John Moxley is the perfect ace up AEW’s Sleeve in front of the “Forbidden Door”

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The location of the main event of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door wasn’t supposed to belong to John Moxley, but now that he’s there, it really feels like fate, as recently (and boldly) Tony Khan declared. Perhaps this is somewhat exaggerated, but such an atmosphere corresponds to an event that has been preparing for more than three years. And this matchup with Hiroshi Tanahashi is the one the Cincinnati, Ohio native has been chasing since he left WWE.

It’s easy to forget now, but when Moxley ran away from the largest sports entertainment company in history, AEW was far from reliable. Khan had the money to do something, but it was unclear if All Elite could maintain the momentum created by these first few shows in an independent style. So when he bumped into Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega after the main event of the first Double Or Nothing in 2019, former Dean Ambrose took a pretty big risk. After all, this was the first AEW event, and no one knew what to expect in the weeks and months to come. This paradigm shift also allowed Moxley to eventually become this version of himself. An immutable AEW ace, able to go to any main event at any time.

Related: AEW Can’t Afford to Think Too Much about Chasing the TNT Wardlaw Championship

Tanahashi was supposed to fight CM Punk at Forbidden Door, but due to injury, he did not participate in this event. It was immediately decided that Moxley would take the place of Punk. Of course, there was a tournament to determine who would continue to fight for the AEW Intermediate World Championship on this pay-per-view, but the winner was a foregone conclusion. Kyle O’Reilly put up a hell of a fight, but neither the fight nor the wrestler could stand between Moxley and this moment.

His battles with addiction are well documented, and he recently spoke in detail about sessions with Renee Puckett about what it was like to come back after his stint in rehab for alcoholics. “So my first return match, you think it’s going to be something like, ‘OK, now you’re sober, so you’re just going to feel like a million dollars.’ It doesn’t really work that way,” he said. Puckett. He continued by stating that he feels better with every match, culminating in a fight against Brian Danielson at the Revolution tournament. It was then that he finally felt good in the ring.

That night the Blackpool Fighting Club was born. In a way, Moxley was reborn, too. Finally sober, healthy and spared the miserable experience in WWE, he was ready to claim his place as a reliable and profitable AEW star. Players like Danielson and Punk were important signings for the All Elite, but they weren’t at the same risk as Moxley three years ago. He believed in All Elite Wrestling, and AEW repaid him in kind by placing him in the Forbidden Door pay-per-view main event in a match that is both a dream fight for fans and for Moxley himself.

The location of the main event of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door wasn’t supposed to belong to John Moxley, but now that he’s there, it really feels like fate, as recently (and boldly) Tony Khan declared. Perhaps this is somewhat exaggerated, but such an atmosphere corresponds to an event that has been preparing for more than three years. And this matchup with Hiroshi Tanahashi is the one the Cincinnati, Ohio native has been chasing since he left WWE.

It’s easy to forget now, but when Moxley ran away from the largest sports entertainment company in history, AEW was far from reliable. Khan had the money to do something, but it was unclear if All Elite could maintain the momentum created by these first few shows in an independent style. So when he bumped into Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega after the main event of the first Double Or Nothing in 2019, former Dean Ambrose took a pretty big risk. After all, this was the first AEW event, and no one knew what to expect in the weeks and months to come. This paradigm shift also allowed Moxley to eventually become this version of himself. An immutable AEW ace, able to go to any main event at any time.

Related: AEW Can’t Afford to Think Too Much about Chasing the TNT Wardlaw Championship

Tanahashi was supposed to fight CM Punk at Forbidden Door, but due to injury, he did not participate in this event. It was immediately decided that Moxley would take the place of Punk. Of course, there was a tournament to determine who would continue to fight for the AEW Intermediate World Championship on this pay-per-view, but the winner was a foregone conclusion. Kyle O’Reilly put up a hell of a fight, but neither the fight nor the wrestler could stand between Moxley and this moment.

His battles with addiction are well documented, and he recently spoke in detail about sessions with Renee Puckett about what it was like to come back after his stint in rehab for alcoholics. “So my first return match, you think it’s going to be something like, ‘OK, now you’re sober, so you’re just going to feel like a million dollars.’ It doesn’t really work that way,” he said. Puckett. He continued by stating that he feels better with every match, culminating in a fight against Brian Danielson at the Revolution tournament. It was then that he finally felt good in the ring.

That night the Blackpool Fighting Club was born. In a way, Moxley was reborn, too. Finally sober, healthy and spared the miserable experience in WWE, he was ready to claim his place as a reliable and profitable AEW star. Players like Danielson and Punk were important signings for the All Elite, but they weren’t at the same risk as Moxley three years ago. He believed in All Elite Wrestling, and AEW repaid him in kind by placing him in the Forbidden Door pay-per-view main event in a match that is both a dream fight for fans and for Moxley himself.