Three matches for CM Punk at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door II


CM Punk is back, but not on the Forbidden Door II card. These are three match recommendations that could change that.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door II has the potential to be the biggest show for both companies this year. The 2022 edition of the PPV was considered the best show in all professional wrestling. Heading into the card on June 25, one of the biggest stars in wrestling has made his return. CM Punk is back after being out of action for nine months due to injury and the ramifications of Brawl Out. Will he be involved with Forbidden Door is one of the most pressing questions. With Fightful Select reporting that a match with KENTA is off the cards, here are three matches that Punk could find himself in if he’s going to be a part of the show.

Tetsuya Naito

Tetsuya Naito versus CM Punk has the biggest name value of the three matches referenced in this piece. Naito is a staple in NJPW. He’s a multiple-time champion, holding the most important belts in the promotion.

Pitting Naito against Punk wouldn’t be a dream match that was at the top of the minds of wrestling fans, but it would still be a showcase that would have fans talking. Naito isn’t the performer that needs the type of protection that he once demanded, so he could take a loss to the returning Punk without much damage. While both men are 40+, working a slow pace and telling a story would be a good match to give fans something to talk about from the card.

Tama Tonga

Tama Tonga would have the biggest “wow” factor of all the names mentioned. Multiple outlets have reported that Tonga is performing in NJPW without a contract, with some even saying that he was a big target for WWE earlier this year.

Tonga’s stint in the tag team division is the most recognizable part of his career, but the last few years were key points in his singles run. He versus Punk would be an interesting matchup, one that would probably look more like a WWE match than one in AEW. Still, this is a match where storytelling would take precedence in getting this over with fans.

Satoshi Kojima

Satoshi Kojima is a legend in professional wrestling and the exact type of name that AEW brings in for matches such as these. The former IWGP World Champion isn’t a top performer in the game any longer and takes losses to continue building up the upper echelons of the NJPW roster. Having him come back as a surprise the night of the show for a 10–12-minute match against Punk would be just enough to keep fans pleased that they got to see Punk at the showcase event.

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