AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door review: Ospreay & Omega deliver again

Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay attempted to outdo their match from Wrestle Kingdom 17. And they may have succeeded.

Omega and Osprey had an incredible, brutal, bloody match at Forbidden Door on Sunday. Whether or not it was better than their January 4 match at the Tokyo Dome will be up for debate. I do admit, I liked the crisp wrestling in the first match, something that’s a rarity in a lot of pro wrestling matches these days. But this match was on the same level, and if you like bloody brawls, this was definitely that. Regardless of which match was better, this absolutely will be in the conversation for match of the year.

I don’t know if I liked the Don Callis interference throughout the match, especially when he returned to the ring for the finish after being thrown out earlier. A new trope has emerged in pro wrestling where someone is thrown out by the referee, just to return later without any real repercussions. Way to kill that spot and the referee's credibility! Still, all the shenanigans didn’t play into the finish, and one spot, where Callis told Ospreay to use Kota Ibushi’s kamigoye, was very well done.

With Ospreay’s win, the question now is if they will run it back one more time. Unlike the first match, where at times it seemed like they were holding back, they sure didn’t hold back in this match, and there wasn't any hint that we could see this turn into a trilogy. I don't think there are many people out there who wouldn't want to see this a third time.

Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson was good. The problem with this match was twofold. One, Danielson injured his arm ten minutes before the finish, probably right as the match was to heat up. The submission finish was clever, and you have to give massive props to Danielson for thinking on his feet after the rest of the match likely had to be scrapped due to injury. Another problem with the match was they had to follow Omega and Ospreay, and that was too tall of a task to meet on this particular night. 

There were other matches on the show too. Way too many, in fact. Let’s run the rest of the main card down.

Sting, Darby Allin, and Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Minoru Suzuki just didn’t hit the mark. This was held right after the Ospreay/Omega match and it was the textbook definition of a cooldown match. It’s interesting because while it seemed like at first they were building towards a Jericho/Sammy split, it seems like the idea is also Jericho and Sting, which could be a Wembley match. We’ll see what they lean towards.Toni Storm and Willow Nightingale had a good match. I’ve always liked Nightingale as she’s one of those rare people that can get over as a natural babyface with a real connection with the crowd, which isn’t a quality a lot of people have. Jer work has improved a lot as well, and even though she didn’t win here she should continue to be highlighted, she's someone special. It's Storm vs. Hayter at Wembley, right?The Elite and The Blackpool Combat Club had a fantastic ten man tag team match. The moments where Tomohiro Ishii (the MVP of the match) and Konosuke Takeshita went at it were awesome, I'd love to see a singles match between these two someday. The Eddie Kingston/Claudio Castagnoli feud was furthered here as well. They built heavily that Eddie hates Claudio and the two have unresolved issues. Kingston's leaving soon for the G1 and thus won't be at Death Before Dishonor next month, so maybe Final Battle?SANADA and Jungle Boy had a fine match, but the Jungle Boy turn on Hook will be far more memorable. SANADA just doesn't feel like a main event level champion. The build to the Double or Nothing main event pretty much solidified Jungle Boy's future as a heel, and they pulled the trigger here. An FTW match is likely taking place between these two in the future.Orange Cassidy retained the International title in a four-way, defeating Zack Sabre Jr., Katsuyori Shibata, and Daniel Garcia. This was good, but kind of got lost in the shuffle with all of the other matches going on. The three champions after the match all posed with their titles, so maybe some title vs. title matches are in the pipeline?CM Punk and Satoshi Kojima had one of the better matches on the show. People in Toronto, for the record, mostly hated CM Punk and he made sure to be a total heel in the match. Kojima is someone that can still go, and he and Punk had a match where they mostly struck each other really hard. It was fun!MJF vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi was sad. It wasn't a bad match, but it is clear that Tanahashi has entered the stage of his career where he can’t mask his limitations anymore. He’s banged up and it was obvious this weekend, both in this match and in the Collision match against Swerve Strickland. It's enough to make you wonder why he's doing the G1, which is in a matter of weeks. But it’s Tanahashi, he's the ace of the company, and he’s going to work this schedule until he just can’t anymore.

Forbidden Door was mostly a very good show, with Omega vs. Ospreay, Punk vs. Kojima, and the ten man tag being the highlights. The road for AEW next leads to Wembley, and the big question there is: how is AEW going to run two big events in a two week span? We’ll soon find out.

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