The crossover event of a wrestling generation is finally set, as the entire card for Forbidden Door has been revealed. AEW and NJPW fans have been fantasy booking this PPV for months now since its announcement earlier this year. So with us finally knowing what the match ups, which titles are up for contention, and one very big debut is coming, let’s take a look at each bout, and try to predict the winners in this Forbidden Door preview.
Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Championship
The main event of Forbidden Door will pin two of the biggest named and best wrestlers in the entire world, as Jon Moxley will take on Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World championship. This match came to be after CM Punk, announced he couldn’t defend his title due to a foot injury. What a consolation prize for us though!? Moxley and Tanahashi have been chomping at the bit to fight against each other for a while. Wrestling fans are finally getting that for the AEW interim title.
Money is on Moxley to win, but it would not be surprising if Tanahashi takes the title. Tanahashi winning would also set up the original match we were supposed to have anyway between him and Punk. Taking the title to Japan would also grow the AEW brand overseas in Japan and abroad. This is going to be incredibly interesting to watch two of the best, with two very distinct wrestling styles. And no matter the winner, we get to see them go against Punk. A win, win.
Prediction: Hiroshi Tanahashi
Jay White (c) vs. Adam Page vs Adam Cole vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight title
Of course, we knew that Okada was going to show up in Chicago for Forbidden Door! With all of the injuries that have befallen AEW over the past month, it would have made it incredibly sad not to find someone to match Okada with. Luckily, we get three of the best wrestlers in the world, two of which are All-Elite. Four of the best in the world for the IWJP title.
This match could honestly, could go to any of the four mega stars. Jay White could retain. Adam Page could rebound nicely after his AEW title loss while winning the IWGP World Heavyweight title. Adam Cole could cement his legacy and become a champion at his old stomping grounds. Okada could easily recapture his title back, after only losing it for a couple of weeks. However, New Japan does not like to play hot potato with their biggest title. For that reason, after a fantastic 20 minute match, White will find a way to retain his title.
Prediction: White retains
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Mystery Opponent
After coming out and giving a heartbreaking address to the AEW fans that he will not able to participate at Forbidden Door or Blood and Guts, Bryan Danielson let everyone know that he has found a replacement to take his spot at the two events. The clubhouse leader has to be Claudio, formerly known as Cesaro. He is the one major name that makes sense to fit in BCC that has not made an appearance yet. Also, no one could put a technical match in the shoes of Danielson like Claudio.
If it’s not Claudio, who could it possibly be then? Gargano? Omega, Josh Alexander? Perhaps, but Tony Khan loves his surprises. Khan knows that a debuting Claudio at Forbidden Door would set the wrestling community on fire. Perhaps with this being the debut for Claudio, he can finally have that spotlight that so many fans wished he had at his previous employer. As disappointing it is that Danielson will not take on Sabre Jr., it will be fun to see a debuting Claudio take his place.
Prediction: Claudio is the mystery opponent and winner.
PAC vs. Miro vs. next Wednesday’s Malakai Black vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship
This four-way AEW All-Atlantic championship match can steal the show on Sunday and be the match of the night. Since this no longer the only four-way of the night, these four men are ready to put on a show. We have three very deserving champions and a legend who is in the middle of a goodbye tour. We all know about the history between Malakai Black and PAC, two very versatile wrestlers who have great chemistry. Adding two bruisers in Miro and Tomohiro Ishii makes this a very intriguing matchup. One that should be an instant classic.
This match would also be a great place to crown a first-time AEW champion in PAC or Black, which could keep the House of Black vs Death Triangle rivalry alive. Fortunately for fans, they can keep doing this without a championship. Miro seems destined to win this title, as his “Redeemer” gimmick makes him super popular with AEW fans.
FTR (c) vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan (c) vs. Roppongi Vice for the ROH tag titles & IWGP tag titles
Winner-take-all, in perhaps the most interesting match-up of the night. FTR will put up their Ring of Honor tag team titles, as they take on IWGP Heavyweight tag team champions Jeff Cobb/Great O-Khan and Roppongi Vice. It’s impossible to see a timeline where FTR does not add to their great year and add the IWGP Heavyweight titles to their championship mantle.
A Roppongi Vice win is a long shot. Perhaps a Roppogi Vice win would placate politics and have NJPW and AEW go home happy. This would be a great end to Trent wanting a shot at the ROH titles and leaving with two championships.
Could the ROH titles go to Cobb/Khan or Roppongi Vice? Sure, but I think AEW is protecting FTR with tender care at the moment. Now that the Young Bucks have the AEW tag team titles again, we can legitimately see FTR with titles from four different promotions (AEW, AAA, NJPW, ROH) at the same time. We have entered the age of FTR.
Prediction: FTR retains and win IWGP titles
Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s title
This matchup was announced randomly, as many thought there would not be a single women’s match on Forbidden Door. This is because NWJP does not have a women’s division. Instead, Stardom, Japan’s premier all-women promotion and sister company, is where the top women’s wrestlers of Japan call home. But fortunately for fans, on the June 15th edition of Dynamite, it was announced that AEW Women champion Thunder Rosa would defend her title versus Toni Storm.
Some fans have been unhappy with Thunder Rosa’s championship run. Many had believed that this would be the turning point for the women’s division. After a couple of controversies and lackluster bookings, if TK wants to move on from Rosa as champion, this is the time to do it. Tony Khan’s booking habits do not indicate a quick title switch. Because this IS Forbidden Door, expect Storm, who has been a World of Stardom Champion in the past, to kick off a surprising angle with Stardom. This could happen win or lose depending on who the challenger.
Prediction: Thunder Rosa
Will Ospreay (c) vs. Orange Cassidy for the IWGP United States championship
This matchup was something not many were predicting, as it looked like Will Osprey was going to have a match against FTR or Trent, as that was the build. Not only that, but Orange Cassidy had been of AEW television for the better part of three months recovering from a shoulder injury. But, this was a pleasant surprise to see OC back and taking on another great wrestler in Osprey.
Andrade El Idolo recently revealed that it was supposed to be him, not Orange Cassidy, to take on Osprey. But, because of the CMLL vs AAA rivalry, AAA would not let Andrade work with NJPW as a member of AEW. Politics were an expected part of this collaboration, but luckily we still get a viable match between Osprey and Orange Cassidy. Juice Robinson’s refusal to relinquish the title will make a great storyline when he comes back from his appendicitis. Unfortunately, that storyline will take place in New Japan and not AEW.
Prediction: Will Osprey
Eddie Kingston, Shota Umino & Wheeler Yuta vs. Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki & Sammy Guevara
After the revelation of Sammy Guevara returning to the side of Jericho in the Jericho Appreciation Society, it was announced that Minoru Suzuki would join Le Sex Gods in a 6-man tag against Wheeler Yuta, Shota Umino, and Jericho’s thorn to his side, Eddie Kingston. Out of all the matches announced for Forbidden Door, this one seemed the most rushed and is the least interesting. This match still does have some very interesting matchups, but it does seem this was put together as a mosh posh way of trying to add as many popular names as possible.
With that said, it is good that they did find a way to get Eddie Kingston, Jericho, Sammy, and Yuta into Forbidden Door. Tony Khan was also able to find a way to keep building to Blood and Guts within the PPV and build some heat for JAS. That is also perhaps why this feels less interesting than the other matches on Forbidden Door, as we still have Blood and Guts as the blowoff for this rivalry.
Prediction: Jericho, Suzuki and Sammy
Bullet Club (Young Bucks, Hikuleo & El Phantasmo) vs Dudes with Attitudes (Darby Allin, Sting, Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi)
In another match that seemed to have been shoved together, but with a little bit more interest, we have the Young Bucks fighting under the Bullet Club banner for the first time since 2018. Hikuleo and El Phantasmo were thrown to possibly eat a pin, but give them the right to carry the Bullet Club flag at Forbidden Door. On the other side of the ring, we have a returning Sting, who will no doubt jump off some scaffolding somewhere, Darby Allin and Shingo Takagi, and Hiromu Takahashi. Two more New Japan stars who could not possibly be left off this crossover PPV.
This seems to be the match that will be entirely too fun, and have all eight men running around creating chaos and doing a bunch of dangerous spots. The variety that comes from an AEW event should never be underestimated and when you have at least four, two on each side, wrestlers who are willing to put thier body on the line, should make this match fun to watch.