AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door marked the first time that CM Punk and Kenny Omega were in the same building since they were both involved in a brawl backstage following All Out in September.
Punk’s comments at the post-show press conference were controversial enough, but it was the brawl that ensured the evening would live forever in wrestling infamy.
Due to a serious triceps injury, Punk has only recently returned to action, getting back in the ring for the first time since September on the debut episode of Collision on June 17th. Punk’s comeback has been dogged by controversy with reports of unrest backstage, with one top star reportedly claiming the situation around Punk was a “ticking time bomb.”
Although others have claimed the tension is fictional, it seems AEW management was taking no chances at Forbidden Door. It was reported by Fightful Select with the show in progress that Punk and Omega were kept on opposite sides of the building.
CM Punk Heavily Booed During AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door
On the show, Punk took on Japanese legend and bread enthusiast Satoshi Kojima in the opening round of the Owen Hart Tournament. While Punk scoring the win wasn’t especially noteworthy as he’d been a heavy favorite, the reaction from the crowd certainly was. The former WWE star was heavily booed throughout the match, and Punk himself played into the heel role more and more as the match went on.
For his part, Kenny Omega took on Will Ospreay in what many have already called an instant classic. The two men pushed each other to the limit and beyond with the action playing out on a blood-drenched canvas.
In the end, it was Ospreay who scored a thrilling victory to regain the IWGP United States Title.