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Forbidden Door Media Briefing Highlights

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Today was the media call for June 26th AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door featuring AEW CEO/GM/Head of Creative Tony Khan answering questions from the media.

Women’s Wrestling Talk’s Lyric Swinton live-tweeted the call.

.@LyricWrestling is live tweeting the #ForbiddenDoor media call with @TonyKhan beginning shortly on behalf of Women’s Wrestling Talk. Follow this thread 🧵 for updates! — Womens Wrestling Talk (@WWTalkPod) June 22, 2023

Forbidden Door Sunday features two women’s matches. On the Zero Hour show, ROH Women’s Champion Athena will face the young phenom Billie Starkz in the first round of the Owen Hart Women’s Tournament, and on the main card, Toni Storm will put her AEW Women’s World Championship on the line against NJPW Strong Women’s Champion Willow Nightingale.

Key highlights from the media call:

  1. Khan said the locker room response has been pretty positive so far since CM Punk’s return.

  2. Khan was asked about the lack of Canadians in this year’s Owen Hart tournament and he responded by saying that his goal was to put the best field possible forward with the best 8 wrestlers who were available for all of the dates. Also, he said the brackets have been well received.

  3. Khan said that NJPW’s sister promotion Stardom has a conflicting show on the same day as #ForbiddenDoor and found it challenging to have the available talent to send to America for the show. Khan said he completely understands as a Booker and hopes to work with them in the future.

  4. Khan said he’s always had a great relationship with Rocky Romero but in booking this year’s #ForbiddenDoor, he’s built a stronger rapport with NJPW Booker Gedo and NJPW President Ohbari.

  5. He also noted that both rosters haven’t been as injury prone as last year so booking has been less challenging in some ways. He believes that they can have a better show than last year as a result.

  6. He says the disputes between AAA/CMLL make it challenging with booking at times due to AEW’s relationship with AAA and NJPW’s partnership with CMLL. Said he’d love to have a big show with all the best luchadors but doesn’t want to get involved in another promotion’s disputes.

  7. Khan was asked if there were any women’s involvement in the booking and creative for the women’s division. He said that Madison Rayne and Sarah Stock among others have been instrumental in offering their ideas. He said he gets great input from the wrestlers as well.

  8. Khan said he’s very happy with the viewership for Collision’s debut. Said there’s no set target number for weekly viewership and he just wants to put the best shows possible forward.

  9. When asked about his thought process when deciding the workload for talents like CM Punk and Kris Statlander who’ve recently returned from serious injuries, he said it depends on the injury and he’s mindful of not giving talent more than they can handle when they first return.

  10. Khan noted that NJPW Strong Women’s Champion Willow Nightingale has been one of AEW’s biggest stars.

  11. He also stated that Forbidden Door is a stacked show with “the most star power we’ve ever put forward”.

Check out the briefing here:

AEW/NJPW Forbidden Door takes place on Sunday, June 26, 2023, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The PPV is available in the United States on Bleacher Report for $49.99 and internationally via Fite.


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