Forbidden Door II was everything fans expected, and maybe a little bit more. The task to outdo the first edition of the event was a tall one, but with massive moments throughout the show, it certainly was more memorable. Three defining moments throughout the night stuck out to me more than any others, and here they are below.
Number 3: Konosuke Takeshita blasts Tomohiro Ishii
Chaos absolutely ensued in the ring when The Elite joined forces with Eddie Kingston and Tomohiro Ishii to take on the Blackpool Combat Club and Konosuke Takeshita. Throughout the match, there was plenty of hard-hitting action, but one shot stood out above the rest. Konosuke Takeshita’s strike with his right elbow right on the button to the chin of Ishii, really woke up every competitor in the 10-man tag match. One of AEW’s youngest rising stars laying the lumber on one of New Japan’s most recognized legends, made fans believe the hatred between the two sides, even though both of these men seem like outside parties in the Elite and BCC feud.
Number 2: Bryan Danielson comes out to Final Countdown
The song that is most correlated with sports franchises like the early 2000s Detroit Pistons or the current Cleveland Guardians when they are only one out away from winning a game, holds great meaning in professional wrestling. Bryan Danielson’s anthem in Ring of Honor sung in a cult-like choir, serenaded what some consider the best wrestler in the world, for the first time in over a decade. The song, which according to Tony Khan, cost as much as a wrestler’s contract just for one play, in my opinion, was more than worth it. The song set the tone for what was a huge main event dream match between Danielson and Kazuchika Okada. Even though the night ended with a fractured right forearm for Danielson, he got his moment in the spotlight by soaking in the sounds of his iconic song.
Number 1: Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega final 15 minutes
The beginning of the second rendition of Omega vs Ospreay was a flipped script of their Wrestle Kingdom match, with Ospreay dominating Omega in a violent fashion. The first 25 minutes of the match were glorious pro wrestling violence, but in the final 15 minutes, the two stars started wrestling like the rent was due. From Ospreay’s Tiger Driver 91 spiking Omega on his head, all the way to Omega getting the tip of his toes on the bottom rope to stop the count at two, the final 15 minutes was the best part of the match. Multiple well-sold false finishes, really got the crowd to react, and probably will add a star or two to Dave Meltzer’s final rating of the classic match which gets the full five stars from me.
Defining moments can make or break a show, and AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door II knocked it out of the park with huge moments.