With the AEW side of the bracket known for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship tournament, the only question left to answer was who New Japan would put into the mix. After the schedule for New Japan’s upcoming tour was revealed early Monday morning, we now know. And of course, knowing is half the battle.
As announced on social media, New Japan will host two All Atlantic Tournament qualifying matches as part of their New Japan Road Tour, with both matches taking place during the tour’s June 20 stop at Korakuen Hall. The qualifying matches will see Tomoaki Honma take on New Japan Strong regular Clark Connors and Suzuki-gun’s Yoshinobu Kanemaru take on Tomohiro Ishii.
The winners of Connors/Honma and Ishii/Kanemaru will face off on June 21 at Korakuen Hall. The winner will then move on to AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door to face off against Pac, Ethan Page/Miro and Malakai Black/Penta Oscuro to become the first-ever AEW All Atlantic Champion.
Of the four men in the tournament, only Connors and Ishii have made AEW appearances thus far. Ishii appeared on the November 11, 2021, episode of “Dynamite”, teaming with Orange Cassidy to defeat The Butcher and the Blade; he reappeared on the April 22 episode of “Rampage” losing to Adam Cole in an Owen Hart Cup Qualifier.
Meanwhile, Connors made an appearance on the May 17 episode of “AEW Dark.” He teamed up with fellow New Japan Strong talents Alex Coughlin, Karl Fredericks, Kevin Knight, and Yuya Uemera to defeat QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solow, Brick Aldridge, and Blake Li from The Factory. Connors was most recently seen in the NJPW Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
AEWxNJPW: Forbidden Door will take place on Sunday, June 26 from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Aside from the All Atlantic Championship match, the only other contest announced for the show, so far, is Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, the defiant winner for the interim AEW World Championship.
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