Movie Reviews

Okada Says The "Door Is Closed" After AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door

Kazuchika Okada received a tremendous reaction from AEW fans during Forbidden Door, but it sounds like the Rainmaker won’t be coming back to the North American promotion anytime soon. He wrestled Adam Cole, Hangman Adam Page, and Jay White in a fatal four-way for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but couldn’t recapture the title that he lost at Dominion. Switchblade won the match, and his future with AEW is up in the air as well.

Several NJPW stars received a lackluster response from AEW crowds upon debuting. Will Ospreay, for instance, received very little reaction when he first appeared during the build towards Forbidden Door. Crowds started to respond after they saw him wrestle, but the name recognition just wasn’t there. The same can’t be said for Okada, who got a thunderous ovation when he appeared on Dynamite last week. Chicago, unsurprisingly, created quite the ruckus for Okada as well during Forbidden Door, proving that he might be a bigger draw in the United States than initially believed.

Related: Why AEW’s House Of Black Might Have A Secret Member

After seeing Okada in an AEW ring twice in one week, fans of the promotion were likely hoping to see him back in action for All Elite sooner rather than later. A tweet from his @rainmakerXokada account seems to indicate that he won’t be appearing for AEW soon but does leave room for a possible reemergence down the road. Okada wrote “Thank you Chicago. Thank you AEW. The door is closed. But I’ll open the door again. See you next time.”

Tony Khan said that Okada wasn’t made available by NJPW until last week, so it’s not too surprising that The Rainmaker will be spending almost all of his time in New Japan for the foreseeable future. He’s one of the federation’s most bankable stars, and the company has struggled under the weight of covid-related issues for the last two years. The crowds are slowly returning to live events, but Japan, on a social level, responded to the pandemic differently than those in North America did. That’s the backdrop as Okada debuted in AEW to one of the better pops in company history.

It’s encouraging to hear that he intends to reopen the Forbidden Door sometime in the future, however. Tony Khan has expressed interest in doing the event again next year, and even discussed the possibility of it becoming a two-night event. This year’s card wasn’t too long, but another match or two would have pushed the show into the four-hour territory. Now AEW and NJPW know the kind of response that Okada is capable of receiving in North America, though, and it’d behoove both companies to have him appear on All Elite television from time to time when it makes sense.

Next: Pat McAfee Is WWE SmackDown’s Secret Weapon For SummerSlam

Source: @rainmakerXokada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button