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AEW FORBIDDEN DOOR HITS & MISSES
Yoshi-Hashi and Hirooki Goto Defeated Aaron Solo and QT Marshall – MINOR MISS
Fine pre-show match to build the crowd up. My main complaint is Solo taking the pin. QT Marshall doesn’t need to be protected. He should be taking those falls. A trainer should never prioritize themselves over their students development.
IWGP Title Match Video Segment – MINOR HIT
Simple video package showcasing the styles and personalities of the competitors in one of tonight’s main matches.
Lance Archer Defeated Nick Comoroto – MINOR HIT
Nice little hoss fight to whet the fans appetite. Comoroto looked good here against Archer but the right wrestler won.
Will Ospreay/Orange Cassidy Video Segment – MINOR HIT
Good little segment hyping this match. Excalibur is great in this style role in the way that it can be really fun to listen to football analysts dissecting a matchup. Excalibur breaks down the pros and cons from each guy and why they can win.
Clark Connors Segment – MINOR MISS
Simple promo segment reminding fans Clark Connors is in the All-Atlantic Championship and who that guy is that’ll be taking the pin.
Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland Defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado – MINOR HIT
Good match showcasing some fun diversity of styles. Both teams mixing agility with power came out looking great.
Post Match Angle with Will Hobbs and Ricky Starks – HIT
Good segment reminding fans of the story with both teams. This should be a good match that hopefully doesn’t get relegated to Rampage.
The Ass Boys, Billy Gun and Max Caster Defeated LA Dojo – HIT
Goofy, silly match to hype the crowd up before the main show started. Caster’s rap was hilarious and Danhausen’s video interruption popped the crowd hard.
Minoru Suzuki, Sammy Guevara and Chris Jericho Defeated Eddie Kingston, Shota Umino and Wheeler Yuta – HIT
Excellent opening match for the PPV proper. The crowd was white hot, but especially for Suzuki. It set the stage earlier for the crowd embracing their Atlantic Ocean (as AEW thinks) competitors. Shota looked like an absolute star out there and the crowd was behind him all the way.
Tag Team Triple Threat Match Video Segment – MINOR HIT
I liked this. I like that they’re making each match feel important. When you make your matches and performers seem like a big deal, fans will care.
FTR Defeated United Empire and Roppongi Vice – MAJOR HIT
Outstanding match with each team looking elevated coming out of it. Cobb and Khan were an excellent team and Vice were formidable opponents. The story with FTR was brilliantly done. By the time Dax came back out from what looked like a real injury, the crowd erupted. When Dax got tagged in, they somehow got louder. With this kind of crowd response, it seems like FTR is on a collision course with the Bucks and the AEW Tag Titles.
Juice Robinson/Jay White Segment – MINOR HIT
Quick video segment setting up the story of the belt with the US championship match. Juice and Jay played well off of each other.
Pac Defeated Miro, Malakai Black and Clark Connors – HIT
This was a fantastic match. I expected Conners to take the fall, but I didn’t expect him to rope the crowd in as much or as well as he did. Miro and Malakai were ruthless with their attacks and PAC displayed a ferocity we don’t see often in the ring. PAC winning is a fantastic choice but you have to wonder how much Miro can keep losing before he can’t recover with the fans. Khan will need to be careful with how this and the rest of the titles are booked. Adding balls as a novice juggler can make it easy to overwhelm.
Sting, Darby Allin and Shingo Takagi Defeated Young Bucks and El Phantasmo – HIT
This was weird for me but the crowd seemed to love it. I can see why, with Stings epic introduction and some great spots. This match just felt a little too goofy for my taste. Just a different flavor of match.
Shota Umino/Chris Jericho Segment – MINOR MISS
The dastardly wizard Chris Jericho is back at it again, throwing a fireball in the face of Shota Umino. Jericho should watch his back before he finds dementors on his tail.
Thunder Rosa Defeated Toni Storm – HIT
Great match and good change of pace from the previous matches. This was slow and physical, with less flash. I feel bad because it felt like they were building to a bigger match before a quick and abrupt ending. Five more minutes would’ve made this a dramatically better match. I hope they get to put on that match some time.
Will Ospreay/Orange Cassidy Video Segment – MINOR MISS
Same segment that played during the Buy-in.
Will Ospreay Defeated Orange Cassidy – MAJOR HIT
This was fantastic. If they had showcased this Ospreay in the weeks leading up to the show, they likely could’ve swung a few thousand more PPV buys. Ospreay was a star. More importantly, he played well opposite Cassidy’s early comedy spots to tell a great story that ramped the action up. This was in the early running for best match and it wasn’t even close.
Post Match Angle with Katsuyori Shibata – HIT
Fun little stare down with Shibata and fun moment with Orange Cassidy.
Claudio Castagnoli Defeated Zack Sabre Jr. – HIT
I was admittedly underwhelmed when Claudio walked out, but the crowd popped huge. As the match began and progressed, it was easy to see why. Claudio was in phenomenal shape and performed well opposite Sabre Jr. Castagnoli did appear to look gassed as the match progressed, but not in a way that says he hasn’t wrestled in four months. The win made sense, and will be interesting to see how he figures into the Blood and Guts match on Wednesday.
IWGP World Title Video Segment – MINOR MISS
Same video segment that played during the buy-in.
Jay White Defeated Adam Cole, Hangman Adam Page and Kazuchika Okada – MINOR HIT
This was a phenomenal match that would’ve been incredible if the ending played out properly. Unfortunately all we can do is hope that Cole is not severely hurt. Each wrestler got to showcase why they’re some of the best in the world. The crowd loved each guy. Injury aside it seemed like Cole was always going to take the pin. Tony Khan is so careful with his top guys and who loses and doesn’t. It appears Tony doesn’t consider him (at least right now) in that top guy tier with the loses he’s taken.
Jon Moxley/Hiroshi Tanahashi Video Segment – MINOR MISS
Same video segment that played during the buy-in. It would’ve helped add some weight if they didn’t just copy what they played earlier and stitched in wrestler/celebrity predictions or something.
Jon Moxley Defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi – HIT
Good match that could’ve been great. This felt more like a Cody Rhodes-style match to me, where Moxley gets busted open, simply because he’s Jon Moxley. The action overall was great. Not as flashy as some of the matches before hand but no slouch either. The ending sequence was pretty fun.
Post Match Angle with Daniel Garcia, Chris Jericho and Eddie Kingston – MINOR HIT
Decent little brawl to end the show with a promo for Blood and Guts on Wednesday. Claudio looked great with the run in and clean up.
Overall – HIT
As horrible as the lead up to this show was; as bad as the injuries, nonexistent builds and lack of attempts to enthuse fans was, this was a decent proof of concept to what an inter promotional show like this can be. The crowd showed how powerful this kind of show can be. Now they just need to wait. For health. For story. For build. For patience. Wait for the dream matches to get dreamt up. Wait for the stories to simmer and intensify. Because when the story quality matches the quality of the action, that show will be an all-time great.
CATCH-UP: 6/26 AEW FORBIDDEN DOOR PPV RESULTS: Keller’s detailed report on Moxley vs. Tanahashi, White vs. Cole vs. Hangman vs. Okada, Rosa vs. Storm, Ospreay vs. Cassidy
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