RADICAN’S TAKE – AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door PPV preview series: Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)

Forbidden Door PPV buyrate is in



Note: This is the second installment in a multi-part preview of the AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door PPV that will take place on June 25 in Toronto. The show is available for purchase on Bleacher Report and traditional PPV. 

-You can read my preview of Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson here

KENNY OMEGA vs. WILL OSPREAY – IWGP U.S. Hvt. Championship match

Will Ospreay won a #1 contender’s tournament for the right to face Omega at Forbidden Door. Ospreay beat Lance Archer at NJPW’s Dominion PPV on June 4 and this match was made official for Forbidden Door shortly after.

Will Ospreay was the IWGP U.S. Hvt. Champion heading into NJPW’s biggest PPV of the year, Wrestle Kingdom, on Jan. 4. There were years of anticipation leading into that match, as neither man had faced each other in a singles match since they wrestled each other at PWG’s All Star Weekend 11 in 2015.

Ospreay has come a long way since breaking out of the independent scene in England in 2011 where he was most notably one of the top draws for Progress Wrestling and was known for his high-flying. leading into the match. Ospreay is still known for his high-flying, but he has become one of the best well-rounded performers in NJPW in recent years. Leading into their match at Wrestle Kingdom, Ospreay and Omega engaged in a war of words on Twitter before the match was made official for Wrestle Kingdom.

Ospreay has found himself as a performer during the last couple of years after a rough start where he tried to play the role of a tough guy as the leader of the United Empire faction in NJPW. Ospreay has toned down the aspects of his act that weren’t working and has also become more of a hard-hitting striker in the ring to compliment his high-flying. Ospreay is one of the best in-ring performers in the world right now.

Ospreay and Omega delivered what I consider to be the best match of 2023 to date at Wrestle Kingdom. They had an incredible back and forth match that saw the fans in Japan at The Tokyo Dome cheer both men at times as the match went on. The match saw both men go on big runs, but neither man could put the other way. At one point, Ospreay bled heavily after taking a DDT from Omega.

Ospreay tried to finish off Omega with a Stormbreaker, but he was never able to hit the move during the match. Omega ended up using Kota Ibushi’s Kamigoye finisher and then a One-Winged Angel to beat Ospreay in a match that went nearly 35 minutes.

The TV build saw Ospreay lay out Omega during a brawl on the June 14 edition of Dynamite. A lot of the focus on TV in recent weeks has been built around The Elite’s feud with B.C.C. Ospreay and Omega didn’t appear together on Dynamite this week, but Ospreay did appear in a segment with Don Callis, who is currently managing Konosuke Takeshita. Takeshita attacked Omega at the end of the Anarchy in the Arena match at AEW’s Double of Nothing PPV last month to help B.C.C. beat The Elite.

Callis offered Ospreay the services of his private security at Forbidden Door to help protect him from the rabid fans in Canada. It is clear the way this match is being built that AEW wants to ensure Omega is the clear face in the match and that Ospreay is seen as a heel.

Prediction: Given the build of the match, I would expect Callis’s interference to cost Omega the match and keep the B.C.C. vs. The Elite feud strong going forward. I believe they will have a match that is almost as good as the one they had at Wrestle Kingdom in January, but I would taper my expectations down a bit given that it seems inevitable that Don Callis and Takeshita get involved at some point to help Ospreay win.

Contact Sean at pwtorchsean@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter SR_Torch

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