6/25 AEW X NJPW FORBIDDEN DOOR ZERO HOUR REPORT: Radican’s results & analysis of Mogul Embassy vs. El Desperado & CHAOS, United Empire vs. L.I.J

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


JUNE 25, 2023


Announcers: Excalibur, Chris Charlton, and Kevin Kelly

(a) CHAOS (Rocky Romero & Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) & EL DESPERADO vs. MOGUL EMBASSY (Shane Strickland & Brian Cage & Kaun & Toa Liona w/Prince Nana) 

There’s a lot of empty seats in the background. It didn’t take long until they went to a big dive sequence. Beretta hit a moonsault to the floor to cap the sequence. Trent got isolated and worked over by the Mogul Embassy. Cage nailed him with a DVD on the apron at one point. The crowd fired up behind Beretta. He cut off Cage with a half and half suplex. He went for the hot tag, but Gates of Agony cleared the apron and he couldn’t tag out. Trent ducked a charge from Liona in the corner and tagged in Desperado, who ran wild. Chaos gave Desperado their signature hug, which allowed the Mogul Embassy to attack them from behind. 

Strickland accidentally hit Cage and then Cage accidentally hit Strickland with a discus lariat. Strickland took Strong Zero from Trent and Taylor, but the pin got saved. Strickland ended up finishing off Romero with the Swerve Stomp for the win. 

WINNERS: The Mogul Embassy in 12:00. (**¾)

(b) BILLIE STARKZ vs.ROH Women’s Champion ATHENA (non-title) – Owen Hart Tournament First Round match

The winner of this match will face Willow Nightengale in the semi-final round. Athena went for the O-face, but Starkz nailed her with a kick. She hit a death valley Both women exchanged dropkicks. Starkz eventually ducked a moonsault attempt and hit a basement dropkick on Athena for a two count. Starkz went up top, but Athena rolled to the apron. Starkz went for a swanton on the apron, but Athena got out of the way. Athena ended up getting the pin to advance. 

WINNER: Athena in 7:00 to advance to the semi-final round of the Owen Hart Tournament. (**¾)

(Radican’s Analysis: Not much to this one. Athena will face Willow Nightengale in the next round of the Owen Hart Tournament).

A video package aired for the Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada main event.

(c) El PHANTASMO vs. STU GRAYSON (w/The Righteous) 

Grayson cut off ELP as he was jumping around on the ropes. He eventually hit him with a big spinning slam. The announcers talked about how ELP would fare in the upcoming G1 Climax tournament in NJPW. Both men went to a hard chop exchange. They went back and forth and Grayson rolled to avoid ELP and went to the floor only for ELP to immediately nail him with a dive. ELP followed up with a senton and a Lionsault, but Grayson kicked out at two. Both men got nearfalls after big moves off the top. ELP hit a slingshot spinning DDT. He then hit CR2 for the win.

WINNER: ELP in 7:00. (***)

(Radican’s Analysis: They didn’t get a lot of time, but the action was really good, especially the last two minutes.)

A video package aired for the MJF vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi match. 

(d) THE UNITED EMPIRE (TJP & Jeff Cobb Kyle Fletcher) vs. L.I.J. (Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) 7:47

The United Empire jumped L.I.J. once they got into the ring during their entrance and the ref called for the bell. The crowd has filled out for the main event. Takahashi turned the tide on Cobb and nailed him with a sliding dropkick for a two count. He set up for a Timebomb, but he couldn’t get him up. Cobb mounted a comeback. Fletcher and Takagi tagged in to a nice pop and traded bombs in the middle of the ring. Shingo no-sold a dragon suplex and walked right into a superkick. The United Empire all got into the ring to work over Shingo. Cobb hit a spin cycle suplex and TJP nailed him with a splash off the top, but Takahashi made the save. TJP ended up alone in the ring and took a series of moves from LIJ in the corner. Shingo capped the sequence off with a Pumping Bomber. But Cobb made the save. Takahashi and Bushi hit dives to the floor. Takagi ended up alone in the ring with TJP. 

TJP countered Last of the Dragon. Takagi hit a clothesline a short tiem later. Takagi then hit a very nicely delayed Made in Japan as Takahashi and Bushi held Fletcher and Cobb back from making the save for the win. 

WINNERS: L.I.J. in 8:00. (***)

(Radican’s Analysis: Good action from bell-to-bell. Takagi and Fletcher got a big pop from the fans for their big segment in the middle of the match.)

Renee and R.J. City stood on the entrance ramp and talked about the hot Toronto crowd. They then talked about some of the big matches on the main show. They threw to a video package to conclude the pre-show.

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

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