AEW's first crossover event with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Forbidden Door, is officially in the books. But heading into the night the big elephant in the room was all the stars that were missing from the show. Due to either injury or various circumstances, CM Punk, Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, Kota Ibushi, The Lucha Brothers, Andrade El Idolo, Hiromu Takahashi, The Hardys, reDRagon, Jungle Boy, Scorpio Sky and Buddy Matthews were all off the card. The injury bug even popped up during the show itself, with Dax Harwood and Adam Cole both seemingly walking out of their respective matches banged up.
But, as Tony Khan confirmed both in an interview with ComicBook and in Friday's media conference call, the two companies are already talking about a Forbidden Door II event at some point in 2023. In a perfect world, both companies would have their rosters back to full strength by then and the card could be monstrous. Here are seven matches that could happen if everyone is healthy next year.
CM Punk vs. Will Ospreay
Punk had his main event AEW World Championship match taken away from him for this year's Forbidden Door, but hopefully, he'll be healthy for the sequel event. One of the wrestlers who was calling out Punk even before his AEW return was Will Ospreay, who had an outstanding performance against Orange Cassidy and could be inserted back into the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship picture at any time. A match for either championship would instantly make for a solid main event.
But in case that doesn't happen...prevnext
Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada
One can make the argument that Omega vs. Okada's initial match was the first domino to fall in a series of events that led to the creation of AEW, New Japan's American-based fandom and the Forbidden Door event. The two have only wrestled one-on-one four times, with Kenny Omega tying the series by finally winning the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 2018. If Omega is healthy, it's arguable that Omega vs. Okada V is the biggest match the two companies could possibly book.prevnext
Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
The world was robbed of a technical masterclass between Danielson and ZSJ this year. And while Claudio's arrival as Danielson's handpicked replacement lived up to the hype, "The American Dragon" has already made it clear he still wants the match with Zack.prevnext
Blackpool Combat Club vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon
Aside from Shingo Takagi, one of New Japan's most popular factions was completely absent from Sunday's show. Pairing them up for a multi-man faction battle against Blackpool Combat Club could easily steal the show.prevnext
Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Kushida
Along with LIJ's absence, having virtually no presence from New Japan's Junior division felt off. A four-way with two of AEW's best high flyers in Darby and Sammy against the best of the Juniors (Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado could also fit in here) would make for an excellent junior heavyweight championship match.prevnext
Jon Moxley vs. Jay White
Moxley and White walked out as the two world champions at the end of Forbidden Door and they haven't wrestled in any capacity in nearly three years. White has evolved immensely during that time and a program between the two could legitimately dominate both companies for an entire summer.prevnext
Kota Ibushi vs. MJF
MJF was deliberately left off Forbidden Door because of his ongoing storyline and he's made it public in the past that he doesn't care for the New Japan style of wrestling. But assuming he's back in the fold next year, it'd be wonderfully poetic to pair him up with someone who embodies the modern Japanese wrestling style in Ibushi. Hopefully the issues each man seems to have with their respective companies can be settled by then.prev