Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi | The Ace Against The Death Rider

Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi. On June 26th, 2022, in the main event of the AEW x NJPW Supershow, Forbidden Door was for the Interim AEW World Champion. It was to be crowned at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Jon Moxley looked to become the only man to hold the AEW World championship twice.

 But the only thing that stood in his way was Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi looked to break down the forbidden door to win the top prize in All Elite Wrestling.
This is the journey to their first-ever match against one another.
Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi
[Photo: AEW]

Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi:
A Wish Of Violence Granted

When Lance Archer defeated Jon Moxley for the IWGP United States Championship in a Texas Death match on the July 21st, 2021, edition of Dynamite, Hiroshi Tanahashi made a challenge to Lance Archer for the title for NJPW Resurgence on August 14th, 2022, the next week. This did not sit well with Jon Moxley, who cut a backstage promo on the same night, in which he stated that Tanahashi has been hiding from him since he first came to NJPW, calling him out to match.

Tanahashi added insult to injury by winning the IWGP United States Championship at Resurgence from Lance Archer whilst Moxley was watching from the crowd, seething at the result. The match was rumored for September 5th at All Out 2021, but instead, Moxley faced off against Satoshi Kojima, showing the Ace how he deals with Japanese legends step up to him.

The call-outs continued after Moxley defeated Will Ospreay on April 16th, 2022, at NJPW Windy City Riot. Both men finally went head-to-head during the IWGP US Championship Fatal Four Way on May 14th, 2022, at NJPW Capital Collision, in which Tanahashi put Moxley through a table that cost both men the title. The ongoing rivalry now began to truly pick up.

AEW Dynamite Jon Moxley Hiroshi Tanahashi Chris Jericho Will Ospreay Lance Archer Malakai Black -
[Photo: TSN]
The original match planned for Hiroshi Tanahashi at Forbidden Door was a dream contest against the AEW World Champion, CM Punk, but plans changed when on the June 3rd edition of Rampage, Punk announced that he was injured with a broken foot and was unable to compete.

This was the opportunity that Moxley had been waiting for, who defeated Kyle O’Reilly on the June 8th edition of Dynamite, punching his ticket to the Interim AEW World Championship match at Forbidden Door. Tanahashi earned his right to face Moxley for the interim title by defeating Hirooki Goto o June 12th at Dominion 2022. This sets up the main event for the Forbidden Door Supershow: Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Interim AEW World Championship.

Both wrestlers had a face-off on the June 15th, Road Rager, edition of Dynamite, in which Jon Moxley showed his respects to the history of NJPW, from the strong style developed by Antonio Inoki to the legends of today. He also wanted to be the ‘Bogeyman of New Japan, ’ taking out all the legends like Yuji Nagata and Satoshi Kojima, with the final man on the hit list being the Ace.

The intensity was building between the two rivals until Lance Archer, El Desperado, and the Jericho Appreciation Society attacked them, which saw the fighters join forces to take down their adversaries. This led to a match on the June 22nd edition of Dynamite, seeing Moxley and Tanahashi facing off against Lance Archer and Chris Jericho.

ALL ELITE WRESTLING DYNAMITE PREVIEW 6/22: Jericho & Archer vs. Moxley & Tanahashi, Penta vs. Malakai in All-Atlantic Qualifier, Freshly Squeezed Trios Match, A Problem for Toni, Danielson, Christian - Pro Wrestling
[Photo: PWTorch]

Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi:
Ace vs. Death Rider

There is more in the match rather than the Interim AEW World Championship. Hiroshi Tanahashi became the Ace of NJPW through his consistent hard work, many important title reigns with many of the titles in the company, and his loyalty to the fans.

On the other hand, Jon Moxley also became the Ace of All Elite Wrestling through his iconic departure from WWE to AEW to make a new legacy for himself. He held the world title with pride and lineage. As well as traveling the indie scene in companies such as GCW, Defy, and even NJPW, in the name of being All Elite.

Since Jon Moxley joined AEW at Double Or Nothing 2019, he has been dead set on proving that he is the best wrestler in the world. He created a long list of greats that he has defeated all over the wrestling circuit, such as Kenny Omega, Tomohiro Ishii, Bryan Danielson, and many more. Hiroshi Tanahashi has been in his sights for a while. Still, The Death Rider gets to take his shot finally, but not only to add another notch to his claim of the best wrestler in the world but also to defend his home from another company’s Ace, invading to take AEW’s top prize.

Jon Moxley & Hiroshi Tanahashi to compete for Interim AEW World Title at 'Forbidden Door'
[Photo: Post Wrestling]
The winner of this match only goes halfway to cementing their legacy. CM Punk will be waiting at the other side of the tunnel to prove who is the true AEW World Champion. However, this is not the focus on either man’s mind. Their focus is on each other ad proving which company has the tougher Ace to represent it with one of wrestling’s biggest prizes waiting for the victor.

This brings us to today. On June 26th at AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door, Jon Moxley, and Hiroshi Tanahashi will face off for the Interim AEW World Championship. Both men have the same motivations of proving that they are the top Ace of their respective companies, but very different approaches, with Jon Moxley’s violent brawling going up against Hiroshi Tanahashi’s wrestling finesse.

Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi is a dream match that was finally realized not only for the wrestling world but also for both wrestlers wanting to find out who is the greatest. So will Jon Moxley claim his second world title reign by taking out the most prominent legend in NJPW to prove that he is on top of wrestling? Or will Hiroshi Tanahashi break the Forbidden Door by taking the violence to become the AEW World Championship?