Once again, All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling throw open The Forbidden Door, and we have great matches, and the co-main event will be Bryan Danielson against The Rainmaker Kazuchika Okada, and Kenny Omega versus Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States championship

We are at The ScotiaBank in Toronto, ON, Canada. Excalibur, Taz, and Kevin Kelly have the call as part of this joint team in the spirit of the night.  Now there is a pre-show, but this bad boy needs to get hammered out, so, enjoy this…

Now we start the show properly and this First Match of the Night is for the…

AEW World Championship: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

The Ace of New Japan manages to outwrestle the Devil  at every turn, and as he starts to walk off  to the back, Tanahashi gets the Toronto fans to chant, “Coward.”  As he makes his way back, it isn’t long before MJF utilizes The Power of Douchenozzlery™ to gain the upper hand.  Tanahashi gets his patented dragon screw leg whip on MJF and ties him up in a Texas cloverleaf, but the AEW champ manages to get to the bottom rope to break the hold.  He follows up with the sling blade and then the Ace goes up top for the frog splash, but MJF gets his knees up at the last minute and really plays up his knee injury.  He then grabs the Triple B and swings but Tanahashi ducks and gets him in a pin, but the ref goes to put away the belt.  When he turns around, he counts but Tanahashi gets a two count.  MJF pulls the ref in when Tanahashi gets close, but when his back is turned, he gets his diamond ring on to knock him out cold and roll up for the pin.

Your Winner via Pinfall, and Still AEW World Champion: Maxwell Jacob Friedman

That leads us to the first of the men’s…

Owen Hart Cup Tournament Quarterfinal Match: CM Punk vs. Satoshi Kojima

Just like last night on AEW Collision, Toronto loves Kojima but hates Punk with a passion.  For his part, Punk plays it up and tries to rile Kojima, and he comes back with machine gun chops unloading both clips, and he follows up with an elbow drop that’s almost a low blow, but it gets the New Japan star a two count.  Punk returns fire with an elbow drop of his own that gets a two count, but he quickly transitions to the Anaconda Vice, and Kojima gives knife-edge chops to break the hold.  Punk sets up Go To Sleep, but Kojima fights out of it and Koji Cutter connects.  He takes off the elbow pad and signals for his lariat finisher, but Punk catches him and transitions to a neckbreaker.  He goes back to his finisher, but Kojima reverses to a brainbuster.  He attempts the lariat again, but Punk drives him down with a roundhouse kick and the GTS finishes him off to the chagrin of the Toronto crowd.

Your Winner, and Advancing in the Owen Hart Tournament:  CM Punk

After the match, Punk picks up Kojima and raises his hand in a show of sportsmanship to the appreciative fans.

Now for something *somebody* cares about, here is a…

Fatal Four-way for the AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Daniel Garcia

There is no way this match can be conveyed in a Milagro-style Haiku™.  So howzabout a limerick?


Four men in the ring want the International belt,

And each thinks they’re better than Cassidy, I felt.

Through twists, submissions, and strikes,

They all beat the living piss outta each other (yikes!),

But Cassidy grabs the pin on Garcia as my hopes for a new champion melt.

Your Winner via Pinfall:  Orange Cassidy

It was a good match, but it was a formulaic Cassidy match.  Hence my protest in limerick form.

Now for more title action, the next match is for the…

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: SANADA (c) (with DOUKI)vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry (with Hook)

The match is contested under IWGP rules, according to Excalibur.  So that means a disqualification or a count out can cause a title change.  The Fans chant for New Japan’s head referee, “Red Shoes”, and he bows in acknowledgment.  

Early in the match, Perry quickly goes for the Snare Trap, and SANADA makes the ropes to break the hold.  SANADA comes back with the Paradise Lock and punctuates with a dropkick to Perry’s rear.  Jungle Boy fires back with the Tiger Driver to cover but SANADA kicks out at the last second.  Chops between both men and Perry locks in Skull End but SANADA gets a toe on the ropes once again to break the submission.  A TKO by SANADA allows a cover and still gets a two count.  The IWGP champion kicks into a new gear as he cinches Perry in a spinning Skull End, a poison ‘rana, and a Shining Wizard in honor of his mentor, Keiji Muta, but the moonsault finally finishes the upstart.

Your Winner, and Still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion:  SANADA

Hook picks him up and helps him walk up the ramp. Perry collapses and Hooks gets him back to his feet and raises his arm…and Perry clotheslines him! He then picks up the FTW belt and tosses it back at him.

Well, I didn’t see that coming (although my colleagues obviously did)

Now for ten-man tag action with the…

Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, and Claudio Castagnoli), Konosuke Takeshita, and Shota Umino vs. Eddie Kingston, Tomohiro Ishii and The Elite (“Hangman” Adam Page and The Young Bucks, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson)

The Combat Club comes out to Moxley’s Death Rider theme from New Japan, and you know business is going to pick up.  However, the story of the match is the strained friendship between Moxley and Kingston on opposite sides.  

In any case, this breaks quickly to a Pier Ten brawl, and The Elite takes it to the Club on the outside as Mox and Kingston battle to a standstill inside the ring.  Castagnoli gets in the ring and sucker punches Kingston with a European uppercut, and gets dragged and isolated in the Blackpool corner to make him a Mad King in Peril.  Castagnoli goes again for a boot to Kingston, but he catches and connects with a lariat.  As he crawls to his side, Mox stands in his way and then they swing for the fences until Kingston gets past for the hot tag to Ishii and he is a Stone Pitbull en Fuego.  The match becomes just one huge spotfest after another, and the Bucks take everyone on a Superkick Par-tay.  Just as they were going to send Mox to that party, Kingston gets in the middle to save his friend, but then Mox nails The Young Bucks as a way of thanking Kingston.  But amidst the chaos, Ishii delivers the Tiger vertical brain buster onto Yuta for the pin and the win for their win.

Your Winners via Pinfall: Eddie Kingston, Tomohiro Ishii, “Hangman” Adam Page, and The Young Bucks

Taz had left commentary after Perry’s actions on Hook, so Tony Schiavone joins at the desk for the next title match for the…

AEW Women’s World Championship: Toni Storm (c) (with Saraya and Ruby Soho) vs. Willow Nightingale

Nightingale is dominant over Storm in the early part of the match, and then the distraction by The Outcasts gives Storm the time needed to nail a hip attack.  Storm is in control, but Nightingale comes back with a shoulder breaker on the ring apron and then a running DVD.  She starts to climb the rope, but after seeing Soho and Saraya, she gets the ref to eject the Outcasts.  She continues to hurt Storm with an Indian deathlock, but she bites her way out of the submission.  The match is still Nightingale’s to win, and as she charges at Storm, she pulls the ref in the way to halt. As the ref moves out, she bites her head and Storm Zero finishes off Nightingale to retain the belt.

Your Winner and Still AEW Women’s Champion:  Toni Storm

There is a nice little video package for the first of the big main events, and this is for the…

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Will Ospreay (with Don Callis)

There is a lot of history and bad blood, and the fans in Toronto are salivating for the rubber match from Wrestle Kingdom.  As Ospreay and Omega try to gain the upper hand, they quickly go for their signature moves and manage to counter each man’s attack to the fans’ delight.  Omega shows why he is the Best Bout Machine with a steamroller into a second rope moonsault for a two count.  As he hits the ropes, Callis trips him up and Omega goes after him, only for his goons to block his pursuit. The ref has had enough of those shenanigans and ejects him from ringside.

Ospreay takes advantage and throws him knees first into the steel steps, and then nails a spinning backbreaker for a two count.  Back in the ring, they chop away and Ospreay lands a vertical suplex for another two count.  Omega answers back with dropkicks to his knee and a leg lariat for a near fall.  Ospreay manages with a flipping step up enzugiri and hangs Omega on the top ropes. He measures the target and nails a shooting star press to his back, and then follows with the OsCutter on the ring apron.

Then for a little bit of the ultra-violence, Ospreay takes his head and rams it onto the announcer’s table to give the receipt from Wrestle Kingdom. Fans chant “You’re a Wanker!” and Ospreay literally could not care more.  As he pulls off Omega, his forehead is smattered with blood, and Ospreay brings him back to the ring for more.  As he places him in the ring a preps for the Hidden Blade, he notices the blood on his arm and licks it, prompting Toronto to chant, “You Sick F***!”  Omega tries valiantly to fight back, but Ospreay’s rolling elbow drops him like a sack of potatoes.

Ospreay calls for the V-Trigger and smashes his head in.  As he lies in a heap, Ospreay plays with the crowd and besmirches the Canadian flag (What a Monster!), but Omega chokes him with it and tosses him from pillar to post, even hanging him from the top rope.  back outside the ring, Omega sends Ospreay into the barricade and shows the United Empire leader what a real V-Trigger looks like.  He then rams his head on steps, and now Ospreay’s forehead is a study in crimson. Omega props the steps on the side and nails him with a DDT.  Back in the ring, Omega mounts with open-palm strikes and transitions from an armbar to a triangle choke.  Things don’t look good, bruv, until Ospreay powers up and lands a powerbomb to break the submission.  Both men step up and give the other German suplexes, and Omega lands with a high knee but Ospreay counters with the Spanish Fly to cover for another two count.

Ospreay uses the Sharpshooter on Omega and centers him in the ring. He gets out of the hold, and then Ospreay switches to a crossface.  After that, he goes back to strikes with Kawada-style kicks and keeps breaking down Omega.  He attempts the OsCuttter, but Omega scouts it and kicks him in midair.  Now Omega starts with the snapdragon suplex, and then the poison ‘rana, followed by a spike piledriver that gets a close two count.  A V-Trigger in the corner and Omega sets him up top, but Ospreay escapes and tucks him in the corner for a kick to the head, and follows with a corkscrew splash to the floor.  Now he rips off the elbow pad for the Hidden Blade but misses. Goes to Liger Bomb but still just a two. Ospreay nails an avalanche OsCutter, but it’s still good for another two count.  He signals for Stormbreaker, but Omega reverses to a piledriver to spike him hard to the mat.  Now Callis comes back out as Omega gives one V-Trigger after another. Omega sets him up for a third, and Callis tries to shield Ospreay but he still lands the signature move.  He brings Ospreay back, but Callis hangs onto his semi-conscious body.  As the ref tries to restore order, Callis hands him a screwdriver, and as Omega goes for One Winged Angel he drives the tool into his skull, then Hidden Blade and Stormbreaker are delivered to cover for one, two…Whoa, just barely gets a toe on the rope.

Ospreay and Callis have a confab and The United Empire wrestler delivers the V-Trigger followed by the One Winged Angel to Omega to cover but he kicks out of his finishers.  Omega digs into his playbook for Croyt’s Wrath for a two-count and then another V-Trigger.  The end comes as Ospreay digs down and drops Omega on top of his head with a Tiger Driver ’98 version, then another Hidden Blade and the Stormbreaker finally gets the one, two, and three.

Your Winner, and New IWGP United States Champion:  Will Ospreay

Ospreay has now finally avenged his loss from Wrestle Kingdom, as Michael Nakazawa and the medical staff at ringside help Omega to the back.

We still have more of the PPV left to go, and I do not envy the next match to follow up with that. So we get…

Le Suzuki Gods (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Minoru Suzuki) vs. Sting, Darby Allin, and Tetsuya Naito

Yeah, folks.  I’m calling an audible, and as much as I don’t wanna, this feels like we need a Haiku In Review™


Le Suzuki Gods

Have Spirit, but are not as

Tranquilo, cabron!

Your Winners:  Darby Allin, Sting, and Tetsuya Naito

And now we head to the second Main Event, and it is The Final Countdown as we get…

Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada

Between Danielson’s and Okada’s entrances, the “Holy S***” chants are on the money.  The bell rings and both men feel each other out.  They go for a test of strength, but then Danielson tries a surfboard but settles for banging Okada’s knees to the mat.  Outside the ring, Okada sends Danielson into the barricade, but then he throws the Rainmaker shoulder first to the post and then dropkicks him into the announcer’s desk.  The American Dragon picks him apart by focusing on Okada’s arm to take away his Rainmaker clothesline finisher.  He goes to his old Cattle Mutilation submission, but Okada is able to get out of the hold.

He chops the big man in the corner, and Okada gets fired up with that Fighting Spirit. Then he catches Danielson in a flapjack and tries to take down the Dragon to no avail.  He sets him up on top of the turnbuckle and Okada nails with a dropkick, sending Danielson crashing down.  From there, he sends him over barricades and Okada nails a running crossbody into the crowd, and the fans are really getting hyped up.  back in the ring.  Okada catches him in a scary-looking Air Raid neckbreaker to cover for a two count.  He steps the Dragon on the top Turnbuckle, but Danielson fights with the hammer and tong elbows to make Okada crash to the mat, and then he lands a missile dropkick.

Danielson launches him with a German suplex and then a series of running dropkicks in the corner, and Okada gets some hang time with his own dropkick.  Okada goes up top for an elbow drop and Danielson catches his arm and transitions to an armbar, and then into the LeBell Lock but Okada gets a foot on the bottom rope.  The fight goes outside and Danielson connects with kicks to the chest (Yes!), but a roundhouse misses and then Okada picks him up and moves a few steps to the ramp and connects with a tombstone piledriver.

Okada brings him back in the ring and now drives the elbow drop in the center and signals for The Rainmaker.  He attempts to get him up, but Danielson is shaking like he’s convulsing. The ring doc goes to check but Okada pulls him up by himself. He shoots him to the ropes and Danielson nails the Busaiku Knee.  Okada comes back with a German suplex, but Danielson lands on his feet for another Busaiku Knee.  Now with control of his wrist (and his right arm hanging limply by his side), Danielson stomps away, and before he can get any more offense in, Okada gets the dropkick and delivers The Rainmaker to cover for one, two…ooooh, so close.  Danielson tries to lock in the LeBell Lock but Okada fights out of the submission. He reaches for the ropes and Danielson traps the other arm in a variation of the Rings of Saturn. He pulls back hard on the arm and Okada has no choice but to tap.

Your Winner via Submission:  Bryan Danielson

While Okada didn’t get the win, The fans were more than happy with the results, and Danielson rejoices with the Toronto fans.



Forbidden Door 2023 - 06/25/2023

Final Thoughts:

Overall, an awesome PPV, and Omega/Ospreay delivered the goods, while Danielson/Okada offered a dream match that was everything and then some.

As the Forbidden Door closes, here’s hoping more of these doors open in the future with AEW and other promotions.