AEW didn’t make us wait any longer than absolutely necessary for Bryan Danielson’s first match, the highly anticipated showdown against Kenny Omega. It was the first thing on the televised portion of Sept. 22’s “Grand Slam” card.
The crowd of more than 18K in New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium was LOUD.
With electricity running through the entire borough of Queens, World champion Omega was able to showboat at the start of this non-title match. It didn’t take long for Danielson to find his stride however, targeting Kenny’s arm for his LeBell Lock - and bringing back one of his signature bits from his pre-WWE career.
DANIELSON DID THE I HAVE TILL FIVE! pic.twitter.com/hx4SfCK0cV— Garrett Kidney (@garrettkidney) September 23, 2021
The American Dragon also busted out this classic...
A suplex on the ramp - a bump Vince McMahon almost certainly wouldn’t have let Bryan take - turned the tide back in Omega’s favor.
A follow up running V-Trigger sent this 30 minute time limit match to a picture-in-picture commercial break. When we returned, the match leaned into fan anxiety about Danielson’s health, as Kenny targeted the Dragon’s neck.
It looked as if Omega would win it after following an avalanche suplex with the V-Trigger, but Danielson countered the finisher no one in AEW history has kicked out of.
A flurry of kicks set up Kenny for the LeBell Lock, but Omega got a foot on the ropes. From there Bryan was fighting the clock. As the announcers said, if there was one more minute in the match it felt like the American Dragon would have won. But time ran out, and we had a draw.
The Super Kliq ran in to not only save the champ from Danielson’s finisher, but to deliver some superkicks to Bryan. That brought out Christian Cage & Jurassic Express, The Young Bucks & Adam Cole’s opponents for Rampage, to end a thrilling opening to “Grand Slam”.
Ready for more Danielson/Omega... someday?
Get complete results, and coverage of everything happening at the Grand Slam edition of Dynamite here.