AEW’s first crossover with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, forbidden door, is officially on the books. But going into the night, the big elephant in the room was all the stars that the show was missing. Due to various injuries or circumstances, CM Punk, Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, Kota Ibushi, The Lucha Brothers, Andrade El Idolo, Hiromu Takahashi, The Hardys, reDRagon, Jungle Boy, Scorpio Sky and Buddy Matthews were all out of the game. map. The injury bug even appeared during the show itself, with Dax Harwood and Adam Cole both appearing to come out of their respective matches banged up.
But, as Tony Khan confirmed in both an interview with ComicBook and on Friday’s media conference call, the two companies are already talking about a Forbidden Door II event sometime in 2023. In a perfect world, both companies would have their full-strength comeback rosters by then and the map could be monstrous. Here are seven games that could happen if everyone is healthy next year.
CM Punk vs. Will Ospreay
Punk had his main AEW World Championship match taken away for this year’s Forbidden Door, but hopefully he’ll be healthy for the next event. One of the wrestlers who was calling Punk even before his return to AEW was Will Ospreay, who had a standout performance against Orange Cassidy and could be re-inserted into the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship picture at any time. A match for either championship would instantly make for a solid main event.
But in case that doesn’t happen…
Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada
It can be argued that Omega’s initial match against Okada was the first domino to fall in a series of events that led to the creation of AEW, New Japan’s American fandom, and the Forbidden Door event. The two have only wrestled one-on-one four times, with Kenny Omega tying the streak by ultimately winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 2018. If Omega is healthy, arguably Omega vs. Okada V is the biggest game of the two companies. could possibly book.
Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Saber Jr.
The world was deprived of a technical masterclass between Danielson and ZSJ this year. And while Claudio’s arrival as Danielson’s handpicked replacement lived up to the hype, “The American Dragon” has already made it clear that he still wants the matchup with Zack.
Blackpool Combat Club v Los Ingobernables de Japon
Aside from Shingo Takagi, one of New Japan’s most popular factions was completely absent from Sunday’s show. Pairing them up for a multi-man faction battle against the Blackpool Combat Club could easily steal the show.
Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Kushida
In addition to LIJ’s absence, having virtually no New Japan Junior Division presence felt bad. A quadruple with two of AEW’s best stealers in Darby and Sammy against the best of the Juniors (Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado could also fit in here) would make for a great Junior Heavyweight Championship matchup.
Jon Moxley vs. Jay White
– All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 27, 2022
Moxley and White came out as world champions at the end of Forbidden Door and they haven’t wrestled in any capacity in almost three years. White has evolved tremendously during this time and a program between the two could legitimately dominate both companies for an entire summer.
Kota Ibushi vs. MJF
MJF was deliberately left out Forbidden Door because of his ongoing storyline and he has gone public in the past that he doesn’t care about New Japan’s style of wrestling. But assuming he’s back in the fold next year, it would be wonderfully poetic to pair him with someone who epitomizes the modern Japanese style of wrestling in Ibushi. Hopefully the issues each man seems to be having with their respective businesses can be sorted out by then.