PPV part of forbidden doorAEW and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s second joint show began on June 25 as Maxwell Jacob Friedman defended his world title against Ace of the Universe.
MJF only agreed to a match against Hiroshi Tanahashi last Wednesday, prompted by his reluctant partner Adam Cole. Friedman acted as if Tanahashi and the “independent feed” he represented were beneath him. He even had it embroidered on the back of his robe.
When it wasn’t as easy for Max as he thought…
…the AEW Champion went on to walk out of the match and lose by countdown. But Tanahashi made the Toronto crowd chant “co-ward” (the same thing Cole did last week) to get MJF to continue the match.
This was a slow paced matter. At 46 years old and decades of Strong Style matches under his belt, that’s par for the course with Tanahashi these days. But he still has an amazing connection with the public — something he shares with the 27-year-old Friedman. Both men had ample opportunities to play in front of the Scotiabank Arena crowd.
MJF did this by disrespecting The One, True Ace, calling him a joke and even spitting on him. Tanahashi did so by shooting from it, causing the fans who had been cheering both men early on to chant “Go Ace” in unison. That return saw Tanahashi hit a Slingblade, but as he went into the High Fly Flow, the AEW Champion raised his knees. The problem is, Max was selling a knee injury for most of the match, so both men were on the floor after the spot.
MJF followed familiar tactics. He got his belt back, and when referee Bryce Remsberg took it away from him, he missed Tanahashi covering Friedman more than three times. While the New Japan Legend argued so, Max used his Dynamite diamond ring to lock Tanahashi’s watch, securing the win.
Get complete forbidden door Results and coverage of the entire show here.
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