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Forbidden Door 2024 Preview



The third-annual FORBIDDEN DOOR pay-per-view event is upon us tonight starting at 8pm ET/7pm CT, with the ZERO HOUR airing live on AEW's official YouTube channel beginning at 7pm ET/6pm CT! Traditionally this has been the night where All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling come together to present a collection of the most unique match-ups possible, but this year we are joined by representatives from CMLL and Stardom because this is the place where the best come to wrestle!


Tonight we will see six championships at stake, two of them in a single match when Mercedes Moné puts her TBS Championship on the line against the NJPW STRONG Women's Championship of Stephanie Vaquer, as well as a major Quarterfinal match in the Men's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, and plenty more bang for your PPV buck! It's Ospreay versus Strickland, Storm versus Shirakawa, Moxley versus Naito, the TNT Championship Ladder Match, ZSJ versus OC, Danielson versus Tagaki, as well as Hechicero versus MJF, and so much more coming your way tonight live on pay-per-view!



Then come join All Elite Wrestling in Chicago on July 3rd for a DYNAMITE featuring all the fallout from FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024! Who retained their title? What championships changed hands? Who lost, who won, and how will it effect the future of All Elite Wrestling? Come watch it unfold first-hand at the Wintrust Arena next Wednesday night!


AEW World Championship Match...

Swerve Strickland(c) vs. AEW International Champion Will Ospreay



Will Ospreay earned this championship match just three days after he defeated Roderick Strong at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024 to become the AEW International Championship. In order to earn it, Ospreay score victory in the second-ever Casino Gauntlet Match, a feat he also accomplished to earn that International Championship bout with Roddy, and one he was able to replicate after entering fourth (out of nine), and pinning Orange Cassidy to snag the victory.


Since that night Ospreay has put himself through quite the ringer, defending the AEW International Championship against Kyle O'Reilly, Rey Fenix, and Brian Cage, not to mention the tag team bout he and Swerve went through together just this past Wednesday night. Then there is the murderer's row that Will has battled since starting full-time with AEW at REVOLUTION 2024. Sixteen matches, fifteen victories, the only loss coming in a tag match the Wednesday prior to DON '24, and in addition to winning two Casino Gauntlet matches, that run includes Takeshita, Shibata, Claudio, Danielson, Lee Moriarty, Shane Taylor, Powerhouse Hobbs, and ROH World TV Champion Kyle Fletcher. Ospreay has been through one hard fought match after another during the last four months, but the biggest fight of them all looms overhead tonight at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024. 


During that same time frame, REVOLUTION 2024 through this past Wednesday night, Swerve Strickland has experienced his own rough road. After losing the AEW World Title match that night in Greensboro when he watched Hangman Page tap out to Samoa Joe, Swerve made it his mission to become the AEW World Champion at all costs but it was not an easy road to get there. He teamed with Samoa Joe to fight The Undisputed Kingdom only for Joe to choke him out as a message to upcoming challenger Wardlow. Swerve eventually made his way to a championship fight, only after going through The Butcher and Takeshita, but Strickland made the most of it at DYNASTY 2024 when he bested Samoa Joe. Yet as every champion knows, getting to the title is just the beginning of the journey, the hardest work comes after winning it and knowing you've just strapped the biggest possible target to yourself.


With Swerve that started just three days after he earned the title as he faced ROH World TV Champion Kyle Fletcher in an Eliminator match on DYNAMITE then took on Claudio Castagnoli in an AEW World Championship bout three days after that on COLLISION. Though the record books show that Swerve didn't fight in another match for three weeks, what they don't show is what happened to the World Champion during those three weeks; it doesn't reflect how he was brutally assaulted by Christian Cage and The Patriarchy, how Killswitch ripped Swerve's hair from his head, or how Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony turned their back on Swerve and Prince Nana, dropping the World Champion through the announcer's table. It also doesn't acknowledge how Strickland had a picture of his child shattered across his skull, and the bloody mess that left behind. Sure it shows how he took down “The Machine” Brian Cage in an Eliminator Match, how he shut down “The Prodigy” Nick Wayne, and turned back the challenge of Christian Cage at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024, but it doesn't show the physical toll it took on the champion to get through Las Vegas with the title still around his waist.


That damage did not stop Swerve from fighting Killswitch just three days after DON '24, or from putting the title on the line against Roderick Strong the following week, making it a total of thirteen matches from REVOLUTION 2024 through Wednesday night's tag team bout, with just that loss in Greensboro scarring his record and it wasn't even him who took the fall! 


Tonight on Long Island, after weeks of escalating tensions, things being made extremely personal by the World Champion, and that Hidden Blade heard 'round the world last night on COLLISION, the two hottest athletes in the Men's Division collide at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 with the most coveted prize in professional wrestling at stake! When Swerve won the belt, he promised to build a dynasty, but will we see “The Aerial Assassin” tear it down and begin to build one of his own on the road to Wembley?


AEW Women’s World Championship Match...

Toni Storm(c) (w/ Mariah May) vs. Mina Shirakawa (w/ Mariah May)



It's been a rather complicated few months for “Timeless” Toni Storm, Mariah May, and her FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 challenger Mina Shirakawa. The dynamic between the three women is complex, Mariah and Mina have a relationship dating back to Stardom's DREAM QUEENDOM 2022 event when Mariah made her Stardom debut accompanying Shirakawa to the ring for her match. Mariah's in-ring debut took place five days later when she teamed with Xia Brookside and Shirakawa as Club Venus, and would continue until Mariah departed in September 2023. 


Two months later Mariah made her AEW debut, showing up with her love for “Timeless” Toni Storm plastered on her sleeve, and after being...perturbed...by Mariah for many weeks, eventually Storm warmed to her, let her into the fold, and made Maria her, for lack of a better word, understudy. In January Mariah made her in-ring debut for AEW, and has spent the last five months proving a vital piece of Storm's efforts to remain AEW Women's World Champion. Yet for a vast majority of that time, there seemed to be an effort by Miss Storm to keep Mariah at arm's length, treating her more like help and a nuisance than the dynamic we see know. In fact it's quite safe to say that the arrival of Mina Shirakawa was the impetus behind Toni changing her tune toward her number one fan.


Mina shows up, saves Mariah from an Anna Jay assault, they share champagne and a kiss, and now suddenly Toni Storm is embracing Mariah like her child and actively supporting her during matches. She's even encouraged her to pursue the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament knowing full-well that it could mean fighting one another at ALL IN: LONDON 2024 should Mariah win the field. It's clear there is some possessiveness swirling around this situation, both Mina and Toni feeling they have a proper claim on Mariah while she simply wants everyone to just get along and be together. The moments since Toni Storm made the challenge to Mina for this match, on a Stardom event no less, in which the three woman have appeared to be on the same page have been joyous for Mariah May, but as soon as Mariah wasn't looking, there were middle fingers directed at one another.


Then there is what happened this past Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, the Champagne Incident if you will, in which Mina accidentally broke a bottle across Mariah's head in an effort to actually strike “The Timeless One” from behind. There is clearly a load of guilt resting on the shoulders of Mina Shirakawa after that mistake, perhaps some satisfaction in Toni Storm's head thinking this incident will make Mariah fully hers, but the repercussions of that incident remain to be seen, as does the current state of Mariah May's well-being. She is set to face Saraya during the ZERO HOUR in an Owen Hart Foundation Quarterfinal match, so we will at least know how she's functioning prior to this AEW Women's World Championship bout. 



The question now is if Mariah will accompany either woman to the ring for this match if she's able, or perhaps she will take a neutral position at the commentary table, or maybe she will simply choose to sit this one out and be there to simultaneously congratulate whichever woman walks away as champion and console whichever loses. It seems like Mariah will do whatever it takes to maintain both relationships, but will Toni Storm and Mina Shirakawa let her after the bell rings?


Title vs. Title...

TBS Champion Mercedes Moné vs. NJPW STRONG Women’s Champion Stephanie Vaquer



Since her arrival at BIG BUSINESS, Mercedes Moné has made quite the enduring impression on All Elite Wrestling. From the anticipation leading to that first match at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024, to finding out it would be Willow Nightingale standing across the ring, to actually defeating Willow to claim the TBS Championship; Mercedes rapidly made her presence in AEW must-see, meaning she's also put herself on the radar of every woman in AEW as well. Apparently, based on what we've seen unfold since DON '24, the eyes on Mercedes come from a lot farther away than the AEW ring as well and her aspirations also extend beyond that ring.


Since 2023 when she first lost to Willow Nightingale in the finals of the NJPW STRONG Women's Championship tournament, and endured a near career-ending injury in the process, Moné has thought about little but (a) getting back into the ring, (b) evening the score with Willow, and (c) claiming the NJPW STRONG Women's Championship Moné feels in her bones is rightfully hers. She accomplished (a) and (b) in the same Las Vegas night, and tonight on Long Island she has the opportunity to check off (c) as well when she steps into the ring with NJPW STRONG Women's Champion Stephanie Vaquer!


Now Vaquer is a dominating presence in the world of CMLL, currently reigning as both CMLL World Women's Champion and CMLL World Women's Tag Champion with Zeuxis. Mercedes got a first-hand taste of what Zeuxis brings to the table when they battled in a TBS Title fight several weeks ago, and then chose to get a first-hand look at Vaquer last week when she traveled to CMLL for Stephanie's NJPW STRONG title match with La Catalina at Arena Mexico. Apparently that wasn't enough of a learning experience because last night on COLLISION, the TBS Champion chose to sit ringside for Vaquer's bout with Lady Frost to further scout her FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 opponent. Unfortunately for Moné it ended far less a scouting experience, and far more a lesson in pain and suffering; so now the question on the lips of everyone regarding this match is what kind of condition the TBS Champion will be in after being attacked by Stephanie Vaquer and Zeuxis? We know Mercedes can take a beating a keep fighting, the world saw her get dropped through a table not that long before defeating Willow for the TBS Title. Will she bounce back as strongly from this assault as she did that one, or did Stephanie Vaquer and Zeuxis put a chink her Moné's armor to be exploited in this Title-For-Title bout? 


IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match...

Jon Moxley(c) vs. Tetsuya Naito



At WRESTLE KINGDOM 18 Tetsuya Naito defeated SANADA to claim the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship for the first time. He had been the IWGP Heavyweight Champion three times over, but after that title was unified with the IWGP Intercontinental Title on March 4, 2021 and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, the title eluded Naito in his bouts with Kazuchika Okada. His time finally came on January 4th of this year, lasting for ninety-nine days with successful defenses against SANADA and Yota Tsuji,  until he ran into Jon Moxley at NJPW WINDY CITY RIOT 2024 on April 12th. Mox, a former multi-time IWGP United States Champion, was challenging for the top title in New Japan Pro Wrestling for the very first time and a bloody former multi-time AEW World Champion made the most of his opportunity.


It was a monumental victory for Jon Moxley, marking him as the first American-born wrestler to win NJPW's top championship since 2015, but with his commitments to All Elite Wrestling how would he function as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? Turned out that Mox would continue to be the workhorse he's always been, just doing so primarily in the United States; he defended the title against Powerhouse Hobbs after Don Callis used the last of his NJPW-office favors to get Hobbs a shot, he traveled back to Japan to defend against Ren Narita at WRESTLING DONTAKU 2024, and Shota Umino at NJPW STRONG's RESURGENCE 2024 event. He also gave Konosuke Takeshita and Rocky Romero opportunities to earn their own title show with Eliminator matches at DOUBLE OR NOTHING and DYNAMITE respectively, and went back to Japan for NJPW DOMINION to defend against EVIL in a Lumberjack match. That's a lot of championship work put in by Moxley in his 80 days holding the title, and now he heads into a fifth defense tonight at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024, equaling the total number of title fights SANADA had in his 271 days as champion.


But now, thanks to Naito, there is far more at stake than just the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. With the G1 CLIMAX tournament beginning in a matter of weeks, Jon Moxley was noticabley the first champion since Keiji Mutoh in 2008 not tabbed to participate in the annual tournament. In reponse to this, Naito stated that if he can't beat Moxley and bring the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship back to New Japan, he would give up his spot in the field to Mox. Naito has put a lot of pressure on himself to defeat Moxley and bring the title back home so what will it mean for the man if he's unable to do just that?


TNT Championship Ladder Match...

Dante Martin vs. El Phantasmo vs. Jack Perry vs. Konosuke Takeshita vs. Lio Rush vs. ROH World Champion Mark Briscoe 



After being shafted by Christian Cage and Killswitch within seconds of his first TNT Championship reign beginning, the second TNT Title run of Adam Copeland got off to a tremendous start. Starting with taking the title back from Cage in a violent “I Quit” match, Cope racked up title victories over Matt Cardona, Penta El Zero Miedo, Buddy Matthews, Brody King, and Kyle O'Reilly before he stepped into that Barbed Wire Steel Cage with Malakai Black at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024. Unfortunately, even though Cope walked out of that war still the TNT Champion, he also managed to walk out of it with a fractured tibia, an injury that meant surgery but also necessitated vacating the title after 70 days as champion. 


The Young Bucks, abusing their status as EVPs yet again, attempted to just hand the TNT Championship over to “The Scapegoat” Jack Perry but an emergency move by Tony Khan to bequeath Christopher Daniels with temporary EVP status prevented that travesty of justice from occurring. Instead “The Fallen Angel” announced that a new champion would be crowned at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 in a Ladder Match and that twelve men would vie for the six spots in that championship bout.


Konosuke Takeshita beat Penta El Zero Miedo to qualify, followed by ROH World Champion Mark Briscoe over “The Machine” Brian Cage, and Jack Perry actually earned his spot by beating Dustin Rhodes. Those three bouts were followed by Dante Martin stopping Lee Moriarty, Lio Rush topping Action Andretti, and then just two nights ago on RAMPAGE, El Phantasmo defeating AR Fox to claim the final spot, but if any of these men thought they'd have smooth sailing the last twenty-four hours before FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 they were quite mistaken.

Last night on COLLISION, despite the protestations of “The Scapegoat”, the six were split into teams of three for a rather unpredictable trios bout that was ultimately decided by Jack Perry's general unwillingness to engage in the bout until the closing moments where his actions proved pivotal in getting his team the victory.


So with each man a little worse for wear after that battle, they step into the ring at UBS Arena tonight in hopes of claiming their first singles championship in All Elite Wrestling. That's right, not one of these six individuals has held a singles championship in AEW and Jack Perry, as a former AEW World Tag Champion, is the only one who has been an AEW champion of any kind! Mark Briscoe is the veteran of this bout in terms of  years spent competing and when it comes to fighting in Ladder Matches he's got seven of them on his resume, though he's claimed victory in just three and all of them in tag team competition. 


Looking at his resume, El Phantasmo has at least nine Ladder-centric matches throughout his career with four victories in those battles, two in tag team and two singles. Then there is Jack Perry who has just the AEW World Tag Title Ladder match he and Luchasaurus lost to The Young Bucks, Takeshita was in the 2023 Face of the Revolution Ladder Match won by Powerhouse Hobbs, while Dante Martin has three, one being ROH's SUPERCARD OF HONOR 2023 Reach for the Sky Ladder match where he suffered a devastating broken leg, but none of those lead to victory. Finally there is Lio Rush who has four to his career credits without a mark in his win column. Clearly the most success in these situations has been for Mark Briscoe and ELP, but this is a night where the eyes of the professional wrestling world will be watching. The pressure is on, and in this unpredictable chaotic match there are really no favorites. It could be Mark Briscoe hoisting both the ROH World and TNT Championship at the end, it could be El Phantasmo or Konosuke Takeshita taking the TNT Championship to NJPW as each prepares for the G1 Climax starting in July, or maybe Jack Perry taking the long way around to get back to where The EVPs tried to put him a month ago. 


No matter who ascends that ladder and claims the TNT Championship, history will be made in one fashion or another. For each man it's a first-time AEW singles Championship, it could be the first ROH World Champion holding the TNT Title, it could be the title being part of the G1 CLIMAX, we will witness history unfold between these six competitors tonight at FORBIDDEN DOOR!


Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Quarterfinal...

“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. “The Rampage Dragon” Shingo Takagi

***WINNER FACES PAC ON DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK 2024***



It's been a long time since Shingo Tagaki and Bryan Danielson stood across the ring from one another as foes, and it only ever happened one time. The location was the legendary Arena in South Philadelphia, the promotion was DRAGON GATE USA, the date was July 24th of 2010, and the result was Danielson forcing the first graduate of the Dragon Gate Dojo to tap out to a Crossface after nearly thirty minutes of combat. Following that match there was no sign of respect exchanged between the two men as YAMATO, a member of Shingo's KAMIZAKE USA stable, entered the ring, got into Danielson's face, and small fight broke out between Shingo, YAMATO, Danielson, and BxB Hulk who'd come to even the odds for Bryan. Coincidentally, at that time Jon Moxley was also part of the KAMIKAZE USA which directly led to he and Bryan having their own singles match two months later for DG USA, Danielson's last for the promotion.


Here we are now nearly fourteen years removed form that lone singles match, nearly eighteen since the Full Impact Pro and Ring of Honor bouts where they worked as partners, and each man has truly elevated their careers to be named among the best professional wrestlers of their generation. Bryan's accolades are well-known, his World Championships and his awards documented numerous times over, as have been the physical, and psychological, trials he's endured to get to where he is today in life and in professional wrestling. It's common knowledge that Danielson intends for 2024 to be the end of his full-time wrestling career, but the man himself has stated how he feels nothing but frustration with what he's done since making that announcement. Losing the Continental Classic, losing to Ospreay, to Okada, losing to Zack Sabre Jr, losing to Eddie Kingston in the REVOLUTION 2024 Continental Crown battle; Danielson has experience far more tragedy than triumph since making his career intentions public. That is why the 2024 Owen Hart Foundation Tournament is such an integral part of the remainder of his journey, not only is it an opportunity to test himself against a collection of the best wrestlers in the game, but it also means an opportunity to walk into Wembley Stadium at ALL IN: LONDON 2024 to challenge the AEW World Champion. A year ago Danielson missed Wembley because of the broken arm he suffered at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023's bout with Okada, and he has no intention of missing it again. Perhaps it's ironic that the road to Wembley begins at the same event where it was stolen away a year ago, perhaps it's ironic that the road begins with a man representing New Japan Pro Wrestling just as it was one from NJPW that inadvertently cost Bryan his ALL IN: LONDON 2023 experience. 


As for Shingo Takagi, a trueborn product of the Dragon Gate Dojo, he entered NJPW at the KING OF PRO WRESTLING 2018 event as the latest addition to the Los Ingobernables de Japón and actually began his New Japan journey as a Junior Heavyweight competitor. He made the finals of the 2018 Super Jr. Tag League alongside BUSHI, and together they won the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles at WRESTLE KINGDOM 13 in January of 2019. Shingo made it to the finals of the BEST OF SUPER JUNIOR XXVI in June 2019 before falling to Will Ospreay and then just a month later made the step up to heavyweight competition with his first G1 Climax. Over the course of his New Japan career, Shingo has claimed the NEVER Openweight Six Man Titles (w/ BUSHI and EVIL), he's been a 2-Time King of Pro Wrestling Champion, held the NEVER Openweight Championship four times, and reigned for 211 days as the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion after beating Kazuchika Okada at DOMINION 2021 before getting dethroned by Okada at WRESTLE KINGDOM 16. Shingo is poised to enter his sixth G1 Tournament in just a matter of weeks, participating in the A Block along with fellow LIJ member Tetsuya Naito, but it remains to be seen how his inclusion in The Owen could affect that. After all, Shingo has already stated he'll skip his scheduled NJPW bout on July 3rd for the fight with PAC at DYNAMITE: BEACH BREAK 2024 in Chicago after he beats Danielson, but that is a bit of putting the cart before the horse. That's not to say Shingo isn't a definitive threat to Bryan's hopes for the Owen, but it is a bit presumptious to plan for Wednesday night when there is still tonight to worry about.


This may be a new beginning for Bryan, or it may be the beginning of the end; however it goes, fans are in store for something special when “The American Dragon” and “The Rampage Dragon” lock up for the first time in fourteen years!


One-On-One...

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy



“The Best Technical Wrestler in the World” versus “The King of Sloth Style”; that's what we have on tap tonight on FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 when Zack Sabre Jr. meets “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy in their first singles match ever one-on-one match! It's a bout one year in the making, the result of last year's FORBIDDEN DOOR event where Orange Cassidy successfully retained the International Championship in a Four Way match against ZSJ, Daniel Garcia, and Katsuyori Shibata. OC pinned Garcia to win that match, leaving ZSJ with a credible desire to fighting Cassidy again, especially considering their DYNAMITE tag match just a few days prior ended with Garcia pinning Shibata while ZSJ had OC trapped in a submission. Two matches with two decisions that had nothing to do with OC or ZSJ directly have led to this singles matches where one man will earn a decisive decision over the other!



For Cassidy a victory here is a chance to begin digging out of the hole that he's dug out from underneath him in 2024. Save Tomohiro Ishii stepping up last night as his partner, Cassidy has watched all his friends desert him in one way or another. Trent Beretta and Kris Statlander turned their backs on him, calling him a narcisstic egomaniac that forced them to their decisions, while Chuck Taylor has been forced to look at the end of his in-ring career thanks to the actions of Beretta in their Parking Lot Fight. OC stands alone, no friends who are here day-to-day, no championship, just him trying to put the pieces back together and perhaps beating ZSJ can help right that ship. For Zack it's beating one of the best wrestlers in AEW to further cement his belief that he is in fact the best wrestler in the world and then parlaying that to a G1 Climax victory and then building on that to become IWGP World Heavyweight Champion at WRESTLE KINGDOM 19 on January 4, 2025. Though he may claim to respect Cassidy, it is also clear that OC is but a stepping stone in this larger plan Zack Sabre Jr. has to stand atop the whole of New Japan Pro Wrestling as the World Champion. 


ALL-STAR TRIOS MATCH...

The Elite (AEW World Tag Champions The Young Bucks & AEW Continental Champion Kazuchika Okada) 

vs.

Hiroshi Tanahashi & The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster)



It has been one of the most iconic rivalries in New Japan Pro Wrestling's history, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada, the kind of generational clash that helped redefine NJPW for a new generation and skyrocketed the promotion to greater international attention. Seventeen one-on-one matches since 2010, nine IWGP Championship bouts, five G1 CLIMAX bouts, and countless matches in tag team, trios, and multi-man situations. Okada and Tanahashi are synonomous with one another, but it seemed with Okada signing with All Elite Wrestling the two may never share a ring again, and their 2/11/24 bout at THE NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA 2024 would be their final. 


Then came FORBIDDEN DOOR season, then came the rivalry between The Young Bucks and The Acclaimed, and “Daddy Ass” using a little connection of his own to bring “The Ace of New Japan” to Long Island for a huge Trios match tonight at UBS Arena! As much as this is about the tensions between the brothers Jackson and The Acclaimed, it's now also about the legendary rivalry between Tanahashi and Okada coming together in a whole new venue! This is a rare chance to see it come together in the United States, possibly the last time, and it could have huge ripples on the AEW World Tag Team Championship match that The Acclaimed are owed for beating The Young Bucks in their Eliminator Match.


Singles Match...

MJF vs. Hechicero



Maxwell Jacob Friedman returned to the AEW stage at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2024 at the expense of Adam Cole and declared to the world that he wasn't going anywhere. He was in All Elite Wrestling to stay, and to once again ascend to the top of the mountain as AEW World Champion. It's doubtful that RUSH was the only individual who took umbrage with MJF's declarations and proclamations, but he was the only one who stood up, called Max out on his words, and took the fight to the record-setting former AEW World Champion. Their fight, Max's first since losing the World Title to Samoa Joe at WORLDS END 2023 last December, took a toll on MJF only for salt to be poured on the wound when Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony, accompanied by Hechicero, appeared on the video wall to inform MJF that The EVPS were rewarding his comments about them with a match against “The Alchemist” at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024!


It's a difficult match for MJF to have as homecoming to “the most magical place on Earth”, Hechicero inarguably being the most proficient technical wrestler he's faced since Bryan Danielson at REVOLUTION 2023, as well as a man with recent victories over foes like Zack Sabre Jr., Blue Panther, and El Terrible. He's got a 409-day reign as CMLL World Heavyweight Champion to his credit, as well as a 651-day reign as World Historic Light Heavyweight Champion and a 245-day run as CMLL World Trios Champion. He's a submission specialist who's quite impossible to gameplan for, and a man who gave Bryan Danielson one of the most difficult fights of his last year.


MJF may get a deafening reception for his return to Long Island tonight at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024, but will he be walking out to the same cheers or will it be Hechicero ruining this homecoming for Maxwell Jacob Friedman?


Trios Battle...

FTW Champion Chris Jericho, NJPW World TV Champion Jeff Cobb, & “The Redwood” Big Bill vs.

HOOK, Katsuyori Shibata, & Samoa Joe



The issues between HOOK and Chris Jericho began with the former AEW World Champion claiming he wanted to be a mentor to the former 2-Time FTW Champion, and ultimately led to the birth of “The Learning Tree”, TV Time with Chris Jericho, and brought “The Redwood” Big Bill and “Bad Apple” Bryan Keith under his umbrella. It all started with HOOK's rejection of Jericho, escalated with Jericho taking the FTW Title from Hook thanks to Big Bill, and escalated with Bryan Keith also becoming a branch.


It brought Samoa Joe back to HOOK after HOOK earned Joe's respect with their World Championship fight earlier this year, and tied Shibata in as well with his own issues fighting Jericho over the rechristened “For The World” Championship. The challenge to this Trios Match originally had Jericho thinking he could pull Minoru Suzuki into his FORBIDDEN DOOR fight for the third year in a row, but once Suzuki rejected that, expressing more of a desire to fight Chris than team with him, Jericho had to look elsewhere for help in lieu of Bryan Keith experiencing a miraculous recovery overnight.


What Jericho found, or rather who, was a bit of a reach into his past in All Elite Wrestling, the man he unleashed on Jon Moxley back in February 2020, current NJPW World TV Champion Jeff Cobb! One of the most powerful individuals competing in pro wrestling today, he's one of the few who could possibly throw around Samoa Joe like the former AEW World Champion was an average-sized man, making him quite the ideal partner for this trios battle.


Will Jeff Cobb be the right choice to give “The Learning Tree” and his branches the victory tonight on pay-per-view?


ZERO HOUR...

-Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Quarterfinal...

Saraya vs. Mariah May


-Trios Match...

LIJ (Hiromu Takahashi, Titan, & Yota Tsuji) vs. The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero Miedo & Rey Fenix) & Mistico

-Tag Team Bout...

Willow Nightingale & Tam Nakano vs. Kris Statlander & Momo Watanabe



-Four Way Tag...

The House of Black (Brody King & Malakai Black) vs. Kyle O'Reilly & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs. NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion Gabe Kidd & Roderick Strong


FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024 begins at 8pm ET/7pm CT tonight, preceded by ZERO HOUR live on AEW's official YouTube channel starting at 6:30pm ET/5:30pm CT. This year fighters from All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling are joined by competitors from Consejo Mundiel de Lucha Libre (CMLL) as all look to prove who are the best wrestlers in the world! The AEW World Championship, the AEW Women's World Championship, the TNT Championship, and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship will all be on the line on pay-per-view, as will both the TBS Championship and the NJPW STRONG Women's Championship in one match! Plus the Owen Hart Foundation tournament continues with Bryan Danielson versus NJPW's Shingo Takagi, MJF in action against CMLL's Hechicero, Orange Cassidy and Zack Sabre Jr. as well as so much more on top tonight live on pay-per-view!


Following this all-star extravaganza, All Elite Wrestling returns to the Wintrust Arena in Chicago for DYNAMITE and the aftermath of FORBIDDEN DOOR 2024! Who will still be holding championship gold when the dust settles? Find out on July 3rd when AEW returns to the Windy City!

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