You know it’s a big deal when it has to be explained five times.
After it took AEW owner/president/booker Tony Khan three tweets to spell out the news he promised for last night’s Rampage, which was that there would be news on Dynamite next Wednesday (Feb. 9)... fans were still confused.
Much of this has to do with debating the meaning of “Forbidden Door”. The phrase started as something cool Hiroshi Tanahashi said to allude to the tensions between New Japan Pro-Wrestling and AEW due to Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks leaving the former to start the latter. It’s since been co-opted by wrestling fans to refer to a wrestler from one company appearing on another’s show.
AEW’s also filed a trademark so they can use it however they want. Khan and Cody Rhodes have both referred to themselves as “The Forbidden Door”, and the news about TK’s upcoming announcement (or is it an announcement about upcoming news?) featured the boss trying to explain the company’s official definition. Then he moved on to announcing this match for Dynamite:
With a great showing in tonight’s #AEWRampage TNT Title bout @IsiahKassidy has earned a qualifying match for a spot in the Face of the Revolution ladder match with a TNT Title shot at stake! His opponent will debut Wednesday + sign a contract with AEW!— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) February 5, 2022
Isiah vs ? on #AEWDynamite! pic.twitter.com/298rzWyfe6
And in case you’re thinking this is a different debut than the “top wrestler” Khan tweeted up earlier, I think this is him saying there’s just one debut, and that person is wrestling Isiah Kassidy for a spot in the ladder match for a title shot at Revolution?
The big announcement for Wednesday’s Dynamite that we referenced on #AEWRampage (a free agent debut) and the person walking through the Forbidden Door are one and the same. They’re walking in the door, signing a contract, and then slamming the door shut Wednesday on #AEWDynamite!— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) February 5, 2022
The confusing nature of all this has led to a lot of discussion, so maybe it’s galaxy brain promotion the rest of us haven’t caught up to yet. Five tweets for one announcement gives us a lot to chew on, and the “rules” Khan’s laid out have opened a Forbidden Door (sorry, not sorry) of possibilities:
- It could be someone from New Japan, like noted CM Punk-hater KENTA.
- Someone associated with another company whose contract is expiring, like Impact’s Josh Alexander.
- A WWE release whose 90 day non-compete’s expired, like Keith Lee.
- A WWE release whose 90 day isn’t expired, but who can afford to ignore that contract clause and may even have legal justification (such as a negative drug test) to invalidate it. This specific set of circumstances only applies to one Jeffrey Nero Hardy.
- Someone who hasn’t even been released, setting up a fight over independent contractor status. This seems like a real pipe dream, but I’d pop for Mustafa Ali.
Keep making guesses, and give us your interpretation of TK’s tweets, in the comments below.