AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door notes: Danielson submits Okada, $1.2 million gate, Final Countdown, Owen Hart Cup

Closing out AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door was the singles match between Bryan Danielson and Kazuchika Okada. Danielson submitted Okada to secure the victory. Danielson used Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ song. He has not used that theme since his time in Ring of Honor.

AEW President Tony Khan tweeted that Forbidden Door 2023 is the biggest live gate in the company’s history. A total of $1.2 million USD was generated. 

There were advancements in both the women’s and men’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament brackets. On the Zero Hour pre-show, ROH Women’s World Champion Athena defeated Billie Starkz. Athena is scheduled to take on Willow Nightingale in the semifinals. On the main card, CM Punk picked up a win over Satoshi Kojima. Punk is going to take on the winner of Roderick Strong versus Samoa Joe. During the match with Kojima, Punk said the ‘Kojima, lariat, lariat’ line from the Straight Shootin’ interview with Samoa Joe. 

Orange Cassidy’s reign as AEW International Champion continues. He pinned Daniel Garcia in a four-way involving ROH Pure Champion Katsuyori Shibata and NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr. It was Cassidy’s 25th defense of the International Title. 

The opening match for the main card was MJF defending the AEW World Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. MJF retained the title after hitting Tanahashi with the Dynamite Diamond ring. On his way to the ring, MJF sported a robe that had the text, “New Japan is an indie” on the back of it. His gear also had the following on it: “Ace is Ass”. 

In the 10-man tag that saw Eddie Kingston, Tomohiro Ishii and The Elite (Hangman Adam Page, Matt & Nick Jackson) defeat Konosuke Takeshita, Shota Umino and Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta), Eddie Kingston pushed Moxley out of the way of a Young Bucks dual superkick and took the shot. Moxley continued going after Kingston throughout the match. 

Toni Storm defeated NJPW STRONG Women’s Champion Willow Nightingale to retain her AEW Women’s World Championship.

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A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.