Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the BEST night in ALL of wrestling, its my FAVOURITE event of the year.. AEW x NJPW FORBIDDEN DOOR!!!
I am your writer, Nathan , LETS GET INTO THE ACTION!!
Mogul Embassy vs. Chaos
To begin the action, Strickland, Kaun, Liona, and Cage faced off against Beretta, Taylor, Romero, and Desperado in a significant eight-man tag match.
In AEW, the majority of six- and eight-man tag matches have a similar structure. So that all eight participants can play both offence and defence, the two sides exchange control multiple times. Even though these matches are always entertaining, they rarely feel unique from one another.
All that was required of them was to do a decent job of hyping up the audience for the performance, which they all accomplished.
When Swerve nailed Romero with a double stomp, Mogul Embassy won.
Athena vs. Billie Starkz
Starkz vs. Athena was the second pre-show match of the women's Owen Hart Cup Tournament. The recently graduated high school student managed to gain the upper hand and even scored the first near-fall, but the ROH women's champion soon turned things around.
Although they made a few mistakes, this match was largely hard-hitting and gave both women a chance to shine. When they began hitting bigger shots in the closing few minutes, the crowd became more awake. Though expected, choosing Athena as the winner was the proper choice.
Stu Grayson vs. El Phantasmo
Vincent and Dutch joined Grayson to face El Phantasmo in the third match on the pre-show.
ELP was quickly knocked to the ground by Grayson, who then took over and used him as a punching bag.
Although it wasn't a squash, Grayson was undoubtedly intended to look good with this. He kept the bout moving along at a steady pace while still allowing Phantasmo to have some memorable moments. Unexpectedly, ELP was able to secure a victory.
United Empire vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon
The last pre-show bout pitted United Empire's Kyle Fletcher, TJP, and Jeff Cobb against LIJ's Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, and Shingo Takagi.
From the minute the bell sounded, this was chaos. All six men got into a battle, and it took a while before TJP and Bushi were the only two left.
The finisher Takagi hit on TJP to secure the victory brought this tightly contested match to a close. Since it was brief but lively, the audience enjoyed it.
MJF vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
The AEW world title match opened the main event when MJF went to Tony Khan and asked for his match against Tanahashi to start first so he could leave Toronto as soon as possible.
Before they locked up, MJF mocked Tanahashi's stroll as a kind of jest. The Japanese star defeated him and displayed his lack of fear by playing some air guitar. The champion attempted to leave the arena during the fight, but his adversary started a "Coward" chant to persuade him to return.
The Long Islander employed certain unethical strategies to gain the upper hand. In order to create tension, he maintained the pace slow and engaged the audience frequently.
Instead of making this a work-rate contest, they spent a lot of time story telling during this fight. They had some excellent technical accuracy, but they were wise to attempt something different because this contest would never measure up to some of the others on the schedule.
Before locking in a cloverleaf, Tanahashi managed to hit one of his trademark dragon screw leg whips, but MJF made it to the bottom rope and forced a break. The champion was able to hit a cheap shot and secure the pin by using the Dynamite Diamond ring.
Although this match was decent, it is unlikely that anyone would choose it as their Match of the Night.
CM Punk vs. Satoshi Kojima
When CM Punk and Satoshi Kojima squared off in the second bout on the main event, we got a match in the men's Owen Hart Cup Tournament.
They began with some straightforward chain wrestling. As he took charge, booing quickly overpowered a modest "CM Punk" cheer.
They ended up battling at ringside, where Kojima used a sharp chop to send Punk over the barrier and into the timekeeper's section. Every time Punk attempted to trade blows, his opponent made him regret it.
This game went on longer than anticipated, but in a good way. It's much more interesting for the spectators when the two men are having fun while pounding one other to death.
Punk applied the Anaconda Vice after both men attempted elbow drops from the top rope but were unsuccessful. Before The Second City Saviour ultimately struck it for the victory, Kojima was able to evade and successfully block the GTS twice.
Orange Cassidy vs. Daniel Garcia vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
In a Fatal 4-Way battle, Cassidy faced off against Garcia, Shibata, and ZSJ with the AEW International Championship on the line.
The four men engaged in a standoff in the centre of the ring while assessing one another. Before his three opponents snatched his leg and began tossing it back and forth like they were playing catch, OC kicked all three men with one of his laziest kicks ever.
To exchange blows, Shibata and Sabre kept pushing Garcia aside. Garcia began dancing at them, and they both simultaneously tackled him. Shibata and Sabre sought to pursue each other whenever they had the chance.
At one point, Garcia attempted to win the fight by hitting Shibata with the championship, but he was unsuccessful. Throughout the competition, we were able to make every combination of opponents cooperate with one another, so we witnessed some entertaining dynamics.
It was simple to understand why the audience enjoyed this performance so much. This was the greatest match of the evening so far since everyone played to their strengths and collaborated.
After Shibata struck Garcia with his finisher and made the cover for the victory, Cassidy was able to steal the victory by throwing Shibata out of the ring. After the contest, the three champions disagreed over whose title was the most significant.
Sanada vs. Jack Perry
When Sanada faced Jungle Boy to defend his championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was at stake. To encourage his tag team partner, Hook was there at the ringside.
Early in the bout, Perry was able to lock in the Snare Trap, but Sanada quickly escaped to the ropes since he was still alert and healthy.
The match got more intense physically as it went on. After a particularly tense exchange, both men ended up on the mat and began trading chops before rising.
Jungle Boy attempted to defeat Sanada with his own distinctive hold, but he was unsuccessful. Both men then attempted to outdo one another by using different manoeuvres as a result.
When Sanada performed a moonsault for the pin, the contest was over. The audience appeared to be a little taken aback by the conclusion, and it almost appeared that this was not the intended conclusion. Although this was a strong performance, the conclusion seemed a little odd.
When they arrived at the stage, Perry turned on Hook and clotheslined him to the ground.
As Hook lay on the ground with his head in his hands, the audience yelled and booed at him.
Team Elite vs. Team BCC
In a massive 10-man tag match against the Blackpool Combat Club, Takeshita, and Umino, Kingston, Ishii, Page, and The Young Bucks teamed up. Don Callis was by Takeshita's side as predicted.
When Umino tagged in to replace Castagnoli and Kingston, Kingston immediately tagged out to Page because he only cared about battling The Swiss Superman.
This battle was generally respectable for the opening few minutes. Although there were a few double-team manoeuvres, the majority of the exchanges were one-on-one with frequent tagging.
Everything stopped when Kingston and Moxley found themselves in the same ring. After firing first, Mox called for Kingston to respond by firing back. All ten of the men entered the ring and began fighting after exchanging punches for a while.
There was complete commotion surrounding the ring for a few minutes. When they eventually returned to their corners, the BCC began dismantling The Mad King.
You definitely need to watch this match to understand how much was going on. Even with so many wrestlers in the ring at once, every single one of them had at least one or two memorable moments.
After a fantastic finish, Ishii used a brainbuster to pin Yuta and give his team the victory. Kingston and The Elite ended up arguing, but they were able to part ways without incident.
Toni Storm vs. Willow Nightingale
On Sunday night, Toni Storm faced off against Willow Nightingale for the AEW Women's World Championship, but the victor wasn't there by herself. Saraya and Ruby Soho were there at ringside.
After a brief hiccup in their initial exchange, Storm rolled out of the ring to regain her balance. However, as soon as they refocused and began to engage, they got to work.
While the referee was preoccupied, the remaining Outcasts attacked Nightingale, giving Storm a definite advantage from the start of the game.
Finally making a comeback, the NJPW Strong women's champion delivered a massive Death Valley Driver on the ring apron. She made another strike in the ring, but she only received a two-count.
As they attempted to sneak the green spray to Storm, Soho and Saraya were kicked by the referee from ringside.
Although this was a passable performance, the interference was unnecessary and somewhat expected. It makes sense given the rivalry AEW has been fostering between The Outcasts, but it would have been good to see the champion compete in at least one unblemished bout on the PPV.
That's a really small criticism, though. Although both women committed a few minor errors, the match as a whole was a strong performance. By raking Nightingale's eyes and pinning Storm Zero, the champion maintained her crown.
Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay
When Ospreay and Omega came back into the ring for just their second singles fight, they were attempting to win back the IWGP United States Championship that they had lost at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
Both men received enthusiastic receptions upon entering, but Omega was unquestionably the crowd favourite. He was not only the babyface champion, but also in his native nation.
They had their first battle on January 4 and it was obvious from their stance and facial expressions that they wanted to steal the stage again. They were quite serious.
At first, they appeared to be taking their time, but after about a minute, both men began attempting to hit some of their most impressive moves on the other.
The referee kicked Callis out of the ring after he attempted to seize Omega's leg. That made it possible for everyone to concentrate only on the ring match moving forward.
Anyone who is acquainted with Omega and Ospreay's talents is aware that this was a superb match. Because they felt completely different from one another, it's difficult to say whether they improved upon their prior performance. The suspense of their first-ever singles match was the focus of the previous one, whereas this one was all about them wanting to damage each other.
Ospreay repeatedly smacked his head into the announce table, busting open The Cleaner. A short while later, Omega treated him the same way on the steel steps. By the time they returned to the ring, they were both covered in blood.
As they began to show evidence of the damage they had sustained, they each experienced a number of close calls. Every time they fell, it took them a bit longer to get back up. Omega drilled Ospreay with a stiff knee as Callis reappeared and hid in the aisle behind his security guys.
While Callis was keeping the referee occupied, he handed Ospreay his screwdriver. He used it to hit the Stormbreaker and escape the One-Winged Angel, but Omega broke the pin by placing his foot on the rope.
Ospreay utilised One-Winged Angel and Omega's own V-Trigger against him, but The Cleaner kicked out at one to elicit a thunderous cheer from the audience. With a Tiger Driver 91, the challenger dropped him directly on his head, but he was unable to pin him.
After yet another Stormbreaker, he ultimately earned the three-count to reclaim the IWGP U.S. championship.
Sting, Darby Allin, Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Minoru Suzuki
The six-man tag match, in which Jericho, Guevara, and Suzuki faced off against Sting, Allin, and Naito, was the night's first match. Despite being the heels, the crowd enthusiastically sang "Judas" and "Kaze Ni Nare."
Naito and Guevara took their time getting going as they started for their respective sides. The Spanish God tried to trick Naito a few times, but Naito punched him in the gut. Before they started treating the battle seriously, both men posed to mock one another.
Jericho pleaded with Suzuki to tag him in as Sting entered so that the former WCW stars could square off in a contest for the first time. Suzuki launched a surprise attack on The Icon to give Jericho the upper hand. This started a fight involving all six of the males.
Between Ospreay vs. Omega and Danielson vs. Okada, this was a wise choice.
Since this was never going to be a contender for Match of the Year, it served as a fantastic interval between the two fights that were most anticipated on the show.
Even though this fight didn't dominate the show, it was nonetheless fun to watch, particularly when Suzuki was in the ring.
After some back-and-forth, Suzuki was eventually pinned by Naito, giving him the victory.
Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada
The most anticipated match of the year was undoubtedly the main event of the evening. In order to face Okada for the first time, Danielson entered the arena to his former entrance song, "The Final Countdown" by Europe.
Before they even made contact, the spectators were yelling, "This is awesome." The crowd changed to a much less PG chant when they locked up and started exchanging grips, counters, and takedowns right away.
You could see they were taking their time and saving the big areas for later in the competition even though they were moving quickly and making everything look fantastic.
Danielson quickly saw how resilient Okada is when he not only resisted many chops but actually asked The American Dragon to strike him more severely. Danielson was delighted to comply.
Before they moved the fight outside the ring, both guys repeatedly sidestepped each other's hallmark moves. with the ramp, Okada connected with a tombstone piledriver to dramatically change the momentum in his favour. Danielson started to spasm when Okada hit a flying elbow drop, so the referee asked the doctor to examine him.
Despite popping up and hitting the Flying Knee, the American Dragon was too injured to make the cover. After blocking a German suplex and landing a second knee for a two-count, he declared that he would "kick Okada's f--king head in."
Danielson forced Okada to tap out to win the match and absolutely surprise the audience after a protracted fight to get it locked in. This result appeared to startle a lot of people, but after it became clear, everyone applauded both men.
The match was as technically sound as it gets, even though it may not have been as exciting as Ospreay vs. Omega.
They'll undoubtedly run into each other again.
Let me 100% honest, this PPV has left me speechless, I don't know what else to say apart from I LOVE WRESTLING!!!