Danielson picks up victory on Rampage ‘Buy In’
The latest in Minoru Suzuki’s series of dream matches across the United States, which includes bouts with Chris Dickinson and then Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley in Philadelphia this weekend, saw him battle Bryan Danielson for the first time in 17 years in an AEW ring in Miami Friday night.
This was the second time the American Dragon and the King have locked horns, with a 2004 NJPW live event clash being their only other singles encounter. Fans were already chanting ‘this is wrestling’ as the two engaged in a Greco-Roman knuckle lock, Suzuki winning the initial test of strength before Danielson came up with the wrist, a clean break in the ropes following as neither had sustained control.
When Danielson tried to pick Suzuki’s ankle, leading to a snug leg kick, a strike exchange ensued that led to Suzuki flooring Danielson with a right elbow. The American Dragon got back to his feet fired up, and rattled off a series of kicks, but would find himself caught in a Suzuki rope hung armbar which allowed the King to assume control on the floor.
Suzuki would work on the arm of his foe inside and out before Danielson reversed a shot into the ringpost and landed a running boot from the apron. With more kicks and boots, Danielson looked for Cattle Mutilation, but couldn’t find the hold, and nor could he crack the furious visage of the King, who withstood corner shots to land a boot in the corner and a hat trick of PKs.
Willing himself to his feet, Danielson fired back, but was countered into a Fujiwara Armbar. The American Dragon would respond with the LeBell Lock, albeit briefly as Suzuki found the ropes; without a submission ending the ‘this is wrestling’ chants had turned to ‘fight forever’ as both traded shots center ring. Suzuki would try to navigate a rear naked choke into a Gotch Style Piledriver, but would be backdropped out; as the pace quickened, Danielson found a Busaiku Knee to put Suzuki down for the three.