AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door News: Original Plans for ROH & IWGP Tag Titles Match, Event Revenues, Rocky Romero

Original Plans for ROH & IWGP Tag Team Championships Match at Forbidden Door

This past Sunday’s AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Forbidden Door event featured a Winner Takes All match for the ROH World Tag Team and the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships between FTR (ROH), Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan (IWGP), and Roppongi Vice. This match resulted in FTR retaining their ROH belts and becoming the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.

Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his sources stated that NJPW head booker Gedo originally had planned for this match to feature the AEW World Tag Team Championship with the Young Bucks winning to also become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.

Meltzer reported that those plans were eventually changed with FTR replacing the Young Bucks, who were okay with the decision since they felt it would have been a cool story for FTR to hold the IWGP, AEW, and AAA Tag Team Championships at the same time.

Forbidden Door’s Attendance, Revenues Breakdowns, & Reaction Over Early PPV Buys Rate

During this past Sunday’s Forbidden Door event, AEW announced that they had a live attendance of 16,529. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the breakdown was around 15,100 paid tickets and the rest as comp tickets.

In regards to the event’s revenues, Meltzer reported that the live gate revenue was around $1.1 million and just missed out on tying the record of $1.15 million for the largest live gate for an AEW event in AEW history, currently held by this past May’s Double or Nothing 2022 event.

Total revenues for the event reportedly is currently estimated to be around $6.97 million with around $4.52 million as the gross revenue for AEW after deducting pay-per-view splits. Of that amount, around $80,000 was generated from ticket sales from those who watched the event at theaters and around $225,000 from live merchandise sales.

In regards to the current PPV buys estimates of 125,000 to 127,000, Meltzer reported that those within the the cable PPV industry and Bleacher Report currently feel that AEW could be successful going with a monthly PPV model for their events. The basis for this thinking reportedly revolves around the short time period between AEW’s Double or Nothing 2022 event and Forbidden Door resulted in a PPV buy rate not that far off to what AEW had been averaging. Another reason is the current belief that AEW has a very solid audience who purchases PPV events.

Rocky Romero Comments on Kenny Omega’s Role in Helping Make Forbidden Door a Reality

Denise Salcedo held a recent interview with Rocky Romero. One of the topics discussed included Romero’s thoughts on the the early role Kenny Omega had that helped make AEW and NJPW’s Forbidden Door event become a reality.

“The New Japan/AEW relationship was kinda on ice when the Elite guys had exited New Japan and there was kind of a worry of how they were gonna go forward. Our president at the time didn’t really see the potential in maybe working with AEW. We already had partners in ROH and CMLL, so maybe they were thinking, ‘Let’s see how this AEW thing works out before jumping into it, so we don’t offend our partners Obviously those guys had left ROH too, so it was a very messy and complicated situation.

Now jumping forward to, I would say, a year-and-a-half ago when Kenny (Omega) called me and had pitched the idea of kind of opening the doors a little bit. Obviously, (Jon) Moxley and (Chris) Jericho were still working with New Japan, but Kenny and the (Young) Bucks were a pivotal, important part of New Japan prior to AEW and they are EVPs, so they hold a lot of power. Not wanting to forget about them completely, we had to open the relationship and Kenny kind of opened that and said ‘Hey, I have this idea of KENTA coming into AEW and working with Moxley since they already had a storyline’ and that’s kinda where everything started.”

Romero also stated that the actual idea for AEW and NJPW to hold a co-promoted event came from a text message he had sent to AEW CEO Tony Khan.

“Now, nobody get mad at me if my memory doesn’t serve me well. I think that I sent a text to Tony and said, ‘I think it would be cool if somehow we can figure out how to do some kind of joint event’ and then it just kinda started from there. Then he immediately had ideas about what we could do card-wise, honestly starting with Okada, Jay (White), Hangman (Page). I am not sure if Cole was in the picture at that time or if he came later.

But that was already kind of an idea, so it’s funny that it worked out that way, all the way to Forbidden Door. This conversation was like ten months ago or so, I would say. I think that’s kinda how it started and then it just snowballed. So, I wanna say 10 months ago, it started with that text.”

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