TORONTO – Following AEW’s Forbidden Door PPV at the Scotiabank Arena, AEW founder and President Tony Khan led another post-show media scrum featuring some of the winning talents from the night’s high-profile matchups. Once again, thanks to our fine folks over here at SLAM! Wrestling (dot net), yours truly was in attendance to sit through the post-show media scrum and I had the chance to throw in a few questions also! Here are some of the scrum’s most noteworthy takeaways.
First to the table were Sting and Darby Allin, who were involved in a 6-man tag team match that saw them team with NJPW’s Tetsuya Naito, against LeSuzukiGods (Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, and Sammy Guevara). When asked about a potential head injury that may have occurred during the match, Sting replied: “Yeah, I have some pre-match problems with my head so… but yeah, I’m good.”
Putting the attention towards AEW’s next big show at Wembley Stadium in London and Sting possibly calling it a career at the end of this year, Sting said: “I have not decided on a date for sure, a lot of people actually wondered if I was going to retire at Wembley… that would be kinda cool but I don’t see that happening. I think I’m gonna continue on, Tony’s kinda been in my ear a little bit here and there saying “Steve, you can stay as long as you want.” So, I’m not sure how long that’ll be, but like I said a few months ago… showtime is just about over with and it truly is. I’m looking forward to going back to London… last time I was there I was the Joker Sting and the crowd loved it there. It was not the big stadium, it was just the arena… but still, great great crowd and I’m looking forward to heading back over there.”
Sting was asked about his journey thus far in AEW, arriving at the end of 2020 to where we are now, to which he responded: “In the very beginning, talking to Tony and starting with AEW… I honestly didn’t know how long it would be. Yes, I signed a multi-year deal, but I literally in the beginning… I took one day at a time. And then I maybe took it to about a week at a time, then a month at a time, I’m still sorta doing that and just playing it by ear and seeing how my body feels. I have had these moments where I thought it was over, you know I didn’t feel like I was performing at the level that I needed to… Arthur Ash, two Arthur Ash’s ago, I thought I was not performing well… but you know, one day at a time.”
Poor Darby Allin threw his name in the hat as he wasn’t getting any questions asked his way when all of a sudden a loud bang overcame the small media scrum room we were in. Honestly, it scared the living hell out of me but lo and behold, it’s Winnipeg’s favourite son Chris Jericho coming to spoil the party.
Jericho came in all furious at Sting, telling him he wanted to “stick his nose in his business again” and that “what happened between me and Naito is between me and Naito”. He then laid out an open challenge, saying “You want more time with Chris Jericho? You want more time with Chris Jericho, Darby huh? How bout this? This Wednesday in Hamilton, it’s gonna be Sting and Darby… this is what I want Tony, against Sammy Guevara… but not Chris Jericho! Against the Painmaker! In a tornado tag match! No rules! No DQ! Just you and me Sting. You want time? I’ll give you all the f****** time you want! How does that sound huh?”
Following this expletive rant from Jericho, this is where the real juicy business happens. Amidst all the chaos, Jericho goes “Look at this!” as he whips a water bottle from the table and swings the crap out of it with his handy baseball bat. In the video, Jericho goes “boom” and the bottle heads straight for the head of one of the media members seated up front. You hear Tony Khan yell “Oh jeez” and rightfully so, that bottle although made of plastic actually cut open said media member just above the eyebrow. Of course, this was all done to build some hype for their now-scheduled tornado tag match in Hamilton on Wednesday, but that was something I’ve never seen before ever! Usually, it’s the folks who sit up front at the show who might get hit with a stray, but you don’t expect it to happen at a press event. I bet Jericho had no intentions of that bottle actually hurting anybody, but just goes to show… anything goes at an AEW post-show media scrum (cough cough September 4, 2022, in Chicago).
Following this whole debacle was the newly crowned IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, Will Ospreay, fresh off his instant classic rematch with Kenny Omega. Speaking on the topic of building off pointers taken from the first encounter to the rematch, Ospreay answered: “I worked a lot on the power game for myself. Especially, I feel like I done a lot better after I got cut open. Last time when I got cut open, I honestly felt like I was losing control of my legs a little bit, I didn’t feel like I had my legs beneath me, and it was kinda like a 20-minute… I didn’t have anything in me, I just tried to fight. This time I felt a lot better, my cardio endurance was a lot better for this one… the training camp works… I was really happy with my performance on this side.”
Ospreay certainly played to the hate coming from the Canadian/partisan Kenny Omega crowd as he got in a flag-defacing spot in the match, to which he added: “I just saw it (laughs), there was a kid flippin’ me off! I was like, a 12-year-old! I was just like
“you have terrible parents, young man” (laughs). Honestly, I caught him out of the corner of my eye and I just, oh man, I’m the worst person when there’s like trouble around… I love getting involved in it. There’s this small part in my brain that just thinks, “It’d be a fun one, innit? Do it! Rub the Canadian flag and put it between your ass crack. Like, do it! I done it. Sorry. My bad (smiles).”
Moving on, AEW’s resident mean girl and one-third of “The Outcasts” Toni Storm took the stage, although she seemed like she could’ve been anywhere but sitting down with what she called us “marks” (I see she’s taken a page out of the MJF handbook). Right out of the gates, Storm was asked about a potential showdown with Stardom’s Giulia, where she had this to say: “Giulia, yeah. You wanna see me slap the tits off her too? Yeah! Come on! Bring Giulia… it’d be such a huge honor (sarcastically), is that what you want me to say? You want me to mark out for Giulia… well I’m not going to… I don’t care. I know you all like her and you all think she’s, oh wow. What do I look like, a f****** mark to these people, Tony? Oh yeah, it’d be a huge honor, sweet… I can’t wait.”
Aside from the attention towards a potential showdown with Giulia, SLAM! Wrestling’s very own Amos Mina got a question in there asking about Storm’s unfinished business and as I put it, neverending chapter with her ex-roommate/friend turned rival, Jamie Hayter. Storm seemed quite insulted by the comment as she responded: “Why neverending chapter? I beat her in three minutes at Double or Nothing!” to which Tony Khan chimed in saying “She has a win over you. She’s beaten you. It seems like it’s pretty even.”
Storm continued her angry rant saying: “Why more Jamie Hayter? It’s even, except it took her quite a while to beat me… it took her like 20 minutes to beat me, it took me like 3 minutes to beat her… she was so beat up, she was such a mess, I beat the crap out of her so bad that she could only give her fans, the fans she adores, three minutes. That’s all she had. And then, she laid down and I beat her and that was the end of her and we haven’t seen her since. Awwww. Yeah. Let’s continue this. What is there left to do? I guess I could break her nose? She deserves it since she did it to me. Go on then, book it again if you wanna see me break Jamie Hayter’s nose (sips Bubbly).”
After Toni Storm finished her tirade, the “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson joined the podium. It was revealed during the scrum that Danielson suffered an arm injury in the match, you can read more about this in the related link down below. Aside from the injury talk, I was able to ask Danielson about a potential series of matches with Okada and any interest in possible stipulations added or stakes added to spice things up, to which he replied: “I don’t really worry about those kinds of things honestly. I just love wrestling and I love wrestling the best people in the world and I’m very thankful to New Japan Pro Wrestling… so grateful we have them as partners, right. Because, when you look at the show we did tonight, it’s incredible up and down the card… when have you seen two companies work together like this in a way that’s so selfless… that’s absolutely best for the wrestling fans. From my perspective, I don’t look at things like I wanna have a trilogy as far as storytelling or whatever it is… I’ll do whatever Tony asks me to do, right. I have people I’d like to wrestle and some payback I’d like to get.”
Closing the scrum was AEW founder and President Tony Khan, where I was able to ask him about the road to ROH’s summer showcase, Death Before Dishonor 2023, scheduled to take place on July 21st in Trenton, NJ. Khan had this to say: “It’s a huge event and it’s a great question. Tonight, we saw Ring of Honor champions involved in big matches, for example, to have Claudio Castagnoli involved in a ten-man tag… I think Claudio is a big part of the BCC and he’s involved every week in AEW. We see Claudio wrestle on AEW TV all the time and also regularly featured in Ring of Honor, he has a proving ground match against Chuck Taylor… which I thought would be a really cool match for the fans, this Thursday night… I just kinda want to see how guys are coming out of the matches, you don’t know how they’re going to be, are they going to be injured? It’s important for Death Before Dishonor too, to get through Forbidden Door because you got your World Champion involved, you had the ROH Pure Champion involved in AEW and Forbidden Door recently… so really very cool stuff happening in ROH and AEW and now that we got through Forbidden Door, you’ll see on ROH TV in the coming weeks that card starting to take shape and some great stuff happening.”
- June 26, 2023: AEW and New Japan once again reopen The Forbidden Door
- June 26, 2023: AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door: Toronto crowd steals the show
- June 26, 2023: Danielson potentially out 6-8 weeks with arm injury
- June 26, 2023: Steve Argintaru’s AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door Photo Gallery
- Countdown to Forbidden Door