AEW President Tony Khan reflected on the AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door pay-per-view during an appearance on Grapsody for a new interview.
The event had its difficulties, as then-AEW World Champion CM Punk suffered an injury early in the build.
Forbidden Door grossed over $5 million on pay-per-view with a gate of over $1.1 million, ranking second in AEW history only to Double or Nothing 2022.
Khan said, “The show was so awesome, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was so great, I do wish we would have been able to do some of the stuff we hadn’t done, but the show ended up perfect and what a great event for AEW. It’s the most successful debut of any AEW franchise in every conceivable way.”
Khan mentioned the difficulties that New Japan Pro Wrestling faced:
“All the changes going into Forbidden Door, it was challenging, but keeping cool and really making sure we had a great card and working with New Japan, I don’t think they’ve had the same experience in terms of producing American pay-per-views, and what you have to do in terms of getting people on the show. I made no secret that there was a point of, ‘We need to get the guys over here and get them on TV and start building the matches.’ It’s challenging because I can’t imagine how hard it would be for me to build a pay-per-view in another country while I’m trying to run my promotion here. For them, it was really hard, but they were great about it. When we got Tanahashi and Will Ospreay over, they did great things for us on the show and great numbers. That shows the kind of star power they have, and I think their top stars really are needle movers, and they’ve been great for us.”
Khan also discussed Punk’s injury and how it affected other stars:
“That was a challenge coming out of it, realizing CM Punk had broken his foot because we had plans for CM Punk and FTR as a trio and plans going into Forbidden Door, there was a lot of stuff there. A lot of the build around Tanahashi and build around FTR with United Empire and Aussie Open and the involvement of Will Ospreay and how that led to Orange Cassidy and Best Friends. The whole map was drawn out differently and it was really cool, it just didn’t happen the way I thought it could’ve if people hadn’t gotten hurt. There’s nothing you can do about that.”
You can check out the compete interview below: