AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door 2023 preview: This is why Bryan Danielson left WWE to join AEW

All Elite Wrestling and NJPW return to pay-per-view tonight (Sunday, June 25) with Forbidden Gate 2023. The show comes from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto at 8 p.m. ET.

A H-hour the pre-show will stream live and for free beginning at 7 p.m. ET on the All Elite YouTube channel, Bleacher Report, and right here at Cageside Seats.

In the United States, the main card is available on Bleacher Report. Internationally, depending on where you are, you can purchase the show from Fite or

This is why Bryan Danielson left WWE to join AEW

The main event of Forbidden Door is a dream match pitting AEW star Bryan Danielson against NJPW star Kazuchika Okada. They are two of the greatest wrestlers in the world, and now they can finally fight.

This match would never have been possible had Danielson not left WWE to join AEW in 2021. Vince McMahon almost never allows any of his wrestlers to take an inter-promotional match like this, so the only way for Bryan to get there was to leave the WWE.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Danielson spells it out pretty clearly in this quote from a recent interview with Sports Illustrated:

“I wanted this match for so long and never thought it was a possibility. I started watching it while I was in WWE, but there was nowhere to go to work where this match would ever be. possible. Then AEW started. That’s why it’s so special to me. I’ve wanted this for so long, and now it’s going to happen.

Danielson and Okada are going to be a hell of a match, because they’re better at it than anyone else on the planet.

The most pressing question regarding this match is, how will arrival be booked? Will it be a clean win for either of these men? Will a third party take matters into their own hands and ruin the game with blatant interference? Could it be another draw?

Give us your best guess in the comments below on how Danielson’s arrival against Okada will be booked, Cagesiders.

The rest of the main map

These nine matches are also currently announced for the main card of Forbidden Door:

Kenny Omega (c) vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Championship

Omega defeated Ospreay for that belt back in January at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 in what many fans say was the match of the year. It’s no lock Ospreay will recoup their win here, especially given the prospect of taking part in the Trilogy at Wembley Stadium in August. Ospreay just featured Omega with the Hidden Blade on Dynamite, so I think Kenny will pay him back at Forbidden Door.

SANADA (c) against Jungle Boy for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

Jungle is determined to win singles gold in 2023, so he answered SANADA’s open challenge for this title fight. Boy asked HOOK to be at ringside for this match, so if things go wrong, Jungle can blame it on his closest ally.

MJF (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW World Championship

MJF wants nothing to do with wrestling on an NJPW card, but he was tricked into accepting this fight by Adam Cole. Meanwhile, Tanahashi got the job done in an AEW World Title match at Forbidden Door last year, and it will likely happen again tonight.

Toni Storm (c) vs. Willow Nightingale for the AEW Women’s World Championship

Nightingale is undefeated since winning the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship last month in a match against Mercedes Mone. However, the Outcasts numbers game works against Willow here, even though Skye Blue shows up to check on her.

Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Zack Saber Jr. vs. Daniel Garcia for the AEW International Championship

No one has found a way to beat Cassidy for this title since winning it last October. Orange has previously defended gold in singles matches against Shibata and Garcia. So if any of these men are going to upset the champ, it’s likely to be ZSJ. But let’s face it, his technical prowess really is no match for Orange’s devastating blows.

The Elite, Tomohiro Ishii and Eddie Kingston vs. Blackpool Combat Club, Shota Umino and Konosuke Takeshita

So how exactly do you follow up on The Elite vs. BCC in Anarchy in the Arena at the next PPV? The answer is to remove Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson from the match and replace them with Eddie Kingston, Tomohiro Ishii, Shota Umino and Konosuke Takeshita.

Kingston doesn’t like The Elite or Ishii, but he’s willing to team up with them if it’s the best way to take down his most hated enemy, Claudio Castagnoli. I don’t think Eddie’s plan will work out very well, especially now that Takeshita is aligned with Don Callis. Who will strike first when best friends Kingston and Jon Moxley inevitably face off?

Sting, Darby Allin, and Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, and Sammy Guevara

Just a few weeks ago, Chris Jericho said he would never fight Sting, so of course now they are fighting each other on pay-per-view. Sting and Jericho both use bats as weapons, and I bet they’ll each find a way to use those weapons in this match. There’s growing tension right now between Jericho and Guevara, and it could very well be their team’s downfall.

CM Punk vs. Satoshi Kojima at the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament

CM Punk is a huge Bret Hart fan, and he could very well win this year’s Owen Hart tournament. He will kick off the boy group as heavy favorites in this match against a wrestler who is definitely not KENTA.

Adam Cole vs. Tom Lawlor

Adam Cole and MJF are forced to team up in AEW’s Blind Eliminator tournament. Before that started, however, MJF booked Cole in this singles match against former UFC “Filthy” fighter Tom Lawlor. If Adam plans to stay in the mix for MJF’s AEW World Title, he better not lose this match.

Zero Hour pre-show

For those of you looking for even more AEW x NJPW action, you can check out the following four matches during the pre-show:

Willow Nightingale vs. Billie Starkz at the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament

Stu Grayson vs. The fantasy

Best Friends and El Desprado vs Mogul Embassy

Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI vs. United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Kyle Fletcher, TJP)


You know a PPV map is loaded when Shingo Takagi gets stuck on the pre-show. Last year’s Forbidden Door was considered one of the best wrestling shows of 2022, and this one is set to follow suit. How can you not be a great show when the two best matches are Danielson against Okada and Omega against Ospreay?

What are you going to look at Forbidden Door?

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