At AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi will collide for the first time ever in a battle for the interim AEW World Championship.

Ahead of a face-to-face between the pair tonight on “Dynamite” in St. Louis, AEW Owner & President, Tony Khan, revealed that there was a specific backstory as to why the match has never happened before in NJPW.

“For longtime fans in New Japan, they know that’s a match that’s been talked about in New Japan for a long time, for well over a year,” Khan said on Busted Open Radio. “There’s some backstory as to why it never happened, frankly – I would never allow it to happen … They tried to do it so many times, Moxley vs. Tanahashi, and I’ve always been there to stop it from happening because it is such a huge match, and we had to be involved if it was going to happen.”

The interim AEW Championship match will be taking place because of an injury suffered by current AEW World Champion, CM Punk, who won the gold at Double or Nothing on May 29 by defeating “Hangman” Adam Page. After Tanahashi initially challenged the champion to a match at the AEW x NJPW event, Punk confirmed days later that he had to take some time away to have surgery. Instead of stripping Punk of the gold, Khan declared that an interim champion would be crowned.

Kyle O’Reilly won a Casino Battle Royale to challenge Moxley of the “Blackpool Combat Club”, with the latter going on to challenge for the interim title at the highly-anticipated event in Chicago. At NJPW Dominion 6.12 in Osaka-Jo Hall, Tanashahi confirmed his place in the match by overcoming Hirooki Goto. The dream match is now set for the first-ever cross-promotional show between the two wrestling organizations.

AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door will take place on Sunday, June 26, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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