The upcoming AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view has dealt with a laundry list of injuries since it was announced. From presumed main-eventer CM Punk to Bryan Danielson to, most recently, Tomohiro Ishii, there have been several last-minute changes to the planned card.
During an appearance on “AEW Unrestricted,” AEW President Tony Khan admitted the injuries have caused the company to “completely change our plans.” The main event was going to see Punk defend the AEW World Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi, but the New Japan star will now facing Jon Moxley in a dream match for the Interim AEW World Title, and Khan believes they’re “very fortunate” to have that.
It wasn’t the only major bout to be switched though, as Zack Sabre Jr. will not be facing Danielson due to his injury issues which occurred at AEW’s Double Or Nothing. Khan believes that was a match that “people were really looking forward to,” but his hands are tied.
“Zack Sabre Jr is one of those wrestlers, he’s a big draw, and I would have liked to have gotten him into AEW sooner frankly, but I didn’t control the flow of travel … In the case of Zack Sabre Jr. I think it’s going to be worth the wait, he’s one of the best technical wrestlers on the planet,” Khan said.
Instead, the British wrestler will be competing against a mystery opponent of Danielson’s choosing, who will also fill in for the former WWE Champion in the upcoming Blood & Guts match on “AEW Dynamite” next week. It is currently unknown who that person will be, but Khan promises that it is “somebody very special.”
“It’s going to be a great match with Zack Sabre Jr. vs. the surprise opponent brought in … I can promise you that it’s going to be a highly anticipated dream match,” Khan confirmed.
Several names have been rumored to replace Danielson, with former WWE stars Cesaro and Johnny Gargano being the two names that most have speculated. Interestingly, Gargano will be in Chicago on Sunday for a signing, which is where the PPV will be taking place at the United Center, but the former “NXT” Champion has claimed it is just a coincidence.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “AEW Unrestricted” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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