9 Ups & 4 Downs From IMPACT Wrestling & NJPW Multiverse United (Review)
Bailey vs. Tanahashi, KUSHIDA vs. Rush, and more highlight IMPACT opening the Forbidden Door.
This was never going to be the consummate pro wrestling experience.
A build that was neither abhorrent nor opportune saw three of its central contests differentiating from their outlined plans, with Josh Alexander, Mickie James, and Will Ospreay - the former two of which were slated to defend the World and Knockouts World titles, respectively - being ruled out on medical grounds. The chosen stand-ins - Lio Rush, Masha Slamovich, and Hiroshi Tanahashi - each created a new buzz around their corresponding match, however, they were now without nuances. The Knockouts World title match, for instance, went from a multi-generation allurement to a tangled wreck that may not profit the victor as had been stipulated.
The scarcity of high-profile NJPW talent was also prominent, though not unanticipated. Where AEW has benefited from their NJPW working agreement, IMPACT has ached, receiving only a spattering of noteworthy stars. In contrast, the Tony Khan-fronted organisation landed Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr., and a genuine catalogue of other NJPW-contracted talents on one show.
IMPACT was fortuitous to be in a position to cooperate with NJPW on a Forbidden Door-esque event. Impeccable it needn't be; it just had to be rewarding.