Following the announcement of AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Forbidden Door event this June at the United Center, AEW owner and CEO Tony Khan sat down with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to talk about the historic Supershow.
Khan reflected on how both companies got to this point and how the idea of the Forbidden Door show seemed so unlikely when AEW first formed in 2019.
“It would have been unfathomable to collaborate on a pay-per-view when AEW first started, but a lot has changed since then in the world of wrestling,” Khan said. “I believe we’ve earned their trust. We started working closely together last year. The more we’ve collaborated, the better the relationship has become and the more trust we’ve built. It’s culminating at this huge event on pay-per-view with the stars of AEW and the stars of New Japan Pro-Wrestling colliding at Forbidden Door.”
Tony Khan went on to describe the relationship between AEW and New Japan as mutually beneficial, due to the crossover of talent between both promotions.
“It’s a mutually beneficial relationship,” Khan said. “Many of our top stars in AEW have wrestled in New Japan and held titles there. A lot of the biggest names from New Japan have never been to AEW, and there are a lot of great wrestlers here that have been in the ring with Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, and Hiroshi Tanahashi, and so many others. I’m excited for fans to see matches they’ve always wanted to see.”
In the end, Tony Khan is the happiest for the excitement that events like Forbidden Door can create. He concluded by saying the fans would be just as instrumental in opening the Forbidden Door as AEW and New Japan are.
“This is going to be very exciting for wrestling fans,” Khan said. “We’re going to open the forbidden door together.”
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