AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023 Meltzer’s Star Ratings Revealed

Hamish Woodward

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023 was broadcast on June 25th, 2023 from the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

It was the second annual edition of the event, with the first show taking place in 2022.

This page will detail Dave Meltzer’s Star Ratings for AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023 , looking at every match on the card. We will also detail the Cagematch rating for the event.

Cagematch is a website which aggregates fans opinions on wrestling match. Fans can log on and rank the matches on a scale of zero to ten, which then calculates an average score for the matches.

Great matches can expect a 9+ rating while the worst matches may not even be worth giving a rating to at all.

Only matches over 5 minutes may be rated on the website. This means fantastic, yet shorter matches like KENTA vs Ricky Marvin will not be given a rating but that does not mean they are bad bouts.

In something that seemed impossible just two years earlier, AEW met NJPW in a joint show that pitted AEW stars against the NJPW wrestlers in a battle between the two companies.

The highest rated match on the site is the Kazuchika Okada vs Kitsuyori Shibata match was NJPW Sakura Genesis 2017.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023 Star Ratings

Here are the star ratings for every match at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023. These will be taken from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer, the users at Cagematch.net and our own rating at Atletifo.

The Adam Cole vs “Filthy” Tom Lawlor match that was planned for Forbidden Door 2023 was cancelled.

Tony Khan announced that the match had been cancelled due to Adam Cole suffering an illness on the day of the event.

Zero Hour: Mogul Embassy vs Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, Rocky Romero & El Desperado

The opening match on the Forbidden Door 2023 pre-show was a huge four-vs-four tag team match-up.

The Best Friends teamed with Rocky Romero and El Desperado to take on four members of the Mogul Embassy stable.

The bout was a fun match to kick off the show, getting the crowd hyped up for the rest of the show. Some fun spots made this an interesting match to watch, with the fan-favorite Best Friends looking for a big win on pay per view.

However, despite dominating a good portion of the match, Best Friends lost the match when Swerve Strickland pinned Rocky Romero for the win.

It was a good match, and at least Chuck Taylor didn’t get pinned. A lack of appearance from Danhausen was a big miss for the Best Friends though.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.22
  • Atletifo Ratings – 2.5 Stars

Zero Hour: Athena vs Billie Starkz

A young Billie Starkz put in a gutsy performance in the first round of the Owen Hart Tournament, but it was Athena who proved herself a top talent.

She fought hard, but could not out wrestle the ROH Women’s Champion. Athena looked just one step ahead the entire match, outshining Starkz and showing why she should be on AEW TV more regularly.

Athena won a decent match to advance to the next round of the Owen Hart Cup.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 2.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 5.96
  • Atletifo Ratings – 2 Stars

Zero Hour: Stu Grayson vs El Phantasmo

A decent match from two Canadians is basically what you could say from this match.

El Phantasmo seemed a different person compared to last years event, having left Bullet Club and became his own man (Despite looking like Logan Paul).

Despite leaving AEW and returning, Stu Grayson seemed to be the exact same person, despite being joined by some homeless-looking people on the way to the ring.

After some really fun high-flying move, El Phantasmo en route to the G1 Climax with a piledriver, in a match that did enough to re-introduce him to AEW fans.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.21
  • Atletifo Ratings – 1.5 Stars

Zero Hour: United Empire vs Los Ingobernables de Japon

LIJ were clearly fan-favorites in this match, with the crowd firmly behind the trio of Shingo Tagako, Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI.

With fast-paced action which saw the group dominate their opposition for the bulk of the match, Shingo Tagaki won the match with a “Made in Japan” on TJP (yes, the Cruiserweight Open winner).

It was a decent match that the crowd made even better.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.35
  • Atletifo Ratings – 2.5 Stars

MJF vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (AEW Championship)

MJF insulted Hiroshi Tanahashi and NJPW in his entrance to the match, but his performance in the match was anything but.

The pair crafted a match filled with comedy, storytelling and fantastic action, built to work around the faulty knees of the Ace of the Universe.

MJF tried to cheat his way to victory on numerous occasions, only to be foiled by referee Bryce Remsburg and Tanahashi every time.

It was a fun match, but not the best match of either man’s career. A good opener that got the crowd on their feet, and made the most of a past-his-prime Tanahashi.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.44
  • Atletifo Ratings – 3 Stars

CM Punk vs Satoshi Kojima (Owen Hart Cup Round 1)

As announced on AEW Dynamite, CM Punk’s first pay per view match since his injury was against Japanese legend Satoshi Kojima.

The match was part of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament, which signalled Punk’s intention to go beyond the AEW Championship in the current time.

The fans were totally against Punk, with the Canadian fans booing him out of the building from the moment his name was announced.

Punk clearly played the heel in this match, working the crowd absolutely beautifully. He had them in the palm of his hand in his battle with the Japanese legend.

He even hit a leg drop, riling the crowd up by mocking the recent comparisons he’s had to Hulk Hogan.

CM Punk and Satoshi Kojima put on one of the best matches of the night, and helped solidify a heel turn for Punk that will hopefully lead to a match with Kenny Omega at All In.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 4 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 7.49
  • Atletifo Ratings – 4 Stars

Orange Cassidy vs Zack Sabre Jr vs Daniel Garcia vs Katsuyori Shibata (AEW International Championship)

A fantastic four-way match that played to each man’s strength to perfection saw Orange Cassidy steal another victory.

The match showcased all four men, with ZSJ’s technical skills, Orange Cassidy’s cunning, Shibata’s hard-hitting style and Garcia’s on full display.

This match was also a return to form for Katsuyori Shibata. He put on his finest performance since his enforced retirement in 2017, giving fans hope for another main event run for The Wrestler.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 4 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 8.31
  • Atletifo Ratings – 4 Stars

SANADA vs Jungle Boy (IWGP World Heavyweight Championship)

As expected, this match did not blow the roof off the arena. A short, fast-paced affair saw SANADA hit lots of cool moves on Jack Perry, who looked out of his depth against the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion.

After the match, Jungle Boy was helped to the back by hook before turning on his partner. This looked to be the heel turn he desperately needed, following his rejection by the crowd over the past few weeks.

Jungle Boy then mocked the crowd for dancing along to his entrance theme, before grabbing Hook’s FTW Championship and tossing it toward Hook.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 6.41
  • Atletifo Ratings – 2 Stars

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

Obviously, we all knew this match was going to be great. 10 of the best wrestlers in the world all clashing in ten-man tag action: what could go wrong?

It was your classic multi-man match, with incredible amounts of false-finishes, broken up pins and big moves that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

The only disappointing parts what the two men involved in the finish, and the fact that the bulk of the participants wrestled in a much more brutal match just weeks prior.

Nevertheless, the match was one of the best of the night, bringing something different to the rest of the card.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 4.75 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 8.93
  • Atletifo Ratings – 4 Stars

Toni Storm vs Willow Nightingale (AEW Women’s Championship)

A decent outing that had the crowd behind Willow Nightingale.

However, it did not overly impress, with the in-ring action not up to the level of Storm’s latest title defenses.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 5.81
  • Atletifo Ratings – 2 Stars

Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega (IWGP United States Championship)

I’m not going to write anything about this match.

It simply would not be fair to spoil the greatest match in wrestling history (that is, until the rematch at All in).

Go and watch this match. 6 Stars. The scale is broken already. Ospreay is the best wrestler of all time. Kenny is second.

Dave Meltzer rated this match 6 stars, making it one of his highest-rated matches ever.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 6 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 9.61
  • Atletifo Ratings – 6 Stars

Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki vs Sting, Darby Allin & Tetsuya Naito

This six-man tag team match was a real palate cleanser, after the masterpiece that was the previous match.

Despite this, the six men in the match still went all out. While it was a slightly messy affair, it had interactions between vast generations of stars that popped the crowd hugely.

Naito won the would for his time, with the help of Sting. The match could have used more interactions between Sting and Jericho, but the post-match antics between the pair definitely hinted toward a future match.

There’s a good chance Jericho will wrestle against Sting in the latter’s last match at All In, at Wembley Stadium.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 3 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 5.19
  • Atletifo Ratings – 3.5 Stars

Bryan Danielson vs Kazuchika Okada

The end of Forbidden Door saw everybody in attendance absolutely stunned.

The crowd was silenced when, at the end of a classic encounter, Bryan Danielson forced Kazuchika Okada to tap out to a variation of the LaBelle lock, due to Danielson only have use of one of his arms.

The match was not as good as the Omega/Ospreay match, but in a vacuum you’d easily give this a five-star rating.

  • Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 4.75 Stars
  • Cagematch Rating – 8.25
  • Atletifo Ratings – 5 Stars

Leave a comment

Privacy Policy