; Roppongi Vice. Trent and Rocky are probably the best “dark horses” you can ever have. Roppongi Vice are 4x IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. While the spotlight may be on Cobb, O-Khan and FTR. These two just might pull it off, and nobody would be the least bit surprised. – MJS
Prediction: Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan
Malakai Black vs. PAC vs. Miro vs. Clark Connors for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match
A matchup that could absolutely steal the show, this four-way is to crown the inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion. The newly christened title is a tribute to AEW’s #AllElite fans, and what a match to crown the gold’s first-ever holder. All four men have their own distinct styles. Miro, the first to qualify, absolutely obliterates his opponents with a series of power moves and an unbreakable submission in the form of the Game Over.
PAC, a relentless competitor and an aerial artiste that boasts a high-flying repertoire unlike any other. The patriarch of the House of Black, Malakai Black. With an arsenal so unpredictable, Black can end any match at any given moment. With Tomohiro Ishii’s unfortunate injury, 2020 Lion’s Break Crown winner Clark Connors steps up to the plate.
One of the brightest prospects produced by NJPW’s L.A. Dojo, Connor has the opportunity of a lifetime to beat these veterans and be the inaugural holder in the title’s lineage. Something’s got to give this Sunday night; who will be the one to take the AEW All-Atlantic Championship? – MJS
Prediction: Malakai Black
Jay White (c) vs. Hangman Page vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. Adam Cole for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
A battle is on the books for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship THIS SUNDAY at #ForbiddenDoor between champion @JayWhiteNZ, #Hangman @theAdamPage, @adamcolepro and @rainmakerXokada LIVE on PPV at 8pm ET/5pm PT! Available on major providers, @BleacherReport, & Intl @FITE / @ppv_com pic.twitter.com/44tg3QGk08
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 23, 2022
The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line as Jay White defends his newly won title against former AEW World Champion Hangman Page, former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, and Owen Hart Cup winner Adam Cole. This match was made for Forbidden Door after weeks of back and forth between Page and Cole but also the main event of Dominion where White defeated Okada to become the champion. Initially, it was Page who laid down the challenge to Okada before he’d end up losing the gold. Cole, however, was determined to get himself into another title picture after his major tournament victory. Everything was turned upside down when the “Switchblade” took the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
White was adamant that he didn’t want to defend his championship against either man but that all changed on the go-home edition of AEW Dynamite when White attacked Page. Cole came down to help White (also teasing he may hit his so-called “friend”) before the coin dropped and “The Rainmaker” made his AEW debut. After Okada helped Hangman Page fight them off, it was officially set by AEW and NJPW officials that this would be the match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
It’s a hitter’s row of participants with what might be the most important prize in professional wrestling on the line. There’s no doubt this should be a top-tier match and one that can be won by anyone. – SE
Prediction: Jay White
Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW Interim World Championship
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 19, 2022
The Dynamite following Double or Nothing was supposed to be the launching point for Forbidden Door. After all, after new AEW World Champion CM Punk and FTR won their match, it was Punk who laid down the challenge to New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was the “Ace” Hiroshi Tanahashi who answered the call and seemingly the main event was sent. Not even a week after, Punk announced he was injured and out for the foreseeable future. Now we get to where we are now — Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW Interim World Championship.
The match feels incredibly natural and for good reason. Despite having to go through eliminators to get here, it was Moxley who had his eyes on Tanahashi for years. It was Tanahashi’s greatness that drove Moxley to NJPW. AEW and NJPW losing their original main event wasn’t at all what they wanted but they had one maybe just as good ready to go. Whoever wins this match will likely go on to face CM Punk with the stakes of being the Undisputed AEW World Champion at hand, but that’s not something to worry about at this moment. It’s all about the now and the now says this is as 50-50 a world title match as you will see this year. There are no guarantees as to who will walk out as AEW Interim World Champion but it should be a war to figure out who has what it takes to lead AEW moving forward.
Jon Moxley is one of the best in the world right now. He believes he is the best. Then there’s Hiroshi Tanahashi. Jim Ross said it all on commentary. He’s one of the greatest of all time, no questions asked. Forbidden Door may have had its difficulties getting here but everything about this main event is why the show exists. It is going to be a special match. – SE
Prediction: Jon Moxley
More from LWOS Pro Wrestling
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TBS and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night. You can rewatch all 2021 NJPW events and plenty more tremendous wrestling content from New Japan Pro-Wrestling on NJPWWorld.com; The King of Sports Streaming. Make sure to catch Forbidden Door on Sunday, June 26th, and stay tuned to LWOPW for Forbidden Door card updates.