The athletes of All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling collided in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday night at the first-ever Forbidden Door event. Some of the best professional wrestlers on came together in the United Center for an event that was billed as a pay-per-view unlike any other before. It's safe to say that the Forbidden Door was violently kicked down, and most expectations were exceeded. If you looked on Twitter or just listened to the crowd at any point during the event, it was easy to tell that Forbidden Door was a massive win.
Just about every match on the card was a ton of fun for the fans to watch. There was some seriously fantastic pro wrestling on display. Of course, within and between those matches were a few moments that rose above the rest and will likely stick with wrestling fans for quite a whille.
In no particular order at all, here are the seven biggest (and most memorable) moments of AEW Forbidden Door.
Eddie vs. Suzuki Chop-Off
Few guys in AEW can deliver a chop quite like Eddie Kingston. Few can take them as well as he can, for that matter. The same can be said for Minoru Suzuki of NJPW. These guys love a good smack, and they've both got great in-ring personalities that fans can't get enough of. With them in a tag-team match at Forbidden Door, we knew they'd go at it at some point, but the showdown was even more entertaining than expected.prevnext
Dax Harwood's Triumphant Return
Dax Harwood has become one of the most beloved wrestlers in AEW, so to say that it was a sting to see him exit the ROH and IWGP Tag Team Championship match was an understatement. After an apparently shoulder injury, Dax was escorted by doctors up the ramp and out of sight in the middle of the match.
We don't know how serious Harwood's injury was, or whether it was always part of the plan, but the excitement of seeing him run back to the ring later in the match to finish the job was a thing of beauty. His shoulder was taped up, but it didn't stop him from helping his best friend and partner Cash Wheeler give FTR their seventh star.prevnext
Blackpool Gets Swiss
Bryan Danielson announced last week that he was injured and unable to fight in Forbidden Door and Blood and Guts, but that a new member of the Blackpool Combat Club would be debuting to take his place. Just about every wrestling fan on the planet assumed that the wrestler in question would be Claudio Castagnoli (fka Cesaro).
It was, indeed, Claudio that walked to the ring to take on Zack Sabre Jr., but the lack of surprise didn't make the debut any less exciting. In a matter of minutes, Claudio reminded everyone exactly what they'd been missing in his time away from wrestling, and we're already counting down the days until Blood and Guts so we can see him in action once again.prevnext
Orange Cassidy, Will Ospreay, and Shibata
This list is featured more on "moments" than complete matches, but you could make an entire list of great moments solely from the fight between Orange Cassidy and Will Ospreay. OC has returned from injury better than ever and Ospreay continues to prove why he's one of the best in the world. Orange Cassidy played opossum to perfection. Ospreay stuck his hand in OC's pocket. They both genuinely annihilated one another. Simply put, this was a perfect match.
Just when it seemed like things had peaked, Ospreay and his United Empire posse attacked Orange Cassidy after the final bell. The roof nearly flew off the United Center when Katsuyori Shibata came to Cassidy's rescue. One of the biggest Japanese wrestling stars in a generation kicked some ass in front of a rowdy crowd in Chicago and it was easily the best surprise of the night.
The cherry on top was seeing Orange Cassidy pass his shades over the Shibata and give the most mellow thumbs-up he could muster.prevnext
Sting's Classic Entrance
Sting doesn't fight often these days, which is expected for a 63-year-old icon, but when he does he still brings the house down. The fight was cool, but his entrance was even cooler. When Sting's music initially came on, he didn't come out of the tunnel. After the Bullet Club arrived, however, the lights flicked off and a spotlight showed what appeared to be Sting up in the rafters. The lights kicked off once more and the shadow of Sting appeared on top of the tunnel. He leapt off the structure to attack Bullet Club to kick off the match, and it was just the first of many great moments Sting delivered throughout his match.prevnext
PAC Is All-Atlantic
AEW introduced a brand new title belt at Forbidden Door with the All-Atlantic Championship. It seemed for quite a while that Malakai Black or Miro would become the first-ever All-Atlantic Champion, but PAC pulled the rug out from under everyone and earned the belt. It was a banger of a match that ended with the nice touch of seeing an athlete who has been one of the best finally get some hardware to hold over his head.prevnext
It sucks that CM Punk got injured at the start of his first AEW World Championship reign. Plain and simple. But if someone is going to keep the spot warm until he returns, few are better than Jon Moxley. His main event with Tanahashi was one of the best matches of the night and, unsurprisingly, the Wild Thing's face was covered in blood by the time it was through. Moxley is going to have some awesome matches over the next couple of months defending that interim AEW title, and a potential unification match with CM Punk on the horizon is undoubtedly exciting.prev