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Bryan Danielson makes his return to the ring with a win in the Continental Classic

Tonight’s (Dec. 2) episode of AEW Collision featured second round action in the Blue League of the Continental Classic tournament.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brody King kicked off the show in a battle of the two Blue League wrestlers who started the tourney with a win last week. They had a hell of a bout in week two, including Claudio somehow taking big Brody for a ride on the Giant Swing. But King survived Claudio’s best moves and stunned him with a piledriver. Brody then knocked Castagnoli out with a lariat for the pin fall win. Afterwards, the commentary team wondered if Brody hit Claudio with his wrist cast on the final move of the match.

The next match in the Continental Classic was Andrade El Idolo vs. Daniel Garcia. Daddy Magic was allowed on commentary in support of Garcia for this one, which stood out to me given the rule that nobody is allowed ringside during the tournament matches. Anyway, Garcia looked like a guy who belongs in the tournament with the way he took the fight to Andrade. He appeared to have the match in hand with a sharpshooter, but Andrade turned the tables in a flash and pinned Garcia with a sudden hammerlock DDT. Garcia now falls to 0-2 and pretty much needs to win the rest of his tournament matches to escape the hole he’s currently in.

Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston closed out the broadcast in the main event. This was Bryan’s return match after suffering a broken orbital bone in October. He wrestled with a patch over his eye, essentially putting a bullseye on his face. Kingston nailed Bryan with the spinning backfist, but Bryan would not stay down for three. Eddie tried to knee him in the orbital bone after that. They went back and forth with vicious strikes with only five minutes remaining on the 20-minute clock. But this one didn’t go the distance, because Bryan put Eddie down for the count with his running knee strike finisher.

The big takeaway from this week’s Blue League results is that Eddie Kingston is in major jeopardy of losing both his ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship now that he’s down 0-2 in the tournament.

Here are the updated standings for the Continental Classic:

Gold League

Jon Moxley (2-0-0): 6 points
Swerve Strickland (2-0-0): 6
RUSH (1-1-0): 3
Jay White (1-1-0): 3
Mark Briscoe 0-2-0): 0
Jay Lethal (0-2-0): 0

Blue League

Brody King (2-0-0): 6 points
Andrade El Idolo (1-0-0): 3
Bryan Danielson (1-0-0):3
Claudio Castagnoli (1-1-0): 3
Eddie Kingston (0-2-0): 0
Daniel Garcia (0-2-0): 0

The Gold League is back in action on next week’s (Dec. 6) Dynamite with the following three matches:

  • Jon Moxley (6 points) vs. Rush (3 points)
  • Jay White (3 points) vs. Jay Lethal (0 points)
  • Swerve Strickland (6 points) vs. Mark Briscoe (0 points)

The Blue League is back in action next weekend (Dec. 9) on Collision with the following two matches:

  • Bryan Danielson (3 points) vs. Andrade El Idolo (3 points)
  • Eddie Kingston (0 points) vs. Claudio Castagnoli (3 points)

That leaves Brody King and Daniel Garcia left to fight each other, perhaps, but the AEW commentators didn’t announce a match for them. If they do not wrestle, then one of Danielson or Andrade will tie Brody at 6 points next week, unless their match ends in a draw.

What do you think of the Continental Classic tournament so far, Cagesiders?

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