AEW Champion Chris Jericho defeated New Japan ‘ace’ Hiroshi Tanahashi on Night 2 of Wrestle Kingdom. During the build to the match Tanahashi stated that if he defeated Jericho that he would ‘open the forbidden door’ and ask for an AEW Championship match. Jericho stated before the WK event that he would face Tanahashi in a bout for his AEW title were New Japan’s Ace to defeat him inside the Tokyo Dome.
This stipulation added intrigue to the bout, with fans wondering if AEW and NJPW had come to some sort of arrangement. When Jericho made his entrance at Wrestle Kingdom he wore the belt under his jacket, getting a large pop from the crowd when he revealed the gold around his waist. The commentary desk made several references to Jericho being the AEW Champion, with NJPW play by play announcer Kevin Kelly stating that the “forbidden door is closed” once Tanahashi lost the bout.
Although the tensions and issues between the two companies are fierce there does appear to be a small chance that the two could work together. It is worth mentioning that before the match NJPW made several references to AEW in their promos and on their website, AEW however made no reference to NJPW or Tanahashi on their programming or in any promotional material.