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AEW Forbidden Door 2024 Predictions

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AEW Forbidden Door 2024 airs tonight on pay per view from the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York.

Does anyone want to talk about pay per view length and the quality versus quantity argument on pay per views?

Probably. But I still feel like I should put in a couple thoughts on this. Yeah, long pro wrestling pay per views are hard to stay engaged in. But that’s less about the quantity of matches or length of the show and more about the flow of a show. I have watched three hour WWF In Your House pay per views that felt like my life was being taken from me 10 minutes in. I watched Wrestle Kingdom 11 live on pay per view in the early morning and could have jogged home after with how much energy I had in the end. The flow of the matches and how the performers execute matters most.

It’s like the difference between a five song EP and a double LP in music. The five songs might be over quicker but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be as engaging as a great double LP that hooks you into a story and takes you on a journey.

Also please. Most of you reading are adults and make money independently and use your time not based on parental guidance but your own dominion. If you want to stop the pay per view three hours in and go to bed you can. If you want to skip the Buy In you can. If you want to skip the first half of the pay per view you can. You can do whatever you want. Nobody said you had to watch every minute now. This isn’t the 90s anymore I promise you. That’s why you have nagging lower back pain.

What is this again? Oh yeah, All Elite Wrestling. Forbidden Door 2024.

This will be the first year properly incorporating more than just New Japan Pro Wrestling to the table. Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) and World Wonder Ring Stardom will be involved this year in multiple matches. The AEW Men’s World Championship match isn’t involving NJPW versus AEW but instead a wrestler who was recently in New Japan Pro Wrestling and now signed to AEW facing the AEW World Champion.

While I liked having a solid Promotion vs Promotion aspect to the show I’m okay with mixing things up. In the end this is still an All Elite Wrestling pay per view and AEW has to serve its primary customers and primary storylines above all other relationships. I’m more curious to how CMLL and Stardom factor in next year when they can be better incorporated all year into storylines. My personal hope is that AEW can maybe become a bridge to allow other Japanese companies like TJPW and GLEAT to go ahead and participate. There’s only so many spaces (hence the stacked card) but would love to see them go ahead and be the neutral battle ground for other promotions to wage war on.

For me? Forbidden Door has a high opportunity to be the “FUN” pay per view for AEW. Sit back and enjoy. Get down with the sickness folks.

AEW Forbidden Door 2024 Zero Hour

Mariah May’s meteoric rise in AEW was in a lot of ways to be expected. She was easily the best free agent at one point on the market after run in Stardom and at 25-years-old it made sense to bring in someone with her ability. She’s an absolute total package and should be discussed by AEW fans the way we discussed Maxwell Jacob Friedman in 2021.

Her storyline with Toni Storm has been fantastic in helping her quickly introduce herself to the AEW fans and give her a prominent storyline to get fans familiar with her. It also has allowed her to take losses and not stay too close to the top of the standings to ensure she doesn’t have that match against Toni Storm too soon. That match should be happening at AEW All In 2024 at Wembley Stadium, and this being the first match for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament is appropriate.

Saraya as her opponent is a good choice. Saraya has finally found her footing as a heel in AEW and has been doing solid, if under the radar work on the microphone. Her in-ring work isn’t at the level of someone like Mariah May but as a heel she doesn’t need to be.

Saraya in a lot of ways is looking at someone six years her junior but what feels like two decades in experience difference. It can be a tough business in the way you can be easily replaced before what you feel is your time. This is very much All About Eve, even if it isn’t the primary All Out Eve storyline. I expect Mariah May to win and start her campaign towards the AEW Women’s World Championship.

Winner: Mariah May

Místico in All Elite Wrestling has already happened. Místico with the Lucha Bros? Unprecedented.

Due to the CMLL/AAA rivalry it felt like we’d never see the All Elite Wrestling luchadors who worked in AAA ever interact with the CMLL talent. There was a lot of hope it would happen with Rush but his match with MJF ended up happening on AEW Dynamite instead of Forbidden Door.

Clearly CMLL feels the Lucha Bros are no longer part of AAA and are instead just AEW talent and that’s a great thing for both companies. The opportunities are endless when it comes to seeing Lucha Bros interact with the CMLL stars, and kicking it off with Místico just feels right.

Not to be forgotten, we have Los Ingobernables de Japon with Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji, and Titán on the other side. I was worried that Reiwa Musketeers would be taking this show off completely almost as a worked protest to AEW’s infiltration of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Yota should make a big impression in this, as he’s well versed in CMLL. Will we get an appearance by his twin brother? Probably not yet, but I would love to see that at Forbidden Door in the future in a bigger match. He’s one of the true future stars of the company.

Hiromu Takahashi is great to see in AEW and I hope we do get that dream match one day against Darby Allin. Oh, and Tony Khan should go ahead and pay for People by The 1975 for Hiromu to come out to.

This should be the best match on the Zero Hour if everyone is game and while I expect Místico to win it, I’m not leaving out an opportunity for Chris Jericho to cost him the match to build their encounter in a few weeks in CMLL.

Winners: Místico and the Lucha Bros

There were some who expected Willow Nightingale and Kris Statlander to have their match on pay per view, and while the feud probably won’t end in July, it’s still good to see them on the pay per view. Mixing it up with the Stardom wrestlers Momo Watanabe and Tam Nakano is a good way to involve Stardom without having to make it too heavy in storyline.

There’s a lot of people who see Momo here as just a pin eater, and hey I’m one of them, but that doesn’t mean the match won’t be good. I’m happy to see Tam Nakano getting some pay per view spotlight in AEW. I hope we see more of her in All Elite Wrestling in the future.

I expect to see Willow and Tam win this match which will add some intrigue to when Willow and Kris face off one on one at Beach Break for the semi finals of the Owen Hart Foundation Cup Tournament.

Winners: Willow Nightingale and Tam Nakano

As the last match announced for the Zero Hour Buy In this is definitely the, “Throw a couple guys available in and have a fun match” type bout. Private Party have been working hard to climb the tag team ranks now that Marc Quen is healthy again. Kings of the Black Throne in action is nice to see as I love Brody King.

Then you have the AEW/NJPW combo tags. Kyle O’Reilly and Tomohiro Ishii is a fun little team up, with KOR basically playing the Orange Cassidy role for Ishii. Ishii proved he’s the best friend a man can have when he backed up OC. Then you have Roderick Strong teaming with Gabe Kidd, probably the weirdest combo AEW and NJPW could come up with. You would think a loud mouth veteran like Roddy would be too easily annoyed by Gabe Kidd, the pro wrestling Chet Hanks. And he probably will. But maybe it works?

That’s why I have Gabe and Roddy winning. I think their weird chemistry just ends up putting them over the top in this. Sometimes you just have to go for the team that hates the most. Haters unite.

Winners: Gabe Kidd and Roderick Strong

AEW Forbidden Door 2024

I am extremely happy to see Maxwell Jacob Friedman back in All Elite Wrestling. I’m glad he looks 100% healthy and he’s in the best shape of his life. This is an important time for his career. The first championship run is sometimes the hardest for wrestlers. It’s getting to that second run that you really get to see what a wrestler is made of.

MJF is still trying to find how he fits in the AEW landscape, working somewhat of an anti-hero who still can’t help himself but fire shots at everyone instead of just focusing on a single target. It feels like he could be going after Will Ospreay someday soon, especially after he tried to challenge Daniel Garcia for All In at Wembley only for Billy to steal the spotlight with a challenge to Garcia of his own.

Max first has to take care of Hechicero, who is quickly becoming one of my favourite wrestlers to watch. He really feels like a magic man in the ring and I have enjoyed all of his matches in AEW so far. MJF loves to try and prove himself, so you just know he’s already thought of submission holds to counter Hechicero.

Max will be winning in his hometown of Long Island but I expect him to give a lot to Hechicero. A full body performance here by Max could do a lot to remind people he’s not just one of the top stars in AEW but one of the best wrestlers on the roster.

Winner: Maxwell Jacob Friedman

Orange Cassidy and Zack Sabre Jr. go way back, to the point where ZSJ once even said he wanted to marry Orange Cassidy. OC of course told him to get in line.

Orange Cassidy is a made man now in AEW and so him getting a singles match at Forbidden Door makes sense, but I feel like this match is going to be one of those things that’s more for New Japan Pro Wrestling than it is for All Elite Wrestling.

NJPW needs top stars. They need guys to fill some of the spots left behind by the departures of Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, and Jay White. Zack Sabre Jr. has been there working hard, getting bigger, getting stronger, and getting more popular while keeping NJPW his home. He’s had some great matches with Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson in AEW to help those guys. It’s time for him to beat a top star in AEW in Orange Cassidy and go into the New Japan G-1 Climax as a top contender for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship shot at Wrestle Kingdom.

I expect this to be a great match filled with good comedy, great wrestling, and seeing ZSJ pull out the win. For the Tekkers.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Dragon versus Dragon.

Talk about a big match for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament quarterfinal. It’s my belief that Bryan Danielson is going to be winning this tournament to get the shot at All In at Wembley Stadium, so him having to start with a former World Champion like Shingo Takagi is a good way to kick things off.

One could say Shingo needs this win just as much as Danielson does, and in most years I would like to see Shingo go forward instead of Bryan Danielson. Just more exciting possibilities that way. PAC vs Shingo would be an incredible semi final. But I think this is the time Danielson stops thinking of others and thinks about himself. And it starts by proving himself to be the most dangerous dragon in pro wrestling today.

Bryan Danielson is winning it all. Shingo is just the first to go through. This could steal the show.

Winner: Bryan Danielson

I have already written a lot of words recently about Chris Jericho and he’s already making me eat some of them. Jericho hasn’t taken time off but has already re-imagined himself again the damn chameleon. He is truly the David Bowie/Madonna of pro wrestling by changing his gimmick this late in his career. The Learning Tree is another heel faction for Jericho, funny because he rarely joined stables prior to All Elite Wrestling. Big Bill has looked great with him, and I think we’ve seen more out of Bryan Keith than ever as the Bad Apple of the Learning Tree. Unfortunately out with injury, Jericho dusted off his phone book to give a paid assassin in Jeff Cobb a call.

On the other side is former AEW Men’s World Champion Samoa Joe along with HOOK and Katsuyori Shibata. They’ve made a great trios as of late and gave HOOK far more purpose and progression than his previous run as the FTW Champion who just wrestles sometimes. When there were rumours that HOOK could be headed out of the company I just shrugged my shoulders on it because I think he had peaked as a talent in AEW and could use new scenery. I still feel that way, but I would like to see what this relationship with Shibata and Joe leads to.

I would love to see Learning Tree win this because Jericho winning makes the right people angry online but I actually think Samoa Joe, HOOK, and Katsuyori Shibata take it. They should face the Bang Bang Gang next for the Trios Championship after winning this.

Winners: Team Samoa Joe

Scissor Ace. Sigh.

Seeing Billy Gunn on a match graphic gives me the jibblies but at least he’s only going to be ringside. The Bucks vs. Acclaimed match on Dynamite was basically the Young Bucks working Anthony Bowens exclusively because they knew he could take their spots properly. Wouldn’t be surprised if much of this match is the same.

It’s great to see Kazuchika Okada face Hiroshi Tanahashi once more time now in different companies but I would have much rather saw him defend the AEW Continental Championship against a Reiwa Musketeer like Yota Tsuji or Shota Umino.

The only result I can see here is The Elite winning the match, as the Acclaimed are pretenders to the Young Bucks AEW World Tag Team Championship, and Tanahashi is no longer on Okada’s level in his older age.

Please don’t give Billy Gunn a spot. Please.

Winners: The Elite

Mercedes Moné has unfinished business. First it was to avenge her loss to Willow Nightingale and now it’s to re-capture the NJPW Strong Women’s Championship.

In front of her will be Stephanie Vaquer, who has been great in all of her video packages and doesn’t look to be a pushover at all against Mercedes in their confrontation in CMLL. In a lot of ways, even though this is a title for title match between AEW and NJPW, it’s actually AEW versus CMLL.

Mercedes is really starting to get into her groove in AEW and has been using video packages to get her words across instead of live in ring segments where she has to remember lines. I think that’s much better for her. Let her be the big movie star in AEW doing flashy video packages. When she wrestles in the ring she can win over the wrestling fans still.

I am hoping for something hard hitting and really setting in stone that Mercedes Moné intends to be the best wrestler in the world in AEW. She still needs a new finishing move though.

Winner and new IWGP Strong Women’s Champion: Mercedes Moné

Lio Rush, Dante Martin, Mark Briscoe, El Phantasmo, Konosuke Takeshita, and Jack Perry compete for the vacant AEW TNT Championship.

Adam Copeland was a pretty good champion for AEW as TNT Champion and it was unfortunate he went down to injury before he could drop the title. The person who should win is someone Copeland can face on his return and actually put over.

The Elite tried to pull a “Triple H and Eric Bischoff” by just handing the TNT Championship to Jack Perry, which was put to a stop and instead made a six man Ladder Match.

These ladder matches tend to be giant car crashes and it’s good it’s not filled with too many top stars. Mark Briscoe is very resilient so I’m sure he gets out unscathed. Lio, Dante, and ELP will bring the high flying and big bumps to the match. Konosuke Takeshita I’m a bit worried for and hope he survives.

However, I think the goal is still to get the belt around Jack Perry’s waist. Having everyone in The Elite be a champion feels like the right way to go. Wish they had a big man like Killswitch in this but I’m good with the mix (also AEW is trying to keep Killswitch and Jack Perry separate.) Should be fun.

Winner and new AEW TNT Champion: Jack Perry

Mina Shirakawa has been an absolute star in All Elite Wrestling.

What could have just been a throwaway Stardom vs AEW match has instead been an engaging storyline where Mariah May is between two worlds. Mariah has worked hard to be in Toni Storm’s good graces and now she has to choose between her and her closest friend from Stardom in Mina. We’ve seen them dance together. Drink together. Kiss each other. More than friends? Listen, all tag partners in wrestling are more than just friends. All of them.

Toni Storm has absolutely succeeded in her gimmick of an old Hollywood starlet despite still being in her 20s. Like she’s only three years older than Mariah May! She’s the most compelling character in AEW in 2024, the only person coming close is Kazuchika Okada’s “I’m God compared to you bitches” run. She’s the best champion in the company, and that’s not taking anything away from other champions.

If it was up to me? She’d earn the AEW All In at Wembley main event slot.

The chemistry between Mina, Toni, and Mariah have made them one of the best stories in the company and the quarter hour ratings show people tune in when those ladies are in the ring. They’ve built this up perfectly with Mina accidentally hitting Mariah with a champagne bottle instead of Toni Storm. Toni is the babyface in this, the tired champion watching “her girl” get taken from her, and possibly now her championship.

I’m more invested in this match than any other on the card. I expect Toni Storm to win, but I hope we get more Mina in the future. Everyone wants Mina.

Winner: Timeless Toni Storm

It’s so funny to me how many NJPW fans take the worked storyline between AEW and NJPW serious. They think all of these NJPW talents are legit mad about AEW. Do any of them remember when AJ Styles won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and barely showed up in NJPW to instead work Ring of Honor? No? Oh who am I kidding even if they did remember it just doesn’t fit their narrative.

New Japan Pro Wrestling really wanted Jon Moxley to be IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and this run, while by no means as good as it could have been, was still good for Jon Moxley to remind the world he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world.

Tetsuya Naito is still the biggest star in New Japan Pro Wrestling and regaining the title on American soil after he lost it there will allow him to return to Japan as a conquering hero. He wil enter the G1 Climax as champion like we expected him to. I loved him saying if Mox beats him he gets his spot in the tourney.

The real question is what happens to Jon Moxley after this? Where does he fit in AEW storylines in the summer? Where does he fit at All In? If it was up to me he’d be targeting either the AEW Trios Championship with Claudio and Wheeler Yuta, or he’d be targeting Kazuchika Okada for the AEW Continental Championship.

Should be an awesome rematch.

Winner and new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion: Tetsuya Naito

Swerve Strickland has been a very good AEW Men’s World Champion. AEW has put a lot of time ensuring we feel he’s the top star of the company while also acknowledging others popularity. He actually has a good t-shirt as champion which is nice to see. He’s performed great in title matches and one of the best qualities as a top star? He’s pivoted quick when something isn’t working right.

Will Ospreay has had a meteoric rise in All Elite Wrestling because fans see him as the heir to Kenny Omega. As does Will, since as you can see in the match graphic he’s doing the exact same pose Kenny Omega would often do in AEW match graphics. They love the Bruv and haven’t had an issue with him winning ever.

There’s a lot of people who push the idea that Will Ospreay has to win the title at All In in Wembley as if it would create a boom period for AEW or create a new major star. The problem is that Ospreay hasn’t shown in any way ratings wise that the American fans tune in for him beyond the core AEW audience already buying tickets. He’s very well liked, loved even, but that hasn’t shown anything to say he’s a draw. He wasn’t a draw in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He wasn’t even a draw in Britain for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He’s an excellent wrestler and everyone loves him.

When you have an excellent wrestler who everyone loves you don’t try to rush them. NWA:TNA did that with AJ Styles early in his career there. The WWF did it with guys like Diesel and even Roman Reigns. It never works out the way you hope it to. When Kazuchika Okada did it, it was because nobody expected it and he improved so quickly in the role that it caught everyone off guard. There’s nothing to catch us off guard with Will Ospreay yet.

That’s why it makes more sense for a loss tonight to be the beginning of the cracks in Will Ospreay’s big rise. He’s taken too much responsibility. He’s cared more about making friends and protecting them than focusing on Swerve Strickland. Swerve has proved over and over that Will is too emotional to be the World Champion. This is going to crush him. He has the talent to win it but the pressure to stay championship will absolutely crush him. Swerve is trying to be a friend but Will Ospreay only hears a World Champion trying to protect himself.

This match I expect to be incredible. These are two long time friends. Ospreay has been a habitual line stepper in the feud by trying to give title shots when he isn’t even AEW Men’s World Champion yet and constantly putting the belt on his shoulder with the AEW International Championship on the other. The problem is that Billy might step across the line but will always step back. He doesn’t have the resolve to stay across that line.

Swerve Strickland lives across that line.

Swerve can handle the pressure. He can handle the heat. He knows he has a lineup of killers coming after him and he welcomes it. Will Ospreay is going to buckle under this pressure. He can’t even hit a wrestling move without worrying he will injure someone.

Buckling under the pressure is better for Will Ospreay than if he just wins. He can spend All In 2024 to All In 2025 proving he can handle the pressure. Maybe it breaks him, and he has a year to pick up the pieces. Next year, Will Ospreay will actually give the fans something to sink their teeth into more than just a good wrestling match or a fun quip line in a British accent. He’s going to be a superstar they saw struggle and redeem himself. 2024 isn’t his year. 2024 is the beginning of his story.

As for Swerve Strickland? He’s going to retain the championship and go on to All In to likely face Bryan Danielson in the main event. But as AEW Collision showed, he has a greater worry on the horizon. He became a star by taking the blood of a cowboy, and that cowboy is coming back to collect.

The summer is heating up.

“What’s a Buckshot to a Killshot?”

Winner: Swerve Strickland

 

Photos by All Elite Wrestling

AWAW Aaron Wrotkowski 2024