A mystery opponent will be handpicked by Bryan Danielson to take on Zack Sabre Jr. at AEW x NJPW: Forbidden Door on Sunday, June 26. Who could it be?
The AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view was set to be a dream event for professional wrestling fans. While the card is relatively strong, it is missing big stars that are out due to injuries. One of those stars is Bryan Danielson.
On the June 22 episode of AEW Dynamite, Danielson approached the ring to inform fans that he was initially scheduled to take on Zack Sabre Jr. at Forbidden Door, but he can no longer due so, as he is not cleared to compete. However, he did announce that he will handpick his replacement to not only face Sabre at the pay-per-view, but also to join the Blackpool Combat Club stable and compete in the Blood and Guts match against the Jericho Appreciation Society on the June 29 episode of Dynamite.
That has fans wondering who the mystery wrestler could be.
Who is replacing Bryan Danielson at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door?
Based on the reports that have surfaced thus far, it is going to be a true mystery.
Given the tease that Danielson made this past Wednesday, fans instantly began thinking about Cesaro, real name Claudio Castagnoli. Earlier this year, Castagnoli’s contract with WWE expired and both sides did not reach an agreement on a new deal.
According to Fightful Select (subscription required), Castagnoli has been at Flatbacks Wrestling School in Orlando, FL multiple times over the last several weeks, training in the ring. However, Fightful says they have not heard if Castagnoli will actually be Danielson’s replacement at Forbidden Door and for the Blood and Guts match.
Another name linked to the Forbidden Door event is Johnny Gargano, who has been linked to every mystery opponent teased by AEW since his WWE contract expired back in December.
Garagno posted on his Twitter account earlier in the week that he will be in Chicago on Sunday, June 26, for The Chicago Card Show. That is the very day that Forbidden Door is being held at the United Center in Chicago. Gargano did address that in a reply, saying that this appearance was booked months in advance, but knows that “5-percent” of fans “are going to believe [he’s] actually telling the truth.”
Company president Tony Khan discussed Danielson being pulled from the card, but hyped up the mystery wrestler that will take on Sabre during a media call on June 24.
“It was one of those also perfect situations, because rarely do the stars align where you have a mystery opponent and a chance to build up a moment like this,” Khan said, h/t WrestlingInc. “It’s very fitting to go back to the United Center, where we’ve only had one show, and it was a great moment, and I know for sure we’re going to have that great moment.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of great moments to expect on the show, but one thing I know is this great moment, when we introduce Zack Sabre Jr’s mystery opponent. I’m really excited about it and I wish it had happened under different circumstances.”
The only way to find out who will take on Zack Sabre Jr. at Forbidden Door and join the Blackpool Combat Club for Blood and Guts match is to tune in for the pay-per-view event this Sunday.