Satoshi Kojima Names Top AEW Star As His Dream Opponent

Satoshi Kojima initially said he didn't care that he lost to CM Punk at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, but deep down, part of him wishes he had won. With a victory over Kojima, Punk moved forward to meet Samoa Joe in the semi-finals in the 2023 men's Owen Hart Foundation Tournament. That match took place in the main event of Saturday's episode of "AEW Collision." While many wrestling fans and pundits were excited to see the former rivals collide in singles action, Kojima admits that he would've loved to see himself in Punk's place.

"On June 25th, if I had beaten CM Punk, I would have fought Joe at this time. It's my dream to fight Joe. I hope that someday it will come true," Kojima tweeted.

Kojima and Joe both share storied careers inside the squared circle, but as of 2023, they have yet to face off one-on-one. As Joe spent much of his early career in Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling, Kojima was a mainstay in NJPW and All Japan Pro Wrestling. 

Though Kojima's mission has been difficult to fulfill, it isn't impossible. Ahead of the most recent Forbidden Door event, AEW President Tony Khan spoke about the evolving relationship between AEW and NJPW, describing it as AEW's "strongest promotional partnership." Khan also emphasized that their relationship doesn't just include their joint pay-per-view; it extends year-round. As AEW and NJPW continue to strengthen this working relationship, Kojima's dream still has the potential to come true one day.