All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling join forces once again as both promotions present the 2nd edition of AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door. Last year’s iteration of the event brought about so many bouts that many could have only dreamed of in years past. The fantasy is over and it’s time for wrestling fans to rejoice as this latest installment event looks to be better than ever!
Let’s not keep anyone waiting any longer and bust the gates open once more! This is a preview of the 2023 edition of AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door. Let’s run it down.
Full AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door Match Card:
- Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara & Minoru Suzuki vs. Sting, Darby Allin & ?
- Blackpool Combat Club, Konosuke Takeshita, Shota Umino vs. The Elite, Eddie Kingston & Tomohiro Ishii
- AEW International Championship Match: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Daniel Garcia
- AEW Women’s World Championship Match: Toni Storm (c) vs. Willow Nightingale
- Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Cup Tournament – Quarterfinals: CM Punk vs. Satoshi Kojima
- IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Will Ospreay
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: SANADA (c) vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
- AEW World Championship Match: MJF (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
MJF vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW World Championship
Despite MJF’s insistences to the contrary, Hiroshi Tanahashi is set to challenge the AEW World Champion June 25 when @aew and NJPW present #ForbiddenDoor LIVE on PAY PER VIEW!#AEWxNJPW pic.twitter.com/BSJUAcXVe6
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) June 16, 2023
If anyone ever told #AllElite fans just four short years ago that MJF will defend the AEW World Championship against one of NJPW’s most prolific legends in the form of Hiroshi Tanahashi, that person would’ve been met with a lot of skepticism. However, that’s what Forbidden Door is all about; making the unthinkable possible!
On last week’s AEW Dynamite the “Master of the Century” laid out the challenge to the “Salt of the Earth” stating that the title won’t get the recognition it deserves as long as MJF has it. In addition to that sentiment, Tanahashi proclaimed that he wants one more crack at winning the AEW Title after getting so close to defeating Jon Moxley last year.
After hearing about this challenge, MJF rejected the proposition, to no one’s surprise, and threatened to no-show the event. It looks like everything has changed thanks to one Adam Cole, ultimately forcing MJF’s hand to compete against the industry icon.
Regardless of how you feel about MJF, it will be one for the ages, as this match features one of the best and brightest stars of today and the reigning and defending AEW World Champion battling “The Ace.” Will MJF retain the title? Or will Hiroshi Tanahashi add another accolade to his already illustrious career?
Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada
The dream match to possibly end all dream matches comes your way this Sunday night live from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada as the “American Dragon” battles “The Rainmaker! The word “best” is thrown a lot in the ever-competitive landscape of professional wrestling. That said, two names always seem to spring up in the minds of most fans when they hear that specific term; Bryan Danielson and Kazuchika Okada.
Danielson is probably one of the best pro wrestlers the world has ever seen. Putting on classic after classic. Winning gold whenever he went over the last 20 years, Bryan set the standard for every so-called “unconventional competitor” to break through into the sport. He is a technical marvel whose skills are second to none and it seems like he just keeps on getting better with each passing bout.
On the flip side, you got Kazuchika Okada. Potentially one of the most complete wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle. Okada’s fundamentals and smooth but physical style are considered by many to be unparalleled. He has dominated Japan and raised the bar for many of his peers, regardless if it’s in the Eastern or Western part of the globe.
Both competitors have the right to lay claim to the title “best wrestler in the world.” Unfortunately, only one will walk away with their hand raised high. Who will it be?
Prediction: Kazuchika Okada
CM Punk vs. Satoshi Kojima
— 小島 聡【SATOSHI KOJIMA】 (@cozy_lariat) June 22, 2023
After almost a year away from the ring, CM Punk made his triumphant return on the inaugural edition of AEW Collision. The “Best in the World’ teamed up with FTR. They defeated the team of Bullet Club Gold and his long-time arch-nemesis Samoa Joe. The match was non-stop action from start and finish and it proved how good Punk still is despite the time off.
Unfortunately, there’s no rest for the wicked. As Forbidden Door will feature the first match of the Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Cup Tournament, and it features CM Punk. His opponent? None other than the legendary Satoshi Kojima. The former two-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion was elated when he heard the news, calling it a “dream.”
Fortunately, it’s not. It’s a full-blown reality and it has CM Punk versus Satoshi Kojima going at it one-on-one for the first time ever! Who will advance to the second round of the Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Cup Tournament?
Prediction: CM Punk
Everything goes down this Sunday night live on pay-per-view!
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.