“I’ve Opened The Forbidden Door” – AEW President Tony Khan Confirms Future AEW-NJPW Collaborations

Published 04/29/2021, 1:29 AM EDT
HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 28: Tony Khan, son of team owner Shahid Khan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, waits on the field before their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)


Wrestling fans know the unsaid rule of not mentioning one promotion in another company. WWE still follows this rule (with a few exceptions). However, AEW President Tony Khan is known for knocking on the “forbidden door” between promotions.

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The latest addition to this list of ‘crossovers’ solidifies his stance even more. As announced on this week’s Dynamite (04/28/21), on May 12, former AEW World Champion and the current IWGP United States Champion, Jon Moxley, will defend the title against NJPW’s Yuji Nagata.

Following the announcement, Tony Khan took to Twitter to thank the fans. A lifelong wrestling fan, Tony said, “Thank you for the amazing feedback on tonight’s AEW Dynamite & I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve opened the Forbidden Door as Yuji Nagata is coming to AEW to challenge Jon Moxley for NJPW IWGP US Title in a huge milestone for both companies. Tickets on sale, 5/7!”

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Nagata is a wrestling veteran. The 53-years-old held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship twice, GHC Heavyweight Title and Pro Wrestling Zero1 World title once, respectively. The four-time world champion and Moxley will meet for the first time in the ring.

This would be the first time that an NJPW associated title would be defended outside of their promotion. It also marks the beginning of a new era, with prominent promotions mingling with each other and even defending titles across platforms.

Apart from Moxley vs Nagata, on the same night, AEW Tag Team champion Young Bucks will face the winners of next week’s SCU vs. Jurassic Express vs. Varsity Blonds vs. The Acclaimed for the title.

Tony Khan recently spoke on ratings and Impact promotions

As we reported earlier, AEW garnered a record viewership last week. Following WWE NXT’s move to Tuesday Night, AEW’s dominance on Wednesday night is undisputed.

Following the news, Tony revealed his ‘method to the madness’ to Busted Open Radio. While he agreed twenty-thirty minutes matches may not be possible every week, Khan said, “But having some good long matches in the show every week is very important.”

Khan wants to give the fans a pay-per-view experience each week on the normal show. While talking about Impact, Khan welcomed Knockout’s Champion Deonna Purrazzo’s wish to fight the AEW Women’s division and spoke about why he’s not promoting the Impact much.

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“I think people have asked me why I haven’t gone out and spent a lot of money, Tommy, on promoting it (Omega-Swann),” Khan said. “And I think it’s when I’ve gone to your guys’ shows (Impact) to promote cards, I’ve had to pay and buy ads. So that’s kind of on you guys.” (h/t Wrestling Inc).

The Impact-AEW collaboration has been very successful so far. Hopefully, the fans will welcome the AEW-NJPW crossover as well and maybe there will be a possible collaboration between all three promotions.

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Angana Roy

958 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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