Depending on who you are, the overflow of championship gold in AEW was either praised or skewered before the promotion introduced the Trio’s Title’s Wednesday on Dynamite. While another prize risks diluting all of the AEW titles, Tony Khan had the belts made some time ago, meaning their inclusion in the all elite ranks was inevitable.
All Elite Wrestling has become a viable pro wrestling alternative. However, the Jacksonville-based promotion receives as much adoring praise as it does staunch criticism. AEW booking the newest WWE release, Cole Karter, on Dynamite this week is the latest example of the promotion’s biggest problem.
Japanese professional wrestling is an enigma unto itself. While North America’s presentation primarily emphasizes spectacle over sport, Japan’s exhibition of the art accentuates the opposite. While it might look the same as the staged combat seen in the west, the eastern flavor has more kick.
While WWE is the industry leader, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is Japan’s most prominent and longest-running wrestling promotion. Founded in 1972, NJPW is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Today, NJPW is arguably the second biggest promotion in the world and puts on great wrestling matches that have produced a global cult-like following. All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and New Japan will team up for their Forbidden Door pay-per-view event this Sunday.
There are many great matches from a multitude of events that epitomize NJPW. Consider this an introductory course for the uninitiated, citing ten matches that best illustrate the style and presentation of New Japan.
This isn’t a “best-of” list, and I won’t be teaching this class alone.
I called the Jobber Knocker Podcast’s resident NJPW expert Dennis Conway aka SSJPegasus. We’ll each pick five matches that are great introductory examples to New Japan Pro Wrestling.
If you’re watching AEW Forbidden Door this Sunday and are unfamiliar with NJPW, this one is for you.
AEW’s path to crown an interim world champion is clear. Last Wednesday on Dynamite, #1 contender Jon Moxley beat Casino Battle Royal winner Kyle O’Reilly in a good back and forth contest. O’Reilly’s battle royal win was surprisingly damned with faint praise in the crowd and online. He’s a good wrestler, but some find the Undisputed Elite member boring.
NJPW was in a similar situation with their half of the interim title equation. Hiroki Goto is a good wrestler, but some find him dull as a character. No one expected Goto to beat Hiroshi Tanahashi at Dominion on Sunday, and they were right. Tanahashi pinned Goto in a highly engaging match despite the result never really being in question.
Jon Moxley will face Hiroshi Tanahashi to determine the interim AEW World Champion at Forbidden Door on June 26 in Chicago. CM Punk’s injury put a damper on things, but hopefully, the interim title will begin to right the ship. Of course, the end game down the line is the interim titleist colliding with Punk to determine an undisputed champion.
Does anyone know how the interim concept got started in the first place? I do, I do (eagerly raising my hand in class). So, here’s a history lesson.
Cody Rhodes put on one of the gutsiest performances ever seen in a wrestling ring, making it one of the all-time great matches. Gruesome imagery and sheer anguish made for an engaging yet uncomfortable watch that made an indelible impression on wrestling fans.
Art imitated life last Wednesday when Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) put on a scathing worked shoot rant that stole the show. His legitimate contract dispute with Tony Khan was used to convey a prohibited sense of astonishment.
MJF’s profane rhetoric laced with authentic and harsh criticism lobbied against Khan, and AEW was one of the most well delivered and passionate performances in a long, long time.
CM Punk announced on Rampage Friday night that he’s injured, a couple of things are broken, and he needs surgery. While Punk will be out for an undetermined time, he will remain AEW World Champion.
Later on, Excalibur announced that a battle royal will open Dynamite on Wednesday, where the winner will face #1 contender Jon Moxley in the main event. The winner of that match will face an unnamed opponent for the interim AEW World Championship on June 26 at Forbidden Door.
Nearly 5 hours of AEW’s brand of professional wrestling on Sunday culminated with CM Punk pinning “Hangman” Adam Page to become the fifth AEW World Champion. AEW Double or Nothing emanated from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a 13-match card.
It was a show of peaks and valleys with a hot opening, some less than stellar stuff in the middle, and a solid second half to celebrate All Elite Wrestling’s third anniversary. And, of course, it wouldn’t be an AEW PPV without a few new additions to the roster.