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AEWxNew Japan presents Forbidden Door – Review and Results

12 months ago

AEWxNew Japan presents Forbidden Door – Review and Results

By: Damian Gibson

Fourteen thousand people were crammed into the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for the second exceptional PPV Forbidden Door hosted by All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, even though the lead-up to the event was only around a month due to most of AEW’s roster concentrating on the Double or Nothing PPV, expectations were sky high for seeing dream matches that only two years ago were just that, a dream. In particular, the second IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship match between Will Ospreay and the champion Kenny Omega. Also on the card is the exciting prospect of who can call themselves the best in the world via a match between Kazuchika Okada and Bryan Danielson.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. MJF – AEW World Championship Match
The crowd are definitely on board with Tanahashi this evening. MJF comes to the ring with New Japan, an Indie on the back of his robe. MJF leaves the ring and starts heading up the ramp; Tanahashi starts a coward chant; MJF is upset by this and comes back to the ring; he offers a handshake to Tanahashi, who shakes MJF’s hand, MJF then attempts to kick the Ace in the gut, but Tanahashi is one step ahead. Tanahashi hits a surprise roll-up for a two-count.

MJF puts Tanahashi in a Cobra Clutch for a long period, using the rope for leverage. Tanahashi appeared to be wrestling hurt with a side strain. Tanahashi managed to get to the top rope for a High-Fly Flow but could only keep MJF down for a two-count. MJF returned the favour hitting a huge suplex off the top rope, but again for a two-count. MJF hit a backward piledriver on his knee but seemed to hurt himself. Tanahashi again went to the top rope to hit his trusty High-Fly Flow, but the Champ got his knees up, hurting both competitors. MJF brought in his belt, which distracted the ref. The ref missed a roll-up from Tanahashi that would have resulted in a three-count. MJF pushed Tanahashi into the ref and then used his ring to knock Tanahashi out and get the three count—a solid match considering that The Ace was struggling with an injury.

Satoshi Kojima vs. CM Punk – Owen Hart Tournament Quarter Final
The crowd are very much against Punk, the Second City Saint, getting booed as he comes down the ring. Kojima chopped Punk so hard that he went back into the front row. Punk got back on top with a leg drop and threw him into the ring for a series of chops and punches. Punk then hit a side slam for a two-count.

Kojima returned in the match with a blow to Yambag City and some devastating chops. Punk went to the top rope for a flying elbow and only got a two-count; he then put on an Anaconda vice that Kojima managed to get out of. Punk reversed a lariat to get a two-count— Chicago’s finest went for a GTS, which Kojima reversed. Kojima went for his lariat again, and Punk reversed to move into a GTS, which he hit and got the three count. Punk raised Kojima’s hand in a show of respect before leaving the ring with the win.

Orange Cassidy vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Daniel Garcia – AEW International Championship
Garcia was the first to go for a finish with a dragon tamer, which Shibata broke up. Some hard-hitting slaps and chops by Shibata and Sabre Jnr on Garcia. Sabre Jnr went after Orange Cassidy’s hand while Daniel Garcia hit Shibata with his belt. Cassidy and Shibata traded a series of chops, ending with Cassidy hitting an Orange Punch and Beach Break, which only resulted in a two-count. Zabre Jnr was back in the ring net, working over Cassidy’s injured hand again.

Shibata hit a PK on Garcia; Cassidy took the opportunity to push Shibata out of the ring and take the pin from Shibata’s finisher. Orange Cassidy gets the win and defends his title for the 25th time. A fantastic match that was full to the brim of action that the crowd loved.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. SANADA – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
SANADA has all the offences here early. SANADA ties Perry up in a Paradise Lock, then hits a dropkick on Perry, who responds with a tiger driver for a two-count. SANADA hits a shining wizard and then the moonsault to get the three count and retain the IWGP World Heavyweight title.

Jungle Boy got very little offence in this match; his good friend HOOK helped him out of the ring and up the ramp. Perry stopped midway up the ramp and hit a clothesline on HOOK. To the ring of boos from the Toronto crowd, Jungle Boythrows the FTW belt at HOOK.

Eddie Kingston, Tomohiro Ishii, “Hangman” Adam Page and The Young Bucks vs. Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, Claudio Castagnoli, Konosuke Takeshita and Shota Umino
We started with Ishi and Takeshita squaring off with chops. Moxley and Kingston were tagged in; these men hit each other hard with chops that echoed through the building. This was eventually broken up by Claudio hitting an uppercut on Kingston. The Moxley team is working over Kingston while Moxley watches on. Mox is tagged in again and gets between Kingston and his teammates. Kingston fights back with chops and tags in Ishii.

Ishii hits a suplex on Shota and tags in Page. Hangman is a one-man wrecking crew that removes all its opponents. The Bucks are tagged in and superkick everyone; they are about to superkick Moxley, but Kingston pushes Mox out of the way to take the kick for his one-time friend. We got a chain of moves from each competitor here that ended with two lariats from Ishii and a brainbuster to get the three count.

Toni Storm vs. Willow Nightingale – AEW Women’s World Championship
Willow is on top, throwing Storm into the corner and hitting big splashes. Willow heads outside and takes out Ruby Soho and Saraya by smashing their heads together. This distracts Willow long enough for Storm to attack her from behind and regain control of the match. Willow hit a Death Valley Drive on the apron and then a second time inside the ring, but the challenger can only get a two-count. The ref then throws Soho and Saraya out of the ring area, a huge boost for Willow.

Willow goes for a moonsault, but no one is home. Storm hits a Hip Attack on Nightingale. Willow locks in an Indian Death Lock, with Storm screaming in pain. Storm biting Willows’s knee to get out of the hold. Willow throws Storm into the corner; Storm grabs the ref and pulls him in front of her. Willow moves the ref out of the way. Storm uses this moment to rake Willows’s eyes and hit a piledriver to get the three count. This was a great match, where both competitors raised their stocks in the eyes of the wrestling public.

Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay – IWGP United States Championship
The crowd is more split than expected for an Omega home crowd. The two men spend the first part of this match sizing each other up and near misses. Omega was about to go for a Suicide Dive when Don Callis, who was at Ringside, tripped Omega. This prompted ref Paul Tanner to eject Callis from ringside. Omega got a good run of offence, letting to a two-count on Osprey. Ospreay hung Omega on the top rope, hit a shooting star press of the top rope, and then hit an Oscutter, slamming Omega’s head into the apron.

Ospreay then drags Omega around the ring and slams the champ’s head onto the commentary desk three times in a brutal fashion. This opens up Omega. Ospreay then slams Omega’s head through a piece of the hoarding from the show. Osprey licked some of Omega’s blood off his arm, stared down the barrel of the camera and mouthed the word yum. Ospreay then hit Omega with his move in the V-Trigger. Ospreay grabs a Canadian flag from the crowd and wipes it on his rear.

While he is pandering to the crowd, Omega jumps out of the corner and hits a clothesline. Omega then uses the same flag to choke out Ospreay and then hands the flag to young fans in the front row. The champ slams Ospreay’s head into the steel steps, opening the challenger up. Omega then hits a massive DDT on the same steel steps. Both competitors hit a German suplex; Ospreay then hit an airborne Spanish Fly to get a two-and-a-half count.

Ospreay put Omega in Bret Hart’s finisher, the Sharp Shooter, to get under the skin of the Candian crowd even more. Ospreay went for an Oscutter that Kenny countered with a knee. Omega then hit two snapdragons and a pile driver, resulting in a two and half-count for Kenny. Ospreay hit the sky shooter press at the thirty minutes mark of the match with his eyes filled with blood, which is a testament to his otherworldly ability. Ospreay then hit a Liger-Bomb that ended in a two count; Ospreay again went to for the Oscutter from the top rope, which again only resulted in a two count. Don Callis returns to ringside for some reason, even though he had been ejected earlier in the match. He is urging Ospreay to get up.

Omega points at Callis and hits a V-Trigger. Callis grabs Ospreay so Omega cants drag him into the ring. Callis hands Ospreay a screwdriver when the ref isn’t looking. Omega goes for the One-Winged Angel, but Ospreay uses the screwdriver on omegas shoulders; he hits a hidden blade, and somehow Omega kicks out. Ospreay then tries to end Omega with his finisher, the One-Winged Angel, which Omega kicks out of at one. Ospreay hits a Tiger Driver ’91 and then another hidden blade to get the win and a new IWGP United States champion is crowned in Will Ospreay.

Minoru Suzuki, Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara vs. Sting, Darby Allin and Tetsuya Naito
After some back and forth between Suzuki and Allin, we get Jericho and Sting in the ring together. Jericho throws Sting into the corner and tries to do a Stinger Splash, but no one is home. Sting got Jericho in the Walls of Jericho, but Guevara hits a cutter off the top rope.

Darby attempts a Cannonball dive on Jericho but counters with the Judas Effect. Jericho sets up a table and forces Sammy to hit a 450 splash to Sting, who Jericho had placed there. Sting somehow gets back on his feet almost immediately. Naito rolls up Suzuki after a clothesline from Sting. This was a fairly uneventful match that completely ran out of steam by the final bell.

Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada – Dream Match
Danielson enters the ring to The Final Countdown by Europe, Danielson’s old theme in Ring of Honor, for the first time since 2009. Okada comes to the ring in a shower of dollar bills raining down from the roof. The Rainmaker gets the early advantage with a shoulder block. Okada then takes Danielson to the outside, throws him into the hoarding and then boots Danielson in the first row. Danielson returned to the match with a series of chops until Okada hit another big bot to stop Danielson in his tracks and get a two-count. The New Japan talisman kicks Danielson off the top rope and throws him over the barrier.

Okada then takes a run-up and a flying leap over the barrier to take out Danielson, he then brings the American Dragon back into the ring and hits the money clip but only gets a two-count. Okada went to the top rope for a flying elbow which Danielson reversed to put in an armbar which Danielson turned into a Lebell Lock. Danielson took the match onto the outside again and rained down a series of kicks on Okada. Okada blocked the fourth kick and hit a piledriver to American Dragon on the ramp. Okada motions for the Rainmaker.

Danielson started convulsing on mat. The referee, Bryce Remsburg, was looking to stop the match when Okada moved the ref out of the way and went for the Rainmaker anyway. Danielson ducks and hits a running knee to get back into the match. Bryan encourages the crowd to yell the “Yes!” chant, which we have not seen since his match against MJF at Revolution earlier this year. Okada moves out of the way of the running knee and hits a Rainmaker but can only get a two-count. Danielson locks in a redesigned Lebell Lock to tap out the Rainmaker and take bragging rights and the label best in the world.

AEW and NJPW have again put on a fantastic professional wrestling exhibition. That has offered a few contenders for match of the year in one night. After tonight both sets of rosters will return to their promotion and continue to compete tooth and nail to get a belt of gold around their waist. For us fans, we will sit and watch and wait patiently until next year, where for one magical night, all walls of the promotions dissipate into the ether, and we are left with a forbidden door to walk through and live a pro-wrestling dream world for a night.

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