Forbidden Door (Order Now) is just days away and the event has rapidly turned into one the most loaded of the year! On the NJPW event on June 21st, Tomohiro Ishii became the third man to qualify for the All-Atlantic Championship Four Way, joining PAC and Miro in the field, while fans also learned that the AEW Women’s Title, both the ROH and IWGP Tag Titles, and the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title will be on the line this Sunday!
On top of that, last week also brought Jade Cargill continuing her undefeated streak in a TBS Championship defense against a game Willow Nightingale and The Young Bucks becoming 2-time AEW World Tag Team Champions while Christian Cage decimated Jungle Boy in the aftermath. Plus, Sting returned on Rampage, Wardlow defeated twenty foes, Moxley and Dante Martin had a tremendous bout, and Sammy Guevara reunited with Chris Jericho!
All of that has led AEW to this Wednesday night in Milwaukee, WI (Buy Tickets) at the UW-Panther Arena for Dynamite! We will find out the last man to join the All-Atlantic Championship match when Penta and Malakai go to battle, CHAOS and The United Empire will meet in Trios action ahead of this Sunday’s pay-per-view, and the JAS/Suzuki-Gun alliance will go to battle with the strange bedfellows of Tanahashi and Moxley!
It’s the final Dynamite before we open the Forbidden Door (Order Now) and it comes to you live on TBS starting at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT, and at AEWPlus.com for the international audience! With so much going on, make sure to visit the official AEW YouTube page to catch up on last week’s Dynamite and Rampage highlights, as well as the latest editions of Dark: Elevation, Dark, Road To, and The Control Center with Tony Schiavone!
TAG TEAM GRUDGE MATCH…
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jon Moxley vs. Chris Jericho & “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer
What a tag team fight this is shaping up to be! On one side we’ve got the men who will fight at Forbidden Door on Sunday to earn the AEW Interim World Championship and on the other we’ve got two unlikely allies with mutual enemies. Never before have any of these men united, but there are so many threads binding them all together that run back over a decade to the first meeting between Tanahashi and Lance Archer in the 2011 G1 Climax Tournament.
Well before AEW existed, well before Jon Moxley assaulted Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega at the first Double or Nothing, Lance Archer was fighting on New Japan events as part of the Suzuki-Gun stable alongside its kingpin, as well as the legendary Yoshihiro Takayama, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, and Davey Boy Smith Jr, to name a few. During those years, Archer would battle “The Ace of New Japan” in multiple G1 and World Tag League tournaments, and they would fight in multiple multi-man tag matches. Their last meeting actually took place in the United States as part of the NJPW Resurgence event in Los Angeles on 8/14/21, and that night Tanahashi brought an end to Archer’s second IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title reign after just twenty-four days.
Jericho and Tanahashi share their own history, having faced each other at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in 2020, in a match were “Le Champion” actually ended up victorious via submission. That bout would turn out to be Jericho’s last under the NJPW banner as a result of the global pandemic and the travel restrictions that came along with it.
The history between Jericho and Moxley, well that is rich and runs well beyond their ties within All Elite Wrestling. They fought for the first time back in 2013, and have battled under all sorts of match situations, but what is most important to each man’s career is what has happened since May 2019. Moxley declared his arrival in AEW at the expense of Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega, and once the AEW World Title found its first home around the waist of Jericho, it felt like the two men were destined for a collision sooner rather than later. On the way there, Jericho tried to bribe Mox into joining The Inner Circle and, when that failed, tried to blind his challenger, leaving Moxley to compete with an eye patch for weeks on end. It all came to a head at Revolution 2020, almost two months after Jericho’s victory over Tanahashi, when Jon Moxley dethroned “Le Champion” as AEW World Champion, a position he would hold for 277 days and, to this day, remains as the most successful champion with nine defenses to his name. After that night in Chicago, the two men would never stand as foes again, not until The J.A.S became embroiled with The Blackpool Combat Club as a result of Mox’s relationship with Eddie Kingston.
As for Moxley and Lance Archer, they’ve fought over the IWGP U.S. Title as well as the AEW World Title, with the former Mox first dethroned “The Murderhawk Monster” in 2020 in a Texas Death Match at Wrestle Kingdom 14 while Archer would return the favor in a Texas Death Rematch on July 21, 2021 at Fyter Fest 2021: Night 2. In addition to those title fights, Archer was also one of the men who fell to Mox during his AEW World Title reign in 2020, and they would even find themselves on the same sides of a battle when KENTA came to AEW in 2021 looking for Moxley’s AEW United States Heavyweight Title, and again because of their mutual issue with Eddie Kingston at the time. It was not a partnership that would ever last, one strictly based on the convenience of shared foes, and in the second half of 2021, Mox and Archer would end up trying to maim each other once again. First it was the aforementioned 7/21/21, then it was a Lights Out Tag Team battle pitting Mox and Kingston against the Suzuki-Gun tandem of Archer and Minoru Suzuki won by Mox and Eddie, and finally a Philadelphia Street Fight for NJPW Strong won by the Suzuki-Gun duo. There’s is a history of violence, while the history of Mox and Tanahashi was one of missed opportunities.
As mentioned since Mox versus Tanahashi became the AEW Interim World Title match, there’s is a fight that has been brewing essentially since the moment Moxley first arrived in New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was a bout both men talked about, one that seemed destined to never happen as a result of pandemic-related travel restrictions, and when it finally seemed it may come to fruition at NJPW’s Capital Collision event in Washington, D.C. several weeks ago, the United States Heavyweight Title fight became a Four Way contest that included Jay White and Will Ospreay. Although the match would see Moxley and Tanahashi finally engage in some physicality, it was not the same as getting their long-anticipated head-to-head collision.
Even when Tanahashi walked onto the AEW stage on the Dynamite after Double or Nothing 2022, it was not to finally stand in opposition to Jon Moxley, it was to face off with AEW World Champion CM Punk. Yet here we finally are, as a result of an unfortunate injury that robbed fans of one dream match, finally on the cusp of another dream match coming to fruition on Sunday night. All Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi have to do is survive all these disparate threads coming together on Wednesday night and be able to get along with one another long enough to defeat the formidable Jericho/Archer tandem. This tag team grudge match could very well shape both the AEW Interim World Title fight as well as the Trios bout pitting The J.A.S/Suzuki-Gun contingent against Kingston, Yuta, and Moxley’s old NJPW buddy.
There’s a whole lot on the line with this tag bout going down just days before the pay-per-view extravaganza; which team will get the victory? For that matter, which man will score the decisive fall? Could it all effect what comes after Sunday night? Do not miss out on all the action with this final Dynamite before AEW and NJPW present Forbidden Door!
ALL-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH QUALIFIER…
Malakai Black vs. Penta Oscuro
Utter frustration; that has to be a feeling creeping around Penta Oscuro when it comes to The House of Black. Four times they have been in the ring as foes in 2022, and three of those matches have ended with The House dominant. Expand that it into 2021, then the record becomes four out of five matches that have gone in favor of the HoB team, and that says nothing of all of the ways Malakai’s ilk have found to stay one step ahead of Death Triangle at every turn.
Penta El Zero Miedo’s transformation into Penta Oscuro gave D.T. an immediate edge, but The House rapidly compensated, adjusted, and have continued to be the dominant force in this rivalry. The same can be said for Rey Fenix’s return to action prior to Double or Nothing 2022, it shook The HoB up initially but they rapidly recovered and found their way to win that night in Las Vegas.
Now, with Julia Hart firmly entrenched in The House, Malakai’s forces are stronger than ever before as he and Penta Oscuro head into this first-ever singles bout as part of the All-Atlantic Championship Qualifiers. PAC, Miro, and Tomohiro Ishii have already earned their spot in the Four Way at Forbidden Door and now it is time for the final man to solidify is pay-per-view position! We know that wherever Malakai goes, The House of Black follows, and that where Penta walks, Death Triangle will have his back, will this fight stay a one-on-one battle or will the animosity between the two factions create chaos as it has so many times before?
CHAOS (Orange Cassidy. Rocky Romero, & Trent Beretta)
The United Empire (Kyle Fletcher, Mark Davis, & IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay)
On the whole, The United Empire has been wildly successful in recent weeks. Despite the loss to FTR and Trent Beretta several weeks back, Will Ospreay’s unit has done remarkably well on their home turf. Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan claimed the IWGP Tag Titles for the group at Dominion 2022, that same night Ospreay captured the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title, and just a few days ago, TJP and Francesco Akira took the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles for The UE. Plus Aussie Open (Fletcher and Davis) are part of the NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament alongside AEW competitors like The Factory’s Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto, The Dark Order team of Alan Angels and Evil Uno, and Christopher Daniels.
On the other side of the ring, Orange Cassidy has been out of action since Revolution 2022 recovering from injury, while the Roppongi Vice duo were among those frustrated by The United Empire when they crashed the ROH World Tag Title match several weeks ago. While both Roppongi Vice and FTR are primed to tackle Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb on Sunday night in the Winner Take All Tag Title Match, this is also Roppongi Vice’s chance to send United Empire a message, as well as Cassidy’s opportunity to take the measure of Ospreay. That being said, it’s also Will’s chance to gauge where OC is at after “Freshly Squeezed” has been on the shelf for nearly four months. This is a big time match to step back into for Cassidy, even more so on Sunday night when the IWGP U.S. Title is on the line, so we shall all see how OC slides back into action against this world class competition!
“The Problem” Marina Shafir vs. Toni Storm
Toni Storm has a date with Thunder Rosa at Forbidden Door, a date with the AEW Women’s World Title at stake, but before she can get to Chicago, the challenger has to solve a big problem. After Shafir’s unsuccessful challenge for Rosa’s championship, “The Problem” showed no remorse when she attacked the victorious champion, and who knows what would’ve happened if Toni Storm hadn’t arrived to chase Shafir off.
Now, just days away from Storm’s championship challenge, the two women will collide on Dynamite with revenge on the mind. Will Shafir live up to her moniker and be a problem Storm can’t solve? Or will Toni use this match to continue building momentum for her championship challenge on Sunday night?
WHY, CHRISTIAN, WHY?
Following their AEW World Tag Team Title Ladder Match loss to The Young Bucks last week, it seemed as if Christian Cage would be there to console Jungle Boy just as he had been following JB’s previous losses in The Owen Hart and that FTW Title bout with Ricky Starks.
Instead, following a hug from his perceived mentor, Jungle Boy would find himself driven skull first into the canvas via Christian Cage’s signature Killswitch maneuver. With Luchasaurus in no condition to assist his partner after falling off a ladder and crashing through two tables, Christian would then deliver another of his signatures, the One Man Conchairto, when he ruthlessly smashing a steel chair across his fallen protege’s head.
Christian Cage would exchange some harsh words with Jungle Boy’s family sitting at ringside before he left the ring, and leaving fans worldwide questioning just why Christian turned his back on the men he’d spent so much time mentoring, and not just mentoring, but also fighting by their side as with Full Gear 2021.
This Wednesday night on Dynamite we will hear from Christian Cage regarding his actions last week, but is there anything he can say that could possibly justify those actions?
RETURN OF THE DRAGON?
“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson has been absent from AEW ever since Double or Nothing 2022 and the chaos that was Anarchy in the Arena. In his absence, the challenge was made for The Jericho Appreciation Society to fight Eddie Kingston, and anyone who would join him, inside the Blood & Guts cage in Detroit on June 28th (INSERT DETROIT LINK). On top of that, with the Forbidden Door PPV coming together, Danielson had a challenge thrown at him by Suzuki-Gun’s Zack Sabre Jr to face off in a match that fans have been salivating to see for quite some time.
On Wednesday night, Danielson makes his return to AEW, and we expect to hear from The Blackpool Combat Club member in regards to both of these events. Will we see Danielson compete in Chicago this Sunday night? Will he step into Blood & Guts next week at the Little Caesar’s Arena Tune into Dynamite on TBS to find out what “The American Dragon” has to say about his immediate future!
AEW comes back to Milwaukee this Wednesday night with the final Dynamite before AEW and New Japan collide on pay-per-view! The action begins LIVE on TBS at 8pm EDT/7pm CDT, and at AEWPlus.com for the international audiences, as all eyes turns towards Forbidden Door (Order Now) this Sunday night. Who will be the final member of the All-Atlantic Championship match? Which competitors will head into Chicago with momentum on their side and who will be frustrated in their endeavors? Tune in Wednesday to watch unfold but also, before the action begins, head over to the official AEW YouTube channel to catch up on last week’s action via Dynamite and Rampage highlights as well as the latest editions of AEW Dark: Elevation, AEW Dark, the Control Center and Road To episodes!