AEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling's partnership took a major step forward this year with the first official crossover event between the two, AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door. The crossovers between the two have steadily continued ever since, with the latest being an AEW All-Atlantic Championship match between Orange Cassidy and Katsuyori Shibata on this past week's AEW Rampage. It was reported back in August that AEW would have a notable presence at Wrestle Kingdom 17, New Japan's big annual January 4 event, early next year. Dave Meltzer is now reporting that AEW's FTR, the current IWGP Tag Team Champions, will be booked for that show.
The team of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler won the tag titles at Forbidden Door and have since defended them against Aussie Open and the previous champions, Jeff Cobb and The Great-O-Khan. There's no word yet on who their opponents will be. The headlining match for Wrestle Kingdom is currently Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
Tony Khan on AEW/New Japan Crossovers
On top of confirming that a second Forbidden Door is being discussed, Khan spoke about AEW's presence at Wrestle Kingdom back in September. He pointed out the big hurdle will be that the first AEW Dynamite of 2023 will take place on the same day.
"One challenge this year that we'll have to keep an eye on is the Tokyo Dome (Wrestle Kingdom) is on a Wednesday. That hurts you on Friday because you can keep Wednesday strong but you lose four big stars and that can hurt you on Friday. I really want to rebuild Friday," Khan said in an interview with Wrestling Observer Radio. "I'm not thrilled about it, but I'm gonna do my best to support them because they are our partner, but I also can't send everyone over there. If it was the weekend, I'd send the house because that's the kind of partners we are," Khan said. "It's a really great relationship because we already have gotten to talk about that, but we have to do Dynamite and a good chance that maybe Rampage will be taped that day."
Who else from AEW do you want to see at Wrestle Kingdom? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned for full coverage of this week's Dynamite tomorrow night!