Even a year ago the idea of AEW and NJPW joining forces for a PPV event were a fever dream of wrestling fans. In Chicago tonight that dream became a reality. Even with injuries to CM Punk and Bryan Danielson and a short window to build the show fans were not disappointed. Claudio Castagnoli made his AEW debut to take the place on the injured Bryan.
In the main event Jon Moxley faced Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW World Heavyweight Interim title, with the winner slated to face CM Punk, once Punk is healthy. Tanahashi opened with a headlock take down. Mox got to his feet and backed Hiroshi into the ropes and held back a punch. Tanahashi went back to the head lock. Mox broke free with shots to the ribs. Tanahashi hit a cross body. The two got to their feet and trade blows in the middle of the ring. Hiroshi shot off the ropes to deliver a low drop kick. He then locked in a modified Indian death lock. Mox got to the ropes to break the hold.
Moxley delivered a clothesline in the corner and the two went to the top turnbuckle. Mox threw Tanahashi to the mat and then hit a piledriver. Moxley locked in a chin crusher. He broke the hold to stomp away with boots to the face. Mox locked in a clover leaf. Mox transitioned into and STF, but Tanahashi was still able to get to the ropes. A flying elbow strike sent Jon to the mat. Hiroshi hit a somersault senton, but was only able to get a two count.
Mox avoided a sling blade and then sent Tanahashi to the floor with a clotheslone over the top rope. Mox slammed Tanahashi through the time keeper’s table. Tanahashi was just able to beat the ten count to get back into the ring. Mox welcomed him back with kicks to the chest. Mox countered a drag screw into an arm breaker. Tanahashi stomped on Mox’s face and then was able to hit the sling blade. Mox got busted opened. Hiroshi took Mox out on the floor with a flying cross body.
A bloodied Mox returned to the ring with Tanahashi and wanted to the Paradigm Shift. Hiroshi countered with Twist and Shout. Mox hit a German Suplex, leading into a Paradigm Shift. Tanahashi was able to kick out. A head butt stopped Mox in his tracks. Hiroshi went up top and connected with Aces High. Hiroshi went up top again and hit the frog splash. His momentum carried him to the mat, allowing Mox time to kick out and then apply the Bulldog choke. Mox brought them to their feet to deliver a head butt, but Tanahashi almost got the pin with a jacknife.
Tanahashi ate a huge lariat, but was able to kick out at one. Mox locked in the choke again. Tanahashi was able get to his feet, but not break the hold. Mox hit Death Rider and covered to get the three count.
The next AEW PPV is All Out on September 4th, 2022.
Forbidden Door Pre-show
Yoshi Hashi and Hiroki Goto defeated QT Marshal and Aaron solo by pinfall.
Lance Archer pinned Nick Comorado to pick up the win.
Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee defeated El Desperado and Yoshinuba Kanemaru by pinfall. After the match Team Tazz called out Strickland and Lee.
The Gunn Club and Max Caster beat The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin and Yuya Uemura despite the Gunn boys running out on the match to find Danhausen.
Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki w/Tay Conti vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta and Shota Umino
The winning team will gain the advantage for their match at Blood and Guts on Wednesday. Jericho disrespects Wheeler by shoving him in the face. Yuta unloads on Jericho and hits six German suplexes in a row. He transitions into the cross face. Guevara breaks the hold and all six men fight on the floor. Back in the ring, Sammy fights off a double team from Kingston and Yuta. Wheeler slams Sammy to the mat and hits a senton. Shota tags in, connecting with a drop kick. Jericho with the tag, and chops away at Umino. Kingston and Suzuki face off and the crowd is here for it. The two trade chops in the middle of the ring. Minoru no sells the machine gun chops in the corner. He takes Eddie to the mat with a single forearm shot. Suzuki, Guevara and Jericho lock their opponents in submissions. Sammy goes up top, but Kinston catches him in mid air; hitting the exploder. Umino wants the tag and gets it. He takes out Jericho on the apron, then unloads on Guevara. Minoru makes the save for Guevara, but then catches a back elbow. Shota with an uppercut in the corner and hits a northern lights suplex. On the floor, Sammy hits a shooting star press on Umino, only to get taken out by Yuta flying high. Kingston follows with a suicide dive. Yuta tosses Minoru in the barrier and sprints around the ring to get the tag. Sammy breaks up the pin. Kingston makes the blind tag. Guevara with standing Spanish fly to Wheeler. Kingston takes down Sammy. Wheeler with a splash on Guevara. Umino tags in and Sammy connects with a rising knee strike. Jericho tags in, but Shota fights off the Walls. Jericho hits the Codebreaker and Umino kicks out again. Shota catches Jericho up top and delivers an avalanche power slam. Sammy and Minoru break the pin. On the floor, Conti distracts Yuta, allowing Guevara to cheap shot him. Kingston interrupts a lionsault from Jericho. Shota shoots off the ropes and Sammy hits him with the baseball bat. Jericho can’t take full advantage and Shota hits a DDT followed by a brain buster. Umino locks in the Walls of Jericho on Jericho. Sammy super kicks him twice to break the hold. Minoru hits him with a head butt and then hits Kingston with a Gotch piledriver. Shota fights off Minuro and Sammy, but this give Jericho the window to hit the Juda Effect. He covers Shota to get the win.
Winners via pinfall: Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki
Match rating: 4/5
Roppongi Vice (challengers) vs. Jeff Cobb and Great O-Khan (NWJP tag team champions) vs. FTR (Ring of Honor tag team champions) – Winner take all NWJP/ROH championship
The triple threat rules come into play early as Rocky Romero tags himself in, forcing Cobb out of the ring. Romero whips Wheeler into the corner and follows with a hurricanrana. O-Khan tags in, as Dax Harwood is taken to the back. Wheeler is on his own. O-Khan sits on Wheeler’s head on the top turnbuckle. Cobb tags in and surfboards Wheeler. Khan and Cobb keep the pressure on Wheeler. Cash has to make a tag; in comes Barretta. He hits Khan with a swinging DDT. Cobb answers with a vertical suplex, despite not being the legal man. Rocky with a diving hurricanrana to Cobb. Romero with a flying knee to Cobb as Trent spears O-Khan. Romero with a drop kick to Khan, but Cash runs in to break the pin. Wheeler makes a blind tag and takes it to United Empire. Khan drives Wheeler to the mat. Roppongi Vice is knocked to the floor. Wheeler tries to fight of Cobb and O-Khan, as Dax Harwood makes his way back to the ring. Harwood tags in, striking Khan and Cobb. O-Khan collides with Cobb, but then shrugs off lariats from Dax. Cobb takes three German suplexes. Trent helps Dax suplex Cobb from the top rope. A legal Wheeler follows with a frog splash, but Cobb kicks out. O-Khan kicks Harwood, but then gets hung up on the ropes by Romero, who tags him self in. Rocky with an assist on the spike piledriver to Cobb. Trent and Rocky hit Cobb with rising knee strikes. Cobb counters and power bombs Barretta. Khan with a sling blade to wheeler. Cobb hits a standing moonsault. O-Khan slams Trent o the mat and then tosses him into a suplex by Cobb. Barretta kicks out of the pin. Harwood yanks O-Khan from the ring. Romero kicks O-Khan in the mouth and then hits Strong Zero. Wheeler breaks up the pin on Cobb. Harwood tags himself in. Romero nearly gets a pin with the O’Connor roll. Romero kicks the injured shoulder, but Wheeler sneaks into the ring. They hit the Big Rig. Harwood covers Romero to get the three count.
Winners…and new NWJP tag team champions and still ROH tag team champions…via pinfall: FTR
Match rating: 4/5
The Bullet Club talks with Tony Schiavone about their matches on the show tonight.
Clark Connors vs. Pac vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black – All Atlantic Championship Fatal Four-way Match
Miro beats Connor in the corner while Pac and Black fight on the floor. Miro punches Black off the apron. Connors drives Miro out of the ring, but gets caught flying over the ropes and slammed to the floor. Black hits Pac with sliding knee strike. Black with a springboard moonsault to Miro. He then locks in a kneebar on Connors. Miro grabs Clark by the hair to pull him out of the hold and out of the ring. Pac leaps into the hold of Miro, who drops him with a fall away slam. Miro follows with a slam to Connors. He hits him with a lariat. Miro and Black stomp away at Pac. Miro and Black share words before sharing punches. Pac stops Miro with a shoulder to gut, but then runs into a Samoan drop. Miro runs into a heel kick from Pac, who then sends Clark to the floor with a back body drop. He follows by taking out Black by diving over the top rope. A shotgun drop kick sends Miro across the ring. Pac runs into a knee strike from Black. He goes to the floor and grabs a table. Miro slams Black into the ring steps, but then gets run into the ring post by Pac. Connors spears Miro through the table. He rolls Black in the ring and peppers him with elbow strikes. Black fights back, but is taken down with a power slam. Connors spears Pac and hits the Trophy Kill. Black breaks up the pin. Connors walks into a kick from Pac, who goes up top. Black cuts him down. Connors joins Black and Miro comes up underneath them. Miro slams all three men to the mat. He clears the ring, except for Pac. He stomps on the back and locks in the camel clutch. Miro drags Pac back in the center of the ring. Black spits the mist in Miro’s face. Connors and Black lock up on the mat, allowing Pac to hit Black with the 450 splash. He locks in the Brutalizer on Connors, who taps.
Winner…and new All Atlantic Champion…via pinfall: Pac
Match rating: 4/5
Dudes with Attitudes (Darby Allin, Sting and Shingo Takagi) vs. The Young Bucks and El Phantasmo
Sting is nowhere to be found during his entrance. The Young Bucks and El Phantasmo make their entrance. The arena goes dark and a single spotlight finds Sting in the rafters. The Bucks look up, but it was a feint, Sting jumps them on the ramp and Allin joins in on the attack. Allin takes a double stomp from Jackson and they take out Sting. Nick and Matt continue to double team Allin. El Phantasmo takes out Sting and Shingo on the apron. He then rakes the back of Allin, after much theatrics. Matt Jackson top the theatrics of Phantasmo before delivering a back rake of his own. Allin is hung in the tree of woe and takes a triple drop kick. Phantasmo taunts Allin to much and is slammed off the top rope. Allin with a Canadian destroyer to El Phantasmo. Takagi gets the tag, going after the Bucks. Shingo fights off Matt and Nick, with a twisting snap suplex to Nick. He follows with a Death Valley Driver. Sting tags in, taking on both Bucks. El Phantasmo with a clubbing blow to the back, that just angers Sting. He hits the Sting Splash on the Bucks. Sting looks for Scorpion Death lock. Sting is distracted and Phantasmo hits him with a low blow. Sting absorbs the Super Kick Party and clotheslines the Bucks. Allin tags in, but Matt gets his knees up on the Coffin Drop. Matt with a 450 splash and El Phantasmo hits the Thunder Kiss. Shingo breaks up the pin. Phantasmo with a moonsault to the floor. Sting takes a triple super kick in the ring. Sting ducks the BTE and hits the Scorpion Death Drop on the Bucks. Sting hits Phantasmo with a low blow. Shingo with elbows to Phantasmo and hits a lariat. Phantasmo kicks out at two. Shingo hits Last of the Dragon on Phantasmo and covers to get the win.
Winners via pinfall: Dudes with Attitudes
Match rating: 3.5/5
Chris Jericho tells Shota Umino that he has earned his respect. He then throws a fireball in his face, so much for respect.
Toni Storm (challenger) vs. Thunder Rosa (champion) – AEW Women’s World Championship Match
The two lock up to start the match. A headlock takedown takes Storm to the mat, but she pops right back up to her feet. Storm with a kick and follows with a snap suplex. Rosa counters a suplex into an inside cradle. Rosa and Storm trade chops. The champ hits a leaping stunner. She follows with double knees into the corner and then a drop kick to the back. Rosa with a snap suplex that only gets a two count. Rosa with a stomp in the middle of the ring. Rosa blocks a DDT of the apron to the floor and counters with a northern lights suplex. Rosa catches Storm up top with an uppercut. Toni escapes and hits a German suplex on the apron. Storm follows with a DDT to the floor. She connects with a hip attack and hits a DDT in the middle of the ring. Rosa counters a DDT with a flying arm bar and hits the Death Valley Driver. The champ plants Storm with the Fire Thunder Driver, but the challenger kicks out. Storm catches Rosa’s leg on a kicks and hits a German suplex. Rosa blocks Storm Zero and slams Toni to the mat. Rosa hits the Final Reckoning and covers to get the win.
Winner…and still AEW World Women’s Champion…via pinfall: Thunder Rosa
Match rating: 3/5
After the match, Rosa shakes Storm’s hand.
Orange Cassidy (challenger) vs. Will Ospreay (champion) – IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match
Cassidy takes down Ospreay with a shoulder block. Ospreay doesn’t seem to enjoy Orange wrestling with his hands in his pockets. Orange takes Ospreay to the floor with a hurricanrana. Ospreay catches Orange in the ring and drops him over the top rope. Ospreay lines up Cassidy on the floor. He takes out Orange with an assists from Aussie Open. Ospreay does crunches in the ring after whipping Cassidy into the corner. Will hits a spinning back breaker. Orange is whipped hard into the corner. Ospreay locks in an abdominal stretch and taunts Cassidy by shoving a hand into Orange’s pocket. Ospreay with back hand spring off the ropes to deliver a kick. Ospreay with a diving elbow. Orange Cassidy is lifted to his knees, but collapses before Will can do anything. Cassidy gets to hit feet. Will runs into a drop kick. Orange nips up. Cassidy delivers the light kicks. Orange with a super kick and then kicks to the head. Ospreay misses the cutter. Cassiday coutners with the Stun Dog and a Michinoku driver. Orange only gets a two count. Cassidy with a tornado DDT and follows with a suicide dive. Aussie Open interferes, so Orange takes them out with a moonsault. Orange hits a diving DDT on Ospreay, but only gets a two count. Ospreay counters a charging Cassidy with a Spanish Fly. Ospreay with a super kick to Cassidy on the turnbuckle. Orange meets Will up top and smashes Ospreay into the camera atop the ring post. Orange is knocked to the mat, but then plays possum. Ospreay goes for the moonsault, misses, but hits the running shooting star press. Orange hits the Beach Break. Ospreay with the cutter and looks for the Hidden Blade. Will counters the Orange Punch. Cassidy counters Storm Breaker. Ospreay hits the Hidden Blade, but can’t get the pin. Will hits the Storm Breaker and covers to get the win.
Winner…and still IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship…via pinfall: Will Ospreay
Match rating 4.5/5
After the match, Aussie Open put the boots to Orange. Trent Barretta and Rocky Romero try to make the save, but they are overcome by the numbers. Katsuyori Shibata hits the ramp and the crowd goes nuts. Shibata takes out Aussie Open and takes the fight to Ospreay. He hits a pump kick and pummels Ospreay in the corner. Aussie Open saves their leader, pulling him from the ring. Cassidy gives Shibata his sun glasses.
All right, this is the moment we have all been waiting for. Who is the newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club? It’s Claudio Castagnoli, FKA Cesaro!
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Claudio opens with an uppercut and hits the Neutralizer. Sabre kicks out at two and rolls to the floor. Castagnoli hands out uppercuts on the floor and tosses Sabre into the barrier. He then delivers uppercuts in the ring. Sabre takes a big boot on the apron and is brought into the ring with a delayed vertical suplex. Sabre with a knee bar over the edge of the apron. Sabre then works over the shoulder. Sabre with some disrespectful kicks. Claudio misses a spear in the corner. Sabre twists the ankle. He follows with an uppercut. Castagnoli hits a back breaker and hits the running uppercut in the corner. Sabre wants the arm bar. Claudio picks up Sabre and the two are dumped over the top rope to the floor. Sabre is still locked on. He picks Sabre up, walking up the ring steps. He throws Sabre into the ring. Sabre counters the big swing with a guillotine choke. Claudio breaks the hold by slamming Sabre into the turnbuckle. Claudio with the gut wrench slam off the middle rope. Sabre gets to the ropes to avoid the big swing. Castagnoli with a near fall after an uppercut in the middle of the ring. He finally delivers the big swing, but only gets six rotations. Sabre counters the Sharp Shooter into a heel hook. He transitions into an ankle bar. Claudio counters into Sharp Shooter and then delivers a double stomp. Sabre locks in a sleeper. He transitions into an arm submission. Claudio gets to the ropes. Sabre with kicks to the chest. Claudio takes him down with a lariat. Sabre with a European Clutch that only scores a two count. Claudio with a pop up uppercut. He follows with a powerbomb and covers to get the three count.
Winner via pinfall: Claudio Castagnoli
Match rating: 4/5
Adam Cole (challenger) vs. Hangman Adam Page (challenger) vs. Kazuchika Okada (challenger) vs. Switchblade Jay White (champion) – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Fatal Four-way Match
Jay White makes the first move. He slips out of the ring. Adam Cole follows suit. Okada and Page fist pump and are ready to fight. Instead, Cole yanks Hangman out of the ring and White attacks Okada from behind. Page drives Cole into the security barrier with a suicide dive. The two fight up the ramp. White saves Cole from a potential power bomb. The two team up to suplex Page on the ramp. White tosses Okada into the ring for a waiting Cole. The two team up on Okada, delivering a knife edged chop. White rolls out of teh ring to focus on Hangman. Page reverses a whip, sending White into the ring steps. Okada rolls to the floor, leaving Page to get double teamed. Page sends White to the floor and follows by crashing into him over the rope. He then delivers a flying clothesline to Cole in the ring. Page fights off White and Cole, but then moonsaults right into a super kick. Okada returns to the ring, this time holding his own against White and Cole. He drop kicks Cole off the top turnbuckle. Okada then jumps the barrier to take out White and Cole with a cross body in the crowd. In the ring, Okada locks in the Money Clip on Cole. White breaks the hold and hits a back suplex. Page lands on his feet after a German suplex. White and Cole give the TOO SWEET. Cole immediately hits the back stabber and nearly gets the pin. White avoids the Boom and hits a uranage. White with snap suplexes to Cole and Okada. Page takes a sleeper suplex. Cole lowers the Boom on White. All four men are down. White and Cole trade punches with Page and Okada. Okada and Page gain the upper hand. Hangman Page powerbombs White in the middle of the ring, but the champ kicks out, barely. Cole prevents the Buckshot, so Page goes up top and hits Cole and Okada with a moonsault. White ducks the Buckshot, but Page counters Blade Runner with the Dead Eye. Page hits the Buckshot lariat and covers. Okada breaks the pin. Page and Okada trade shots in the middle of the ring. Page with a release German suplex. Cole pulls Page off the apron and runs him into the ring post. Okada counters the Panama Sunrise with a shoulder breaker. Okada misses the Rainmaker and then ducks a Buckshot. Cole with a superkick to Okada. Cole runs into a drop kick. Cole ducks another Rainmaker and connects with an enziguri. He kicks Page off the apron. Okada misses the Rainmaker again. White hits him with Blade Runner. Okada rolls out of the ring. He then covers Adam Cole and gets the pin.
Winner…and still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion…via pinfall: Switchblade Jay White
Match rating: 3.5/5
After the match, the Undisputed Elite head to the ring to check on Adam Cole.
Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – AEW Interim World Heavyweight Championship Match
Winner…and Interim AEW Heavyweight Champion…via pinfall: Jon Moxley
Match rating: 3/5
After the match, Moxley shows Tanahashi respect with a hand shake. Jericho and Daniel Garcia run down to attack both men. Eddie Kingston charges in, but is taken down by Garcia. Santana, Ortiz and Wheeler Yuta run down to make the save. The rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society hit the ring and the brawl is on. Claudio Castagnoli goes after Jericho, taking him down with pop-up uppercut. He cleans out the JAS as William Regal walks to the ring. Angelo Parker takes the big swing. The Blackpool Combat Club and allies stand tall in the ring as the show ends.
TOP PHOTO: Will Ospreay leaps at Orange Cassidy. Photo by George Tahinos, georgetahinos.smugmug.com
AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door 6/26/2022
Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door delivered one of the best pay per views of the year in wrestling, and that’s considering I didn’t know one third of the roster performing tonight. The show kicked off with a high octane match the show didn’t let up. Unfortunately the main event couldn’t reach the same bar that the undercard did. I’m not saying it was bad, it just couldn’t reach the heights of some of the earlier matches. If you didn’t watch Forbidden Door because you weren’t familiar with New Japan, do yourself a favor a catch a repeat.