Forbidden Door 2024

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2024 Preview

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AEW & New Japan Pro Wrestling come together once again for Forbidden Door this Sunday, June 30th. The show will also involve wrestlers from partners CMLL (Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre) and Stardom for the very first time.

Forbidden Door season has been an exciting time for AEW fans since its inception in 2022 who take every opportunity to fantasy book matchups between promotions. While this year’s event will be headlined by an all-AEW match, there are still plenty of matches that will wet the appetite of those wanting crossover matches.

Champion vs. Champion

The main event will be between AEW World Champion, Swerve Strickland, and AEW International Champion, Will Ospreay. But only Strickland’s gold will be on the line. Ospreay won a Casino Gauntlet Match in May to earn his shot and a win here would lead to him heading into his home country, and Wembley Stadium, on top of the company. Strickland has grown into the champion role since winning the title in April, with the recent promo Ospreay segment being a particular high point.

This will be the third singles match between the two champions, with Strickland holding a 2-0 record; wins at PROGRESS Wrestling in London and Riptide in Brighton, England back in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The two men have developed their games immensely in that time, Ospreay especially, being a near-unrecognizable performer these days. The match is a fascinating one in the sense that it’s a rare match and completely unpredictable. Ospreay has yet to lose in singles competition since joining AEW earlier this year and people have been assuming he was being groomed for the championship at All In. He has now found himself in that position two months earlier…

Swerve, on the other hand, has yet to fully establish himself as champion. It certainly feels too early for him to lose the title from an outside perspective. But, it gives the match a real bit of intrigue on a show that traditionally doesn’t have much in the title matches.

La Primera vs. La Hefa

The biggest inter-promotional match on the card is the title-for-title match between TBS Champion, Mercedes Moné, and NJPW Strong Women’s Champion, Stephanie Vaquer. This is a rematch of their encounter in the first round of the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship Tournament. Despite losing, the match put Vaquer on a platform she had not been on prior and put her name in front of an American audience. It was later that same night in the tournament final where Mercedes’ fateful match with Willow Nightingale would take place and cost her almost a year of her career.

This is a rematch that fans have wanted since that first meeting. To use a cliché, Stephanie Vaquer has aura in spades, and seems to effortlessly connect with any audience in front of her. I saw this first hand last month when she made her debut in the U.K., and she had the longest line at the meet and greet before the show had even taken place. And then an even longer one after. She feels like a perfect opponent for Mercedes with her extended run in Mexico fitting perfectly with the lucha libre-influence of the “CEO”.

Ultimately, the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship was made for Mercedes Moné from day one, and with both titles on the line, it feels like a given that she will finally claim it here.

The Battle of Two Dragons

“Where the best wrestle” has become a motto for AEW in recent weeks and that will perhaps not be displayed clearer on the Forbidden Door card than in the match between Bryan Danielson and Shingo Takagi. The match, which is a first round match in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, is the second singles match between the two Dragons. Their first took place in 2010 for Dragon Gate USA, which Danielson won.

This is a dream match that is very suitable of the run Bryan Danielson has been on as of late to finish his career as a full-time professional wrestler. Shingo appearing in the U.S. has a special feel too, as until the past couple of weeks, he has only competed for AEW on Forbidden Door events. The match promises to be incredibly hard-hitting and the styles of both men should mesh together to create an instant classic.

#WeWantMina

The arrival of Stardom’s Mina Shirakawa in AEW has caused quite the confusion for Women’s World Champion, “Timeless” Toni Storm. Initially it seemed she arrived simply to drink champagne with former Club Venus stablemate and Rose Gold tag partner Mariah May. But, the former Wonder of Stardom Champion quickly began to draw attention from fans, with #WeWantMina regularly trending. Back in April at a Stardom event during WrestleMania weekend, Shirakawa made it clear she had her eyes on Storm’s championship.

This has lead to an awkward couple of months between the three, with Mariah May seemingly stuck between her best friend from Japan in Mina and her idol in Toni Storm. It quickly became a fight for her attention… This past week on Dynamite, the three successfully worked together, defeating The Outcasts and Anna Jay in trios competition. But after the match, it was Mina who attempted to leave a mark on Storm ahead of the clash this weekend. She swung the champagne bottle that has followed this story everywhere, but Storm ducked, leaving her to knock out May. Now, will May realize the mistake? Or will she feel like she was the target? May is scheduled to be in both women’s corners for the match, but it certainly seems like there is a decision to be made on the horizon.

The Best of The Rest

The card is currently sitting at a jam-packed thirteen matches across the main show and the zero-hour pre show. The other highlights include MJF making his return to PPV action in his hometown of Long Island, NY. He takes on CMLL’s technical wizard, Hechicero. Another Technical Wizard will also be in action as Zack Sabre Jr. faces the man he once claimed he wanted to marry on Twitter, Orange Cassidy. Jon Moxley will defend the IWGP Championship against the man he beat to win the gold, Tetsuya Naito, in what is a very contentious match. Many NJPW stars are desperately hoping to see the end of Moxley’s reign, and the belt return to New Japan.

A late announcement to the card sees an all-star trios match take place as the Los Ingobernables de Japon team of Yota Tsuji, Hiromu Takahashi, and Titan take on the Lucha Bros, who team with the biggest Lucha Libre star of the 21st century, Mistico. Also the vacant TNT Championship will be decided in a six-man ladder match.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2024: Full Card

  • Swerve Strickland vs. Will Ospreay – AEW World Championship
  • Jon Moxley vs. Tetsuya Naito – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
  • “Timeless” Toni Storm vs. Mina Shirakawa – AEW Women’s World Championship
  • Mercedes Mone vs. Stephanie Vaquer – AEW TBS Championship & NJPW Strong Women’s Championship
  • Konosuke Takeshita vs. Mark Briscoe vs. Lio Rush vs. Jack Perry vs. Dante Martin vs. El Phantasmo – AEW TNT Championship (Ladder Match)
  • Bryan Danielson vs. Shingo Takagi (Men’s Owen Hart Cup First Round Match)
  • Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Orange Cassidy
  • MJF vs. Hechicero
  • The Young Bucks & Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & The Acclaimed
  • The Learning Tree (Chris Jericho, Big Bill) & Jeff Cobb vs. Samoa Joe, Hook & Katsuyori Shibata
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (Yota Tsuji, Hiromu Takahashi, Titan) vs. Lucha Bros & Mistico
  • Kris Statlander & Momo Watanabe vs. Willow Nightingale & Tam Nakano
  • Mariah May vs. Saraya (Women’s Owen Hart Cup First Round Match)

The show promises to continue the trend of Forbidden Door events delivering, and then some. AEW will definitely be hoping the PPV can kickstart a run towards their biggest event of the year, All In.

Are you excited for Forbidden Door? Let us know in the comments.

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