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Forbidden Door II - 6/25/2023


The Natural

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Bryan Danielson doing a Cowboy Bob Orton tribute could actually be amazing.

Then when the cast comes off he should go full Heel Luger; "I had an adamantium bone put in. Secured it with vibranium screws. Then I had the witch mother of the Arizona Earth clan cast an all vegan spirit bonding spell to fuse the tendons with the strength of Gaia itself..."

Then he can run around just clubbing people with Misawa style elbow/forearm smashes.

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I think AEW posted Bryan Danielson's full The Final Countdown entrance on Twitter. Please could someone do me a solid and post it here? Looking for/posting Twitter is a nightmare on the tablet. Thanks in advance!

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Considering the Cerebral Palsy, I'm really lucky to not have broken anything major, just some fingers and toes. My late great Mum broke her elbow, my Dad broke his wrist, his first ever break at 59. What was supposed to be a 30 minute operation took two and a half hours. My Sister broke the same arm three times.

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MJF vs Tanahashi: Worlds better than the Swerve match. Swerve is just a difficult opponent to work, I think. All of his stuff is so askew and stylized. He has the personality to make almost anything work but then you have to deal with his offense and that was the problem as much as anything else. Meanwhile, Max is much better at working a far simpler match. This was as simple and straightforward as could be. There were some big spots, but they were big 1989 spot, not big 2023 spots. Every trick in the book. Basically, this played into Tanahashi's current strengths instead of his old strengths and it was like the best possible 1990 Flair vs JYD match. Honestly, this was a more impressive MJF match to me than the 4 way. I get the idea that Tanahashi might have tried harder in this match and agree that they should have hid him in a tag on Collision but so much of what made this work was the layout and the opponent, not Tanahashi's level of effort.

Punk vs Kojima: I should write this one up for SC so I'll keep it short. Really enjoyed this. Absolutely enjoyed Kojima working with the crowd and being delighted in his own subdued way. If Tanahashi is JYD, Kojima is an old scrapper coming off the bench with fire still in his heart. Punk had such an amazing peformance of being completely disrespectful from a kayfabe level but respecting him so much as a wrestler, just the way he threw his head back for every shot and was hugely wary of the lariat, etc. Incredibly present match for both wrestlers.

It's going to take me forever to get through this show, guys.

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2 hours ago, The Natural said:

I think AEW posted Bryan Danielson's full The Final Countdown entrance on Twitter. Please could someone do me a solid and post it here? Looking for/posting Twitter is a nightmare on the tablet. Thanks in advance!

That's the only one I could find, I assume its the full one.

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36 minutes ago, Kevin Wilson said:

That's the only one I could find, I assume its the full one.

 

23 minutes ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

The YouTube version is here:

(I like how this one treats Okada's entrance like.... oh and it's him too.) 

Cheers, lads. Appreciate it. I let out such a cheer hearing The Final Countdown for Bryan Danielson again.

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Watched it last night. 

I kinda feel for Tanahashi a little. You can tell his heart is still very much in it, but the body just can't keep up anymore. He definitely still tries his best though. Dude would have every right in the world to coast but you can tell he still cares. 

Kojima on the other hand looked terrific I thought. Seeing as he's done all there is to do in Japan I'd love to see him come work in the states for a year or two. 

Kinda seemed like they were teasing a 3 way between OC, Shibata and ZSJ with all 3 belts on the line, which I think would be cool. 

Jungle Boy vs Sanada was decent. Nice to see Perry finally turn heel. Apparently the japanese press didn't even use his name when promoting the match, calling him variants of "famous actor Luke Perry's son" so hopefully they can use that. I think he'll excel as a heel. I wonder if they'll have him buddy up with Christian and Luchasaurus again at some point. 

I wish TK would get the hint. Every arena they sell out goes berserk when Eddie Kingston comes out. Give the man his flowers already. 10 man was fun, nice to see them give Ishii a win. Is that his first in AEW?

Storm vs Willow was good but predictable. I imagine had she not been injured we would have had Mercedes Mone instead but it's good to see Willow get a spotlight that she definitely deserves. 

Kenny vs Ospreay was exactly what it needed to be. My only gripe would be the ref just kind of shrugging his shoulders and ignoring the fact that Callis came back to ringside. I thought for sure the security guys would get involved somehow and unmask to be 2 familiar faces. Guessing we get the 3rd match at All In, which should be insane with a massive crowd cheering Ospreay. 

Trios match was fun. Suzuki is another guy who I would love to see come work exclusively in the states for a year or two. Smart that they kept the Sting-Jericho interaction to a minimum. I assume a tag match is coming since Sting probably doesn't wanna do a singles at this point. 

Danielson vs Okada was amazing. Hats off to Danielson for continuing after the injury. He had to be in excruciating pain. I could see them running this at All In as well assuming New Japan doesn't have something going on at the same time. 

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Impressed with how well the booking meshed with AEW's current angles in the end. Personally I'd love an All Together style card full of multiman tags where it's wall to wall unique pairings but I appreciate that they would prefer to make money.

There was a comment from Bryan in the media scrum 'from an artist's perspective I think you always have to look at the totality of the show and do what you think is in the best interest for the overall show'. To put my grumpy boots on for a second I felt this wasn't a consideration for the US title match. I was seeing live reactions from people outright stating that they no longer had interest in the 'regular' matches making up the rest of the card after it took place, suggesting stronger desensitisation than your usual tough act to follow. Seems like the third match in the series people were anticipating might not be happening and with that in mind they may have shoehorned bits of a hypothetical match 3 into a spot on the card originally planned as match 2.

I thought that Okada going over was one of those predictable but correct choices to avoid him being just a guy for future shows. The Japanese angle is that the tap out is a big humiliation so that suggests it's going somewhere but if that somewhere happens in Japan then it's not going to help when people are expected to pop for the coin drop on Dynamite for a third time. With the benefit of hindsight regarding the result / greatest wrestler billing / obscene final countdown expenditure, it makes sense for this to have been a big celebration of a now-deteriorating Bryan Danielson facing a New Japan name like he has been wanting to for years. Disappointed that it didn't have the chance to come across that way because of the match limitations and the crowd not being in the best place by that point.

On 6/27/2023 at 2:18 PM, Teflon Turtle said:

Also...for Forbidden Door, AEW or NJPW have chosen to not spotlight many of the guys  who still wrestle a fast pace or who still have a more high-impact style (EDIT: except Ospreay, obviously. Also, I have no idea how Kenny is still pulling out these huge matches at all, after what he got up to in NJPW). Shingo hasn't had a high-profile singles match in AEW. Neither has Hiromu. Pretty much the entirety of the jr. heavyweight division is left off of matches where they can show what they are really capable of. 

+1 Felt like I was the only one who was down on the card when the additional matches was announced, and not surprised some were unimpressed with the guest talent. NJPW is having a great year but this came across as pandering to fans of a past age. Even played outdated entrance music for ELP/Zack/Will as if the last five years were being retconned. Perceived fan demand is probably a factor judging by the amount of big Tanahashi singles matches that I regularly saw being fantasy booked. I once saw the Saudi-esque suggestion for Liger as Sting's mystery partner, though I do kinda like that as an obscure Super Liger reference to tie it to Jericho.

For the uninformed, Tanahashi and Ishii have not been top guys in New Japan for a long while and Kojima/Suzuki are irrelevant to the point where they're not needed on cards and take bookings elsewhere. If you asked me to rank my preferred potential opponents for Punk, Kojima wouldn't even be in last place because I legit forgot he was affiliated with the company. Meanwhile as Tef mentioned, WOTYC Hiromu (currently running a 'travelling across companies defending the IWGP Jr title aiming to break the defence record' angle) gets a seven minute 6-man tag on the pre-show against three people he has faced before in Japan. It's not like the end result was terrible or anything, I'm just baffled by how these things get decided.

Incidentally Punk's ROH interview callback in the corner makes his 'I'm honoured to be in the ring with somebody like Satoshi Kojima' promo going into the match funnier, having already been made hilarious paired directly against 'I'll kill you, you idiot!'. He definitely has an infectious amount of enthusiasm right now.

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10 minutes ago, Salads said:

For the uninformed, Tanahashi and Ishii have not been top guys in New Japan for a long while and Kojima/Suzuki are irrelevant to the point where they're not needed on cards and take bookings elsewhere.

Which is why you keep seeing them in AEW. It's probably a lot easier for TK to get New Japan to let him use (and job out) Tanahashi, Ishii, Kojima and Suzuki than it is the current crop of stars.

It's the same reason TK is more willing to send over guys like Yuta, Archer and Kingston for tours in japan than he is MJF, Darby or Danielson.

Edited by BrianS81177
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3 hours ago, Salads said:

Impressed with how well the booking meshed with AEW's current angles in the end. Personally I'd love an All Together style card full of multiman tags where it's wall to wall unique pairings but I appreciate that they would prefer to make money.

 

AEWxNJPW Battle Bowl?

Team up a random AEW star with a random NJPW star in a tag team tournament. The winning team earns matches against their respective world champions.

This gives enemies a reason to reluctantly work together for their own personal gain.

If you have say 16 teams to start, get the first round done on TV with the last 8 teams going to the PPV. That gives you 7 tag team matches for the night.

-First rRound (4 matches)
-NJPW Women's Title match
-Second Round (2 matches)
-AEW Women's Title match
-Final Round.

Imagine some of the amazing teams you could put together for this - Kenny + Ospreay/White, MJF + Naito, OC + Suzuki, Danielson + ZSJ...

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I was so pumped about this show that I tried to watch it live and ended up snoozing through almost all of it. That'll teach me to act my age. So I've only just got through it watching in spurts but I absolutely loved it. I thought the main suffered a bit from my own unreasonably high expectations but, even accounting for the injury, I think it seemed pretty clear that they were leaving something in the tank for a rematch anyway and the finish confirms that. 

If you just described the Ospreay/Omega match to me I'd have assumed I'd be lukewarm on it at best. But in the moment I was sucked all the way in. I thought they paced it well, the callbacks made sense, and the finishing sequence was dramatic if over-the-top. I'll be into a rematch. Will Ospreay is a wrestler who I've probably done the biggest 180 on over the last five years or so. I hated his work as a junior and when he stepped up to heavyweight I found his matches much too 50/50 for my liking - I always preferred him wrestling underneath. He's continued to beef up and he's added some character work to his athleticism and - even if the style isn't my favourite - he's slowed his match pacing down and it's so much better for it. I still think Will Ospreay the fella is probably awful. 

 MJF handled the Tana match perfectly, and I thought Sanada was good too - I've not watched NJPW consistently all year so I've missed his recent push but it seems to have worked wonders for him. NJPW really needs someone to be the upper card bridge from Tana and Naito to the younger guys and clearly Evil and Jay White have failed to be the solution to that for different reasons. 

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I remain very far behind. Just watched the 4-way and liked it way more than the Pillars one. They did some absurd things but they all felt in character and in the moment in a way that didn't at all work with the pillars match. Much less doing stuff for the sake of it or without consequence. Every moment of OC vs ZSJ was just excellent. I loved OC going for the punch almost immediately after putting his hands in his pockets on Shibata too. OC needs to hold this thing for the rest of the year.

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Double-posting as I'm making big progress today.

Jungle Boy vs Sanada was fine. They hit stuff clean. I liked Sanada's selling in the stretch, actually. It felt like a mid-card match (like it was!). I think it was a good engine for the turn. The finishing stretch needed something else though. It just fizzled out. The ten man was exhausting. There were some great moments, mostly surrounding Eddie Kingston but past the first chickenshit moment of Claudio tagging out and the initial exchange with Mox, nothing had time to settle in. I didn't love the other strike exchanges. Not really my sort of thing overall, but I did appreciate they had double heat, I guess. Again, specific moments were good, like Takeshita KOing Ishii or him working well with Yuta, but the emotional beats could have hit so much better if they did half the "stuff." I thought the women's match overachieved relative to people talking about it, actually. Things didn't really pick up until Willow's comeback (though I liked her taking out the heels at ringside all by herself) but there were a few fun beats like her escalating the DVDs until she could get back into it and the pounce counter out of the third hip attack attempt. I liked it and it felt "bigger" than the Sanada match.

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17 minutes ago, The Natural said:

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The move that tapped out Kazuchika Okada!

I might be the high voter here on that match. I loved it. It definitely had the vibe of "volume 1" for them. Add in the fact that Danielson finished with a broken arm, and still managed to apply a hold that legit looked like it would submit a top-tier competitor, and I'm sold.

I hate that Danielson was injured, but it adds a layer to everything he and Okada do going forward, and I think that's awesome.

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26 minutes ago, The Natural said:

 

 

14 minutes ago, Log said:

I might be the high voter here on that match. I loved it. It definitely had the vibe of "volume 1" for them. Add in the fact that Danielson finished with a broken arm, and still managed to apply a hold that legit looked like it would submit a top-tier competitor, and I'm sold.

I hate that Danielson was injured, but it adds a layer to everything he and Okada do going forward, and I think that's awesome.

With you, my friend. There has to be a rematch with Kazuchika Okada getting his win back and what we lost with Bryan Danielson's broken arm probably at Wrestle Kingdom 18. That version of the Yes Lock has to be the ultimate form where it he gets you in it, it's an instant submission. Bryan Danielson making Kazuchika Okada tap out shows you how highly the bookers of AEW, NJPW and Okada going with it rate Danielson. It's only the second time Okada has submitted as the Rainmaker coming back from excursion at Wrestle Kingdom 6. Only Shinsuke Nakamura in the G1 Climax 2015 and Bryan Danielson at Forbidden Door 2023 have achieved that.

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