Final AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door Picks for Moxley vs. Tanahashi, Full Match Card

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured Columnist IIIJune 26, 2022

Final AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door Picks for Moxley vs. Tanahashi, Full Match Card

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    All Elite Wrestling has an exciting pay-per-view about to hit B/R with the first-ever crossover event of AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, dubbed Forbidden Door.

    Some of the very best both companies have to offer will do battle at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday in a way fans would never be able to see otherwise.

    This could be a game-changing event with some must-see in-ring action and major implications for multiple championships going forward.

    Who's going to walk out victorious? Let's break down the card and toss out our final picks for Sunday.

Buy-in Matches

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The Buy-In will feature an eight-man tag team match with Gunn Club and Max Caster fighting The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin and Yuya Uemura, Swerve in Our Glory against Suzuki-gun, and The Factory against Chaos.

    These are far from t he most star-studded matches on the card, but their main purpose will be to whet the appetites of viewers ahead of the main pay-per-view. Some of the performers will certainly be able to convince fans on the fence of purchasing to check out what's in store for the bigger matches.

    The NJPW Dojo crew, along with The Factory, are the two enhancement groups. They should lose their respective matches. Swerve in Our Glory against Suzuki-gun is a much more even affair and harder to predict and can go either way. It would be more intriguing if the New Japan wrestlers won to give them an edge, but Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland should be top contenders for the tag titles going forward and a strong win here could position them as The Young Bucks' next challengers.

    Prediction: Caster and Gunn Club, Chaos and Swerve in Our Glory wins.

The Young Bucks and El Phantasmo vs. Dudes with Attitude

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The Young Bucks will be rejoining Bullet Club temporarily as they team with El Phantasmo against Darby Allin, Sting, and Shingo Takagi. Originally, Hikuleo was scheduled to be with the Bullet Club team and Hiromu Takahashi would be on Dudes with Attitudes, but Takahashi was unable to travel.

    You might as well flip a coin when picking a winner here.

    If the priority is for The Young Bucks to look strong as the new tag team champions or for Bullet Club to seem like a unified faction until Jay White and Adam Cole battle, the heels should be victorious.

    However, there's a good chance ego gets in the way of Bullet Club to illustrate how White and Cole going up against each other means no one can get on the same page.

    The Bucks will be supporting Cole, overall, which could rub White's Bullet Club buddies up the wrong way and allow Sting and his crew to capitalize.

    Prediction: Dudes with Attitude win.

Trios Match: Jericho, Suzuki and Guevara vs. Kingston, Yuta and Umino

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Blood & Guts is a much bigger match coming up in the feud between Jericho Appreciation Society and Eddie Kingston with Blackpool Combat Club, compared to this random trios match.

    It is highly unlikely the JAS come out of that with the win, as the environment speaks more to the tough-as-nails babyfaces. To offset that, another win for Jericho over Kingston at Forbidden Door can help sell his leadership skills.

    Jericho may not get the actual pinfall, but his group should be standing tall by hook, crook or wizardry.

    Prediction: Jericho, Suzuki and Guevara win.

AEW Women's World Championship Match

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The only women's match on this card is also the only one without any crossover from New Japan. That is because there is no women's division in that promotion, so no challengers could be picked for Thunder Rosa to face.

    Rather than not have any females performing on this show, this was the next best option, but still leaves much to the imagination.

    Rosa and Toni Storm are great, but the setup has almost entirely just been the Antipodean holding the title belt while standing next to Rosa—far from the most compelling angle.

    That doesn't cast Storm in the best light to walk out with the championship. She's beaten Marina Shafir, but how is that supposed to make fans feel like she's one step away from beating Rosa?

    This is one of the easiest matches to predict, as Rosa will retain. It will be a good contest, but there isn't much else to sink your teeth into.

    Prediction: Rosa wins.

Winner Take All Tag Team Title Match

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Any title up for grabs is interesting. When more than one belt is on the line, and the winners will have to do cross-promotional matches going forward, that makes this Winners Take All match even more exciting.

    One of these teams will leave the United Center with both the ROH World Tag Team Championship and IWGP World Tag Team Championship, but it won't be Roppongi Vice. They'll likely be the ones taking the pin.

    If a deal can be reached to have them make more appearances, Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan would be great additions to the AEW and ROH rosters. However, it is far more likely FTR have an agreement worked out that they'll do New Japan shows and keep touring for more opponents and belts between promotions.

    It all hinges on who will be on loan, but since FTR are already working with AAA, it makes more sense for Tony Khan to let them do NJPW shows, too.

    Prediction: FTR wins.

IWGP United States Championship Match

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Will Ospreay will have his work cut out when he defends the IWGP United States Championship against one of AEW's most interesting combatants, Orange Cassidy.

    Cassidy is a goofball, but he's proved time and again that he can hang with the best, too. He's beaten world champions like Chris Jericho and can pull out a victory at any given moment.

    That won't happen here, though. Freshly Squeezed is nowhere near as high up the totem pole as Ospreay, and it is highly unlikely the belt will change hands.

    More so, this should be a fun contest in which Ospreay doesn't take Cassidy seriously, realizes he's a tougher opponent than originally thought and has to dig deeper than imagined to get the win.

    Ultimately, though, he will retain his title.

    Prediction: Ospreay wins.

AEW All-Atlantic Championship Four-Way Match

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    It wouldn't make much sense for the first person to hold the AEW All-Atlantic Championship to be an outsider like Clark Connors even less than it would have for Tomohiro Ishii. Not only is Japan not in the Atlantic, but there are also three better choices in this match who actually work for AEW.

    The one to really watch, though, is PAC. He has lost significant credibility since AEW first started, as he was once a true world title contender but is now settled into the midcard.

    Miro and Malakai Black wouldn't be bad choices, but the former has had his TNT Championship run and the latter would look odd holding a belt right now compared to PAC.

    This should go a long way in reestablishing The Bastard as more than just someone with potential. It could be what helps him break back into the main event level.

    Prediction: PAC wins.

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. To Be Announced

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Zack Sabre Jr. was supposed to face Bryan Danielson, but injuries have prevented The American Dragon from taking part.

    His replacement was hyped up by Danielson himself as the one person he trusted to come into AEW and fill his spot from a technical wrestling standpoint. That means it needs to be someone with a reputation to wow in the ring.

    Johnny Gargano could be this person, but an even better prediction would be former WWE Superstar Cesaro. Fans are more than aware of how talented he is and would pop immensely for his appearance.

    For all we know, though, Sabre Jr. might have been scheduled to beat Danielson, so why would he lose to the backup person? Johnny Elite and Maki Itoh were mystery opponents in the Owen Hart Cup and still lost, so the same can happen to this unknown figure.

    Prediction: Sabre Jr. wins.

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Four-Way Match

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Jay White originally said he wouldn't defend his title against Adam Cole or Adam Page, only to be put in a match with both of them, as well as Kazuchika Okada.

    That should put Switchblade in an unforgiving position, but he's actually the most likely to win this.

    Since the AEW World Heavyweight Championship has a guaranteed title change, it would be odd for New Japan to also have its major belt change hands at a show mostly presented by another company.

    If that does happen, look for Okada to regain. It certainly won't be Page or Cole representing NJPW going forward.

    However, if you're putting your money on a particular finish, watch out for White to pin Cole, as that would be the most controversial ending that may even help set up an Undisputed Elite vs. Bullet Club match in the future.

    Prediction: White wins.

AEW Interim World Championship Match

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Unlike the other world title match, Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi will result in a new champion being crowned—at least, in a sense.

    The winner will become the interim champion until a future match against the injured CM Punk settles the undisputed titleholder.

    The more interesting outcome would be Tanahashi being victorious, but it isn't realistic. For that to happen, he would have to make many trips to the U.S. on a frequent basis, which isn't feasible.

    The alternative would be AEW going without a world champion for long stretches at a time, meaning Punk might as well have kept the title and this match didn't need to take place.

    The safe bet is Moxley will win on Sunday and then fight Punk down the line. It's much easier to do something in-house and hope for another chance for Punk vs. Tanahashi, maybe at a Forbidden Door PPV in 2023?

    Prediction: Moxley wins.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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