Saturday 25 June 2022

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2022 Full Show Highlights HD Wrestling Reality


AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2022 PPV 26th June 6/26/22

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AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Wrestling Reality Team!

    Credit: AEW

    Welcome to Wrestling Reality's coverage and recap of the first-ever AEW and NJPW joint pay-per-view, Forbidden Door.

    Hopefully, this is the first of many crossover events for AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, especially since so many prominent talents were injured and unable to compete on Sunday.

    The card is stacked with a dozen matches featuring stars at every level, but the handful of championship matches were the most heavily promoted bouts leading up to the show.

    Let's take a look at what went down in Chicago on Sunday.

The Buy-in

1 OF 10

    The first match on the buy-in was the tag match with Aaron Solo and QT Marshall taking on Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi. Solo and Marshall were playing the heels, so the crowd gave them plenty of heat.

    This was a fast-paced match with some good action, but it did not exactly include a lot of selling. It felt like they were just moving from spot to spot at times. Goto and Yoshi-Hashi scored the win to kick the show off.

    Winners: Goto and Yoshi-Hashi

    Grade: C+

    The next match saw Nick Comoroto take on Lance Archer. This kept The Factory in the ring for two matches in a row and gave us two powerhouses throwing down.

    The physicality was good here because both guys have the size and power to really make their hits look good, but it didn't have much else to it. They didn't have a ton of time to work, but they packed in a decent amount of action in the minutes they were given.

    Archer was able to pick up the win with his Blackout finisher in what ended up being a quick but entertaining showdown.

    Winner: Archer

    Grade: B-

    The third buy-in match was a tag team bout with Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee facing Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado. Swerve and Lee spent more time on defense than offense, but the announcers made sure to mention their recent communication issues as a possible reason.

    Swerve and Desperado were the stars of this match and had the best exchanges out of the different possible combinations. The last few minutes were the best part of the match. Lee and Swerve were able to secure the win before Team Taz taunted them from the crowd.

    Winners: Swerve and Lee

    Grade: B

    The final Buy-in match was an eight-man tag bout with Max Caste and The Gunn Club taking on Yuya Uemura, Alex Coughlin, The DKC and Kevin Knight. Austin and Colten ended up running backstage to look for Danhausen after he taunted them from the big screen.

    This allowed the NJPW stars to get an early four-on-two advantage. Caster and Billy were able to get in some offense here and there, but it wasn't much. They were the underdogs as soon as Billy's kids ditched them.

    However, Caster and Billy were able to make a comeback and get the win with the Mic Drop. This was decent, but there were a few too many sloppy moments.

    Winners: Caster and Billy

    Grade: C

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Marshall is really good at playing a jerk. He has the body language down well. 
    • The way Archer landed on his head when he hit the cannonball into the ring was scary, but he got right back up and kept going. 
    • Seeing a guy like Archer walk the top rope and hit a moonsault will always be impressive. 
    • The stretch muffler submission spot with Swerve and Desperado at ringside was great. 
    • The way Lee saves himself and Swerve from submissions at the same time was awesome. 
    • Billy was the biggest dude in his match by a wide margin. 

Jericho, Guevara and Suzuki vs. Kingston, Yuta and Umino

2 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    The first match on the main show featured Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki taking on Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta and Shota Umino. As always, Tay Conti was by Guevara's side.

    This match was a fight from the moment the bell rang. They barely tried to use tags and make this a traditional bout for the first few minutes. Everyone eventually settled into their corners and started obeying the rules. Actually, saying they obeyed the rules is a bit of a stretch.

    This match was chaos, but the good kind of chaos. AEW has been able to make some of these wild multi-man fights exciting on more than one occasion. Everyone performed their role perfectly. There wasn't a single weak link in this chain. The match wasn't perfect by any means, but it was as entertaining as it needed to be.

    Conti interfered by hitting Umino with a bat but it barely slowed him down. It took several superkicks from Guevara and a headbutt from Suzuki to get him to release a Boston crab on Jericho. When the dust settled, Jericho hit The Judas Effect on Umino to get the win.

    Winners: Jericho, Guevara and Suzuki

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Suzuki's entrance music alone is over with the crowd more than a lot of stars on the roster. Suzuki the man is just about as over as anyone right now. 
    • Umino's jacket should be sold on merch sites. 
    • Kingston exposing his chest the moment he saw Suzuki get tagged in was a very specific kind of energy. 
    • Suzuki no-selling Kingston's chops was a fun moment. The way Kingston reacted really helped make it work. 
    • Everything Yuta does looks great. He is one of those guys who just gets it. 

Roppongi Vice vs. United Empire vs. FTR (ROH and IWGP Tag Titles)

3 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    The next match was the triple threat title bout with FTR, Roppongi Vice and United Empire fighting over both the ROH and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.

    Dax Harwood and Trent Berreta started as the legal men, so Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan had to sit on the sidelines at first. A few minutes into the match, Harwood was escorted to the back at one point, so he may have suffered an injury.

    When he returned several minutes later to keep fighting, his shoulder was wrapped up. Even with a potential injury, he was going hard in this match.

    This match had a lot of moving parts and they had to improvise due to what happened with Harwood, but the competitors in the ring are all pros and made sure everything looked smooth when they could. It never felt like any team was contributing less than the others.

    After several close calls, FTR was able to win and earn their third set of tag titles to add to their collection.

    Winners: FTR

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • FTR is as over as anyone else on this entire card. The crowd absolutely loved Wheeler and Harwood.
    • It looked like Harwood may have been injured when he went for an elbow drop, but it's tough to say for sure what happened. At least he was able to return, but let's hope he didn't do anything to potentially make any damage worse. 
    • Cobb might be Rhyno's son. Can we get Maury Povich on this?
    • AEW needs to get a title on Trent at some point. He has been such a reliable performer for so long. 

Pac vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black vs. Clark Connors

4 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    The All-Atlantic Championship was decided next in a Fatal 4-Way that included Clark Connors, Miro, Pac and Malakai Black. Connors was replacing Tomohiro Ishii after a recent injury kept him from competing.

    Black and Pac paired up to fight while Miro took on Connors, but those pairings did not last forever. We eventually saw them begin to switch opponents and even work together at times to take out a bigger threat.

    This match had a little bit of everything without anything feeling out of place. It had the usual stuff you expect from a four-man contest, but the skill of the four men involved helped make it feel a little more improvised than some matches like this that have several pre-planned spots you can tell were rehearsed and discussed.

    Connors got a huge pop when he put Miro through a table with a Spear. The crowd chanted his name for a bit, but Pac taking him out put a stop to that. After hitting Black with a 450, Pac locked Connors in the Brutalizer for the win.

    Winner: Pac

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The crowd not giving Miro one of the biggest pops of the night was a little disappointing to see. 
    • Connors is one of those guys who is so well-proportioned that you don't realize how short he is until you see him next to someone else.
    • Pac and Black have amazing chemistry as opponents. Everything they did together looked phenomenal. 
    • Miro catching full-grown men in mid-air like it's nothing is always fun to watch. 
    • The way Miro was bending Pac back in the camel clutch looked incredibly painful. 

The Bullet Club vs. Dudes with Attitudes

5 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    The Young Bucks and El Phantasmo took on Sting, Darby Allin and Shingo Takagi in a trios match with nothing but their pride on the line. As the Bullet Club came out, Sting attacked them with a huge dive from the stage.

    That moment got the crowd hyped and set the tone for the rest of the match. Even though they observed the rules most of the time, this bout still felt hectic.

    Hikuleo interfered on behalf of The Bullet Club, but the ref was distracted at the time. The Stinger was able to quickly recover and make a hot tag into the match.

    This match was highly entertaining and had several memorable moments, but it also suffered a bit from a lack of selling. Sting no-selling is one thing, but everybody else was recovering from big spots a little too quickly. Takagi was able to get the win for his team by pinning Connors.

    Winners: Dudes with Attitude

    Grade: B

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • This is the first PPV in quite some time where it didn't look like Allin spent a lot of time on his body and face paint. 
    • Seeing Sting take big bumps from dives at his age is both scary and amazing at the same time. He is truly a legend. 
    • The Bucks are rarely the bigger competitors in a match, so when they had a chance to throw Allin around, they took every opportunity to do it. 
    • The Bucks using several unnecessary flips and cartwheels was some good trolling. 
    • The Bucks' double superkick to Alling looked stiff. Allin sold it like he was hit by a truck. Their double suicide dive a few moments later did not look as good. 

Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm (AEW Women's Title)

6 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    Toni Storm and Thunder Rosa shook hands to show sportsmanship before they locked up for the AEW women's title. Both of these women have reputations for being great workers, so they made sure to test their limits with some fast-paced exchanges early in the match.

    As one of the few one on one contest on this card, they had some pressure on them to make this memorable. Thankfully, they were up to the challenge. They made very few errors, and the ones they did make were easily covered up when they quickly recovered and adjusted.

    In a somewhat surprising conclusion, Rosa retained with one of Dustin Rhodes' signature spinning suplexes. They shook hands again when it was all over.

    Winner: Thunder Rosa

    Grade: A-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Rosa's gear for every PPV has been incredible. 
    • The exchange of chops had a few hard shots from both women. There might be some bruising tomorrow. 
    • Rosa's piledriver to Storm looked brutal in the best way. 

Orange Cassidy vs. Will Ospreay (IWGP US Title)

7 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    Jim Ross was not on commentary for the whole show, but they brought him out to call this match between Orange Cassidy and Will Ospreay for the IWGP U.S. title.

    OC started by dodging a dropkick and hitting a shoulder tackle, but Ospreay is just as quick on his feet, so they were able to have a nice exchange of takedowns all while Cassidy kept his hands in his pockets.

    Anyone expecting this to be a comedy match was probably surprised to see both men take it so seriously. Other than the opening moments, Cassidy was on fire and working harder than he has since he battled Pac.

    The story they told with Cassidy trying to show Ospreay how good he is and Ospreay trying to prove he was the better wrestler was nicely executed, especially during the back half of the match. Both the action and the in-ring psychology were on point.

    Cassidy survived several spots that seemed like they would end the match, but Ospreay finally put him away to get the victory.

    Winner: Will Ospreay

    Grade: A+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • It was rumored that Cassidy would be using new entrance music at some point, so it was a little surprising to hear his usual Pixies theme. 
    • Seeing Cassidy have a huge smile on his face is so weird, but it felt appropriate for the moment. 
    • The spinning backbreaker Ospreay used at one point looked really good. 
    • If you watch NJPW, having Juice Robinson in the crowd with the title was a nice touch.
    • Ospreay hit a superkick at one point that looked hard enough to take someone out for real, but Cassidy did not skip a beat.  
    • Cassidy breaking the turnbuckle camera with Ospreay's face was a fun spot. 
    • What do you even say about a guy who tries to hit two moonsaults, a shooting star press and a corkscrew splash in the span of four seconds? Ospreay is nuts. 

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Claudio Castagnoli

8 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    When it was revealed that Bryan Danielson would be unable to compete at this show, he promised a worthy replacement to face Zack Sabre Jr. Needless to say, Claudio Castagnoli was a well-received substitute.

    The former Cesaro ran at Sabre and hit a huge uppercut followed by a Neutralizer right away, but he was unable to get the win. It took a little while for ZSJ to recover and begin to make his comeback.

    These two are great at a lot of things, but above all else, they are known as two of the best technicians in the game. Every single move they hit looked about as good as possible. These guys are just on a different level.

    This match was just as good as Cassidy vs. Ospreay or Storm vs. Rosa, but for completely different reasons. Going from a respectful fight to a creative spot fest to a technical clinic is a great way to keep the crowd interested because they are all such different kinds of performances.

    After a fantastic sequence, Castagnoli won with a powerbomb to have a successful AEW debut.

    Winner: Claudio Castagnoli

    Grade: A+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • The pop the crowd gave Castagnoli was probably the biggest of the night. 
    • If he is part of the Blackpool Combat Club permanently moving forward, it might officially become the best current stable in pro wrestling. 
    • Castagnoli casually holding a man above your head while you walk up the stairs to the ring is lowkey hilarious. 
    • The crowd really wanted to see the big swing and let out a collective groan when ZSJ countered it. When they finally got to see it, everyone was happy again. 
    • Sabre countering a sharpshooter into a heel hook was a thing of beauty. 

White vs. Cole vs. Page vs. Okada (IWGP World Title)

9 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    The Fatal 4-Way for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was up next with Jay White defending the belt against Adam Cole, Kazuchika Okada and Adam Page.

    The Adams paired off and fought outside the ring while Okada focused on going after White. Once Hangman took out Cole, he and Okada double-teamed White. The two BC allies tried to formulate a game plan at ringside, but they took too long and ended up getting attacked.

    Once they got on the same page, Cole and White began to control the pace. Much like the All-Atlantic Fatal 4-Way, this one allowed everyone in the ring to shine at different times. It never felt like anybody was left out compared to the others.

    Once it was clear they would have to fight, White and Cole threw their alliance out the window. What followed was a long sequence of near-falls and attempted finishing moves from all four men. In the end, it was White who scored the pin over Cole to retain.

    Winner: Jay White

    Grade: A

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Okada probably got the biggest pop of the four men in this match. 
    • The crowd was chanting "Holy s--t" before anyone even threw a punch. 
    • Everybody always talks about how good Allin's suicide dive looks because it's brutal, but Page's is one of the cleanest. 
    • Cole and Page have mastered the superkick counter to a moonsault spot. 
    • It felt like Cole threw more superkicks in this match than both Bucks did in their match. 
    • A doctor was checking on Cole after the match. Let's hope he is alright. 

Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (AEW World Title)

10 OF 10

    Credit: AEW

    The main event of the evening was the match to crown an interim AEW world champion between Jon Moxley of AEW and Hiroshi Tanahashi or NJPW.

    This is one of the few matches on this show that started with a simple collar and elbow tie-up. They kept the pace steady and used some classic sequences we have seen in a million other matches to get things going. They knew they would be going 100 MPH soon, so it was clear they were taking their time.

    Once they started trading strikes, it was clear Moxley had a slight advantage as a brawler. Whenever they went back to the mat to grapple, Tanahashi seemed to take over for the most part. However, it never felt like either man was in control for more than a couple of minutes, so this felt competitive and frenetic.

    This match had a lot to like about it, but something kept it from reaching the level a lot of people probably hoped for. It was a fantastic bout, but you could easily cite better matches from both men in recent years.

    After Tanahashi survived several near-falls, Moxley finally put him away with the Paradigm Shift to become the interim world champion. Overall, for a show with a limited buildup and several injuries that forced plans to change, Forbidden Door was a massive success. Just about every match delivered, and the majority of the outcomes felt like the right move.

    Mox and Tana had a nice moment after the match where they showed each other a lot of respect before Daniel Garcia and Jericho ran down to attack both men. Kingston tried to help, but it took Yuta, Santana and Ortiz to turn the tide. The rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society and Castagnoli joined the fight to end the show was a huge brawl.

    Winner: Jon Moxley

    Grade: A

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Having the Japanese announcer alongside Justin Roberts for all the intros on this show was a nice touch. 
    • Moxley's cutter out of nowhere looked good. 
    • The table spot could have looked better but it's hard to always make it look good. 
    • The way Moxley was bleeding from the head led to several huge blood spots forming at ringside. 
    • There was one kickout by Tanahashi that looked like it was a hair too late, but Aubrey Edwards knew not to count the three at that moment.

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