Tony Khan has finally done what most wrestling fans have been thinking he will do since late last year; he’s announced a joint supercard with top Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling! Appropriately titled “Forbidden Door”, the PPV is set to emanate from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on June 26th; but it looks like it will be short of a particular Rainmaker.
— NJPW of America (@NJPWofAmerica) April 25, 2022
The “Forbidden Door” has been teased for nearly 2 years
When Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley to capture the AEW World Championship at “Winter Is Coming” 2020, he shocked the world. Not just because he turned heel, no; but because he blew the proverbial “forbidden door” wide open by taking the title to IMPACT Wrestling!
Over the course of the next 11 months, Omega would become the “Belt Collector” of pro-wrestling, holding World Championship gold across AAA, IMPACT & AEW. Not only that, his storylines would sow the seeds for the eventual partnership between Tony Khan’s company and NJPW. Bullet Club’s KENTA became the 1st Japanese wrestler to cross over to AEW television when he attacked Jon Moxley. But he wouldn’t be the last.
Multiple top NJPW stars set to be involved with the “Forbidden Door” PPV
New Japan legends Tomohiro Ishii & Minoru Suzuki have been appearing on AEW television a LOT of late; but this isn’t new. Throughout 2020 & 2021, AEW & NJPW tested the waters with their partnership, sharing talent & allowing Mox to be the badass renegade IWGP US Champion he was.
It looks like the higher-ups of both companies think the formula is working, as greener AEW talent have been breaking their bones on NJPW Strong; while bigger names have been putting on fantastic matches on free TV. Apart from the names we’ve already mentioned, expect Jay White & Hiroshi Tanahashi to be involved at the PPV in some capacity, given New Japan’s usual top guy might just miss it.
Kazuchika Okada might miss AEW x NJPW “Forbidden Door”
Despite CM Punk constantly teasing THE Dream Match of this generation in the form of Okada vs Punk; it doesn’t look like it will happen. And don’t take it from us, take it from Dave Meltzer who revealed on the Wrestling Observer Radio that Okada won’t be at the show;
“It was actually brought up tonight to Okada, since the show was just announced in Japan as well and he mentioned that… His wife’s birthday is the 28th, which is, the 28th in Japan is like like the 27th in the United States. So, it would be very difficult for him to do that show and be back for his wife’s birthday.” [H/T – Ringside News]
If this is true, then it spells disaster for the show. Kazuchika Okada is arguably the greatest Japanese pro-wrestler of all-time, certainly of the modern era. He’s the current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. As soon as the PPV was announced, Okada started trending on Twitter, which clearly indicates that he has a global fan-following. Punk has already been tweeting at him, so the match is there as well.
Here’s my address, come see me:
— player/coach (@CMPunk) January 4, 2022
And if Okada does indeed show up at Forbidden Door, that could be how AEW re-introduce Kenny Omega into the scheme of things! The sheer possibility of Okada vs Omega, one more time, with higher stakes than ever before is enough to make any wrestling fan mark out; including me. Do you want to see Kazuchika Okada take on CM Punk in a first-time-ever showdown, or have another 6+ star classic with Kenny Omega? Let us know in the comments below!