All Elite Wrestling x New Japan Pro Wrestling
Forbidden Door 2024
June 30, 2024
UBS Arena
Elmont, New York

Get Tickets: Ticketmaster / SeatGeek / VividSeats

Watch: PPV / YouTube / TrillerTV & more

Meet our Previewers 

Warren Hayes: He will always take a 5 hour show packed with wrestling over a 4 hour show with 2 hours of ads and entrances. Follow his weekly podcast on YouTube.com/MrWarrenHayes or your favorite podcast app. He’s also on BlueSky.

Will Young: Often feels cursed that the interest he loves most in the world is professional wrestling. Follow him on Twitter (@CC_PW) and read his blog (Creative Control). 

AEW Forbidden Door 2024 Zero Hour
Yota Tsuji, Titan & Hiromu Takahashi vs. The Lucha Brothers & Mistico

Warren: The work of “The Great Unifier” Tony Khan continues to shock and surprise me, as the AAA-adjacent Lucha Brothers will be teaming up with CMLL’s biggest star in Mistico. I know the Lucha Bros are distancing themselves from AAA, but knowing the deep historical aversion between Mexico’s top promotions, it’s a notable accomplishment. That being said: Mistico on the pre-show? We’re doing this a little over a week after celebrating his two decades in wrestling that was underscored with a great moment in Arena Mexico? Come on. They flew Yota Tsuji in for a trios match, too. I can’t wait for this G1 Climax to be done because I have to think Huge Tsuj won’t be relegated to American appearances on pre-show trios matches anymore. Should be a fun match, though. Mistico must pose! Prediction: The Lucha Bros & Mistico

Will: CMLL has been a breath of fresh air this year amidst [gestures broadly] and I’m pleased as punch to be able to see Mistico and Titan on a major American PPV. Even as a lucha noob, the connecting of former AAA guys Penta and Fenix to CMLL’s supernova Mistico is not lost on me and I’m anticipating a fun, if short, pre-show match. Prediction: Lucha Bros & Mistico

AEW Forbidden Door 2024 Zero Hour
Kris Statlander & Momo Watanabe vs. Willow Nightingale & Tam Nakano

Warren: Statlander and Nightingale are involved in one of the most well-done angles in AEW currently. A simple, personal, and effective one that feels like a feud. It even helped raise Statlander’s stock tremendously, with her new heelish self making her feel fresh and different, something she desperately needed. That being said, this rivalry absolutely seems like an excuse to put STARDOM women on the show… and I’m perfectly okay with that. Momo and Tam, stalwarts of the promotion, are here to really drive home how much Rossy was an obstacle to collaborating with AEW. Interesting stylistic clash here for sure, but all top notch talent. Excited to see how this goes. Prediction: Willow and Tam win, which means Statlander moves forward in the Owen

Will: Ever since the first Forbidden Door, I’ve been hoping and waiting for more joshi talent to come to America and show the AEW audience what they can do. After this year’s shift in the joshi landscape, it’s never been a better time for just that and this will hopefully be a fun tag that will further the Willow/Stat story, as well as show off two great wrestlers. Prediction: Willow Nightingale and Tam Nakano

AEW Forbidden Door 2024 Zero Hour
Owen Hart Foundation 2024 Women’s Tournament Quarter Final Match
Saraya vs. Mariah May

Warren: If 2023 has shown us anything, it’s that Mariah May could be the sleeping giant of AEW’s women’s division. I don’t think her spot in the Owen is in any danger of being handed to Saraya, the bill of goods that was sold to AEW. Prediction: Mariah May

Will: The up-and-coming Mariah May is tasked with getting a match with Saraya out of the way to continue her ascension. I won’t pretend to be I don’t have anything particularly kind to say about Saraya, so let’s continue on. Prediction: Mariah May

Hook, Katsuyori Shibata & Samoa Joe vs. The Learning Tree (Big Bill & Chris Jericho) & Jeff Cobb

Warren: I feel Samoa Joe vs Jeff Cobb was a no-brainer at this point. You want to protect Joe for some reason? Have him and Cobb go to the 15-minute time limit and run a re-match down the line. What a shame. That being said, I really like the Tarantino Banter Team of Samoa Joe, Hook and Shibata, and frankly they should get the win. Who wants to bet ten bucks with me that the Jericho match on the pre-show will end up being the most watched? Prediction: The Tarantino Banter Team 

Will: I asked myself this question recently – Why am I not excited about Samoa Joe, Katsuyori Shibata, and HOOK in a trio together? I admit that there’s a general malaise about me for AEW programming recently but certainly, for this particular team made up of 2 of my all-time favorite wrestlers, it’s hard for me to get enthused about them either killing jobbers or feuding with [shudder] Chris Jericho. As usual, hoping that this will be any fun at all (the addition of my suplex husband Jeff Cobb is a big steer toward that outcome), but I haven’t been terribly compelled by everything leading up to it. Prediction: The Wrestler Do-Joe (Joe/Shibata/HOOK)

Hiroshi Tanahashi & The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) (w/Billy Gunn) vs. The Elite (Kazuchika Okada, Matthew Jackson & Nicholas Jackson)

Warren: I guess I’m thankful that the the Jacksons vs. Bowens and Caster isn’t happening on this show, but we still tough it out through The Acclaimed’s gobbledygook (which isn’t my cup of tea). It’s probably the best way to get Hiroshi Tanahashi on the show, though: there will be a lot of schtick, he will only have to work some choice spots, and people will have been excited to see the Ace live. He won’t have to be in workrate mode at all, which is to his benefit, of course. I guess it’s a little strange that they’re putting Okada and Tanahashi back in the same ring together so soon? They last fought each other in February and then Okada left. Not enough time has elapsed for it to feel special. Perhaps that’s why they’re doing it in a trios. Prediction: The Acclaimed and The President

Will: The trio of Scissor Ace comes together to face the dastardly Elite…bitch. I have to hand it to former workrate golden boy Kazuchika Okada for ably pivoting into gigglepuss territory, I’m glad he’s having fun. Adding Tanahashi to the proceedings is a fun little novelty and will lead to a few fun hijinx, but it feels like a bump in the road for the Young Bucks/Acclaimed program.  Prediction: Scissor Ace




Hechicero vs. MJF

Warren: This is as much of an out-of-left-field match as you could imagine. MJF, who is one of AEW’s top guys, against Hechicero, who is not one of CMLL’s. Two entirely different styles, skill sets and presentations, you would assume that this match just won’t work. But I know Max is going to do his best to put on a grappling spectacular to continue on his quest to win back the sickos that he managed piss off over the course of 2023. It’s part of his rehabilitation run to demonstrate that he’s not all flash and blooming onion jokes. That he has the chops to tussle with deep fan favorites like Hechicero and put on a 4+-star match, even if he says he doesn’t care. And the best part is that we know he can do it. Prediction: MJF

Will: When I asked for a Hechicero PPV match, I should have noticed the curling of the monkey’s paw. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to see my new favorite luchador get a big spot like this and against somebody he can have a fun match with, but I’m doing all I can to keep my expectations low. This is a tune-up match on a PPV for MJF en route to bigger things, so I just hope the Alchemist ties him in knots before doing the honors. Prediction: MJF

Owen Hart Foundation 2024 Men’s Tournament Quarter Final Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Shingo Takagi

Warren: Danielson continues down his alleged path to retirement by firing up a rematch to a beloved DGUSA match from fourteen years ago. Both he and Shingo are older, wiser, and in many ways better. This is without question a match that has the potential to be MOTN (maybe even Y?). Danielson’s path to winning the big one in AEW via the Owen is the story here, and the longer he stays in the tournament, the more intrigue remains for the main event scene at Wembley, so a win seems inevitable. Besides, Shingo has to go prepare for the G1. Prediction: Bryan Danielson

Will: I couldn’t help but laugh when, on commentary weeks ago, Bryan nervously chuckled that he and his historically ailing neck may be in trouble when taking on Shingo Takagi. I’m certainly looking forward to these two locking it up and knocking the crap out of each other and I imagine Danielson will be a bit more of a factor in the Owen moving forward. Cheers, Shingo, time to give respect to your American Dragon counterpart. Prediction: Bryan Danielson

Orange Cassidy vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Warren: Think about how, two years ago, comedy wrestler Orange Cassidy was slotted in a Forbidden Door match with Will Ospreay and how the popular consensus was that he couldn’t hang. Two years later, he’s about to wrestle one of the best technicians in the world and everyone nods in approval. It’s incredible how the perception of Cassidy has changed, despite still meandering in the midcard, and despite an elevation that fell apart. In my humble purview, Zack is on the cusp of finally cracking through the glass ceiling to enter the main event scene in NJPW, so I do not foresee him losing this match. Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr.

Will: Orange Cassidy seems to be back into his familiar holding pattern after a less-than-stellar (in my opinion) feud with Trent and is exactly the utility player you put against the traveling man, Zack Sabre Jr.  The styles clash here will be very interesting to see, as ZSJ certainly has his own style and OC can seemingly fit any mold he’s put into. It would be nice if this led to something for, really, either of them, but most likely the home promotion boy will get the win here. Prediction: Orange Cassidy

AEW Women’s World Title Match
Toni Storm (w/Luther & Mariah May) (c) vs. Mina Shirakawa (w/Mariah May)

Name: I am very happy that Toni Storm has been toning down the Timeless schtick so she can wrestle to the talent that she has, instead of relying on malarkey with Japanese Deathmatch Butler Luther, or shoe throwing, or whatever other nonsense. The love triangle with Mariah May has, at the very least, made the build to this match compelling, if only because Shirakawa seems just as unhinged as Toni in her love for May. Hope they work some hard, fast-paced joshi style here, on the road to Toni retaining. Prediction: Toni Storm

Will: Another case where the winner is hardly in doubt but there’s at least a bit more meat to this story than to some of the others. Playing into Mariah May’s presumed ascension in the Owen Hart Tournament, her mentor Storm faces her roommate Mina Shirakawa. Toni’s gimmick has gotten in the way of match quality several times by now so I won’t kid myself but I at least hope for a bit more novelty in this match than every other title defense where Toni dusts another debuting woman. Prediction: Toni Storm

Mariah May: A Tormented Soul




AEW TNT Title Ladder Match
Mark Briscoe vs. Konosuke Takeshita vs. Lio Rush vs. Jack Perry vs. Dante Martin vs. El Phantasmo

Warren: I think what I like most about the idea of this match is that there’s a lot of guys who have something to prove: Rush, Martin, Perry and even El Phantasmo… Mark Briscoe’s there to make sure the crowd is happy and Takeshita will do what he does best to command the discourse on Monday, with fans asking “Why aren’t they doing more with him?” as he sets off to spend the summer in Japan. Not a ladder match fan myself, but I can recognize when good elements are put together. Should be fun. Prediction: Jack Perry

Will: Certainly a field of jumpy and soaring young talents, this will be a mess as ladder matches these days usually are. I can’t imagine that the Elite’s Jack Perry doesn’t walk away with the title after this one; as much as people want Takeshita to finally get SOMETHING in AEW (it’s me, I’m people), I figured this spot for Jungle Jack since the moment he was announced. Prediction: Jack Perry

AEW TBS Title / NJPW STRONG Women’s Title Match
Mercedes Mone (c) vs. Stephanie Vaquer ©

Warren: You want to talk about someone making the most out of an opportunity, let’s talk about Stephanie Vaquer. Her match against Mone in May last year created a whole new base of fans in the United States and has sustained buzz for her outside of Mexico the better part of a year. Revisiting the match that put her on the map as an international star is a great full circle moment. Plus, a motivated Mercedes Mone, who has been working hard in all her matches since Double or Nothing, is always a good thing. This should rule. Prediction: Mercedes Moné

Will: Very cool to see this match on the card and my hopes are up for two very impressive wrestlers who are both seemingly in their element these days. Mone had a rocky start but they are beginning to right the ship for her presentation in AEW, while Vaquer has been quietly impressing in every opportunity I’ve seen her in. These two should be a good styles match for one another, in another situation where I can’t imagine Mone doesn’t walk away with two belts. Prediction:Mercedes Mone

IWGP World Heavyweight Title Match
Jon Moxley (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito

Warren: Is this the place where we eulogize Jon Moxley’s reign as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion? Because there’s no way he’s walking out of Long Island with that title. Between underwhelming matches, to questionable challengers, to downright bad booking decisions, you can hardly blame the NJPW faithful for being excited for this reign to be done. Hopefully the “NJPW is AEW’s little brother” discourse will also take a deserved break. Naito’s getting his win back and bringing it home for the G1, baby. Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

Will: On a night of predictable outcomes, this one feels like the most done deal of them all. For as interesting as I found the decision to belt up Moxley with the top prize in NJPW earlier this year, I can’t say that even the presence of a living legend like him was able to do much for a New Japan landscape that feels as ho-hum as it does. None of the matches he had at IWGP Champion hold a candle to his Bloodsport match and the weird way the belt was treated on US television was cause for concern for fans and wrestlers on both sides of the world. Going into G1 season, and with Moxley not announced as competing in the tournament, Naito seems destined once again to regain the belt. Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

AEW World Title Match
Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana) (c) vs. Will Ospreay

Warren: While the main event of the big crossover show is between two guys from the same company (ergo: odd), Strickland vs Ospreay has been the most intriguing and compelling match AEW has set up for its World championship in a while (ergo: good). This intrigue is particularly welcome on a night where the outcomes for many matches are rather predictable (not necessarily a bad thing!). It will keep us guessing until the very end, and knowing how these two men are, they will likely use that to their advantage, too. Forecast calls for a high probability of MOTN/Y with a chance of Don Callis Family ruining the mood. Prediction: Swerve Strickland

Will: In a welcome turn, the outcome of this match feels too close to call. On one hand, Swerve’s title reign has been alternating from mild to medium, in terms of heat, and a title victory for Ospreay would certainly turn heads and catapult a hot star into the stratosphere of AEW. On the other hand, Ospreay (who already holds gold) has been pegged by some as a surefire challenger for AEW’s All In show in Wembley Stadium, so this match could simply be a warm-up to see how crowds take to him in the main event spotlight. I’m sure this will hit for a lot of viewers in the way it’s meant to; personally, I err on the side of getting a bit more out of the Swerve reign before moving on to Ospreay, MJF, or a third thing. Prediction: Swerve Strickland

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