How Forbidden Door II Can Be the 2023 Show of the Year

FUKUOKA, JAPAN - MAY 03: SANADA enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling -Wrestling DONTAKU 2023 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on May 03, 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
FUKUOKA, JAPAN - MAY 03: SANADA enters the ring during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling -Wrestling DONTAKU 2023 at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on May 03, 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /

The anticipation for AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door II puts this card in the position to be an early candidate for the 2023 Show of the Year.

To say the upcoming summer for AEW is very busy would be an understatement.  With Double or Nothing right around the corner and August’s All In show selling almost 70,000 tickets without one match announced, which is fantastic, June’s Forbidden Door II has been put on the back burner as far as anticipation goes for wrestling fans.

However, this year’s event has the potential to be the wrestling show of 2023. After the major success of last year’s show, you would think the same hype would be there for this year.

But how can AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling get the same attention for the show while being drowned in between two major shows? Both must look at what they have improved on from last year and take advantage of the improvements.

How can AEW and NJPW make Forbidden Door II the show of the year?

Let’s start with each promotion’s world champions. This year, we can have both the IWGP World Heavyweight Title and the AEW World Title defended on the show. SANADA recently won the IWGP World Heavyweight Title and will more than likely have the belt by the time Forbidden Door takes place. They can have him defend against an AEW wrestler who might not yet be in a position to challenge for MJF and the AEW World Title, but give this individual a trial run to see how he does.

Speaking of MJF, after defending the AEW World Title at Double or Nothing, he could come out on Dynamite the following Wednesday and say he could beat any wrestler in the world. Then, you could have one of New Japan’s big stars challenge him for the title.

Maybe Tetsuya Naito who has not wrestled in AEW, or somebody who has competed there before, like Minoru Suzuki, would make a very interesting challenger to MJF.  Make the next challenger a big name that fans believe could beat MJF for the AEW World Title.

Next, we need to have dream matches. One match that was scheduled to happen last year but didn’t was Bryan Danielson against Zack Sabre Jr. The technical wrestling dream match that fans have been craving is, for the second year in a row, right there at the feet of both promotions.

Two of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time in a wrestling match would have fans going crazy.  However, Danielson’s injury kept him out last year. This year, it looks like Danielson is healthy enough to compete at this show.  Zack Sabre Jr. has been on another hot streak of great matches and being New Japan’s Television Champion, we can have a title defense, making the match more exciting.

Speaking of title defenses, you can have the rematch between Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Title. Omega has defended the title only once since winning it back in January and Ospreay having his rematch at Forbidden Door would be the best time for the second chapter between two great wrestlers to take place.

When these two met in January, it ended up being a serious match-of-the-year contender. Every time Omega faces a wrestler in New Japan the second time, he turns it into gold. Remember the second match he had with Okada? This rematch is something fans will be craving for and the chance to do this at Forbidden Door would be the right place and the right time to do the match.

Finally, take advantage of the brand new IWGP Women’s Title and have a couple of women’s matches at Forbidden Door. Last year, there was only one women’s match on the show, and it was for the AEW Women’s Title. This year, both the AEW and IWGP Women’s Titles should be defended on the show.

You can have the stars from Stardom compete leading up to the event and then have one of their wrestlers compete for the AEW Women’s Title at the pay-per-view. Meanwhile, have an AEW wrestler compete for the IWGP Women’s Title. There are plenty of women on the AEW roster who could benefit from an opportunity like this. Stars such as Willow Nightingale, Skye Blue, and Ruby Soho could make a big splash from this event.

Next. AEW Collision must create opportunity for those who need it most on the roster. dark

There’s an old saying that the sequel isn’t always as good as the original. From time to time, however, there are exceptions to this rule and Forbidden Door II could be one of them. With a fantastic crowd in Toronto that will be there, I’m sure that with some suggestions I mentioned, Forbidden Door II has the potential to be the wrestling show of 2023.