AEW‘s and New Japan Pro-Wrestling‘s (NJPW) first Pay-Per-View event allowed stars in both organizations to face off against each other and celebrity adversaries and brought together NJPW stars to team up with AEW stars.
When “Busted Open Radio”’s host asked Tony Khan, the owner of AEW, about the buy rate for this event, he confirmed it.
”The Forbidden Door Pay-Per-View was a huge success,” Khan said. “We estimate about 127,000 buys right now, and still, with replay, buys trickling in, it was ahead of all projections and expectations. And I absolutely would love to do it again, and I think that we will do it again going forward too, I anticipate.”
The top headlines for Forbidden Door were two World Championship matches, with the main event promising a new AIW Champion while CM Punk was injured. In the second to last match, Jay White successfully defended the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Adam Cole and “Hangman” Adam Page, pinning Cole for the win. In the main event, Jon Moxley defeated 8-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the Interim AEW World Championship.
The PPV featured debuts and moments of excitement, as Claudio Castagnoli was revealed as the opponent for Zack Saber Jr. This was the first time since February that Castagnoli had been inside a ring when he lost to Happy Corbin on an episode of WWE “Friday Night Smackdown.” After a back-and-forth fight with Saber Jr., however, Castagnoli defeated him after about 18 minutes in the ring.
The surprises did not stop there though. After Will Ospreay defeated Orange Cassidy to retain the IWGP US Championship, Katsuyori Shibata made his return and managed to get in a devastating shot on Cassidy for the United Empire to deal with. Once that was done, instead of putting the glasses on himself, Cassidy put his famous glasses on Shibata who had come back from a life-threatening injury.
In the main event, Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Minoru Suzuki and FTR defeated Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino in an opening bout; PAC retained their titles over Miro, Malakai Black and Clark Connors; Sting won the triple threat match with the Young Bucks and El Phantasmo, and Roppongi Vice will defend their title against Thunder Rosa on Sunday.