AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door Makes Good After All-Time Bad Injury Luck

When wrestling fans first fantasy-booked a joint supercard featuring All Elie Wrestling (AEW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), the first names to come to mind were CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, MJF and Kenny Omega.

Unfortunately, all five performers will miss AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door this Sunday.

Punk and Danielson are dealing with recent injuries, Omega has been on the shelf from multiple surgeries since November, and MJF is at the center of a work/shoot that has him off AEW programming right now.

So obviously, AEW had terrible luck with losing this many key figures so close together (though, in theory, AEW is keeping MJF off television as part of a storyline.) Not having Punk, most notably, could cost the company PPV buys. And still, the lineup of matches is one of the more intriguing of the year.

If Omega is the best in-ring performer in the world then Kazuchika Okada is the second. The Omega-Okada rivalry is responsible for the two highest-starred matches on record. Their 2018 classic at Dominion 6.9 In Osaka-jo Hall is the only match to reach 7 stars. So having Okada on the card is a major shot in the arm.

Okada will compete in a four-way match for the IWGP title with Adam Cole, Hangman Adam Page and current champion Jay White.

As you can tell from his AEW debut, Okada — a Japanese wrestler — is the fan-favorite in the United States:

In a hypothetical draft, a company would draft these four performers in the top 10, given their ages and current status.

Speaking of talents to build around, that brings us to Will Ospreay. Since we’ve established Omega and Okada are one and two in some order in the ring, Ospreay will compete in a one-on-one with Orange Cassidy.

Here’s a preview:

The main event will feature Jon Moxley vs. NJPW ace Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW Championship.

The original plan was for Tanahashi to face CM Punk for the title, but AEW had to swap in Moxley following Punk’s injury. Moxley isn’t Punk in terms of drawing power, yet he’s a top-notch worker and a match with Tanahashi has been brewing for three years.

The mid-card sells itself with some of the best performers from both companies, including The Young Bucks, Eddie Kingston, Zack Sabre, Tomohiro Ishii and FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler).

Here’s the full match lineup:

  • Interim AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • IWGP World Championship: Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. Hangman Page vs. Adam Cole
  • ROH and IWGP Tag Team Championships: FTR vs. Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan vs. Roppongi Vice
  • IWGP United States Championship: Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy
  • AEW All-Atlantic Championship: PAC vs. Miro vs. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Malakai Black
  • AEW Women’s World Championship: Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm
  • ROH and IWGP Tag Team Championships: FTR vs. Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan vs. Roppongi Vice
  • Sting, Darby Allin, Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi vs. Young Bucks, El Phantasmo, Hikuleo
  • Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta and Shota Umino
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. TBA

Pretty solid card given the unavailabilities of several top stars.

I’m all in. But the Wrestling Gods better heal up the missing performers by the end of July and make good for causing all these injuries at once.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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