AEW and New Japan’s first crossover event, Forbidden Door, will be headlined by Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Championship. Moxley has been working in New Japan on a part-time basis since 2019 but never stepped in the ring for a one-on-one match with “The Ace,” even when both were involved in the IWGP United States Championship picture. AEW President Tony Khan explained on Busted Open Radio this week that he deliberately stopped the match from being booked in New Japan in the past, wanting to wait until the right time and place.
“There’s some backstory as to why it never happened. I would never allow it to happen,” Khan said with a laugh. “I’ll make an old WWF reference, Armageddon, Vince (McMahon) came out with the truck to stop the six-way cage match [Hell in a Cell], that’s like me with this match. They tried to do it so many times, Moxley vs. Tanahashi, and I’ve always been there to stop it from happening because it’s such a huge match and we had to be involved if it was going to happen. Lo and behold, at a time when everything changed, CM Punk won the world title, he gets injured, we have to set up a huge match to crown an Interim World Champion. Going back to the relationship between AEW and New Japan, it’s been building towards this and it’s fate. Moxley vs. Tanahashi was a match that was supposed to happen many times and it never happened. Now, it’s the right time and right place. It could have happened a lot of times and heaven knows I stepped in and tried to stop it and now it’s finally happening at the perfect time for AEW and New Japan and all the fans.”
Khan spoke with ComicBook this week and discussed what it has been like booking a co-promoted event with New Japan’s head booker, Gedo. He also confirmed that he’s looking for Forbidden Door to become an annual event, making it AEW’s fifth annual pay-per-view.
“Yeah, I’ve likened it to Crimson Tide where Denzel [Washington] gets a missile key,” Khan said. “So, Gedo and I, generally anything that involves AEW & New Japan, I think we’re both going to have to agree on what the matchup is, and what the ideas are for the show. And in general, that’s what we’ve been doing for over a year now. And it’s worked really well. It started with AEW wrestlers going there and I had some thoughts and ideas about what they should or shouldn’t be doing. And then New Japan started sending wrestlers here later in 2021, and for over a year, the Forbidden Door has gone both ways with wrestlers coming in from both companies and out and working for each other. So it is different when we’re working together like this and it’s been a great collaboration for a long time now with AEW and New Japan, and I like working with Gedo.