Miro vs. Bryan Danielson
World Title Eliminator Finals
One of the appeals of AEW for fans and wrestlers alike is the chance for wrestlers to flourish outside a WWE system that may not have given them the opportunity to maximize their talents. There’s many reasons competition in the wrestling business is good, and this is a big one.
The World Title Eliminator Finals tonight at Full Gear is an example of this at its best. It was in their original plans, and it is with their current plans.
Initially, the finals were likely set to be Bryan Danielson vs. Jon Moxley. Mox was slated to face Orange Cassidy in the semi-finals but ended up taking a leave of absence to enter an inpatient alcohol treatment center. Given Cassidy did not win his match against Jon’s replacement Miro, it’s safe to assume he wasn’t the initial plan for the finals.
Moxley, Danielson, and Miro are all prime examples of the success talent can have when the WWE creative shackles are loosened.
Now to be clear, Bryan had a great run in WWE. He was never going to be the guy, but after WrestleMania 30, he was usually positioned as one of the guys. His matches were still fantastic, even with in the WWE system. Hell, he likely even had more creative control than others and even spent a bit of time on their creative team.
Yet even with that, he’s getting to do something that he wasn’t able to in WWE. He revived the American Dragon and focused on being the best in-ring wrestler in the world. And while he was always superb in ring in WWE, the focus was never going to be on being the best professional wrestler. They don’t even use that term.
Working different styles is something that Danielson can now do that he’s not in a company that has one specific one. It makes him feel dangerous in a way that he couldn’t prior.
But he was never going to be able to unleash the American Dragon like he has since joining AEW.
Moxley had a decent WWE run, but unlike Danielson, it was harder for him to click. Jon has a persona that was hard for WWE to grasp, often shoehorning him in as goofy and silly. At least in his eyes, he had a vision that they were never going to let him realize. So he left and went to AEW where he could realize it.
Mox has been able to demonstrate his unique brand of professional wrestling. He’s cut loose on promos and has been able to expand his in-ring style. Since, he’s become one of AEW’s top guys.
Now that Moxley has taken time to get right, Miro has stepped in. And he’s yet another man who’s flourished after arriving in AEW. While in WWE, he was a fan favorite and proved he had charisma, whether it be as a ruthless killer or in comedy bits, and was more than capable in the ring. But he was never going to climb higher than he did. WWE didn’t have him ear marked to be their guy, and there was nothing he would be able to do that changed that.
His AEW run started slow when he was the gamer dude and best man to Kip Sabian. But he eventually moved on from that to become God’s Favorite Wrestler, ruthless in ring and charismatic out of the ring. Without any arbitrary ceiling, he’s flourished as a guy who could one day hold the top title in the promotion.
Miro and Bryan Danielson have met at least once before when we knew them better as Rusev and Daniel Bryan. It was a Money in the Bank qualifying match that I’m sure was good, but I don’t have any memory of. But this feels big. This is both men as their best selves fighting for the chance at the company’s top prize. This may not be for the first time, but it sure feels like it.
Listen, not everyone leaving WWE for AEW is going to be Danielson, Moxley, and Miro. There are your guys like Shawn Spears, who isn’t going to be a top guy but is still utilized well as a member of the heel faction The Pinnacle. But this World Title Eliminator Finals proves that if a wrestler’s best self wasn’t realized at the competition, at AEW, they have another chance.
It’s just another reason why it’s great for wrestlers to have options.
The Finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament take place tonight at Full Gear, available on pay-per-view, FITE TV, and Bleacher Report Live. And keep it here at CagesideSeats.com for all you Full Gear results.
Who will win this match?
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