Hiroshi Tanahashi doesn't care who is waiting behind The Forbidden Door, he wants to continue walking through it.
Recently, Hiroshi Tanahashi made an on-screen appearance on AEW Dynamite, revealing that he wanted to become IWGP United States Champion. Later that same evening, Lance Archer defeated Jon Moxley to capture the coveted championship.
After this, Jon Moxley made it very well known that he was upset about Tanahashi’s declaration because he had been trying to wrestle more Japanese stars. He would then declare himself the one that was waiting behind The Forbidden Door, a term that Tanahashi created, before stating that he was drawing up a stack of paperwork that would allow him to work against more NJPW talent.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Tanahashi stated that he believes once COVID is fully under control, there will be even more talent exchanges between Japan and America.
“I think, now more than ever, it’s important for all of pro wrestling to come together and get past all the troubles COVID has presented,” Tanahashi says through a translator. “I think the best way we can do that is to bring the fans the best possible matches, and those dream-match scenarios. I think being able to wrestle in all these organizations can only be a good thing.”
He added, “I predict that once COVID is behind us, you’re going to see even more movement and exchanges between Japan and America. The U.S. Heavyweight Title is the key to those doors being unlocked, and that’s what makes it extra important.”
Regarding a match with Moxley, Tanahashi welcomed with open arms.
“I’d love to wrestle Moxley someday,” says Tanahashi, who was particularly impressed last May when he watched Moxley wrestle Yuji Nagata on AEW’s Dynamite. “Nagata can really do it all. He can get rough with you or he can rely on his perfect technique. Moxley was able to overcome that and win, and that shows how great he is.”
Hiroshi Tanahashi will get his chance to capture the IWGP United States Championship on Saturday, August 14 when he faces Lance Archer at NJPW Resurgence. You can check out the full card here.
Reportedly, plans are in line for Jon Moxley to wrestle a star from New Japan Pro Wrestling on September 5 at AEW All Out. Learn more here.