It’s easy to pick apart the things that went wrong with Forbidden Door 2, the cross-promotion event which saw All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) collaborate for an event the likes of which seemed impossible years ago. Between the slew of injuries and brisk build for the event, there was what felt like a lot of wasted potential for the event.
However, the show was still quite entertaining despite perhaps not living up to everyone’s expectations. What’s that? Something not living up to the internet’s expectations? Preposterous… Should anyone ever again dare to open the forbidden door for another PPV between AEW and NJPW? Here Is What Forbidden Door 2 Needs:
#1: KENNY MOTHER F’N OMEGA
When Forbidden Door was announced, I, like far too many other speculative wrestling fans thought that this would for sure be the place for the “Best Bout Machine”, Kenny Omega to make his return. It simply seemed too perfect to pass up. As the matches for the show began to materialize over the weeks though, it became more and more clear that Kenny would not be wrestling on the card. It was a difficult thing to fathom and must have been for Omega as well.
If there is to be a Forbidden Door 2, Omega absolutely must have a match. The matches that Kenny Omega had with Kazuchika Okada are the stuff of legend and the entire reason I started paying attention to NJPW, Bullet Club, Being The Elite, etc. If Kenny Omega isn’t on the card for a PPV between AEW and NJPW, you’ve really gotta stop and ask yourself why you’re doing it then?
#2: Needs More Hype
Double or Nothing took place on May 29th and slightly less than a month later, Forbidden Door was held on June 26th. It seems to me that for an event that carried as much weight as Forbidden Door, there should have been a longer period spent creating excitement for the show and setting up feuds for the card. I don’t think any of the matches were even set up before the first Dynamite after Double or Nothing, which then ended up not even happening due to the CM Punk injury.
I’ve always been a fan of the slow-burn style for setting up feuds and the matches for this event seemed almost hastily thrown together at times. The injuries likely played a part in some of it but that doesn’t excuse putting a four-way match together the week before the event for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. That match was huge and epic and deserved the same amount of hype building up to it, as did many other matches.
#3: Tokyo Dome
If we do get another Forbidden Door next year, how cool would it be to see them take it to the Tokyo Dome in Japan? We got the first one here in the States, so it’s only fair that the next one is held in Japan. The Tokyo Dome is an iconic arena for wrestling fans all around the world.
Seeing some of the founders of AEW, like The Young Bucks have another match in the Tokyo Dome after all this time would be almost surreal. One final match between Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada in the Dome? Dave Meltzer would have to borrow some stars from Mario to properly score it.
#4: Add Another Promotion(s) to the Mix
Could you even imagine a cross-promotion show involving AEW, NJPW, and WWE? Well, you’ll probably have to stick to imagining it since WWE will likely never ever play nice with any other wrestling promotion, at least in regards to actually having their talent face off against other promotions’ talent. But it’s not out of the realm of possibility for TNA or Ring of Honor (ROH) to be added into the mix next time.
ROH would be especially easy to involve in the action since Tony Khan now owns the company. If pulled off correctly, we could finally see a proper invasion angle like WWE – then WWF – tried to pull off back in the early 2000s when Vince McMahon bought both WCW and ECW, then tried to have them “invade” his company as a storyline.
#5: Shake Things Up
When we found out that both the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and AEW World Title would be defended on the show, it seemed like a real possibility that an NJPW wrestler could walk away with AEW’s biggest prize and vice versa. By the time the final match had concluded, however, an NJPW wrestler retained the IWGP title and an AEW wrestler captured the AEW World Title. Nothing had changed by the end of the PPV.
Maybe it doesn’t need to happen with each of the promotions’ biggest titles but I think it would be really interesting to see some titles swapped between promotions. Part of what makes pro wrestling entertaining is having that feeling of never knowing what could happen. Seeing the AEW World Championship captured by an NJPW wrestler would definitely make for some interesting content on both promotions to see how that plays out.
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