MJF retains AEW World Championship with stunning win over Bryan Danielson at Revolution
MJF battled Bryan Danielson in an epic 60-minute Ironman match to set a cap on All Elite Wrestling’s first pay-per-view of the year, Revolution, for the AEW World Championship.
After 60 minutes and a draw of three apiece, AEW CEO Tony Khan refused to let the match end in a draw and ensured the following fall would win.
MJF would outlast Danielson and force him to retain the AEW World Championship in one of the promotion’s most epic matches of the year.
The match started with MJF playing his mind games. He would leave the ring to waste some time after briefly meeting Danielson. He would do it again and go into the crowd to let off some steam with some fans. He then took a cup of water and threw it in the face of a young fan.
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The two then went back and forth, performing maneuver after maneuver to gain some kind of advantage over each other. MJF missed a backflip on Danielson and the “American Dragon” would go back into the ring and then dive through the ropes at him.
There were no falls during the first 20 minutes of the race. The two were desperate to catch the first fall and spent about 2 minutes rolling around the ring putting each other in several pin maneuvers and exhausting each other to the point that the two nearly reached a 10 point while on their backs to catch your breath.
Danielson would get up and score the first fall after hitting the Psycho Knee. But MJF countered with a low hit and grabbed two consecutive pinfalls. MJF was technically disqualified on the low blow, ate the trap and then pinned Danielson twice to tie the game 2-2 with 30 minutes remaining.
Danielson and MJF continued the fight outside the ring. MJF landed in a chair in the corner and was hit with 10 leg strikes from Danielson and then another jump into the champion’s body.
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On the botched somersault, MJF seemed to have something pinching his leg and he stumbled around the outside of the ring. With just over 23 minutes left, he got Danielson to a ringside table and set him up for a big elbow drop off the top turnbuckle. He hit it perfectly.
The referee checked Danielson before MJF brought him back to the ring. The referee started with the 10 count and came back into the ring just as the counter was about to hit 10 – let’s say he was at 9.6 seconds. He came back to what was left of the table and hit Danielson with a tombstone pile driver. MJF held his knee in pain and Danielson began to bleed.
MJF got Danielson back in the ring and hit the Heatseeker to take a 3-2 lead with about 19 minutes left in the game.
“Are you the best in the world? You’re fucking bad!” MJF yelled at Danielson at 42 minutes.
For five minutes it looked like MJF was in the driver’s seat, but it looked like Danielson was just biding his time and collecting his energy with one pinfall. With 14 minutes left, Danielson moved to the top rope after sending MJF flying outside the ring. He hit a flying knee perfectly on MJF before the two contestants went back into the ring.
Two minutes later, Danielson hit a flying headbutt, brutally cutting off his own MJF. Blood was pouring from the champion’s head – more blood than was seen earlier in the night in the Texas Death Match between Jon Moxley and Adam Page.
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At 10:41, Danielson submitted MJF and the game was tied 3-3.
Danielson tried the Labelle Lock, but MJF rolled on and tried the Salt of the Earth. He would drag him off the ropes and give Danielson an arm bar with 8 minutes left. MJF would have three of Danielson’s four limbs in a lock, but it would be the right leg of the “American Dragon” that would get to the ropes and break the hold.
“This is awesome,” fans would scream at San Francisco’s Chase Center with about 7 minutes left.
MJF somehow managed to push Danielson through the ropes and hit another Heatseeker with about 3:45 left and try to pin Danielson. But Danielson would kick out.
The two made it to the top ropes and MJF put Danielson in a position to hit a center rope tombstone pile driver. Danielson was going to be punched, but MJF landed on his back left knee and writhing in pain. With 1:22 to go he tried to cover him up but only got to two.
Danielson put MJF in a one leg crab with 60 seconds left. Danielson had the champ in the middle of the ring and he almost tapped. Time would pass and then MJF would tick.
The match ended in a draw. and fans wouldn’t be happy. They loudly yelled “bulls-t” as trainers checked on Danielson and MJF.
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Lead announcer Tony Schiavone walked to the ring and told the referee and in-ring announcer Justin Roberts that the next pinfall would win the match, by Khan’s decree.
It’s sudden death.
Danielson almost took the fast pin as did MJF after a low hit. MJF tried to use a ring to hit Danielson and missed. Danielson hit another Psycho Knee but only got the two count on MJF.
Danielson got MJF back in the one-leg crab, but this time the champ got to the rope. MJF faked tapping to make Danielson think he had tapped. MJF would go to the floor and hit an unsuspecting Danielson with an oxygen tank. MJF would put the Labelle lock on Danielson, but also couldn’t get him to tap.
Danielson tried to gain some momentum, but MJF would force him to tap.
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MJF would have his arm in the win and retain the AEW World Championship.