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AEW/NJPW Forbidden Door Predictions

The wait is finally over: it’s AEW/NJPW Forbidden Door weekend! There’s been drama and controversy around the build to the card, with injuries aplenty and a couple of matches announced that has divided opinion. Whatever the wrestling community might feel about the build-up and the card, ultimately, on the night, Forbidden Door is going to be a fun show and hopefully, there’ll be a few cool surprises along the way.

The Sports Obsessive Triple Threat of Jon Shartzer, Joel Kananen, and Chris Flackett are here to bring you their Forbidden Door predictions for your consideration. Who’s got their finger on the pulse? Who’s just talking deluded nonsense (yes, Chris, we’re looking at you)?

Find out with our Forbidden Door predictions right here!

Gunn Club & Max Caster vs. LA Dojo

Jon: Admittedly, I don’t know any of the NPJW Dojo wrestlers. I think that will actually work in their favor in this case. This would be a great way to get these guys a win in front of an American audience and gain some exposure. I don’t think a loss would hurt the Ass Boys or Caster.

Prediction: LA Dojo

Chris: I’m agreeing with Jon here. Caster and the Ass Family can take a loss here without it impacting them. This will be a good showcase for the LA Dojo and should be a fun opener into the bargain.

Prediction: LA Dojo

Joel: This is a fun way to open the show on the Buy-In. The LA Dojo guys are really talented, and everyone loves Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed (Ass Boys not so much).

Prediction: LA Dojo

Keith Lee & Swerve vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado

Jon: I have to be totally honest here. I know very little about El Desperado and even less about Yoshinobu Kanemaru. I hope they show out and make me a fan this weekend. But for now, I have to go with what I know. Swerve and Keith Lee deserve a big win on PPV.

Prediction: Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee

Chris: I’ve been enjoying the Keith Lee-Swerve tag team but they’ve been teasing the split already, which is a bit of a shame. Still, I think this might be the platform where the split is made total, with Lee and Swerve taking the loss, and Swerve turning on Lee afterward.

Prediction: Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland

Joel: Tensions between Keith Lee and Swerve aside, they are a dominant team and will come out with a win here.

Prediction: Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland

Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, and Sammy Guevara vs. Eddie Kingston, Shota Umino, and ROH Pure Champion Wheeler Yuta

Jon: No AEW or NJPW show would be complete without a multi-man tag match filled with semi-random competitors. I figured they would have had a bigger match for Jericho after his time in NJPW basically reinvigorated his career a few years back. This feels like a match that the heels are supposed to win. That means I’m going with the former Pain Maker and company.

Prediction: Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, and Sammy Guevara

Chris: Let’s be honest, this is really just a thrown-together match to get some names on the card, isn’t it? But on the flip side, who isn’t salivating at the prospect of Suzuki and Kingston throwing bombs at each other. The Jericho Appreciation Society-Kingston, Proud and Powerful, and Blackpool Combat Club feud is still raging, and a heel win here will keep those flames fanned in the meantime.

Prediction: Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, and Sammy Guevara

Joel: I love the idea of Minoru Suzuki and Eddie Kingston in the ring at the same time, and am also super-excited to see a Guevara-Yuta sequence. Jericho’s team sneaking out a victory to further piss off Eddie before Blood and Guts feels like the choice here.

Prediction: Chris Jericho & Minoru Suzuki & Sammy Guevara 

Dudes With Attitudes (Sting, Darby Allin, Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) vs. Bullet Club (The Young Bucks, El Phantasmo & Hikuleo)

Jon: Talk about tons of talent! Speaking of random multi-man tags, here’s another one that’s absolutely loaded with talent. Sting, as per usual, is sort of the odd man out here, but that’s ok. The action will be mostly fast-paced and I’m sure some bodies will be flying around. I picked the heels to win the other multi-man tag so I’m going to switch it up this time and go with the Dudes on this one.

Prediction: Dudes with Attitudes

Chris: I never thought I’d live to see the day where I’d see Sting, Shingo, Darby Allin, and Takahashi on the same team, but here we are and I’m not complaining! Nice nod with the Dudes With Attitudes to the group of babyfaces that used to protect Sting from the Horsemen in 1990; old-school me appreciates that. I think this one is going to be a lot of fun, but I don’t see BC going over here. Still, they can afford to take the loss and give the crowd a fun, feel-good moment here.

Prediction: Dudes with Attitudes

Joel: For one night only, the Bucks are back in Bullet Club. This is the sort of odd collection of talent that I was hoping for when Forbidden Door was announced. Hiromu Takahashi was the winner of the first NJPW match I ever watched, and I can’t wait to see him in action.

Prediction: Bullet Club

IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy

Jon: I can’t be the only person that’s a bit disappointed in this pairing. Nothing against Orange Cassidy, and I’m sure the watch will be entertaining but is this the best that they could do with Will Ospreay? Regardless, this is what we’re getting, so let’s make the best of it. My money is on Ospreay retaining and something happening to set up his next feud, hopefully with another AEW star such as Danielson or my selfish pick of Buddy Matthews.

Prediction: Will Ospreay

Chris: This one has caused some disagreements in the Sports Obsessive office, with some people believing this is just a launch pad for a bigger feud with Ospreay, perhaps with Kenny Omega should he appear at the end of the match, and then there’s other (alright, it’s me) who believe that this is a completely wasted opportunity to use Ospreay to put on a match everyone will be talking about. I like Orange, but is this the best match they could come up with? In any case, I can’t see Orange becoming a New Japan belt holder, so it’s Ospreay for the win for me.

Prediction: Will Ospreay

Joel: They might not be everyone’s cup of tea/juice, but for me, this is a delicious matchup. Cassidy’s cool guy gimmick will infuriate the hot-headed Ospreay, and the action will be fast and furious. As cool and wacky as it would be to have Orange as an NJPW champion, Ospreay should pick up the win.

Prediction: Will Ospreay 

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. The Newest Member of Blackpool Combat Club

Jon: Would I prefer to see Bryan Danielson in this match instead of being out with an injury? Obviously. But the possibilities are fun to play with here. We’ve all heard the names being floated around. Claudio. Gresham. Thatcher. All would be great matchups for Zack Sabre Jr. But since I’m most likely going to be wrong anyway, I’m going to go with my personal favorite, Johnny Wrestling. Just imagine the chess match that these two technical wizards could have. Probably not, but one can hope. If it’s Johnny, I can’t pick against him. Sue me.

Prediction: Johnny Gargano

Chris: We’re all heartbroken by the fact Danielson hasn’t been cleared for this one, but it is what it is. I’m sure we will get it in the near future, perhaps on Japanese soil. In the meantime, this presents us with an interesting scenario. Contrary to my colleagues, I’m thinking Cesaro could be the name appearing here. You have to admit, he would fit Blackpool Combat Club’s no-nonsense philosophy beautifully. So, I’m saying Cesaro. A man can dream, right?

Prediction: Cesaro/Claudio

My personal hopes for the surprise opponent are Cesaro, Johnny Gargano, and Jonathan Gresham, and dreaming beyond belief for Kenny Omega. Whoever the surprise is, I’m guessing they pick up the win over Sabre in a terrific match.

Prediction: ??? 

Fatal 4 Way for the Inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Title: Miro vs. PAC vs. Clark Connors vs. Malakai Black

Jon: This is probably the hardest master project on the whole card. I honestly don’t know much about Connors, but any of the other three could easily be tabbed as the first All-Atlantic champion. In my opinion, Malakai would benefit the most from putting a belt around his waist. It would add some legitimacy to the House of Black. I wouldn’t be upset with any outcome here though.

Prediction: Malakai Black

Chris: It’s nice to see Clark Connors get a shot on a big stage like this; I’ve enjoyed his work on New Japan Strong and on UWN programming. He won’t get the win here, but hopefully, the exposure will lead to something good for him. But who will actually grab the gold? I would argue Malakai could probably do with the elevation that the title will provide the most, and Miro needs it the least, but my personal preference would be for PAC to win. I still struggle that PAC went from that wonderful feud with Kenny Omega in AEW’s first year to going down to the foot of the card. But realistically? I think the Redeemer will go over here and pick up where he left off with the TNT title.

Prediction: Miro

Joel: Both foursomes on this card are stacked. Clark Connors may not have the same level of awareness as the AEW staples, but he can hold himself in the ring. The three AEW guys have about an even shot to be crowned, but I think Miro will once again be crowned champion.

Prediction: Miro 

Winners Take All Triple Threat Tag Team Titles Match: ROH World Tag Team Champions FTR vs. IWGP Tag Team Champions The United Empire vs. Roppongi Vice

Jon: This is another match that could go in any direction. All three teams could easily make their case for winning and taking all of the belts. With that said, the smart money should be on the Top Guys to clean house and add more gold to their collection and continue to claim the spot of best tag team currently in wrestling.

Prediction: FTR

Chris: It’s become a bit of a cliche at the moment, but FTR really are one of the best tag teams in the world at the moment. For that reason, I can’t see them losing here. This should be a high-quality encounter that will see FTR keep their reputation going as the best in the world.

Prediction: FTR

Joel: This should be a banger of a match, with some fun stakes as two championship belts are on the line. FTR winning is a solid choice, but I’m calling a Roppongi Vice win. Romero is an NJPW stalwart and the “King of Sneaky Style,” as well as the most decorated tag team specialist in New Japan history. This would give Vice their long-awaited ROH Tag Team Championship and free FTR for a major feud with the Young Bucks.

Prediction: Roppongi Vice

AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm

Jon: I really want to be excited about this match, but their little face-to-face on Wednesday just felt so boring to me. The fire that you want from a championship feud seems to be missing. While I still contend that Thunder‘s reign as champion has been underwhelming, it still feels like there’s more to come. Toni Will be AEW women’s champion one day, but I don’t think that day will come at Forbidden Door.
Prediction: Thunder Rosa
Chris: It troubles me that Thunder Rosa’s reign as AEW Women’s World Champion has felt as flat as it has, considering she is one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world, and better than a lot of the men too. This should feel like a much bigger match than it does, but I do believe it’s going to be a really good contest when all’s said and done. Thunder won’t drop the title just yet, I think, so I’m going with Thunder for the win here.
Prediction: Thunder Rosa
Joel: Not having Rosa compete against someone not in AEW feels like sort of a miss here, as does a face-versus-face match. Booking aside, these two should have a nice match showcasing both competitors’ power and strength. No chance Storm wins here.
Prediction: Thunder Rosa

IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White vs. Adam Cole vs. Adam Page vs. Kazuchika Okada

Jon: As a good friend of mine put it, “I didn’t want a triple threat, I do very much want the fatal four-way.” The addition of Okada took this perspective of this match to a whole new level and I’m here for it. Jay White just regained the title and ideally deserves a lengthy run. However, it feels like the rumors of AEW and NJPW trading championships could very well be true. In that case, my money is on Adam Cole(Bay Bay) to capture the IWGP Heavyweight championship.
Prediction: Adam Cole
Chris: The match got a whole lot more interesting with Okada’s entrance into it. I know the odds are against Jay White retaining the title, but if AEW wants to make any concessions to New Japan, they’ll let White keep the belt here, especially if Mox beats Tanahashi for the AEW Interim Title. For that reason, I’m going with ‘The Switchblade.’
Prediction: Jay White
Joel: What a collection of in-ring talent. Each guy could be a believable AEW or New Japan champion and their history and chemistry could build into an incredible contest. I’m also calling a Kenny Omega return here; even if he can’t compete Omega should make an appearance.
Prediction: Jay White 

Match to Decide the AEW Interim Champion: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

Jon: CM Punk’s injury undoubtedly threw a major wrench in the plans for this show. Luckily, it all worked out and AEW and NJPW were able to give a true dream match that has been three years in the making, pitting the Ace of New Japan against perhaps the biggest star that Tony Khan has to offer. This match is going to be intense and sure to tell an amazing story. If the two companies truly are swapping belts, that makes the outcome here pretty clear: Hiroshi Tanahashi as your new AEW World Champion.

Prediction: Hiroshi Tanahashi

Chris: This is going to be a great match, whatever happens. But I disagree respectfully with my colleagues in that, while we know Tony takes risks and is pretty brave sometimes in the moves he makes, are his balls big enough to put the belt on a Japanese competitor who is likely to spend more time in Japan than America, something that is not likely to impress the Warners board? While a Tana win would be brilliant, I think they’ll play it safe here with Mox.

Prediction: Jon Moxley

Joel: There are very few wrestlers performing at Jon Moxley’s high level right now. I liken Tanahashi to the Cena-type figure of New Japan, and the Ace has had a recent run of exciting matchups based around the IWGP United States Championship scene. Mox finally gets the match he’s dreamed of and clawed for to fulfill this chapter of the Death Rider’s NJPW story. This main event should live up to its very high expectations, and Moxley will become the first two-time AEW (interim) champ.

Prediction: Jon Moxley 

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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