AEW and NJPW have struck a deal and they recently announced last week that they are co-producing a supercard this June, opening a world of possibilities with the Forbidden Door pay-per-view. Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated noted that WWE was interested to join hands with NJPW before AEW did.
NJPW preferred AEW over WWE
It has been noted that the show will be the result of an ongoing collaboration between AEW president and CEO Tony Khan and top New Japan officials, including NJPW president Takami Ohbari.
This relationship has been built steadily over the past three years, with both sides having a chance to communicate on a more consistent basis during the pandemic. AEW President Tony Khan was not the only one seeking to foster a relationship with NJP as WWE president and chief revenue officer Nick Khan also showed interest to NJPW last year as per Sports Illustrated.
“Tony Khan found out about WWE’s interest through his trusted contacts in New Japan, SI learned. New Japan officials stressed to Tony Khan that working with AEW was their priority, especially with the trust they had forged.”
This led to Tony Khan’s promo directed at Nick Khan last May, when he stated there was only room for one Khan in wrestling—and “not some con man from Connecticut.” Per sources, top NJPW officials knew about the promo before it was released—and encouraged him to do it.
“NJPW and AEW will open the ‘Forbidden Door’ together this June, but what lies on the other side is something we will all have to wait to find out,” Ohbari says. “One guarantee: I always say that NJPW’s wrestlers carry the pride and the fight of wild lions. Whomever they fight against, or whomever they even team with, they will carry a fighting spirit that is unmatched and unbeatable.”
Forbidden Door will certainly strengthen the AEW-NJPW partnership as the card is stacked with some thrilling matches. AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door, on June 26 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.