Hiroshi Tanahashi is undoubtedly one of the top stars in NJPW and is a living legend for many fans. As good as The Ace of NJPW was at one point, age has clearly caught up to him. Many fans weren’t happy with his performance at the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door event and it appears Tony Khan defended Tanahashi.

MJF defended his AEW World Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi at the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door event. Fans had high expectations for the match due to the calibre of both pro wrestlers.

Prior to that, Hiroshi Tanahashi also competed on the second episode of AEW Collision against Swerve Strickland. That said, Tanahashi’s performance in both matches was not up to the mark.

MJF would end up defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi despite the latter’s best efforts. While speaking on Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan addressed the criticism regarding Hiroshi Tanahashi’s AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door performance and defended him.


“I think what you (show host) just said makes a lot of sense. It’s a vocal minority on social media.

I think the vast majority of fans who follow the sport closely know that (Hiroshi) Tanahashi’s a legend, that it’s amazing that he’s fighting through these injuries and doing the best he can and yeah, he’s got bad knees and every once in a while, he might have a slip as he tries high-flying moves.

But in the end, he had an amazing fight on Collision, he had a great match, Tanahashi versus Swerve (Strickland) and he had a great match with MJF at the pay-per-view. Not everything Tanahashi does is the same as it was 10 years ago or 15 years ago.

But, Tanahashi is one of the great legends of the sport and certainly over the years, he’s accomplished so much and I know that, really, for us in AEW, we have so much respect for him and I think what you said makes a lot of sense but, you can’t let the opinion of a couple people get in the way of a great career of somebody like Tanahashi.”

We will have to wait and see whether Hiroshi Tanahashi will eventually make his return to AEW television somewhere down the line. Regardless, we hope Tanahashi will perform better next time.

What’s your view on what Tony Khan said? Were you disappointed with Hiroshi Tanahashi’s performance? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: Tony Khan
Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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