Top AEW Star Added To Huge NJPW Match

AEW and NJPW logos

All Elite Wrestling’s relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling has been blossoming in recent years. After a shaky start, with The Elite parting ways with their NJPW working agreement to form AEW, the two sides reconciled in February of 2021 and have worked together frequently ever since.

Perhaps most notable is the AEW x NJPW joint event Forbidden Door which saw talent from both promotions going head-to-head in 2022. The event was so successful that Forbidden Door 2023 was arranged as a follow-up, and is due to take place on June 25th, 2023.

Now, as a further sign of a strong relationship between the two companies, it has been revealed that a top AEW talent will be added to a very significant upcoming match for NJPW.

Top AEW Star Added To Huge NJPW Match

At the 30th Best of the Super Juniors final night on May 28th, Shota Umino declared that he wanted a shot at the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles, currently held by Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii. He would go on to announce that the match would take place at NJPW Dominion, and that his partners would be none other than Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli.

Moxley has appeared frequently for NJPW in recent years, however, this will be Claudio Castagnoli’s first-ever appearance for New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Before signing for World Wrestling Entertainment in 2011, Castagnoli had a fruitful run in Japanese-based Pro Wrestling NOAH, frequently teaming with Chris Hero as part of their Kings Of Wrestling tag team. During this period, NOAH and NJPW did not collaborate often, which resulted in Castagnoli not appearing on New Japan shows.

Perhaps even more interestingly, Castagnoli has yet to even bump into Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi or Tomohiro Ishii outside of New Japan. All three men have been appearing for promotions outside of Japan for decades but have never been booked against Castagnoli.

NJPW Dominion will occur in Osaka, Japan, on June 4th, 2023. Along with the NEVER Openweight Six Man Championship match, it boasts a main event with IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Sanada taking on Yota Tsuji, who has recently returned from excursion.

With Forbidden Door taking place three weeks later, it is safe to assume that some of Dominion’s key events will factor into the supershow’s booking.