AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door
After years of speculating, fantasy booking, and many what-ifs, and after weeks of seemingly every major name in AEW and New Japan going down injured, we finally had the inaugural AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door event from Chicago’s United Center, a night where dream matches occurred, championships changed hands, and more than a few surprises went down.
Here’s everything that happened at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.
Bishamon def. The Factory - The Buy-In
Taz, Excalibur, and NJPW’s Kevin Kelly were in the commentary booth for the show. Loud reactions for Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI as the Forbidden Door officially opened. The Factory got ahead with underhand tactics, but Bishamon came back with the war drums to a huge reaction. QT did his ‘version’ of the Sasuke Special to a chorus of boos, but soon ate a massive lariat from Goto after a spell of Factory control. Headhunter from YOSHI-HASHI came close, as did a Diamond Cutter from QT. QT missed a 450 Splash, then Bishamon hit a tandem Final Cut for the win.
Lance Archer def. Nick Comoroto - The Buy-In
Archer started strong, as Suzuki-gun’s Murderhawk threw everything at The Factory’s heavy hitter. Comoroto got on the front foot by taking the fight outside, but he only angered Archer who absorbed everything Comoroto threw at him before planting the big man with a diving chokeslam. Big standing hoss battle in the middle of the ring, before Archer came close with a rope-walk Moonsault Press. Archer then hit an impressive Blackout on Comoroto for the win.
Swerve In Our Glory def. Suzuki-gun - The Buy-In
Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado were hoping to make it two wins on the spin for Suzuki-gun, taking on a Swerve In Our Glory who have not been seeing eye-to-eye as of late. Both teams engaged in mind games, before El Desperado had enough and locked in Numero Dos on Swerve outside the ring to take him down to one leg. Desperado dodged a Swerve dropkick which ended up connecting with Lee, as Suzuki-gun took control. Keith Lee fired back, but a Spirit Bomb attempt was countered into a DDT by Kanemaru. Hot tag to Swerve was effective, with Strickland getting a near fall after a brainbuster on Desperado. Suzuki-gun again took control, and kept Lee at bay on the outside, and even when the big man tagged in, Kanemaru targeted his knee. A tandem Spirit Bomb attempt was thwarted, with Kanemaru spraying whiskey in Lee’s eyes as the ref was distracted, but Swerve went on the offence, allowing Lee to hit the Big Bang Catastrophe for the win. Before Lee and Swerve could celebrate, Team Taz boomed over the PA as Hobbs and Starks threw shade at Swerve in our Glory from an executive box.
Gunn Club & Max Caster def. NJPW LA Dojo - The Buy-In
Max Caster’s pre-match bars covered everything from all the injuries surrounding the PPV, to Shibata’s balls and hentai, before the Gunn Club gave shout outs to the Tokyo Dome and Green Bay, Wisconsin, the idiots. Before the match could start, Danhausen appeared on the screen before the ‘Ass Boys’ song played throughout the arena, causing Colten and Austin Gunn to run to the back to find Danhausen. LA Dojo used this to attack Billy Gunn and Max Caster, with this match basically becoming a four-on-two drubbing. The LA Dojo all took their turns working over Max Caster, until Billy Gunn finally got the hot tag and ran wild. Fame-Asser/Mic Drop combo on The DKC secured the win.
Le Sex Gods & Minoru Suzuki def. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, & Shota Umino
We kick off the main card with Judas, as the reunited Sex Gods made their way to the ring. The crowd came alive once again for Kaze Ni Nare, with Chicago paying their respects to The King of Pancrase. Yuta and Jericho started things, with the ROH Pure Champion levelling Le Champion with multiple German Suplexes, before things turned into a six-man brawl all over ringside. Yuta had the better of Guevara too before ‘Shooter’ tagged in, warming Jericho up for Eddie Kingston. Jericho wanted none so tagged in Suzuki to a massive reaction, as Eddie and Suzuki had a standing chop battle, with Suzuki coming out on top with a forearm after no-selling the Kobashi Machine Gun Chops. Jericho fared less better in the chop battle, only saved when Suzuki got the rope hung armbar on Kingston. Kingston battled on, but the heels took control with a trio of submission holds. Eddie would not stay down, launching Guevara with an Exploder, before getting the tag to Shooter who ran wild on Guevara and Suzuki before levelling Jericho with an apron Cannonball. A Guevara Shooting Star Press took Shooter down, but Yuta replied with a Senton, Kingston a Tope Suicida, before Suzuki rained on everyone’s parade with utter disdain. Kingston got a blind tag and levelled Guevara with a Backdrop Driver, and Suzuki with the Backfist as all hell broke loose. Umino ate a Codebreaker but regained composure to hit an Avalanche Powerslam on Jericho for a near fall. Kingston thwarted a Lionsault attempt as Yuta ate a GTH on the outside, but as Shooter went to run wild he took a bat shot to the spine, but fought on to hit a DDT and a brainbuster on Jericho for a close two. Shooter locked in a Walls of Jericho on Le Champion, but was thwarted by Guevara and Suzuki, with Suzuki nailing the Gotch Style Piledriver on Eddie Kingston. Shota again fired up, but ate a Judas Effect as Jericho covered for the win, and the advantage heading into Blood & Guts II.
FTR (c) def. United Empire (c) & Roppongi Vice - ROH World Tag Team Championships/IWGP Heavyweight Tag team Championships Winner Takes All
ROH’s Caprice Coleman joined commentary for this highly anticipated tag team clash as Bobby Cruise handled ring announcing duties. Trent and Dax started, but Jeff Cobb soon tagged in to dish out a beating on Harwood, before Rocky Romero blindtagged Cobb. Doc Samson checked on Dax on the outside as Cash and Rocky went at it in-ring. Dax was taken to the back, as Great-O-Khan worked over Cash Wheeler in the ring. Roppongi Vice could only look on as United Empire had firm control of the bout, until Cash tagged in Trent out of desperation. Roppongi and The Empire battled at ringside with Dax Harwood nowhere to be seen, but Cash soon tagged back in, giving it all as he battled United Empire singlehandedly. Dax marched back to the ring with his shoulder taped up to a massive ovation, tagging in to take the fight to Cobb and Khan. Dax took on Cobb at his own game, hitting the Olympian with several German Suplexes before Trent assisted with a Superplex, as Cash hit a beautiful Superfly Splash for a very close two. Cash and Rocky hit a Spike Piledriver on Khan, but The United Empire fought back, Cobb showing off his athleticism and power. Trent kicked out of a tandem Clawslam German Suplex combo, with Roppongi Vice hitting a tandem Strong Zero for another near fall. Dax and Rocky traded pins, before a Big Rig out of nowhere got the win for the Top Guys - adding the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships to their ROH, and AAA Tag Titles.
Tony Schiavone caught up with Jay Lethal and Juice Robinson backstage. Juice put over himself whilst still in possession of the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, as White put over his Bullet Club teammate before declaring he will win his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match later on the card.
PAC def. Miro, Malakai Black & Clark Connors - AEW All-Atlantic Championship
The three AEW competitors were straight out of the traps, as Connors hung back to try his luck with Miro - to little avail. Miro manhandled Connors, slamming the Wild Rhino on the floor, as PAC attempted a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on Black, also to no avail. Everyone took their chances with Miro, but the Redeemer was in the mood to fight, throwing opponents all over the place with reckless abandon. Connors took an absolute beating before Miro and Black formed an uneasy alliance to beat down PAC. This obviously broke down quickly, with Miro once again standing tall. PAC fired back and ran wild on all three men, before Connors had a go, before once again being cut down by Miro. Black set a table up on the guardrail, with Connors hitting a Wild Rhino Spear on Miro through the wood to a huge ovation, before taking on Black and PAC in the ring, getting a near fall as the fans chanted his name. PAC went for Black Arrow but ate a Tower of Doom - Miro in the Powerbomb position - then it was Game Over as Miro locked the Camel Clutch on PAC, but Black sprayed the mist in Miro’s face, as PAC hit a 450 splash on Malaki, then Brutalised Connors for the win to become the first-ever AEW All-Atlantic Champion.
Dudes With Attitudes def. Bullet Club
Shingo Takagi and Darby made their way to the ring, but there was no sign of Sting, as Bullet Club made their way to the squared circle, with The Bucks rejoining Bullet Club for one night. The lights went out as Sting was shown in the rafters - but it was all a ruse as The Stinger dove off the entrance way to take out Bullet Club on the ramp. The Dudes started strongly, but The Bucks quickly took control, working over Darby as ELP hit the theatrical Dermis Destroyer Backrake. Matt Jackson followed suit with an even more theatrical Backrake, as BC continued to victimise and humiliate Darby. Hikuleo attacked Sting at ringside as Darby mounted a comeback, tagging in Shingo who beat down Bullet Club to a loud ovation. Another ovation greeted Sting as The Icon chopped down The Bucks, and withstood a nipple twist from ELP before dishing out some Stinger Splashes. Chaos reigned as The Bucks threw a Superkick Party, then hit More Bang For Your Buck after avoiding a Coffin Drop. BC took out Shingo and Darby with dives, then crushed Sting with a Triple Superkick. Stinger avoided a BTE Trigger to hit a double Scorpion Deathdrop on The Bucks, before twisting ELP's nipples. Darby hit a Coffin Drop on Hikuleo as Shingo boxed ELP before nailing a huge Pumping Bomber for a near fall, before a Last of the Dragon secured the victory.
Tony Schiavone tried to interview Shota Umino backstage, but was cut off by Chris Jericho and 2point0, who threw a fireball in Shooter's face.
Thunder Rosa (c) def. Toni Storm - AEW Women’s World Championship
Amazing entrance gear from the champ, and the 'Code of Honor' upheld as the bell rang. Rosa and Storm chain wrestled to start off, as duelling chants rang out. Things soon broke down as the two exchanged slaps, elbows, chops - everything but the kitchen sink - before Rosa hit a Jumping Stunner to regain the advantage. The champ was playing no games, hitting a release Northern Lights Suplex on the floor, but Storm would not stay down, taking Rosa out with an apron German Suplex, and a Tornado DDT to the floor. With momentum in her favour Storm hit the corner Hip Attack and another tornado DDT, but could not finish the job. Rosa thought she had things won with a Death Valley Driver and Fire Thunder Driver, but Storm kept going, firing up and hitting a German Suplex, although a Final Reckoning for Thunder Rosa got the win and keep the title around her waist. Post-match, Rosa shook hands with Storm.
Will Ospreay (c) def. Orange Cassidy - IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
Cassidy was flying solo as Ospreay came to the ring flanked by Aussie Open, and as soon as the bell rang Ospreay and Cassidy went at it at 100 MPH, Cassidy getting first blood with an impressive double rotation Headscissors before mocking Ospreay with a superhero pose. Ospreay soon took control and was in his usual cocky mood, gloating and taunting Cassidy and the crowd to a chorus of boos. Cassidy fought his way back, but Ospreay shrugged off the Running Tornado DDT attempt, connecting with a beautiful Handspring Somersault Kick. OC collapsed as Ospreay prepared the Hidden Blade, then withstood a ton of Kawada Kicks to fire back and go into full sloth style, before nailing several fired-up Kawada Jicks of his own. Cassidy avoided an Os-Cutter, before hitting an elevated Stundog Millionaire and a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Cassidy avoided Cheeky Nandos to hit a Moonsault Tornado DDT, then hit a Springboard Whisper In The Wind onto Aussie Open and a Diving DDT onto Ospreay, but again could only get a two count. Ospreay restored parity with a standing Spanish Fly, then finally hit Cheeky Nandos before getting his head smashed into the turnbuckle camera by Orange Cassidy. OC played possum to trick Ospreay into going for a Moonsault, but The Commonwealth Kingpin landed and hit a standing Shooting Star Press and a Skytwister, before OC came within millimetres of the title with a Beach Break. Ospreay fired back with a pair of Os-Cutters for two, but a Stormbreaker attempt was turned into a Hurricanrana for two, before Ospreay hit the Hidden Blade and finally nailed Stormbreaker for the win. Post-match Ospreay and Aussie Open beat down OC, with Roppongi Vice running in to make the save to little effect, before KATSUYORI SHIBATA HIT THE RING. The Chicago crowd exploded as Shibata took the fight to Ospreay, hitting the Corner Dropkick and locking in the Rear Naked Choke as Aussie Open pulled Ospreay to safety. OC put his sunglasses on Shibata in a show of respect.
Claudio Castagnoli def. Zack Sabre Jr.
The question on everyone's lips was answered when the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club was revealed to be the ‘Very European’ Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio ran straight out with the European Uppercut and Neutraliser for a two count as ZSJ rolled to the floor. Claudio was a house of fire, hitting uppercuts all over ringside and a big Delayed Vertical Suplex in the ring, before ZSJ locked in a rope assisted Kneebar as he tried to cut the big Swiss down. Zack employed some of the famous joint manipulation, then hit La Mistica and several wear-down cranks to break Claudio down. Claudio kept on firing by hitting a series of Backbreakers, but an Alpamare Waterslide attempt was thwarted and turned into an armbar by ZSJ. Claudio tried to Powerbomb his way out of the Armbar, but Sabre clung on, dragging the big man over the top rope to the floor. Claudio again lifted the Englishman up, walking him up the stairs before Powerbombing him over the ropes into the ring. The crowd came alive as Claudio went for the Swing, but Sabre turned it into a Guillotine, until Claudio once again powered out. Claudio hit a big Gutwrench Suplex from the top rope then ran wild with uppercuts before finally Swinging ZSJ, but could only manage a few rotations due to Sabre working over his limbs all match. Sabre reversed a Sharpshooter into a Heel Hook, but Claudio fought out, rocking Zack with yet more uppercuts, before Zack locked in a Double Shoulder Stretch. ZSJ proceeded to batter Claudio with kicks, but ate Swiss Death, the Brodie Lee Discus Clothesline, and a Ricola Bomb for the debut win.
Jay White (c) def. Kazuchika Okada, Hangman Page & Adam Cole - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Lots of anticipation for this bout, but things were in Jay White’s favour from the off, as Gedo accompanied Switchblade to the ring as big match in-ring introductions rung out. Holy s*** chants from the crowd before the match even kicked off - they’ve been a great crowd all night. White and Cole ducked out like cowards as Hangman and Okada faced off, but it was all a ruse, as alliances between Cole and White, and Page and Okada were formed. Action spilled all over the ringside area and up the ramp, as Hangman took a Delayed Vertical Suplex onto the video floor. Cole and Switchblade then took it to Okada in the ring before Hangman fought his way into the match, hitting trademark offence on Cole and White, coming close with a two after a Diving Clothesline on Adam Cole. Cole got revenge with a pinpoint Superkick on a Moonsaulting Hangman before Okada ran wild with elbows before Splashing Cole and White into the front row. The alliance between Cole and White stayed strong as Hangman tried to fight his way back into the bout, with Cole being the one to plunge the knife into White’s back with a Backstabber and a Last Shot for two. White levelled the others with Sleeper Suplexes, as the four finally came to blows, Hangman levelling Okada with a Discus Lariat. Hangman came close with a Sit-Out Powerbomb on White, then levelled Cole and Okada with a Moonsault, but was accosted by Gedo when setting up the Buckshot Lariat. Hangman managed to nail a Dead Eye on White and a Buckshot, but Okada broke the count, leading to Okada and Hangman facing off and exchanging standing strikes. Hangman nailed Okada with a German Suplex and another Discus Lariat, but was yanked from the ring by Cole. Panama Sunrise was thwarted by Okada, but he couldn’t hit The Rainmaker as Cole dished out some Superkicks to Okada and Hangman. White nailed Okada with a Bladerunner, then stole the win with a pin on Cole. White walked past an angry Young Bucks and Kyle O’Reilly on the ramp as The Undisputed Elite tended to Cole. Odd finish to the match.
Jon Moxley def. Hiroshi Tanahashi - Interim AEW World Championship
Big fight feel as Tanahashi and Moxley finally face off, with William Regal accompanying Mox to the ring for the main event. Duelling chants as the two lock up, Tanahashi getting first blood with a rebound Crossbody, Moxley getting annoyed as The Ace played some air guitar. Standing strikes led to Dragon Screws by Tanahashi as Mox played into his trap, laying the groundwork for the Cloverleaf. Mox with a sudden Cutter got his head in the game, leading to an Avalanche Double Underhook Superplex, followed by a Piledriver for two. Moxley beat down Tanahashi then locked in a Cloverleaf of his own to get under The Ace’s skin. More strikes exchanged, and a Somersault Senton by Tanahashi for two, before Mox took the fight to the floor and planted Tanahashi through the timekeeper’s table with a Uranage. The Ace beat the 10-count only to eat some Mox chest kicks, before turning it round and dishing out some stomps to Mox and a textbook Slingblade. Mox was busted open, with Tanahashi capitalising with an Aces High to the outside. Back in the ring, Mox tried to get a Paradigm Shift, but Tana had it scouted before eating a German Suplex and a Paradigm Shift for two. Hammer and Anvil Elbows wore Tanahashi down some more, but you can’t keep The Ace down, who kneed Mox to the jaw before another Aces High and a High Fly Flow… for two, as a bloodsoaked Mox rolled into the Bulldog Choke. Tanahashi fought out and came close with a near fall after reversing a Sleeper Hold into a pin, then kicked out at one after a hellacious King Kong Lariat. Aggressive elbows from Mox into a choke, then a Death Rider DDT for the win, and the Interim AEW World Championship. Post-match Mox and Ace went to shake hands, but were rushed by Daniel Garcia and Chris Jericho. Eddie Kingston ran in to make the save but was overpowered. Wheeler Yuta, Santana and Ortiz ran down for a brawl, as the rest of the JAS joined in. Claudio Castagnoli re-appeared and hit Jericho with Swiss Death before uppercutting everything in sight. William Regal grinned at ringside as Angelo Parker went for a spin with Claudio, as battle lines were drawn for Blood & Guts II, an irate Eddie Kingston angered that his old nemesis Claudio Castagnoli was in town.
-Jon Moxley def. Hiroshi Tanahashi - Interim AEW World Championship
-Jay White (c) def. Kazuchika Okada, Hangman Page & Adam Cole - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
-Claudio Castagnoli def. Zack Sabre Jr.
-Will Ospreay (c) def. Orange Cassidy - IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
-Thunder Rosa (c) def. Toni Storm - AEW Women’s World Championship
-Dudes With Attitudes def. Bullet Club
-PAC def. Miro, Malakai Black & Clark Connors - AEW All-Atlantic Championship
-FTR (c) def. United Empire (c) & Roppongi Vice - ROH World Tag Team Championships/IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships Winner Takes All
-Le Sex Gods & Minoru Suzuki def. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, & Shota Umino
-Gunn Club & Max Caster def. NJPW LA Dojo - The Buy-In
-Swerve In Our Glory def. Suzuki-gun - The Buy-In
-Lance Archer def. Nick Comoroto - The Buy-In
-Bishamon def. The Factory - The Buy-In
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