All Continental Classic 2023 reviews linked here.

Part of what makes Bryan Danielson’s tournament so compelling is just how varied of each his matches week-to-week has been. He went from giving us two of the most cruel bullying performances imaginable against Kingston and Garcia, to flipping a switch last week that puts him back solidly in a familiar underdog role. That continues here with Danielson giving us about as textbook of a David vs. Goliath match as possible.

It’s not quite the Morishima matches, but what is, really? What Danielson does here is take a somewhat limited worker in Brody King and plugging him into some of the most tried and true tropes there are. For one, he lets Brody go back to attacking the busted up eye. It’s not quite as brutal as Andrade’s best moments the week before, and Brody’s elbows looks especially weak here when they really should be their strongest. But Danielson’s eye looks gross and he bleeds over it so that does a lot of work for Brody in this instance. There’s a lot of things Danielson does to make Brody’s offense pop a little more like bringing back those little announce table bumps for Brody’s chops.

Then, Danielson brings Brody’s bumps to an absolute minimum. Watch what a struggle he faces ever getting the big man off his feet. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to working a larger dude, but Danielson throws himself into with such gusto that it can’t help but rock. Perhaps Danielson’s biggest favor here though is giving Brody a one-count kick out to the Busaiku Knee–a move he’s done a rather excellent job protecting across his career but especially in AEW. It takes multiple of those knees just to chop Brody down to get in position for an Enzui-Busaiku Knee that looks fucking great. It’s a neat little sequence that reminds of how Nakamura used to stop and chip away at opponents with his Boma Ye in the past.

A great example of reaching into the classics to make something work in the moment.

Rating: ***3/4

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *