Last Sunday saw AEW and NJPW collide in their monumental cross-over Pay Per View Forbidden Door. Yet another amazing pay-per-view, there was one match that felt like a dud amongst the other matches that saw AEW and New Japan talent clash.
Despite being a hard-hitting match, the AEW Women’s Title match between Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm failed felt slightly out of place. It lacked that ‘one in a lifetime’ excitement you got from seeing megastars like Hiroshi Tanahashi, Okada or Zack Sabre Jr.
The lack of female Japanese wrestlers stood out more during the title match when New Japan commentator Kevin Kelly referenced both Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm’s history with Stardom. He even went as far as referring to Stardom as the sister promotion of New Japan. Which begs the question, why wasn’t there a Stardom presence at Forbidden Door? Where was the array of world-class Joshi talent that is the Stardom roster?
According to Tony Khan, the lack of Stardom’s presence at the PPV was not for lack of trying. Instead, Khan cited scheduling conflicts, prior commitments and visas as the reason for the lack of Japanese women at the PPV.
According to Fightful, when speaking with the press in the post-show scrum for Forbidden Door, Khan said:
“I was interested in using Stardom, obviously they have a close relationship with New Japan, and all the wrestlers from Stardom were pretty much booked and they didn’t have visas. It was a big obstacle. There is definitely potential there.
Certainly, Toni is one of the hottest and rising stars in AEW since she arrived in AEW. I thought it made great sense because she’s been a champion in Japan, has great experience at Stardom, and someone who has been on our TV. It was a great match we could build to. It was not a blood rivalry. I was forged in mutual respect and fought it with honor. It was a great wrestling match and it was cool. I thought Toni was the perfect choice given who was on our TV, who was pushed, and knowing that, while it would have been another challenge, in addition to many other challenges, to take people from Stardom and get them over on our TV, it would have been possible to do it, absolutely, but availability is the greatest ability of all in this business and most businesses. In this case, there was no availability. Toni, for many reasons, was a great choice and they had a great match,”
Do you agree with Tony Khan’s statement? Was Toni Storm the right choice? Whom would you have liked to see face Thunder Rosa at Forbidden Door? Let us know what you think?