AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023 is a night full of dream matches for the ages, including Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay vs. Kenny Omega.
In 2022, the inaugural Forbidden Door event was a huge success for AEW. Headlined by Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, it originated about 130,000 pay-per-view buy and net revenue of approximately $4.4 million. But Forbidden Door 2023 is shaping up to be an even more successful show.
The inclusion of Omega, Danielson and CM Punk – neither of whom were on the show last year – figures to take Forbidden Door 2023 to the next level and should result in significantly higher interest and PPV buys. The blockbuster event should also outline a number of interesting storyline developments on AEW Dynamite, Rampage and its new third brand, The Collision.
Here are five smart booking decisions AEW—and NJPW—must make at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023.
Will Ospreay wins the IWGP US Title
Will Ospreay’s NJPW contract expires in February 2024, and the high-flying star Has been confirmed He would prefer not to move to America, which would be a requirement to sign a contract with AEW or even WWE.
The best fit for Ospreay is in NJPW, and with Kenny Omega’s long-term AEW future uncertain as his contract nears expiration, the best and most logical outcome at The Forbidden Door is for Ospreay to defeat Omega and bring the title back to NJPW . Omega’s clear top priority is AEW, while Ospreay is one of NJPW’s biggest stars.
Omega and Ospreay, arguably two of the best in-ring performers in the world, put on an instant classic at Wrestle Kingdom 17 in January. It was here that Omega defeated Ospreay in a grueling 35-minute match to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. It’s only fitting that Omega returned the favor at The Forbidden Door, giving Ospreay a big win on the AEW stage that could solidify him as a main eventer outside the confines of NJPW.
jungle boy becomes full-blown heel
AEW has really exhausted all its options with the babyface version of “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry. It’s not that Perry isn’t a good babyface—she is. It’s just that he seems to have hit a wall as far as he can go in his current role.
Perry needs a dramatic character reset, which should come in the form of a much-needed heel turn. Perry is a somewhat surprising challenger to IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Sanada, and it is highly unlikely that Perry will win the match. Sanada finally gave a hint he is not sure Who is Perry? Oh.
Which is why this bout – which should be surprising from an in-ring perspective – should serve as a catalyst for a frustrated Perry to launch a full-blown heel turn after his close loss to Sanada. It makes sense given the circumstances and Perry’s need for a character reset.
Bryan Danielson defeats Kazuchika Okada
When AEW President Tony Khan first announced the Forbidden Door, Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okaha was the highly anticipated potential dream match that took pro wrestling fans by surprise. After Danielson didn’t attend last year’s event, it’s now a reality.
The question is who will probably win the match between the best wrestlers in the world? While Okada is more of a priority for NJPW as a singles star, Danielson needs a marquee singles win now more than ever. Although Danielson’s performance is impressive win-loss record In AEW, he has lost most of his major AEW matches, including last month to MJF at Revolution, a four-way match for the ROH title at Full Gear 2022, the 2022 ROH World Title match at Dynamite, and the finals of the AEW World Title tournament Is. John Moxley.
For now, Danielson is a heel member of the Blackpool Combat Club, so his singles push is a low priority. But he’s 8-1 in 2023, a proven main eventer and one of pro wrestling’s most recognizable names. In other words, Danielson needs a marquee singles win in AEW, and Okada is one of the biggest names he can possibly beat to win.
MJF defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi Clean
MJF Reportedly Facing Hiroshi Tanahashi At The Forbidden Door As AEW Want To Book Him against someone he can beat, NJPW apparently has no problem with Tanahashi losing, while the company would prefer that its biggest stars not show up in America only to lose.
NJPW wants to protect their investment in their top stars, so AEW is motivated to do MJF vs. Tanahashi, who is not seen as one of NJPW’s four biggest names. At Forbidden Door 2022, Tanahashi earned the honor by losing to Moxley in the main event of the show, and it appears he is in Forbidden Door 2023 to do essentially the same thing.
MJF is, of course, AEW’s top star and has been teased constantly Departure from AEW to AEW, It remains to be seen if he is a working fan or not, but until MJF confirms that he has signed papers and not re-signed with AEW, he needs to be a strong World Champion. needed.
And just because MJF is a heel, doesn’t mean he needs to cheat to defeat Tanahashi at the Forbidden Door.
CM Punk defeated Satoshi Kojima
For all the weight CM Punk has put on AEW, there’s a reason Khan continues to put pressure on him: he’s a draw.
Punk proved to be not only a great attraction during his first stint with AEW, but he helped lead the first episode of Collision over 800,000 viewers, That’s a huge number for a Saturday wrestling show, and it’s another testament to Punk’s drawing power. So, AEW certainly isn’t bringing him back to lose to Satoshi Kojima, is it?
While Kojima is a veteran in NJPW, he is over 50 and no longer a top star. This meant that Punk should be wiping floors with him at the Forbidden Door, easily crushing him in a matter of minutes to keep up the momentum during his return.
After all, Punk is the main performer of The Collision and is essentially an unofficial world champion. He should not give up until the right time comes.