AEW President Tony Khan has shared his honest thoughts on the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door crossover event.
On June 26, AEW and NJPW joined forces for a super show featuring talent from both promotions. Ahead of the event, a number of top stars suffered injuries, including CM Punk, who was the AEW World Champion at the time.
Speaking on Grapsody, Tony Khan stated that he wouldn’t change anything about the final show, noting:
“The show was so awesome, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was so great, I do wish we would have been able to do some of the stuff we hadn’t done, but the show ended up perfect and what a great event for AEW. It’s the most successful debut of any AEW franchise in every conceivable way.”
Discussing the challenges AEW and NJPW faced ahead of the event, Khan said:
“All the changes going into Forbidden Door, it was challenging, but keeping cool and really making sure we had a great card and working with New Japan, I don’t think they’ve had the same experience in terms of producing American pay-per-views, and what you have to do in terms of getting people on the show.
“I made no secret that there was a point of, ‘We need to get the guys over here and get them on TV and start building the matches.’ It’s challenging because I can’t imagine how hard it would be for me to build a pay-per-view in another country while I’m trying to run my promotion here.
“For them, it was really hard, but they were great about it. When we got Tanahashi and Will Ospreay over, they did great things for us on the show and great numbers. That shows the kind of star power they have, and I think their top stars really are needle movers, and they’ve been great for us,”
“That was a challenge coming out of it, realizing CM Punk had broken his foot because we had plans for CM Punk and FTR as a trio and plans going into Forbidden Door, there was a lot of stuff there.
“A lot of the build around Tanahashi and build around FTR with United Empire and Aussie Open and the involvement of Will Ospreay and how that led to Orange Cassidy and Best Friends.
“The whole map was drawn out differently and it was really cool, it just didn’t happen the way I thought it could’ve if people hadn’t gotten hurt. There’s nothing you can do about that.”
Several AEW stars will be in action at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17. During the January 4 show, FTR will defend their IWGP Tag Team Championship against Hirooki Goto & Yoshi Hashi.
Kenny Omega will also challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP US Championship.