New Report Claims Will Ospreay Losing To Swerve Strickland at Forbidden Door Was Meant To Send Message To Locker Room

will ospreay
Credit: AEW

A new report about the booking of Will Ospreay vs. Swerve Strickland at this past weekend’s Forbidden Door events shows the type of leader the former NJPW world champion is trying to be for the upstart company.

This past weekend, AEW delivered one of its most highly anticipated yearly events. Forbidden Door has become a staple of the company’s schedule as it brings AEW, NJPW, CMLL, and AAA stars together for one super card full of tantalizing crossover matches.

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While this year’s main event did not see a crossover clash of stars from different promotions, Will Ospreay vs. Swerve Strickland for the AEW World title was as big as any match this year. The bout pitted arguably the company’s top two babyfaces against each other for the most coveted prize in the promotion. And to the surprise of some, the International Champion took the loss on Sunday night.

Many questioned — including Ringside Intel — the booking of Strickland vs. Ospreay when the Englishman has been with the company for less than a year, and it could have been placed on a more AEW-centric event later in 2024. However, on Tuesday a new report from Fightful Select revealed the very purposeful reason why one of the company’s biggest free agent signings ever took an L in the Forbidden Door main event.

Will Ospreay wanted to send a message to the locker room with his loss to Swerve Strickland?

will ospreay, swerve strickland
Credit: AEW

“Fightful Select has learned that the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door main event came about because Will Ospreay wanted to eliminate the talking point of Swerve being a placeholder for him until All In,” the outlet reported. “He wanted to lead by example that anyone should be good losing to the world champion, as well.”

Many fans have long pointed to AEW’s next All-In event in England as a moment where Ospreay could be crowned as their new world champion. Trying to quiet that talk by doing the honors and giving Strickland, arguably, the biggest win of his career is a very respectable decision, a great sign of leadership, and shows what sort of talent he is behind the scenes.

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The decision is also impactful because there have been rumors for some time that there are quite a few members of the AEW roster unwilling to take losses when the creative team maps out shows each week.

After earning his journalism degree in 2017, Jason Burgos served as a contributor to several sites, including MMA Sucka... More about Jason Burgos

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