CM Punk is set to return to AEW in time for Forbidden Door 2023, opening up a whole host of possibility for the legend.
The former WWE and AEW Champion missed last years event due to injury, and has not wrestled since September’s disastrous All Out debacle.
An injury and suspension kept him out of the ring for months, with his return set for the June 17th debut episode of AEW Collision. This should set him up with a huge match for AEW’s next pay per view – Forbidden Door.
Forbidden Door 2 is set to take place on June 25th, 2023, being broadcast from the Scotiabank Centre in Toronto, Ontario , in Canada.
The event is part of a six-date tour in Canada for AEW, culminating in an incredible show featuring both AEW and NJPW talents. The Forbidden Door 2 match card looks to be the most exciting in wrestling for years, with many matches still yet to be announced.
Fans are waiting patiently to hear which dream match CM Punk will be a part of at Forbidden Door. Here at Atletifo, we’ll give our view on the best opponents he could face from NJPW at this historic event.
One of the biggest stars in NJPW has actually said that he wants to face CM Punk, leaving the Forbidden Door open for another huge dream match at the event.
In a recent interview, Will Ospreay was asked about a match with CM Punk at Forbidden, and his reply indicated that he wanted to face the former AEW Champion, if the stars did align for that match.
“I have no idea what’s going on but I’m all about business and hopefully that’s something can work out,” Ospreay told “Insight with Chris Van Vliet.” “Now it is quite open, especially with the relationship there that AEW have with New Japan, it’s so different to how it was in 2020.”
CM Punk vs Will Ospreay would be a dream match for Forbidden Door, but has also been teased to take place in Wembley Stadium, for the huge “All In” show in August.
Piggybacking off the idea of a match against Will Ospreay, we can actually look at the match that was planned for last years Forbidden Door.
While CM Punk was scheduled to face Hiroshi Tanahashi before his injury, the original plan for his Forbidden Door match was actually as part of a six-man tag team match.
This would have pitted CM Punk and FTR against United Empire, the faction led by Will Ospreay. It’s likely the AEW trio would have faced Ospreay and Aussie Open in the match, as they were the three men from the faction who competed in the AEW Trios Tournament.
Another match that was planned for Forbidden Door last year was a huge clash for the AEW Championship.
CM Punk was actually supposed to defend his newly-won AEW Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi last year, before an injury suffered from crowd-jumping incident took him out of action for months.
Instead, he was replaced by Jon Moxley, leaving fans to lament missing out on an all-time dream match between two of the finest wrestlers ever.
Booking the rematch in 2023 would not be a title match, but would still bring the dream match for CM Punk at Forbidden Door 2023. The storytelling in the match would be off the chance, and would truly be one to tick off the bucket list for both men.
Any wrestler in the world could have a dream match at Forbidden Door with Kazuchika Okada, with no exception.
While many want to see Okada scrap with Bryan Danielson at the event, it could be time to look at the possibility of The Rainmaker taking on CM Punk in the main event of the show – even without the titles on the line.
Neither man holds a world title at the moment, and would simply be battling for their own respective pride.
Being two of the best wrestlers of all time, the dream CM Punk match at Forbidden Door, at least from an in-ring perspective, has to be against Kazuchika Okada.
Forbidden Door will come not too long after CM Punk’s return from injury, so AEW may not want him to wrestle in too strenuous a match from the go.
That is why him teaming with FTR to take on Bullet Club could be a huge bout.
This could also include Jay White, of Bullet Club Gold in AEW, rejoining his former faction for one last match, to take on CMFTR in a huge dream match at Forbidden Door.
However, he could also take on one Bullet Club member who has been teasing a match with Punk for years.
While this match was heavily teased by KENTA going into the first Forbidden Door, it was not put together for the dream show. KENTA was not even present at the show, despite being one of the first New Japan stars to travel through the Forbidden Door all the way back in 2021.
CM Punk was meant to face Hiroshi Tanahashi at the show, but injury forced him to pull out of the show and miss it altogether. However, he will not want to miss out again and KENTA could be the man to take on Punk in the big show.
KENTA has teased a match with CM Punk numerous times (even outright challenging him) over the latter’s use of the Go to sleep – a move invented by KENTA. The feud rights itself and would be a dream match for fans on Indie wrestling in the mid 2000s.
With CM Punk’s injury and the whole “Brawl Out” controversy still casting a shadow over his AEW career, fans will hope that he sorts it out with The Elite before the Forbidden Door 2 show in Canada and gets his match with KENTA on the match card.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.