At 5 AM EST, New Japan Pro-Wrestling hosted a press conference to officially reveal two huge matches for AEW Forbidden Door on June 25. Not only will Kenny Omega defend the IWGP United States Championship against Will Ospreay in a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom earlier this year, but we will also get the long-awaited dream match between Bryan Danielson and Kazuchika Okada.
When it comes to the IWGP United States Championship match, Ospreay had the following to say in a pre-recorded message regarding his match against Kenny Omega.
“What people need to understand is what this match actually means to me. At the Tokyo Dome I got embarrassed, humiliated, by the returning prodigal son,” Will Ospreay said. “You have no idea what that did to me. My family was at home watching me being desecrated by you. This is about redemption, this is about revenge. In Toronto, your home country, home soil, I’m going to do to you exactly what you did to me.”
Unlike Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada appeared live to take questions from the media regarding his match with Bryan Danielson. The Rainmaker’s opening statement expressed his excitement to wrestle someone new at this year’s Forbidden Door as the men he wrestled last year he had been in the ring with before.
“Last year I wrestled at Forbidden Door, but it was against Jay White, Adam Cole, and Hangman Page, people I’d wrestled before,” Kazuchika Okada said. “This time, it’s against someone new, and a big AEW star, so I’m looking forward to it. But this is a battle of NJPW vs AEW, so I plan on carrying NJPW on my shoulders and winning for the company and the New Japan fans.”
When asked about Danielson’s challenge video, Okada admitted he was flattered to have his talents recognized by someone he’s never competed against before.
“I’m flattered, a little. To have the wrestling I’ve done be recognized by someone I’ve never wrestled before is nice,” Kazuchika Okada admitted. “So, please, take it all in, first hand. I’ve got plenty for him to experience, and I plan on him experiencing Kazuchika Okada to the fullest.”
When asked about the fact that Danielson’s challenge video has already surpassed two million views worldwide, making this a true dream match, Okada said he’s happy about taking part in a dream match that can capture the attention of the whole world.
“There have been a lot of dream matches over the years, but not many that can truly capture fans the world over. I’m happy to be half of a dream match that can do just that,” Kazuchika Okada said. “The world will be watching, and some of those people might not know Kazuchika Okada as well, but I feel like, if not a representative of my country, but a representative of Japanese professional wrestling. I want to show people with this match just how good Japanese wrestling can be.”
When asked what he respects the most about Danielson, Okada shockingly admitted that he hadn’t seen a lot of The American Dragon’s work in All Elite Wrestling or WWE.
“To be honest, I haven’t really taken in Bryan’s work in AEW or WWE, so I’m not sure I can say with certainty exactly the kind of wrestler he is,” Kazuchika Okada admitted. “But that’s why I’m looking forward to this. I know that he isn’t the tallest guy, isn’t the biggest either, but he’s been able to be a big star in those companies, and be right at the top as a champion.
“So that shows how good he is in the ring, and how much charisma he has to boot. In Osaka Jo Hall, there were those ‘yes’ chants that showed how far his name has traveled. Fans who don’t watch American wrestling still know who he is, and that says a lot. I’m looking forward to facing him, and I look forward to getting the win.
Okada closed the press conference in English and told Danielson that they’d find out who truly is the best in the world at Forbidden Door.
What do you make of the first two match announcements for AEW Forbidden Door? Which match are you most looking forward to? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.