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AEW×NJPW: Forbidden Door: Matches and Predictions

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AEW / NJPW

Wrestling fans everywhere - welcome to the modern-day version of the historic event, AAA When Worlds Collide. Now All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling are joining forces to present one of the most anticipated PPVs of all time, AEW×NJPW: Forbidden Door.

With two companies backed by strong rosters full of the very best in the industry, dream match scenarios are running wild through the minds of the most avid wrestling fans. Modern-day greats, such as Kazuchika Okada, Bryan Danielson, Hiroshi Tanahashi, "Hangman" Adam Page, and so much more, make up the gamut of wrestlers everyone is dying to see compete on this crossover PPV match card. On June 26, the fans in attendance are going to blow the roof off of the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

But before we get there, allow yours truly to give you all a preview of what's to come and who I think will emerge victorious from AEW×NJPW: Forbidden Door.

AEW×NJPW: Forbidden Door Predictions

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AEW / NJPW

Gunn Club (Billy, Austin, and Colten Gunn) and Max Caster vs. Yuya Uemura, Alex Coughlin, The DKC, and Kevin Knight

Preview & Predictions: EVERYBODY LOVES THE ACCLAIMED! I consider myself a part of that whole "everyone" collective, by the way. I'm a huge fan of the quadruple silliness that Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn have gotten into lately. For this go-round, Billy Gunn is gonna step into the ring with his young boys to go to war with the NJPW Dojo Bros. I think the AEW squad that's been put in place here is going to crash and burn since they're being pitted against their toughest competition to date. The New Japan representatives being put in place here are nothing to play with and they'll get that message across with a win here.

The Factory (QT Marshall and Aaron Solo) vs. Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi)

Preview & Predictions: Oh snap, they got Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi booked on this show? That's quite a pleasant surprise! Although both of those guys are the perennial New Japan wrestlers who'll never win the "big one," they still stand out as those lovable underdogs you can't help but want to see win. Speaking of winning, Goto and Hashi are going to steamroll over QT Marshall and his stablemate Aaron Solo here without breaking much of a sweat.

Swerve In Our Glory (Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru)

Preview & Predictions: Swerve Strickland isn't exactly Keith Lee's favorite person in the world right now. And that's because Swerve flipped him over the top rope during a battle royale that had Interim World Championship implications attached to it. Swerve is trying everything to get back in his tag team partner's good graces, but that whole process is definitely going to be a slow burner. They're going to attempt to mend their friendship here by taking on two members of the Suzuki-gun collective, which are El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. I'm going to hand the victory to Swerve in Our Glory on this one - they'll continue on the road to a restored sense of trust as they overcome two of the lower stablemates from Minoru Suzuki's dastardly stable.

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. TBA (Zack Sabre Jr.'s Opponent Will Be the Newest Member of Blackpool Combat Club and Will Also Replace Bryan Danielson at Blood and Guts)

Preview & Predictions: Ooooooooooh...so we got a mystery man being set up to take on New Japan's best technician, huh? My heart's broken over the fact that Bryan Danielson won't be able to take on Zack Sabre Jr. and participate in Blood & Guts a few days later, but he's promising us a worthy replacement. So three choices entered my brain after I thought about who it could possibly be: Jonathan Gresham, Johnny Gargano, and Claudio Castagnoli (the man formerly known as WWE's Cesaro). And after much deliberation, I think that the third choice is the one that's finally going to make his AEW debut, align himself with the Blackpool Combat Club, and walk away with his first company win over the Suzuki-gun member. CLAUDIO'S GOING TO BE #ALLELITE!

The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and El Phantasmo vs. Dudes with Attitudes (Darby Allin, Sting, and Shingo Takagi)

Preview & Predictions: A lot of wrestling fans are none too fond of the Young Bucks match formula. I'm not among those fans, however - I simply adore the breakneck pace and insane multi-man maneuvers that break out whenever Matt and Nick Jackson get caught up in a bout with four or six more men in the ring with them. I'm expecting this eight-man tag team match to deliver the biggest crowd pops of the night thanks to a mix of your usual Young Bucks high-flying madness, Darby Allin's daredevil antics, and Sting's signature hot comeback sequence. Another factor that's going to take this match over the top is the presence of Shingo Takagi, who is one of those reliable talents that regularly produces the best matches on any New Japan event card he's booked on. With the speedy powerhouse Takagi in tow, I predict a triumphant win coming Darby and Sting's way.

FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) (ROH World Tag Team Champions) vs. United Empire (Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb) (IWGP Tag Team Champions) vs. Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero) (Winners Take All Tag Team Match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship and IWGP Tag Team Championship)

Preview & Predictions: Here is one of my most anticipated matches of the entire show! FTR has been incredible all year long thus far thanks to their rejuvenated run as babyfaces and ROH World Team Champions. During their title match with Roppongi Vice on a previous episode of Dynamite, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb of Will Ospreay's United Empire stable ran in to disrupt things and leave both teams in a broken & beaten state. Now all three duos are going to go to war and vie to leave with both the ROH and IWGP tag team championships within their grasp.

I think we're due for a shocking result here, ladies and gentlemen! So United Empire just claimed the tag team straps at NJPW Dominion, while FTR has held the ROH tag team straps for a good while now. My gut's telling me Khan and Cobb will blow everyone's minds when they get a pin over Trent Beretta or Rocky Romero to rip the titles away from Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler without even pinning either one of them. This crazy win will lead to FTR finally flying over to NJPW to continue their beef with the United Empire later this summer.

Pac vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black vs. Clark Connors (Four-Way Match for the Inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Championship)

Preview & Predictions: This lineup is so dammed good! Pac never has a bad match whenever he gets his time to shine, Miro is the god-killer that "redeems" his foes, Malakai Black has an aura about him that presents him as the ultimate badass, and Clark Connor gives it his all due to a never-say-die attitude. Prepare yourself for a match jam-packed with stiff strikes, extremely brutal slams, and sharp high-flying maneuvers. I feel like Pac and Black will be the ones to cancel each other out while Miro and Connors come to blows in a power-based war that'll erupt near this match's final moments. And once all is said and done, everyone's favorite god-hater will be the one to tap out Connors and be crowned the first-ever AEW All-Atlantic Champion. ALL PRAISE THE TRUE KING OF BULGARIA!

Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara) and Minoru Suzuki vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino (The Winning Team Receives the Man Advantage for Blood & Guts)

Preview & Predictions: NJPW sure does love its six-man tag matches! This one has that extra oomph added to it in the form of AEW talent in order to increase its importance in my eyes. Chris Jericho has realigned himself with the "Spanish God" Sammy Guevara. And to make matters even more dangerous for their opponents, "Murder Grandpa" Minoru Suzuki is standing right beside them. But those same opponents aren't pushovers whatsoever! Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino (JON MOXLEY'S BELOVED "SHOOTER!") are definitely ready for war.

This six-man tag going to devolve into chaos at some point. With Eddie's unbridled rage for Jericho still a thing and his affinity to go "Strong Style" when the likes of Suzuki are in his midst, things breaking down are a given for this PPV bout. Yuta will be the one to bring the fight to Guevara, while Umino will try his luck at making a dent in Suzuki. I think that the last pairing will result in the babyfaces taking the L here - Suzuki will take advantage of his younger foe's inability to bring him down and ultimately plant him with a Gotch Style Piledriver for the win.

Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Toni Storm (AEW Women's World Championship)

Preview & Predictions: Well this is a nice surprise! I figured since NJPW wouldn't fly over their talent from STARDOM (which is their sister promotion), there wouldn't be a women's match booked for this show. Shout out to Tony Khan for doing right by his ladies and giving them a prominent spot in this significant event. Thunder Rosa's the AEW Women's World Champion and she's successfully defended it against Nyla Rose, Serena Deeb, and Marina Shafir. As for Toni Storm, she's racked up some impressive victories over Jamie Hayter and even Dr. Britt Baker.

Both women are coming in strong with noteworthy wins and celebrated in-ring performances backing them up. If Rosa was coming into this thing smack-dab in the middle of a long AEW Women's World Championship reign, then I'd say Toni is the perfect person to bring it to end. But we all know Rosa's not dropping it so soon since she's just getting started on making this title reign a lengthy one. Rosa's holding onto her prize once all is said and done here.

Will Ospreay (c) vs. Orange Cassidy (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)

Preview & Predictions: One of the more shocking match announcements for this crossover show comes in the form of "The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay vs. "Freshly Squeezed" Orange Cassidy. And the stakes for this have been raised to a shockingly high degree since the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship is up for grabs. I know what you're thinking, folks - "OSPREAY'S FIGHTING ORANGE CASSIDY...REALLY?" But hear me out, folks - this match is going to exceed everyone's expectations and possibly be the best match of the entire evening.

Ospreay can do no wrong in the ring - he's already shown the AEW faithful just how good he is thanks to his MOTY candidate against Dax Harwood. And Cassidy has equally shown that he can put on his working boots and shock the crowd when he starts revving up (just take a look at his match against PAC at Revolution 2020!). With both these guys in the ring against each other for the very first time, I'm expecting greatness to be produced here. And as for the victor, Ospreay is walking in as the champ and damn sure leaving it the very same way.

Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. "Hangman" Adam Page vs. Adam Cole (Four-Way Match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship)

Preview & Predictions: New Japan's biggest prize is the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Its current holder is the Bullet Club leader Jay White, who reclaimed the belt after defeating the "Rainmaker" himself at this year's Dominion show. The stakes have been raised a whole lot more now that the belt is on the line with those same two individuals in place and two additional wrestlers in the form of AEW talent. And those two add-ons are Adam Cole (BAY BAY!) and the former AEW World Champion Adam Page.

I just know these four men are going to give us something really special here. All four men mixing it up at the very same time guarantees that a high level of entertainment will be achieved. The methodical White, smooth-as-butter Kazuchika Okada, southern powerhouse Page, and opportunistic Cole all have varied styles that present an interesting dynamic here. As for who I think is going to win, my pick has to be White. He just won it back, so I just can't see him dropping it just a few weeks after becoming New Japan's top champ.

Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (Interim AEW World Championship)

Preview & Predictions: Man, I feel so bad for CM Punk. That risky leap he took into the crowd on his first night as AEW World Champion resulted in him getting bogged down with a broken foot. And due to that unforeseen injury, he was forced to step away for surgery and give up his marquee spot on this show. In the meantime, Punk will hold onto his title while an interim AEW World Champion gets crowned. And due to the outcome of two important matches that took place in both AEW and NJPW, Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi are FINALLY going to step into the ring against each other.

This blood feud match has been a long time coming. Moxley has had NJPW's "Ace" in his sights due to their previous IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship aspirations. The pandemic kept both men from running up against each other in a singles match, but now the stakes have been raised to a higher degree for this encounter. When Moxley was the champ, he didn't get a chance to perform in front of a crowd during that run. So I think all the events that led to this match will result in Moxley becoming the first two-time AEW World Champion. And this time, he'll get to bask in the adoration of the crowd while he's enjoying the best run of his career.

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