While the term “Forbidden Door” has been thrown around a lot since the start of AEW, the term is used perfectly as the name of the joint pay per view between AEW and NJPW.
The term was invented by Hiroshi Tanahashi, but has been co-opted across the entire wrestling world to refer to any cross-promotion activities.
The idea was trademarked by Tony Khan in 2022, and turned into one of the biggest shows of the year. The now-annual Forbidden Door show brings the biggest stars from AEW and NJPW together, putting on dream matches that fans never expected they’d ever get to see.
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023 will be broadcast on June 25th, 2023 from the Scotiabank Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It will the second annual edition of the event, with the first show taking place in 2022.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the match card for AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023, giving you our predictions for every match on the card.
Bryan Danielson vs Kazuchika Okada
A dream match for many (including both men in the match) is finally happened at Forbidden Door, with the Blackpool Combat Club’s Bryan Danielson battling Kazuchika Okada.
This match is our prediction for the main event of the show. It needs all the time in the world to build the match, giving two of the best wrestlers of all time the time to craft the perfect story.
While the match was really thrown together (Danielson challenged Okada “via satellite” during a New Japan show), it doesn’t really need a compelling story to sell it to the fans.
Everybody knows how good these two more, and the in-ring action is the only thing needed to sell it to the public.
Knowing how protective New Japan are of their top stars, mixed with Bryan Danielson’s famed unselfishness when putting over anybody he likes (even Drew Gulak has a win over him), it seems certain that Okada will pick up the win.
However, the result of the match doesn’t really matter – just seeing this match makes the fans the winner.
Prediction – It doesn’t matter, but Okada wins with the Rainmaker.
Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega (IWGP United States Championship)
The rematch of the century is finally happening, and it is happening at Forbidden Door! After their incredible match at Wrestle Kingdom 17 saw Kenny Omega take the IWGP United States Championship from Will Ospreay, the rematch is one of the mostly hotly anticipated in AEW history.
While he has barely acknowledged holding the championship in AEW, he has defended the title a few times since winning it. Ospreay’s beef with Omega is worth more than the title, which is merely a prop in their ongoing war.
Taking place in Omega’s home country of Canada, one might expect “The Cleaner” to walk away with the win for the second time in a row.
However, Ospreay looks in top form and the best he ever has. We predict he’ll walk away with the victory, setting up the rubber match in front of 80,000 hometown fans in England, battling Kenny Omega at All In at Wembley Stadium.
A match this magnitude deserves a clean finish, but with his current rivalry with Don Callis just heating up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Konosuke Takeshita interfering to help Ospreay win the day.
Our Prediction: Will Ospreay wins the match after interference from Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita.
MJF vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (AEW Championship)
Despite MJF rejecting the match on AEW Dynamite, the match against Hiroshi Tanahashi has been booked for Forbidden Door.
He refused to take on the “rando from some rinky-dink Japan indie” during a hilarious interview, but I can’t see Tony Khan letting him get off that easy.
Tanahashi is no longer in his prime, but can always put on a classic when given the chance on the big stage.
Expect to see the classic Ace of the Universe performance, especially against one of the most hated heels in all of wrestling.
MJF will retain his title and beat Tanahashi, but the bout is certain to be a fantastic bout, storytelling wise, and be on you’ll go back and rewatch many times.
Predictions: MJF steals the win after a brilliant match
Orange Cassidy vs Zack Sabre Jr vs Katsuyori Shibata vs Daniel Garcia (AEW International Championship)
Following on from last year’s event, the AEW International Championship will be defended in a four-way match at Forbidden Door.
With the match being set up by a tag team match on Dynamite, Orange Cassidy will defend his title against three top competitors from ROH, NJPW and AEW – Katsuyori Shibata, Zack Sabre Jr and Daniel Garcia.
Except fast-paced action that doesn’t give you a chance to breathe.
Predictions: Orange Cassidy retains, stealing the show just like last year.
SANADA vs Jungle Boy (IWGP World Heavyweight Championship)
The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match is a rather disappointing one, with Jungle Boy chosen as the opponent for SANADA.
With stars like CM Punk and Jon Moxley free to challenge for one of the most prestigious titles in wrestling, it is bemusing that a mid-carder (who has disappointed so far in a main event role) was chosen to help legitimize a first-time champion in SANADA.
Except this to be a good match, but nothing on the level you’d usually expect from an IWGP title defense. SANADA will win, and Jungle Boy will be exposed once again as not quite being at this level yet.
Prediction: The match disappoints compared to the rest of the card as SANADA predictably retains.
CM Punk vs Satoshi Kojima (Owen Hart Tournament Round 1)
Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki vs Sting, Darby Allin & TBA
Prediction: CM Punk beats Kojima to advance to the tournament, of which he will eventually win.
Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, and Claudio Castagnoli), Konosuke Takeshita, and Shota Umino vs. The Elite (“Hangman” Adam Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson), Eddie Kingston, and Tomohiro Ishii
Toni Storm vs Willow Nightingale (AEW Women’s Championship)
Prediction: Toni Storm wins the match with the help of The Outcasts
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.