Photo credit: AEW
In his first match as a member of the AEW roster, Bryan Danielson wrestled AEW World champion Kenny Omega to a time-limit draw in a non-title bout on the Grand Slam edition of AEW Dynamite at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York, on Wednesday night.
The New York crowd was scorching hot before Danielson and Omega locked up.
What ensued was an emotional match that featured both men dealing out intense punishment before the time limit hit with neither wrestler able to get the finish.
Danielson unleashed this hammer shot:
Omega soon front-flipped over the top rope onto Danielson below:
Omega later nailed Danielson with the V-Trigger down the ramp:
Bryan took some more punishment on the ramp:
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However, Bryan had what was possibly the move of the match when he reversed the One Winged Angel:
Near the end of the match, the two exhausted men traded headbutts and shots as the time limit was hit.
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Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega ends in a draw.
Incredible match 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/ju93RHzVrR
They kept fighting even after the match was over, and Bryan got Omega in the LeBell Lock.
That’s when Adam Cole and The Young Bucks stormed into the ring to tend to Omega before attacking Bryan. However, Christian Cage and Jungle Boy came to Bryan’s defense.
After over a decade in WWE, Danielson made his surprise debut for AEW at All Out earlier this month, confronting Omega and The Elite after they attacked Cage and Jurassic Express.
Danielson quickly made it clear that he had his sights set on a dream match against Omega, and in order to entice Omega to accept, he said the AEW World Championship didn’t have to be on the line.
Even before he became a five-time world champion in WWE under the name Daniel Bryan, Danielson was considered one of the best in-ring workers in the world based on what he did in Ring of Honor.
While Danielson was establishing himself as a top star in WWE, Omega was building quite the reputation as well in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Omega had so many memorable matches against the likes of Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and others that he became known as “The Best Bout Machine.”
Omega continued to solidify his status once AEW began in 2019, and he entered Grand Slam having held the AEW World title for nearly 300 days, which is a record.
At the same time, Danielson was showing he is still one of the best in the world at the age of 40 and even competed in the main event of WrestleMania 37 in April against Roman Reigns and Edge.
After losing a Universal title match to Reigns on an episode of SmackDown in late April, Danielson became a free agent, and there was instantly speculation regarding him joining AEW.
Danielson has made it clear since leaving WWE that he loved the company but wanted a new challenge and viewed AEW as precisely that.
Perhaps the biggest challenge was going up against Omega and proving that he can meet or exceed the level of performance Omega has displayed over the past several years.
Danielson undoubtedly proved that he belonged in the same ring as Omega on Dynamite, and he is now likely in line for an AEW World Championship match in the near future.
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