Tony Khan has appeared once again on IMPACT and discussed opening the ‘forbidden door’ between AEW, IMPACT Wrestling, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Appearing in a video clip on IMPACT on AXS TV, AEW CEO Khan explained his thoughts on the ‘forbidden door’ – a phrase used to explain the barriers on AEW and NJPW working together and sharing talent. Khan also explains how IMPACT Wrestling was key in opening it.
“Everywhere I go, people have been asking me for months, ‘Tony, when are you going to open the forbidden door? When is New Japan gonna come to AEW?’ I kept telling them, ‘I don’t know where the forbidden door is. I don’t know what the forbidden door is.’ Then I figured it out, all along the forbidden door was me. I’m the forbidden door. I just had to open myself and that has come from being here with you IMPACT Wrestling … I’ve opened myself up to new experiences.”
“Thank you, Don Callis. Nobody ever expected me to say that. But thanks to you [and Kenny Omega], you’ve opened me up. You’ve changed me and you opened the forbidden door … I love it, I want to do more big ratings. I want to see more people show up. And IMPACT since you’re the ones that started this thing, I’ve got something special for you. I’m gonna show you the forbidden door swings both ways. I’ll be back in Nashville sooner than later.”
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 10, 2021
Opening the forbidden door
The relationship between the three companies started playing out on television when IMPACT executive Don Callis helped Kenny Omega win the AEW World Championship from Jon Moxley. Since then Omega and his former Bullet Club partners, IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, The Good Brothers have headlined shows in both IMPACT and AEW. Private Party, with Matt Hardy, would appear on IMPACT, winning a match to become number one contenders to the Impact Tag Team Titles. Tony Khan and AEW coach Jerry Lynn were ringside for that match, with Lynn helping Private Party to victory. They will compete for those titles in a 3-way tag team match at IMPACT’s No Surrender event. They will be up against the current champions as well as the team of Chris Sabin and James Storm.
Jon Moxley had been working for both AEW and NJPW before the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to international travel. He would invade an NJPW show in the States attacking KENTA who is the number one contender to Moxley’s IWGP US Championship. KENTA returned the favour by shocking the world and attacking Moxley at the end of AEW Dynamite.
Rocky Romero, a close friend of The Good Brothers and an employee of NJPW’s front office recently discussed the relationship between AEW and NJPW and noted that it hasn’t always been good.
Credit: IMPACT Wrestling