AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door Buy-In pre-show results: Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado, Max Caster, Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, and Billy Gunn vs. The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin, and Yuya Uemura, and Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi vs. QT Marshall and Aaron Solo

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door Buy-In Pre-Show
Aired live June 26, 2022 live on AEW YouTube and B/R Live
Chicago, Illinois at United Center

The show opened with a shot of the exterior of the building. Excalibur checked in on commentary and said there were 16,529 filing into the building. He was joined on commentary by Kevin Kelly and Taz, and they ran through the show’s lineup…

Entrances for the opening match took place. Justin Roberts served as the English ring announcer, while Takuro Shibata handled the introductions in Japanese…

1. Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi vs. QT Marshall and Aaron Solo. The broadcast team noted that the show was available on New Japan World in Japan, and was also available in four total languages. Marshall was greeted with boos and a “QT sucks” chant when he tagged in for the first time. The crowd sided with the NJPW duo and chanted their names at different points.

Goto and Hashi simultaneously threw rapid fire punches at the backs of both opponents for a pop. A short time later, Solo performed a top rope double stomp on Goto and covered him for a two count. Goto was isolated and eventually Hashi tagged in and worked over Marshall. Hashi leapt from the middle rope and performed a neckbreaker on Marshall and covered him, but Solo broke up the pin.

Solo and Marshall took turns hitting moves on Hashi and then Marshall put him down with a Diamond Cutter. Marshall had the pin, but Goto returned to break it up. Marshall went for a top rope 450 splash, which Hashi avoided. Goto took a hot tag and held up Marshall while Hashi kicked him, and then Goto performed a ushigoroshi. Goto and Hashi performed a double team move on Solo and then Goto pinned him…

Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi defeated QT Marshall and Aaron Solo in 8:55.

Powell’s POV: A good opening match. Marshall and Solo worked hard. For instance, I didn’t expect to see a top rope 450 splash attempt from Marshall. The crowd was into Japanese duo, but it seemed like they may have actually enjoyed booing Marshall more.

A video package aired on the four-way match for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match…

2. Lance Archer vs. Nick Comoroto. Archer made the second entrance and hit Comoroto from the apron and then performed a cannonball dive onto him. Comoroto rallied and pressed Archer over his head, but Archer slipped away. Comoroto knocked Archer off the apron with a shoulder block a short time later and followed him to the floor. Comoroto dumped Archer face first on the apron and tossed him back inside the ring.

Archer and Comoroto traded forearms and punches. Archer eventually put Comoroto down with a couple of clotheslines. Archer ended up walking up the ropes while holding Comoroto’s arm and then moonsaulted onto him for a two count. Comoroto caught Archer charging and power slammed him for a two count. A short time later, Archer hit the Blackout and scored the pin…

Lance Archer beat Nick Comoroto in 6:10.

Powell’s POV: There was never any question regarding the outcome of this match. It was fine for the pre-show even though it felt like more of a Dark or Dark Elevation match simply because Comoroto has never received a consistent push. The broadcast team spent time hyping the G1 Climax Tournament and Archer’s involvement.

A video package showcased the IWGP U.S. Championship match…

Clark Connors was interviewed by Alex Marvez in the backstage area. Connors said he is in the AEW All Atlantic Championship match because Tomohiro Ishii and then wished him well. He said he was there to break the Forbidden Door off its hinges. He said he would show everyone what he means when he says let’s get wild…

Powell’s POV: A generic promo. It’s hard to imagine that this promo sold unfamiliar viewers on Connors.

3. Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado. Lee started the match and got a “Bask in his glory” chant. Kanemaru bumped chests with Lee, who got the better of him before both men tagged out. Later, Kanemaru and Desperado targeted the left knee of Lee. Kelly said Tomohiro Ishii was unable to appear as advertised because of a knee injury he suffered while working a match with Kanemaru.

Strickland eventually tagged in and worked over Desperado before kicking Kanemaru off the apron. Strickland leapt from the ropes and drove his elbow into the back of Desperado, who eventually came back with a big spinebuster. Kanemaru and Desperado caught Lee trying to enter the ring and kicked the ropes at his balls, and then isolated Strickland.

Strickland hit a nice backbreaker on Desperado, who came right back with a clothesline, which was followed by Strickland hitting him with a Flatliner. Lee tagged in and was still holding his balls. Kanemaru also tagged in and went after lee’s knee and put him in a figure four. Meanwhile, Kanemaru put Strickland in a submission hold, but Lee grabbed Kanemaru and threw him into Desperado to break the figure four.

Lee stuffed a Kanemaru sunset flip. Lee picked up Kanemaru and held him up while Strickland went up top. Desperado ran over and shoved Strickland off the top rope. Kanemaru took a swig from a whiskey bottle at ringside and spit whiskey into the eyes of Lee, which led to a near fall. Strickland took out Desperado in crowd pleasing fashion, and then Lee performed The Big Bang Catastrophe on Kanemaru before pinning him.

Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee beat Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado in 12:05.

After the match, Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks spoke from a luxury box. Hobbs said Strickland and Lee think they are Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, and then compared himself and Starks to Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen. Starks took the mic and said that Lee and Starks will never compare to them. Starks questioned how Strickland and Lee could call themselves the best tag team when they haven’t beaten him and Hobbs…

Powell’s POV: The match was well worked and the crowd was behind Lee and Strickland. The post match promo by Hobbs and Starks felt like they were setting up something for television this week.

4. Max Caster, Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, and Billy Gunn (w/Anthony Bowens) vs. The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin, and Yuya Uemura. Caster’s rap included references to injuries, the dojo guys washing Katsuyori Shibata’s balls, and the Ass Boys. It was followed by the usual schtick of Austin and Colten saying the wrong city name before Bowens got it right. Danhausen appeared on the big screen and introduced a new “Ass Boys” theme, which caused Austin and Colten to run to the back.

The NJPW dojo wrestlers took advantage of the numbers advantage while Austin and Colten were gone. Caster was isolated to start. Caster eventually made a hot tag to Billy, who was quickly put down with a nice dropkick by Knight. Billy slammed Knight and then took out Coughlin. Billy hit the Fameasser on DKC. Caster tagged in and hit the Mic Drop elbow on DC and pinned him…

Max Caster, Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, and Billy Gunn defeated The DKC, Kevin Knight, Alex Coughlin, and Yuya Uemura in 5:35.

Powell’s POV: This ended up being a handicap match with Caster and Billy beating four of NJPW’s younger wrestlers.

A video package aired on the Interim AEW World Championship match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jon Moxley… The broadcast team ran through the main card lineup and gave final pitches for the pay-per-view…

Join me for my live review of the AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view event in a separate report available via the main page.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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