We don’t know who will be challenging “Switchblade” Jay White for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at AEWxNJPW: Forbidden Door in Chicago this Sunday, but we now know for certain that the title will be defended.
In a press release on Tuesday morning regarding Forbidden Door being shown in select movie theaters across the US, AEW included the event’s current card, listing White as defending the IWGP World Heavyweight title against an opponent that has yet to be determined. This is the first official confirmation from AEW that the match will take place.
White appeared on this past Wednesday’s episode of “AEW Dynamite” in a segment with “Hangman” Adam Page and Adam Cole. After laying out Page, White grabbed a microphone to proclaim that “If I’m going to put my championship on the line at Forbidden Door, it’s not gonna be against you, buddy.” White then informed Cole that he wouldn’t be getting a title match, either. While commentator Jim Ross seemed to take White’s statements as confirmation that the IWGP World Heavyweight title would be defended at Forbidden Door, White’s specific verbiage left the situation slightly muddled, making AEW’s theatrical press release a welcome clarification.
White has only held the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship for nine days as of this writing, having defeated Kazuchika Okada to win the title at NJPW Dominion on June 12. Previous reports had suggested Okada would defend the championship against Page in singles action, or even against Page and Cole in a three-way match. Speculation then turned to a potential White/Cole/Page three-way after White’s victory, before White seemed to shut down the idea last week. It should be noted, however, that while the press release seems to indicate a singles match, there are still any number of creative directions in which this story could go.
Six of the seven matches in the press release are championship matches, including contests for the AEW Interim World Championship, the brand-new AEW All-Atlantic Championship, the AEW Women’s Championship, the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Tag Team Championship, and the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship. More matches are expected to be announced this week.
As the press release revealed and as previously noted, Forbidden Door will be the latest AEW event to be shown in select theaters as part of AEW’s agreement with Joe Hands Promotions. The event will also be broadcast on traditional PPV outlets and Bleacher Report.
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