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AEW isn’t the only company taking advantage of the Forbidden Door

AEW, Impact Wrestling, Forbidden Door, Scott D'Amore, Rockey Romero,

It’s hard to look at Forbidden Door, the AEW x NJPW Pay-Per-View as anything other than a resounding success for all parties involved.

AEW did another massive gate in Chicago, a city so good to the Khan company that some have even linked a potential Jaguars move from Jacksonville to the soon-to-be-vacant Soldier Field, NJPW got their product in front of a new collection of wrestling fans, and the performers themselves were afforded a massive stage from which to showcase their individual talents.

Some, like Will Ospreay, took advantage of the opportunity afforded to them and elevated their place in the wrestling world considerably, with some still clamoring to see the “Commonwealth Kingpin” back in an AEW ring, while others, like Adam Cole, not only saw their perceived place in one of the most important factions in modern professional wrestling come to an end but did so while also landing on the proverbial injury report with a concussion.

And yet, as you may or may not know, the Forbidden Door isn’t actually Tony Khan the man, or a concept owned by AEW, outside of the Pay-Per-View name, of course. No, the Forbidden Door is technically available to any promoter who is willing to pay up and bring in external talents to their promotion in the hopes of getting a few more eyes on their product. This concept has been deployed by MLW for both their Fusion weekly show and their biggest event of the year, Battle Riot, by mid-major promotions like Warrior, Progress, and GCW for, well, for basically anything they do since they don’t have full-time rosters with exclusive talent, and most notably by Impact Wrestling, whose top creative mind, Scott D’Amore, has been peaking through the Forbidden Door for almost as long as AEW has been, and even allowed Tony Khan to cut some objectively hilarious commercials in exchange for giving Kenny Omega the company’s top belt.

If you’ve been a fan of indie wrestling for a while now but feel a little seasick after the COVID-19 Pandemic shuffled the cards and sent favorites bouncing from one promotion to another, then you might just be in luck, as the next Impact “Premium Live Event,” Impact Emergence, has a variable murder’s row of the best indie talents D’Amore can book, and the best part of all is it comes free of charge on the company’s streaming services, or for $9.99 via Fite TV.

Impact Wrestling is embracing the Forbidden Door AEW-style.

Imagine, if you will, a card featuring former champions of WWE, NXT, Impact, Ring of Honor, NJPW, Lucha Underground, Lucha Libre AAA, CMLL, MLW, and a PWG champion, all duking it out on a random Friday in the middle of August for at most $10. Even five years ago, that would have been tough to imagine, as the wrestling world was far less open and partnerships like the one between ROH and NJPW, or ROH and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) were far less common.

Now, however, fans can simply tune in to see a Lucha Libre AAA branded match on an Impact Pay-Per-View in Bandido versus Rey Horus, watch some of the ex-members of MexiBlood’s former company members, Matt Taven, Chris Bennett, Vincent, PCO, and Maria Kanellis-Bennett of the cheekily named group Honor No More take on representatives of NJPW’s Bullet Club, Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Hikeleo, and then watch “Speedball” Mike Bailey, Jack Evens formerly of AEW, and Rockey Romero of Roppongi Vice fame duke it out for the Impact X Division Championship.

Heck, fans can even watch Mia Yim, Keith Lee’s wife who was unfortunately placed in the Retribution stable on WWE before being quietly released back in 2021, take part in her first one-on-one Pay-Per-View championship match since all the way back in 2019, when she lost to Shayna Baszler at NXT TakeOver: Toronto all the way back in August of 2019. While this match will likely end the same way as Yim’s last title opportunity, as Jordynne Grace is just 50 days into her championship reign and is coming off of a very high-profile defense versus Deonna Purrazzo and Rachael Ellering at Ric Flair’s Last Match, in Impact Wrestling, you never really know.

So why, you may ask, has Impact embraced such a fast-and-loose style for their Pay-Per-View events? Why are they willing to put over outside talent and sometimes even book matches with no Impact representation at all? Well, none other than Rockey Romero had a pretty good quote on the matter – via Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful – that sums it up quite nicely.

“Scott has been in the game so long and understands and respects Japanese wrestling and New Japan. He understands the value of it. I don’t think the old regime really understood or valued New Japan in that way, which I don’t understand because a lot of those guys came from WCW and New Japan was such an important part of WCW. Scott totally understands it and has been supportive in every way. We’re always talking ‘how can we do more? How can we make Thursday nights a destination for wrestling fans?'”

Whether it’s Thursday or a Friday night Pay-Per-View for $10, I’d say giving the people what they want is a pretty sound strategy for any venture.