This past Wednesday night’s AEW: Dynamite went off the air with a chaotic brawl that ultimately crescendoed into a staredown between two of the biggest stars in professional wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Kazuchika Okada and All Elite Wrestling’s Bryan Danielson. The two men are set to square off in a dream match this Sunday at AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door 2, and, based on what Excalibur said on commentary, it will be the main event.
It is somewhat unbelievable that the match is even taking place as for years the two men wrestled for different promotions, in different countries, and at various points have had to battle different injuries, as well. In Danielson’s case, due to concussions that he suffered during his career, he was forced to temporarily retire from pro wrestling in 2015, with many believing he would never wrestle again. Fortunately, almost three years later to the day, he was finally cleared to return to action, and in 2021, he signed with AEW, who has a good relationship with NJPW, which opened the forbidden door for this bout to take place.
As historic as the confrontation between the two men is, there is still a spotlight being shined on the backstage area when it comes to the locker room politics of the promotion. While many have been hopeful that CM Punk and The Elite’s camp would be able to bury the hatchet following AEW: All Out, the two sides have reportedly not spoken, and no movement has been made toward making amends.
Regardless, Punk is back, and based on the reaction from the crowd and the viewership stats for Collision, he is still very relevant. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Okada was asked about a potential match against The Second City Saint.
“I’m not sure—The Young Bucks are kind of friends of mine,” he said with a laugh. “But if fans want to see the match, I want to do it. In Chicago.”
Forbidden Door 3 is likely just a little more than a year away, start the rumor mill in regard to Punk vs Okada going down in The United Center.