A former WWE Champion has made their surprising AEW debut against a representative from New Japan Pro Wrestling at the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view! This was one of the most exciting pay-per-view events of the year for fans of both All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling as the two companies' top stars are clashing in some unprecedented matches. Although Bryan Danielson was originally scheduled for the event, he had revealed that he'll unfortunately be missing it but had picked out a surprise opponent for Zack Sabre Jr.
Following early reports that seemed to have locked down who this surprise opponent would be, it was indeed confirmed that former WWE Champion Cesaro (who is now working with AEW under the name of Claudio Castagnoli) has officially made his debut against Zack Sabre Jr. It's opened up all sorts of questions about his potential future with the company as fans have been asking for his arrival for quite some time, but for now it leads to a pretty great match on a stacked card.
#ZSJ's opponent is none other than Claudio Castagnoli @ClaudioCSRO, the newest member of the #BlackpoolCombatClub, here at #ForbiddenDoor! Order the PPV right now! #AEWxNJPW pic.twitter.com/uZdC9x5eFG— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 27, 2022
With Cesaro's run with WWE ending earlier this year, AEW President Tony Khan previously spoke highly of Cesaro in the past stating, "He's a real gentleman, Claudio. I have a ton of respect for him as a pro wrestler, I think he's a great athlete. He's a phenomenal, phenomenal athlete, lets be honest, his strength is tip-top, he has very few peers in the power department. Also mentally, he puts great matches together, he has great psychology and he's just a great guy."
Now it seems like AEW's added another major player to the roster. As for the rest of the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view the card and results so far break down as such:
- Bishamon def. The Factory
- Lance Archer def. Nick Comoroto
- Swerve In Our Glory def. Suzuki-gun
- Gunn Club and Max Caster def. Yuya Uemura and New Japan LA Dojo
- Le Sex Gods and Minoru Suzuki def. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta and Shota Umino
- ROH World Tag Team Championship and IWGP Tag Team Championship: FTR def. United Empire and Roppongi Vice
- AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Pac def. Miro, Malakai Black, and Clark Connors
- Dudes With Attitudes def. Bullet Club and The Young Bucks
- AEW Women's World Championship: Thunder Rosa def. Toni Storm
- IWGP United States Championship: Will Ospreay def. Orange Cassidy
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. Hangman Adam Page vs. Adam Cole
- Zack Sabre Jr. vs. TBA
- Interim AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi