Thanks to All Elite Wrestling’s opening of the “forbidden door” between the companies, the later years of wrestling were dominated by talk of the promotions collaborating. Of course, longtime fans know that it’s actually not all that new – just that WWE has been a mainstream and often-shutdown promotion for so long that companies working together seem surprising and bold.
Now that AEW has officially announced Forbidden Doora show co-promoted with New Japan Pro-Wrestlingnow seems like a great time to take a look at some forgotten cross-promotion events from the past, with some extremely well-known companies taking part.
ten NJPW, AJPW and NOAH: All Together (08/27/2011)
Competition and ratings wars are a hot topic in Western pro wrestling fandom, but it seems that in Japan, it’s not that uncommon for rival companies to hold shows together. In 2011, New Japan, All Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH collaborated for a show titled All together, with multi-man matches and lots of teams between the stars of the different promotions. The main event had the promotion’s heaviest hitters as NJPW’s Hiroshi Tanahashi teamed with NOAH’s Go Shiozaki and AJPW’s Suwama against NJPW’s Shinsuke Nakamura, AJPW’s KENSO (aka the former star of WWE’s Kenzo Suzuki) and NOAH’s Takashi Sugiura.
9 Impact & WRESTLE-1: On the way to glory (10/12/2014)
One of Impact Wrestling’s weirdest picks of the 2010s was holding their flagship PPV, On the road to glory, at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall in collaboration with Japanese indie WRESTLE-1. The resulting spectacle was a mixed bag with solid matches like Samoa Joe defending the X Division belt against Low Ki and KazHayashi, but missing out on many of the promotion’s big stars and even a world title match. Instead, the main show unfolded with TAJIRI and The Great Muta teaming up against cult leader James Storm’s era and Muta’s former protege, future NJPW star Sanada.
8 AAA and WCW: When Worlds Collide (11/6/1994)
Because When worlds collide isn’t available legally in a convenient place like the WWE Network, it’s likely that many fans aren’t familiar with this historic pay-per-view. Before ECW introduced future legends like Rey Mysterio Jr., Psicosis, and Juventud Guerrera, AAA and WCW teamed up to produce an entire style-focused PPV.
With Mike Tenay calling the action on his wrestling broadcast debut, the famed When worlds collide features future mainstays of WCW like Mysterio, Psicosis, Konnan and La Parka. The standout match here is a Mask vs Hair 2/3 falls apuestas match, with Art Barr and Eddie Guerrero taking on lucha libre icons Octagon and El Hijo Del Santo.
7 WWE & WAR: WAR/WWF (09/15/1992)
Founded by former AJPW star Genichiro Tenryu, WAR – first representing Wrestle & Romance, then later Wrestle Association-R – lasted from 1992 to 1999 and had a working relationship with WWE in its early days. . One of WAR’s first shows was co-promoted with WWE, with a lineup including Ultimo Dragon, The Undertaker and lucha libre Negro Casas, the main event of this show had Ric Flair defending the WWE Championship against Tenryu in a 2/3 falls match that would ultimately end in a draw.
6 ROH & NJPW: War of the Worlds (05/17/2014)
New Japan and Ring of Honor spent the 2010s with quite a working relationship that resulted in talent swaps as well as numerous co-promoted shows, including those in 2019. G1 Supermap at Madison Square Garden. But in 2014, the two companies had their first major shows together, the second of which was War of the Worlds at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, an important venue for wrestling fans. Going back and looking at the map offers some awesome NJPW vs. ROH matchups, including Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Steen (now Kevin Owens), Adam Cole defending the ROH World Title against Jushin Thunder Liger, and Jay Lethal taking on KUSHIDA.
5 AWA, NWA and WCCW: SuperClash (09/28/1985)
Held just a few months after the very first WrestleMania the first one Super Clash was a group effort, with the American Wrestling Association, National Wrestling Alliance, and World Class Championship Wrestling banding together in the face of WWE’s continued expansion. With huge matches like Ric Flair defending the NWA World Title against Magnum TA and Stan Hansen challenging Rick Martel for the AWA World Title, the show also included big names like Sgt. Slaughter, The Road Warriors and Mil Mascaras.
4 NJPW & WCW: Starrcade 1991 at Tokyo Dome (03/21/1991)
New Japan Pro Wrestling and WCW had a working relationship throughout the 1990s, hosting its first co-promoted supershow in 1991, which was called Starrcade. Featuring fights like Great Muta vs. Sting and The Steiner Brothers taking on Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki for the IWGP Tag Team Title, the main event saw IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami defeat NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair in a win-win title. match.
This would be the first of three major NJPW/WCW Super Shows at Tokyo Dome, the final two of which would be held on January 4, a date which would come to mark the biggest show of the year in New Japan, Fight Kingdom.
3 ECW & FMW: Year End Sensation (12/12/1998-12/13/1998)
Given that Extreme Championship Wrestling’s deathmatch-influenced approach to professional wrestling was heavily influenced by Atsushi Onita’s borderline martial arts wrestling, it makes sense for the two to hold shows together. FMW’s last two shows End of year feeling The tour was held in conjunction with ECW and featured Rob Van Dam and Sabu taking on Tommy Dreamer and FMW ace Hayabusa as well as Shane Douglas defending the ECW World Title against future NJPW booker Gedo.
2 Impact and Lucha Underground (06/04/2018)
A cult favorite of the mid to late 2010s, Lucha Underground teamed up with Impact Wrestling for a co-promoted show held in New Orleans the same week as Wrestle Mania 34 and streamed for free on Impact’s Twitch channel. Held between seasons 3 and 4 of Underground Luchathe event featured notable matches like LAX defending the Impact Tag Titles against Killshot and The Mack, as well as a three-way main event with Pentagon Dark taking on Austin Aries and Fenix.
1 WWE, AJPW & NJPW: The Peak of Wrestling (04/13/1990)
Held at Tokyo Dome, The peak of the struggle Featured Three promotions working together to put on a 12-game card featuring each company’s top stars. While some fights like the WWE Championship match and the IWGP Tag Team Title defense largely kept contestants in a promotion, there were a few interpromotional matches on the show. Highlights include Randy Savage taking on AJPW’s Genichiro Tenryu, Bret Hart taking on Tiger Mask II – aka future AJPW ace Mitsuharu Misawa – and Hulk Hogan battling Stan Hansen in a standout main event.
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