RADICAN’S TAKE – AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door PPV preview series: IWGP World Hvt. Champion Sanada vs. Jungleboy Jack Perry

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


Note: This is the third 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

-You can read my preview of IWGP U.S. Hvt. Champion Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay here

IWGP World Hvt. Champion Sanada vs. Jack Perry

Sanada issued an open challenge for his IWGP World Hvt. Championship via a video package that aired on the June 14 edition of Dynamite. Jungleboy Jack Perry later accepted Sanada’s open challenge on the same show during a backstage interview with Renee. Hook also appeared in the segment and will likely be in Perry’s corner for the match. 

Perry took the pin in the Four Pillars match at Double or Nothing when AEW World Champion MJF retained. There’s been some potential foreshadowing of a heel turn down the road from Perry. He had the opportunity to use the title belt during the Four Pillars match on Darby Allin, but he threw the belt down. 

Another thing to consider about Perry’s character is he didn’t let Hook talk when he accepted Sanada’s challenge for the IWGP World Hvt. Championship, which perhaps could develop into something either during this match or down the road if Perry and Hook are involved in the blind Eliminator Tournament. 

Sanada has totally reinvented himself since the NJPW Cup in March. He left L.I.J. and joined the Just 5 Guys faction. Sanada beat Okada at Sakura Genesis to capture the NJPW World Hvt. Championship in April and since then he’s proven himself to be capable of filling the main event slot as NJPW Champion. He also has introduced a new finish called Deadfall to finish his opponents. 

Sanada put on an incredible performance against wildcard challenger Yota Tsuji at NJPW’s second biggest PPV, Dominion 2023, earlier this month. Tsuji attacked Sanada after he won the title signaling his return from an excursion in Mexico. Sanada showed great intelligence during his match against Tsuji in the main event and was able to beat him despite knowing very little about what he was going to bring to the ring. 

Perry faced Sanada’s stablemate, Douki, on Rampage last night and beat him with Sanada’s signature Skull End submission. It was a nice shot across the bow from Perry leading into their match at Forbidden Door. The show ended with a nice shot of both men going face-to-face after Sanada made his way to the ring following Perry’s victory. 

Prediction: I think there are a lot of factors in play here for Perry, but I don’t see any of them leading to him winning the IWGP World Hvt. Championship. Perry very much felt like a lame duck challenger given the build for the match, but Perry’s win over Douki with the Skull End and post match staredown with Sanada added some intrigue to the match. 

Sanada is going to win, but I wonder if Perry isn’t going to be starting a heel turn at some point in the future. It will be interesting to see if another moment of self doubt occurs when Perry has the chance to use a weapon against Sanada during the match. Another thing that could occur is more seeds are planted to set up a rift between Perry and Hook ahead of the Blind Eliminator Tournament. 

I think this match will be really good. Perry is a good performer, but something seems to be holding him back from taking the next step up the ladder in AEW. I believe this match will deliver in the ring and perhaps the way it plays out could play a part in an eventual heel turn for Perry down the road. 

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


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