CHICAGO — Former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and NJPW’s Hiroshi Tanahashi faced off Sunday night in the main event of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.
Tanahashi irritated Moxley with his air guitar antics early on, which gave Tanahashi an opening to work over Moxley’s legs.
Tanahashi tied up Moxley with an Indian Deathlock. Moxley got a rope break then hit a cutter out of nowhere. Moxley hit a double underhook superplex, then dropped Tanahashi with a piledriver for a near fall. It seemed like there was some malfeasance going on off camera that was distracting the crowd and the referee.
Moxley locked in a Texas Cloverleaf. Moxley transitioned into a crossfire and Tanahashi got a rope break.
Tanahashi takes advantage
Tanahashi came back with a sling blade and worked over Moxley with body shots. Tanahashi with a somersault senton for a near fall. Moxley ducked another sling blade attempt and clotheslined Tanahashi to the floor. On the floor, Moxley whipped Tanahashi into the ring barricade, then sent him through the table with a uranage. Tanahashi barely beat the ten-count.
Moxley countered a dragon screw leg whip into a cross-arm breaker. Tanahashi caught Moxley with a sling blade that sent Moxley to the floor. Moxley came up bleeding, and Tanahashi came off the top with the High Fly Flow to the floor.
Moxley went for a Paradigm Shift, but Tanahashi countered with a twist and shout. Moxley hit the Paradigm shift and cradled Tanahashi for a near fall. Tanahashi countered a second Paradigm shift, hit the kamigoye, then came off the top with a High Fly Flow. Tanahashi hit the High Fly Flow a second time and went for a cover, but Moxley rolled through into a bulldog choke.
Tana with a short momentum run
Tanahashi fought out of the bulldog choke and countered a rear naked choke with a cradle for two. Moxley hit the King Kong lariat but only got the one count. Moxley hammered Tanahashi with elbows and the crowd started booing Moxley! Moxley locked in another choke with the body scissors and the crowd started to chant “Go Ace!” for Tanahashi. Moxley tried a bulldog choke but Tanahashi fought up. Moxley then hit the Death Rider and Moxley got the pinfall.
Winner: Jon Moxley via pinfall (18:16)
AEW post-match action
After the match, Moxley and Tanahashi had words and tried to shake hands, but Daniel Garcia and Chris Jericho ran in and attacked.
Eddie Kingston ran in after Jericho, and Wheeler Yuta, Santana, and Ortiz followed. Soon, the rest of the Jericho Appreciation Society followed. Claudio ran in and went right after Jericho, taking him out with the pop-up uppercut.
Claudio got Matt Maynard in the Giant Swing giving him 20 revolutions (according to the commentators, anyway).
After the Jericho Appreciation Society was run off, Claudio and Kingston had harsh words for each other to close out the show.
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.