AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Delivers; Bleacher Report Does Not

AEW and NJPW's first joint PPV, AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, is in the record books, and the promotions delivered an entertaining event that even managed to have consequences, with the IWGP Tag Team Championships changing hands and two new AEW champions crowned. Running from 7PM to shortly before midnight, Forbidden Door was nearly an hour shorter than last month's Double or Nothing, and that hour made a big difference for the energy of the crowd and of viewers at home. The show, which saw multiple changes to its card due to injury, also saw Adam Cole reportedly suffer a concussion during the IWGP Championship match, leading to an improvised ending. For viewers in the United States watching the show via streaming, Bleacher Report continued its undefeated streak of technical issues that frustrated fans, with our own stream cutting out multiple times throughout the night, including during the main event title match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jon Moxley.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]
Here are the results of the show and my brief thoughts on each match, as if you care what I think! If you need more detailed summaries of each match, try the AEW website, or better yet, just buy the thing (but not on Bleacher Report).

Forbidden Door – The Buy-In Pre-Show Results

Bishamon—Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi defeated The Factory—Aaron Solo & QT Marshall

Jobbing is universal, and just as The Factory must job for AEW wrestlers, so must they job for NJPW ones. This felt like an excuse to get more guys on the card with a match that would have otherwise worked on AEW Dark.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

"The MurderHawk Monster" Lance Archer defeated The Factory's Nick Comoroto

Despite his history in AEW, Lance Archer picked up a win for NJPW here, needed since AEW would win so many throughout the night.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Swerve In Our Glory—Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland defeated Suzuki-Gun—El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

While appearing in the penultimate pre-show match might be somewhat insulting for Keith Lee, he and Swerve did pic up the win, which led to a promo from Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs, which is always welcome.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

The Gunn Club—Billy, Austin, & Colten—and "Platinum" Max Caster defeated NJPW LA Dojo—Alex Coughlin, Kevin Knight, The DKC, & Yuya Uemura

As usually, Max Caster's rap was the highlight of the pre-show. The Ass Boys ran away at the start of the match when Danhausen played his Ass Boys theme song in the arena, which gave a reason for these Young Boys to get some offense in on the outnumbered Caster and Gunn. Still, Daddy Ass and Platinum Max picked up the win, making it AEW 2, NJPW 2 as the main card started.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Forbidden Door – Main Card Results

"The Wizard" Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara (with Tay Conti), & Minoru Suzuki defeated "Mad King" Eddie Kingston, Shota Umino, & ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta

Jericho got the pin on Umino in this match, so we'll give the point to AEW (3-2). It was a fun opener and the crowd was nuts for it. Later on backstage, Jericho threw a fireball in Umino's face, so hopefully this leads to something more between the two of them. For getting the win, Jericho's team will have the advantage at Blood and Guts on Wednesday.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

ROH World Tag Team Champions FTR—Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood defeated IWGP Tag Team Champions United Empire—The Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb and Roppongi Vice—Rocky Romero & Trent Beretta in a Winner Takes All title match

It's amazing to think that FTR (despite being champs) were basically treated like jobbers throughout their entire WWE main roster run. Part of that was that they were not seen as the kind of guys who could rise to top star level, but is anyone in AEW as over with the crowd as they are? Great match, and another for AEW (4-2).

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

"The Bastard" PAC defeated "The Redeemer" Miro, Malakai Black, and Clark Connors to become the first AEW All-Atlantic Champion

AEW fans had just about given up on PAC winning any big matches, to the point where I think most people were probably certain that either Miro or Black would win this one. As a result, the crowd popped huge for PAC's win. (5-2)

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Dudes with Attitudes—Darby Allin, Sting, & SHINGO Takagi defeated Bullet Club—AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks & El Phantasmo (with Hikuelo)

This match started off great. The lights went out and the cameras cut to Sting up on the catwalk, WCW style. For a moment, I was thinking, "please don't have Sting lowered from the roof when you have a deal with the Owen Hart Foundation." Luckily, it was a ruse, as Sting was actually on top of the entrance tunnel, where he leapt onto the heels. Ultimately. Takagi pinned Phantasmo in this one, but since an NJPW wrestler got the pin, we'll give them the point. (5-3)

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Thunder Rosa defeated Toni Storm to retain the AEW Women's Championship

The only women's match on the card (since NJPW has no female wrestlers) didn't disappoint. Rosa and Storm put on a clinic, and Kevin Kelly on commentary talked up their Stardom history to tie it in with Japan.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Will Ospreay (with Aussie Open) defeated "Freshly Squeezed" Orange Cassidy to retain the IWGP United States Championship

You would think that the Orange Cassidy formula would get stale, but put him against someone like Will Ospreay and watch Ospreay's disgust at Cassidy's antics, and then watch them put on a possible match of the night besides. And then top it off with Shibata appearing after the match to save Cassidy from a United Empire beatdown and kick Ospreay's ass? Yeah, the fans got their money's worth with this one alone. (5-4)

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Claudio Castagnoli (the mystery opponent and newest member of the Blackpool Combat Club) defeated Zack Sabre Jr.

Claudio Castagnoli (the former Cesaro) was probably the most heavily speculated choice for the mystery opponent, but that didn't stop the crowd from going wild when he appeared. How many times can I point out that the competitors had an excellent match at this PPV? All of the matches were excellent. That said, Castagnoli was born to wrestle Zack Sabre Jr. at this PPV, and in terms of people who could fill Bryan Danielson's shoes in that spot, he's one of only a few. (6-4)

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

"Switchblade" Jay White defeated Adam Cole, "Hangman" Adam Page, and "The Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

Another great match marred slightly by a confusing ending, though it seems that's because Cole had a concussion. Like in the next match, I was hoping for a surprise ending, but I understand that White winning was the obvious choice. (6-5)

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]

Blackpool Combat Club's Jon Moxley (with William Regal) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to become the Interim AEW World Champion

In case anyone was worried that the NJPW wrestlers didn't get enough video packages to introduce them on AEW Dynamite, consider this: Jon Moxley, perhaps the most beloved star in AEW, was booed as the crowd supported Tanahashi. Sometimes, it's okay to book a show for your most hardcore fanbase and let them figure things out. (7-5)

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Largely Delivers, New Champions Crowned
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door [Photo: All Elite Wrestling]
The show ended with a massive brawl to promote Blood and Guts on Wednesday.


Overall, Forbidden Door was a great event. I watch AEW every week, but was tuned out about halfway through Double or Nothing last month. I almost never watch NJPW, and only knew who the top guys from there were, but I was invested from bell to bell. And the crowd was too. Props to Kevin Kelly, who really helped explain the NJPW wrestlers to the viewers. It also helped that the commentary team evolved throughout the night, with Tony Schiavone joining midway and Jim Ross coming in at the end.

I have no complaints… except for Bleacher Report. There's no excuse to continue screwing up every PPV when they're charging $50 for it. Why shouldn't I use a VPN and pay less on Fite next time? I like supporting AEW with my money, but I don't appreciate getting taken out of the matches when the video fails and I have to restart it and recast it. Fix this, please.

For all the injuries leading up to this event and even a lot of complaints about a lack of storyline build, as it turns out, delivering five hours of world-class wrestling is enough to please wrestling fans. Go figure! Now, let's look forward to Forbidden Door 2, and wrap Punk and Danielson in bubble wrap for the three months leading up to it!

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Jude Terror

A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.