Overall, the deal is, the door appears to be firmly propped open. And when I say door, yeah, I’m talking about the forbidden one. This show wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered, but who cares what the doctor asked for. We got a heck of a lot of entertaining action tonight. Ospreay and Cassidy displayed the athleticism expected of a pair of their caliber, and not only that, the match was worth a re-watch. Then there were the fatal 4 ways. Fatal might not be the most ideal descriptive word when it comes to the finish of the match, but Jay White was able to retain the IWGP Championship, in what was an instant classic of a match. Mox and Tanahashi did something special in the main event, and the rest of the show was highlighted by athletic NJPW/AEW action. Oh yeah, Claudio Castagnoli isn’t just in the Blackpool Combat Club, he’s All Elite, and he’s undefeated.
The Collaboration of the Summer is here, AEW and NJPW doing a supercard recognized as the Forbidden Door. Plenty of championships on the line, like the IWGP United States Championship, Tag Team championships, World Heavyweight Championship, the ROH World tag team championships and the AEW Women’s World championships, the debuting All-Atlantic Championship and the AEW Interim World Championships.
The Buy In
The Factory, Aaron Solo and QT Marshall Vs Bishamon, Yoshi-Hashi and Hirooki Goto:
Results: Bishamon by Pinfall via Assisted GTR
Nick Comoroto Vs Lance Archer:
Results: Lance Archer by Pinfall Via Blackout
Swerve In Our Glory, Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland Vs Suzuki-Gun, El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru:
Results: Keith Lee by Pinfall via Ground Zero
Max Caster and The Gunn Club, Billy, Colten and Austin Gunn Vs NJPW LA Dojo, The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin and Yuya Ueruma:
Results: Max Caster by Pinfall via Frog Splash
AMAZING Minoru Suzuki and Le Sex Gods, Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara Vs Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta and Shota Umino: M1 Crowd is hot for the opening match, serenading Jericho and Minrou Suzuki with their respective themes. Eddie Kingston gets a great pop himself. Yuta and Jericho start it off with Yuta getting too many Germans on him. All six men get into a brawl with everyone brawling on separate sides of the ring. Jericho throws Yuta in the ring and gets a tag on Sammy. Union gets the tag before getting worked on by Jericho. Shota fights back. Suzuki and Kingston get to trade a massive amount of chops, Eddie getting the kobayashi chops with Suzuki no selling them. Jericho and Suzuki take control of Kingston in the ring. The heels all get submissions locked in on the ring. Sammy gets caught with an exploder before tagging in Shota. The exchange of spots takes place on the outside before Suzuki teases it without getting out of the ring. Kingston almost gets the submission before all men trade big shots. Jericho almost gets the win with a codebreaker to Shota. Shota gets a near fall after an avalanche power slam. Shota gets hit with the bat before dodging the Judas effect. Shota gets a tremendous pop by getting the walls of Jericho on Jericho himself. Jericho gets the Judas effect on Shota for the win, winning the advantage for blood and guts. (Summary by Coby)
Results: Team Jericho by Pinfall via Judas Effect.
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
GOOD FTR, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler Vs Roppongi Vice, Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero Vs United Empire, Great O’Khan and Jeff Cobb – Winner Takes All – IWGP Tag Team Championships and Ring Of Honor Tag Team Championships: Trent touches the IWGP Tag Team Heavyweight championship belt and that tells me they’re in trouble. The match starts quickly with FTR using teamwork to establish dominance over both members of Roppongi Vice. Rocky Romero makes a swift comeback though but Great O’Khan is brought in. Dax Harwood bails with an apparent injury. All the competitors come into the match as it wears on, and no team has a clear advantage. After a ton of action, Dax Harwood is back with a taped shoulder. He re-enters the match to a thunderous ovation, and he’s immediately brought back in the match with a hot tag. The spots are huge, but it seems they’ve had to work hard around an injury to Dax Harwood. Somehow, they are able to hit the Big Rigg, but my initial reaction is, “This couldn’t have been the plan all along.” (Summary by Clark)
Results: FTR by Pinfall via Big Rigg
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 3.00 Stars
GOOD PAC Vs Malakai Black Vs Miro Vs Clark Connors – AEW All-Atlantic Championship: PAC quickly goes after Malakai, taking him out of the ring. PAC and Black brawl on the outside with Micro and Connors going at it. Malakai in the ring gets a step up kick to PAC as PAC is on the turnbuckle. Once Miro gets in the ring, black and him trade shots before Malakai moonsault onto him. Miro gets a springboarding PAC. Miro works on Clark in the ring, with the crowd taking a bit of a break. Miro and Malakai beat down on PAC before they start to prepare to brawl with each other. Miro continues to control the action in the ring before PAC gets a running moonsault to the outside on Black. Malakai has control before going to the outside and grabbing a table on the outside of the ring. Clark Connors was able to get a great pop by spearing Miro through the table. Clark got a hot tag like sequence getting a near fall on PAC. Malakai stops the black arrow before Miro gets a tower of doom. Miro has the game over on Pac before Black mists Miro. Malakai has an armbar on Clark before PAC gets the black arrow on them. Pac uses the brutalizer to get the win. Pac is serenaded with you deserve it. (Summary by Coby)
Results: PAC by submission via Brutalizer.
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
AVERAGE Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson and El Phantasmo with Hikuleo Vs Dudes With Attitudes, Shingo Takagi, Sting and Darby Allin: Sting is consecutive by his absence during the entrancing, as the opposing team enters however, Sting jumps off the top of the entrance stage. The match starts and it’s back and forth between both teams. Sting shows respect to El Phantasmo as he exits the ring. The Bucks play a large role in the outcome in this one and Darby is in trouble for much of the length of the contest. After a wild contest, Shingo Takagi is able to pick up the victory with the Last Of The Dragon. This was easily the least entertaining match that I’ve seen since the Young Bucks have been with AEW. (Summary by Clark)
Results: Shingo Takagi by Pinfall via Last Of The Dragon
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 2.25 Stars
ABOVE AVERAGE Toni Storm Vs Thunder Rosa – AEW Women’s World Championship: M5 Both girls lock up first with dueling chants. Toni Storm takes control of the wrist before a second stalemate. A waist lock by Rosa before Toni gets control of the wrist again. A sequence of roll ups engages before Rosa gets a trio of chops to Toni’s chest. Toni gets a snap suplex for a one count. Rosa gets a cradle for a one count before both trade slaps, forearms and chops. Rosa takes control with a jumping stunner before getting a series of stomps. Rosa works on Toni’s ankle before a rope break stops her. Toni throws Rosa out of the ring and goes for the tornado ddt but is caught with a northern lights suplex. Toni shoulder blocks Rosa off the apron before Rosa stops the dive, Toni reverses a Death Valley driver attempt and gets a German on the apron with the tornado ddt. Toni Storm Signals and gets the hip attack before getting a second tornado ddt with a near fall. Rosa counters Toni getting a double knee face breaker before getting a running knee and Death Valley driver. Rosa gets the fire thunder driver for a near fall. Rosa continues to go psychotic as she kicks Toni’s back. Toni gets a German suplex before failing to get the spike piledriver. Rosa gets the counter before hitting the final reckoning in honour of Dustin Rhodes. (Summary by Coby)
Results: Thunder Rosa by Pinfall via Final Reckoning.
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 2.75 Stars
AMAZING Will Ospreay Vs Orange Cassidy – IWGP United States Championship: Orange and Ospreay start the match with a wildly athletic back and forth ending with Cassidy’s signature thumbs up. Ospreay takes over after the initial exchange and the crowd reacts in kind. The athleticism is more than off the charts in this one, both men truly go. It’s hard to go play by play because of the speed, but at about the halfway point in the match the offensive output is nearly equal. They trade shotgun dropkicks as we start to find the deep waters of this match. And Cassidy is throwing lazy shins at Ospreay but he follows with a super-kick and then even more kicks to the chin. Cassidy evades an OS-Cutter, and connects with a stundog-millionaire. He follows with a michinoku driver for a near fall. They head to the corner and Cassidy connects with a tornado DDT, followed by a dive on both members of Aussie Open. He then hits a huge spike DDT off the top rope, but Ospreay recovers quick enough to catch a Spanish Fly. They fight it out on the top turnbuckle, and Cassidy slams Will’s head off of the corner camera. Orange even connects with a Beach Break and it is still not enough. Ospreay catches fire again himself and hits an OS-Cutter but even that is not enough. Cassidy avoids the Hidden Blade on the first try, but on the second time it drills him. Even that isn’t enough. He hits the Storm Breaker and that is finally it. Will Ospreay retains in what turned out to be an outstanding match. Aussie Open and Will attack Orange Cassidy after the fact, and they try to attempt to embarrass the loser of the match. He is nearly saved by Roppongi Vice, but they aren’t enough. Then Shibata makes the save, he zeroes in on Will Ospreay and gets the best of the exchange. Is Shibata back? He’s at least back enough to attack Ospreay, that’s all I know.
Results: Will Ospreay By Pinfall via Storm Breaker
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 4.25 Stars
GREAT Zack Sabre Jr Vs Brian Danielson’s Replacement and the newest Blackpool Combat Club member, Claudio Castagnoli: The Pop is real for the Blackpool Swissman. Claudio almost got the running uppercut and the neutralizer. Tides turned with Claudio uppercutted the barricade. Zack was able to have control of Claudio for a good while, using the technical aspect of his style. Zack had a triangle and was taken out of the ring but kept it on. Claudio was able to walk up the stairs and powerbomb him into the ring. Claudio went for a swing before being put in a guillotine choke. Claudio counters and puts Zack on the top rope before being locked in an octopus hold. Claudio escapes and uppercuts him, soon the uppercut train commences. Claudio has a short running swing before locking the sharpshooter but Zack quickly countered and locked in a heel hook. Claudio counters the heel hook into the sharpshooter in a nice counter. Both men get this is wrestling chants as Zack challenges Claudio, before getting uppercutted nearly out of the ring. Claudio taunted him in return before Zack used the Brian kicks. Claudio gets a discus clothesline and a Ricola bomb for the win. He bows to the crowd. (Summary by Coby)
Results: Claudio Castagnoli by Pinfall via Ricola Bomb.
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 3.50 Stars
AMAZING Jay White Vs Kazuchika Okada Vs Hangman Adam Page Vs Adam Cole – IWGP Heavyweight Championship: The crowd doesn’t have a clear favorite to start the match, but it doesn’t get much hotter than this. They start with Okada and Hangman levying some tandem offense against the champion Jay White and Adam Cole. While they don’t agree right away, Hangman spills to the outside, and Cole is able to team with White to tandem suplex Page on the ramp. Cole hits Okada with a neckbreaker in the ring, and he teams with Jay White once again, but only temporarily. This isn’t exactly a match that lends to friendships. As Hangman re-inserts himself into the action the ring is cleared and it’s only him and Adam Cole in the ring. Page gets the best of the exchange but then once Jay White returns the momentum flips back to the heels. Okada is in the ring now and he manages to work both Cole and White out of the ring and toward the barricade. The action spills to the outside and is briefly dominated by Okada, but when they return to the ring Jay White lands a series of german suplexes to regain control himself. All four exchange finishing maneuvers and they’re all down. They all rise to their feet and trade forearms in the center of the ring. Okada and Page initially get the better of the exchange. Cole and White fight back, and then for the first time in the match they exchange shots between each other. This allows enough time for Hangman to recover and he connects with the Buckshot Lariat on Jay White. Okada dives in to break up the pinfall but that may have extended it in not only his favor but that of Jay white and Adam Cole as well. Hangman and Okada stare each other down in the center of the ring and they exchange forearms in the center of the ring. The Forearms turn to uppercuts and then a grappling exchange ensues. Neither is able to get the best of the other, and Adam Cole re-inserts himself into the action. Cole moves Page to the outside, but he is now in Okada’s wheelhouse and he is hit with a massive elbow drop. The Rainmaker hits his own “Rainmaker” on Cole, and he’s now down in the corner. Jay White hits Okada with the Blade Runner and then pins the prone Adam Cole for the victory. What a fatal 4 way that was, but not exactly the finish we expected. (Summary by Clark)
Results: Jay White Retains by Pinfall via Okada’s Rainmaker
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 4.25 Stars
AMAZING Jon Moxley Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – AEW Interim World Championship Match: It is main event time, Jon Moxley is in the building. He enters with a massive pop from the crowd, accompanied by his traditional “Wild Thing,” theme. Tanahashi enters second and the pop is nearly on the same level. This building is borderline split pre match. As the bell rings, Tanahashi is able to gain the early advantage over Moxley. He works a chin lock in the early stages of the match, but Mox is able to send him to the corner. Moxley follows with a forearm but Tanahashi is game, he opens up the can offensively himself and decides to trade strikes with the larger american. Tanahashi gets the better of the exchange with two dragon screw takedowns in succession. He now targets the left knee of Jon Moxley and this is a very Dean Malenko-esque strategy employed by Tanahashi. Moxley spikes Tanahashi with a piledriver, and the crowd in Chicago is firmly behind Moxley at this point. Jon employs the signature stomps that his Blackpool Combat Club comrade Bryan Danielson made famous. But as he tries to tie up the cloverleaf, Tanahashi has it scouted and knows how to get to the ropes. As he does, Moxley adjusts into an STF but even then, The Ace is too close to the ropes and the hold is broken. Tanahashi is thrown over the ropes after a missed slingblade attempt, but the veteran skins the cat like he was born to do. Moxley throws him not only off the guard rail, but through the ringside bell table. Tanahashi is down for a long time and they finally make it back to the ring where Moxley is waiting for him. He connects with some kicks to the chest but it appears Tanahashi is only getting more fired up. Tanahashi makes it to his feet but Moxley is able to lock him in a cross arm breaker. Moxley is now cut open though, and sent to the outside where Tanahshi connects with a flying frog splash off the top rope. Mox tries a Paradigm Shift but its blocked and Tanahashi connects with Twist and Shout while maintaining the grip. Jon reverses and drills Tanahashi with Paradigm Shift for a near fall. Tanahashi recovers in time to hit the Ace’s High and he nearly wins it himself, but boy does he get caught in a bulldog choke for the ages. It nearly finishes the match but Tanahashi fights out multiple times. Finally it leads to a striking exchange that Jon Moxley gets the best of. But you really thought that might be enough? No, but Jon Moxkley does lock up a Rear Naked Choke. The hooks are in and the choke is in deep, The Ace is a warrior however and he fights out of it. Moxley is somehow able to turn him over for a Deathrider, and that is the finish. The Blue Eyed Battler stands tall to end the show, if you can call it that, he ends the show pointing to Tanahashi, and then shaking his hand. He still has it, so does Tanahashi. The Jericho Appreciation Society runs down on Moxley and Tanahashi, and they are quickly followed by the crew from both sides of Blood and Guts. Claudio Castagnoli is the highlight of the finish to the show, it will be him and the Blackpool Combat Club, against the Jericho Appreciation Society. (Summary by Clark)
Results: Jon Moxley by Pinfall via Death Rider
Clark Taylor and Coby Galenzoski WR Star Rating – 4.00 Stars
Overall, the deal is, the door appears to be firmly propped open. And when I say door, yeah, I’m talking about the forbidden one. This show wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered, but who cares what the doctor asked for. We got a heck of a lot of entertaining action tonight. Ospreay and Cassidy displayed the athleticism expected of a pair of their caliber, and not only that, the match was worth a re-watch. Then there were the fatal 4 ways. Fatal might not be the most ideal descriptive word when it comes to the finish of the match, but Jay White was able to retain the IWGP Championship, in what was an instant classic of a match. Mox and Tanahashi did something special in the main event, and the rest of the show was highlighted by athletic NJPW/AEW action. Oh yeah, Claudio Castognoli isn’t just in the Blackpool Combat Club, he’s All Elite, and he’s undefeated.
Matches: 0.75/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere…: 1/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.75/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 1/1 Stars
Overall Rating. 4.25/5 Stars
Photo Credit: (AEW/The Sportster) For inquiries about the rating criteria check out the article announcing the new system here: