Jon Moxley is confused about the “forbidden” nature of the “Forbidden Door” between All Elite Wrestling and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“I really am over that term, myself,” Moxley told his wife Renée Paquette on her podcast, “The Sessions.”
“Everybody is using it,” Moxley said of the term, coined by Hiroshi Tanahashi. “But now, it’s not ‘forbidden’ anymore because now there’s a nice little working relationship.
“So, the door’s not ‘forbidden.’ There are ‘forbidden doors’ but there does not exist one between AEW and New Japan.” Moxley explained that there was a frosty relationship between the two companies for a couple of years, but even then, the ‘forbidden’ moniker didn’t feel right to him because “I’ve been in New Japan for three years and I’ve been in AEW for three years. I’ve been in both this whole time.
“… The relationship was not good, so I was a good neutral party, I think, to help bridge the gap over the past few years,” Moxley said of splitting time between AEW & NJPW since he parted ways with WWE in 2019. “ Because I love both and owe so much to both.”
Moxley signed a six-month contract before signing with AEW, though he debuted on AEW programming before NJPW programming. The initial NJPW contract ran from his June 2019 debut to his two nights in the Tokyo Dome where he wrestled on both nights of Wrestle Kingdom 14. “So, I’ve been there this whole time. I kind of figured a bunch of people would be doing that too.”
Despite both companies working with Moxley, Moxley soon learned the relationship was “not good,” leaving him to be the main conduit for communication between the two promotions, and it leaves him with a sense of pride over the event. “I’ve been such a proponent of ‘we should have some kind of relationship going on together. This is stupid.’
“… There were plenty of people who told me to stop going to New Japan,” Moxley said, saying that many felt the relationship would never truly be warm, but it all changed when, “that Harold guy got fired from New Japan, that really opened it up or whatever,” referring to the departure of NJPW executive Harold Meij.
“To me, the benefit was not to have this big Supershow,” Moxley continued, saying that ultimately an open-door policy would be good for the young talent of AEW. “I was saying years ago that we’ve got all these young guys and no house show schedule or whatever, and they need to get experience.
Moxley went on to say that not only young talent want the experience, as “a lot of times you just want reps, to try stuff out.”
“We don’t have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then do a show Monday for TV. We just have TV.”
Moxley went on to explain how he understands the tricky politics of sending a contracted talent to another promotion, but he felt that, ultimately, it’s for their benefit. Moxley used the example of Darby Allin.
“I get that he’s your guy, and you pay him, and you don’t want him to get hurt, and you also probably wouldn’t want him to put over everybody in Japan, but at the same time, send him over there . Who gives a sh*t how many matches he wins and how many matches he loses?”
It was this mentality that led Moxley, along with his Blackpool Combat Club cohorts to push Wheeler Yuta to take part in NJPW’s prestigious Best of Super Juniors tournament. The young wrestler had brought up how the tournament was the same time as AEW’s Double or Nothing PPV, and the group told him to, “‘Go, not even a question.'”
“Ten matches against the top Jr. Heavyweights in the world versus one match,” felt like an easy choice for the young talent, as Moxley felt that Yuta is “a young dude who we need to build into something better,” with the losses not mattering over the experience. “Who gives a sh*t what his record is at the end of the tournament?”
The upcoming Forbidden Door PPV feels like a moment where Moxley is coming full circle after being a lone pioneer contracted to two less-than-friendly promotions. “It was hard in 2020 working for both,” Moxley concluded, “I was doing it all on my own.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the “The Sessions with Renée Paquette” podcast and give ah/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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