Forbidden Door Reviews

Updated: Aug 7

Reverse Hipster's Reviews

Chris Jericho, Minoru Suzuki, and Sammy Guevara vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino 9.1/10 A

This could have just been a random tag match, but AEW gave it stakes, and the winner would get an advantage for Blood and Guts. Jericho's team won this match, but there were no losers in this match. Everyone looked good, and everyone got their spots in. The match was thrilling and fast-paced, and got several standing ovations from the crowd. Yuta came away looking the best. He continues to look good in big spots and proves that he is a future star.


The United Empire vs. FTR vs. Roppongi Vice, IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships and ROH Tag Team Championships 9/10 A-

This match was very well crafted by AEW. I usually don't like triple threat tag matches because I think the rules are stupid. However, AEW told a story that made sense. Dax Harwood, who is one half of FTR, got injured and had to leave the match, forcing his partner Cash Wheeler to tag in Roppongi Vice. That new handicap dynamic was already exciting, but when Dax returned to save his partner and wrestle with one arm, he blew the roof off the place. In the end, Roppongi Vice took the pin, and FTR won. However, the action was so good by all three teams that they made you feel like you were along for the ride. I forgot that Roppongi Vice was the obvious team to take the pin during the match because the match didn't make it feel that way.


Pac vs. Miro vs. Malakai Black vs. Clark Connors, All-Atlantic Championship 8.3/10 B

Pac won this match and became the All-Atlantic Champion. Pac will probably go on to be strong and have good matches, but I think he was the third-best option to win the title. The match was pretty good, but started a little slow in comparison to the rest of the card to this point. The match still did a good job of making each superstar look good, especially Clark Connors, who won the crowd over. However, from a global booking standpoint, it seems Black is becoming increasingly irrelevant.


The Young Bucks and El Phantasmo vs. Sting, Darby Allin, and Shingo Takagi 8.9/10 B+

This match was exceptional. Sting seemed to be the centerpiece of the match, and that really helped this match to stand out, even though it had zero stakes. Sting started the match by jumping off the sign onto the opposing team. Sting was phenomenal. He was hitting Stinger Splashes left and right, taking out everyone singlehandedly. Sting even took SuperKicks from the Young Bucks and didn't go down. In the end, Shingo got the win for Sting and Darby spoiling the Young Bucks reunion match.


Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Toni Storm, AEW World Women's Championship 7.8/10 C

This match was decent. It actually reminded me of a WWE-style match, where both women kind of did the moves we would expect from them over and over again. The match didn't have anything that really wowed me. I'm surprised they didn't do more as the only two women on the card and two elite women wrestlers. I did like the story of Thunder Rosa using her mentor, Dustin Rhode's, move to finish the match when her own finisher didn't get it done.


Will Ospreay (c) vs. Orange Cassidy, IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship 8.7/10 B

This match was incredible. It started off slow, but that was part of the story. Will looked to be squashing Orange Cassidy. When suddenly, Orange Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and fired back. From that point on, both guys went full throttle at each other. Orange Cassidy and Will put together reversal after reversal. It was a battle of strategy and will. In the end, after several finishers, Will won the match and retained his title.


Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Claudio Castagnoli 8.6/10 B

This match was Claudio's debut, and it was probably the best debut in AEW history. In his debut, Claudio proved he is the best technical wrestler in the world. The story of the match was that Claudio was using power to dominate Zack. At the start of the match, Claudio uppercut Zack and hit him with a Gotch-Style Piledriver. Zack fought back in the only way he could with submissions and joint manipulation. However, eventually, Claudio's power became too much, and he gave Zack a powerbomb he couldn't get up from.


Jay White (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada vs. “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Adam Cole, IWGP World Heavyweight Championship 8.3/10 B

Jay won this match and added a colossal notch to his belt. Jay White is a legend in the making. That said, I wasn't a huge fan of this match. I felt like teasing the Okada and Adam Page match, and then having Adam Cole and Jay White ruin it just reminded fans of the match we really wanted to see. Also, it never felt like this match hit the climax that it should have. All the match action was good, but not great. Even the AEW commentators described the finish to the match as anti-climatic. Also, Adam Cole taking the pin was way too obvious.


Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (The Ace), Interim AEW World Championship 8.1/10 B

Moxley won the Interim AEW World Championship Title, but it seems that Hiroshi won the people. Before Hiroshi lost, the entire arena was chanting for The Ace. The match was good. Moxley bled all over the place, and The Ace flew off the top rope and nearly put Moxley away. They had a good match, but after three hours of wrestling, they didn't have a great enough match to pump the adrenaline of onlookers back into the action.


Rob's Reviews

Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Minoru Suzuki vs. Eddie Kingston, Wheeler Yuta, and Shota Umino

This was a good match to open the card, especially considering entrances to pop the crowd. Shota Umino was a standout in this match. The Jericho Appreciation Society did great heel work with Umino during and after the match. In promoting Blood and Guts, it made sense for the heels to win and get the man advantage. Overall, this match was more to promote than to decide anything tonight.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

United Empire vs. FTR vs. Roppongi Vice (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships and ROH Tag Team Championships)

This match had a little bit of everything to keep you engaged. Roppongi Vice really impressed me all around here. I thought Dax Harwood was injured, which would have been catastrophic as injuries continue to strike the AEW roster. Instead, it turned into part of the story of the match. FTR is giving the ultimate screw you to WWE by collecting all these championships. They are white-hot and deserve every accolade they are getting.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

PAC vs. Malakai Black vs. Miro vs. Clark Conners (All Atlantic Championship)

AEW turned the substitution of Clark Conners in place of Tomohiro Ishii to their advantage. Conners impressed me with his all-around ring work. By the middle of the match, I was rooting for Conners, the least likely option in a match that felt like anyone could win. The action in this match was crazy, but the finish was a little abrupt in contrast. Even if PAC winning doesn't make the most sense, I think he is the wrestler that deserved gold the most. He can have excellent matches as the inaugural champion, and none of these guys were hurt in their performances.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

The Bullet Club vs. Dudes With Attitudes

How you feel about fun/comedy spots in wrestling will dictate your response to this match. I absolutely loved it, and I love that it made it different from everything else on the card. El Phantasmo's gimmick to find the craziest way to hit a back rake matched the energy of the Young Bucks well. I think the Bucks proved they are more than just high work-rate wrestlers. They can be entertaining for a variety of reasons. The wrestling was also part of it: as we saw Darby Allin mix it up with Nick Jackson, and Sting turned back the clock with some of his spots. The Bucks sold their ass off for Sting, which I think made his appearance worthwhile. Shingo Takagi is also a beast, and I liked how he fit in here, getting the win for his team.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm (AEW Women's Championship)

Both of these wrestlers are excellent, but it was hard to get into this match relative to the rest of the PPV. Nothing they did in the ring really stood out to me, and I think they should have worked harder to distinguish themselves from everything else on the card. Thunder Rosa is the correct winner, as her reign is still being established. Toni Storm needs some help to be relevant in AEW, though I'm not quite sure what she's missing.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy (IWGP United States Championship)

I had high expectations for this match, and these two found a way to overdeliver. The contrast between Orange Cassidy's nonchalance and Will Ospreay's try-hard wrestling made this immediately interesting. Cassidy proved to anyone who was still a doubter that he's not just a comedy act, and he can go. Hopefully, a whole new crowd got to see what Ospreay can do. Ospreay was the correct winner to keep the title on a strictly New Japan guy. The after-match segment saw a U.S. appearance from Katsuyori Shibata, which was simply awesome.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Claudio Castagnoli was a fun (but kind of expected) surprise, but gosh darn, he will be a great addition to the Blackpool Combat Club. This match was a dream for technical wrestling fans, comparing the submission work of Zack Sabre Jr. with Castagnoli's power and feats of athleticism. They worked a brilliant match with these standout spots like the Sabre Jr. reversing the Castagnoli Swing and Castagnoli carrying Sabre Jr. up the steps to powerbomb him inside the ring. Castagnoli won to get off to a hot start in AEW.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Jay White vs. Adam Cole vs. Adam Page vs. Kazuchika Okada (IWGP World Heavyweight Championship)

I thought this would be the match of the night, and it never really hit that level. Seeing Kazuchika Okada wrestle in AEW was unreal, but his only real memorable spot was a crossbody into the crowd. The finish was kind of flubbed, as Adam Cole likely got a concussion, we never saw Okada hit the rainmaker, and it made Jay White stealing the win kind of weird. I like that the finish was in line with White's character, but it didn't really work in this instance. This wasn't a bad match, but it wasn't really at the level you'd expect from these guys.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (Interim AEW Championship)

Maybe I missed something here, but I thought this match was kind of underwhelming. Jon Moxley continued to lean on the crutch of blood to tell stories in his matches, and I would love to see him do more in this regard. Hiroshi Tanahashi wasn't really on the level of a Tokyo Dome match, but as the main event, I'm not sure why it felt like it was holding back. I definitely would have preferred they put this somewhere else on the card. Moxley was the most predictable winner, and even though his character has a good following, I don't think he is the champion AEW needs right now. I would have rather seen Tanahashi pull off a surprise victory, take the championship to Japan during the G1, and see them tell the story of Moxley grappling with coming up short compared to Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average


Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.5/10 B

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Forbidden Door gets a solid B from me. It had some excellent matches with innovative offenses, a phenomenal debut, and some pretty good crossovers. The two criticisms I would give is that the PPV felt very long. I think when AEW is going to do a PPV that is more based on pure wrestling and doesn't have as many lofty story matches, they should consider downsizing the card to the very best. This card was nine matches when it could have been a strong five to six matches. Also, NJPW was completely trounced in the nine matches. The one person from New Japan that got to stand tall, without an AEW wrestler or having been signed to both companies, was Will Ospreay. Hopefully, in the future, both sides can rack up some wins.

Rob's Overall Grade

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There were an equal amount of Good and Average matches. The only Great match was Orange Cassidy vs. Will Ospreay, and it was sort of balanced out by the downers at the end of the night, concluding with Moxley and Tanahashi. If you liked that match, they did even worse to end this dream event PPV with a brawl promoting Blood and Guts on their weekly TV show. It was the perfect metaphor of a weird exclamation point on a bizarre night. It should have been better than it was, but Forbidden Door wasn't bad. Much to build on for next year.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

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