Once again the Forbidden Door has taken a pounding as Tony Khan has announced that Darby Allin will defend his TNT Championship against an NJPW star.
On the first Dynamite of 2023, Darby Allin captured the TNT Championship for the second time in his career, defeating Samoa Joe in Allin’s hometown of Seattle, Washington.
Since then Allin has proved to be a fighting champion, defending his championship successfully against both Mike Bennett and Juice Robinson.
Now, Darby Allin will face a whole other challenge as Tony Khan announced that he will put his TNT Championship on the line against NJPW star Kushida on the 18th of January edition of Dynamite.
TNT Championship Open Challenge@DarbyAllin vs Kushida
TNT Champion Darby Allin will defend the title in an open challenge Wednesday vs former ROH World Television Champion Kushida! pic.twitter.com/ZXkY5aApv8
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) January 14, 2023
This will mark Kushida’s first appearance in AEW, although the New Japan star is no stranger to US audiences as he competed at IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view, winning a six-way scramble match. The Japanese star returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling in July 2022 after bringing his time in WWE to an end.
The Time Splitter is a former ROH Television Champion as well as being a six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, in addition to holding the NXT Cruiserweight Championship for five months in 2021. As part of The Time Splitters team with Alex Shelley, Kushida has also held the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship two times.