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 who turns up in one promotion, typically while under contract with another. The announcement of the event left many drafting dream matches they once considered 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 feature the defense of its AEW Women's World Championship. NJPW will have three of its IWGP Championships defended at the pay-per-view. The Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship will also be up for grabs 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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Gunn Club & Max Caster v. NJPW Dojo

On 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 on Forbidden Door's Buy In. The DKC prepared for Forbidden Door by taking on HOOK in a one-on-one match on Rampage.

PAC v. Miro v. Malakai Black v. Tomohiro Ishii

On June 8, AEW announced a tournament to crown an inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion, aimed to represent AEW viewership from over 130 countries. Each competitor in the tournament represented a different country: PAC (United Kingdom), Buddy Matthews (Australia), Miro (Bulgaria), Ethan Page (Canada), Tomohiro Ishii (Japan), Clark Connors (United States), Malakai Black (Netherlands), and Penta Oscuro (Mexico). The matchup could see outside interference, as the House of Black may intervene not only with hopes of helping Black but to avenge Matthews' loss in the first round.

Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino v. Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Minoru Suzuki

After forming the Jericho Appreciation Society, Jericho has not 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 at Blood & Guts. Yuta and Umino will make an impressive team, given their forged-in-fire relationship with Moxley. Kingston will helm their 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 it that much more of a violent brawl that no one wants to miss.

Zack Sabre Jr. v. ???

Following his team's loss at DOMINION, Sabre Jr. called out Bryan Danielson for Forbidden Door. Unfortunately, Danielson announced that he was not medically cleared to compete, but had hand-chosen an opponent to take his place that he praised for their technical prowess. Commentary added that the mystery opponent would be the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club. Among the list of potential opponents are current ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham, Claudio, or Johnny Gargano.

Thunder Rosa (c.) v. Toni Storm

Since winning the AEW Women's World Championship in March, many have waited to see Rosa have a high-stakes matchup. Storm made her debut the same month, taking part in the Owen Hart Women's Tournament. Despite being defeated by Britt Baker in the semi-finals, Storm has proven that she is a force to be reckoned with in the women's division. While neither woman is technically under contract with a Japanese promotion, Storm previously worked for Stardom. There, Storm won the 2017 Cinderella Tournament, became the World of Stardom Champion, and the longest-reigning SWA World Champion with an impressive record of 612 days. At Forbidden Door, Storm seeks to claim her first championship since 2019.

Will Ospreay (c.) v. Orange Cassidy

In his surprising AEW debut, Ospreay continued the work of Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb, by setting his sights on Roppongi Vice and FTR. Opsreay, Kyle Fletcher, and Mark Davis went on to lose a match against Trent Beretta and FTR. The following week, Ospreay defeated Dax Harwood, and Aussie Open, FTR, and Roppongi Vice would brawl afterward, 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 on Dynamite, he has the momentum heading into the match.

FTR (c.) v. United Empire (c.) v. Roppongi Vice

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 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 aim to capture their first bit of tag team gold since 2017. Wheeler and Harwood are also the current AAA Tag Team Champions and while they will not be defended at Forbidden Door, they hope to add another coveted championship to their impressive resume. Khan and Cobb hope to do the same while expanding their second reign as IWGP Tag Team Champions.

Jay White (c.) v. Hangman Adam Page v. Kazuchika Okada v. Adam Cole

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

Bullet Club v. Dudes with Attitudes

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

Jon Moxley v. Hiroshi Tanahashi

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 to have ankle surgery. Moxley was the No.1 contender for Punk's championship and defeated Kyle O'Reilly to earn his spot at Forbidden Door. Tanahashi defeated longtime rival Hirooki Goto at DOMINION 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 the first two-time AEW World Champion, while Tanahashi hopes to add another accolade to his career, where he is already an NJPW Triple Crown Champion and NJPW Grand Slam Champion.

There is also a slim chance that Danielson or a returning Kenny Omega may appear at the event, despite not competing on the card. Whether these men are present, or the event contains any surprises aside from Sabre 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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