clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

AEW Revolution 2023 results: MJF outlasts Danielson in Iron Man war

In a match that we’ve been hearing for weeks couldn’t be won by anything other than cardio and technical skill, AEW World champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman showed up for his Iron Man match with Bryan Danielson at Revolution with an entrance designed to get under people’s skin.

Danielson didn’t look fazed, and may have even gotten into MJF’s head with his smirk. It didn’t stop the champ from going hold-for-hold and move-for-move with the American Dragon in the early going... in between lengthy breaks outside the ring. Those killed time, and let Max do heel work like throwing a mother’s drink on her child, and taunting Dave Meltzer about his ratings & awards via the camera.

The champ took control around the ten minute mark, and targeted Danielson’s arm as he tried for a submission win. He wasn’t able to grab the arm for Salt of the Earth, setting up a sequence of rolling pin attempts by both men. A Busaiku Knee got Danielson a pin at the 25 minute mark, and set off a series of falls for each men. MJF rolled out to avoid another knee, took a Disqualification on a low blow, but got two quick three counts while Bryan recovered.

It was 2-2 as we headed into the final 30 minutes, and the challenger was not happy. The Dragon set to work damaging Friedman’s left knee, and torturing it in a Figure Four (one of a few times Bryan broke out his old “I have until five, referee” bit when MJF earned a break).

MJF battled back, and we approached 20 minutes left — the point where this officially became the longest match of Friedman’s career — he seemed to have a countout after hitting an elbow drop off the top to put Bryan through a table on the outside.

Frustrated that Danielson beat the ten count, he carried him back to the remnants of the table for a piledriver. Back in the ring, a Heatseeker did put the Dragon down for three, and gave MJF a 3-2 lead.

Action slowed down at that point. MJF had the luxury of “killing the clock” at that point, and being MJF, decided to use it talking trash to the crowd, his opponent, and his opponent’s children. That inspired Danielson to leap to the outside for an attack, and follow that with a release superplex and a diving headbutt that busted Friedman wide open. Another running knee followed, and a LeBell Lock forced the champ to tax, tying the score at 3 falls a piece.

An attempt to go right back to the move was answered by MJF finally locking in his arm bar. Danielson fought, but Friedman stretched two more of his limbs before the Dragon finally got a toe on the bottom rope with seven minutes left.

After a striking exchange brought both men to their knees, Max looked on the verge of tears while the man many consider the greatest technical wrestler alive busted out a grin. Overconfidence may have led the Dragon to charge MJF, starting a sequence that involved his kicking out of another Heatseeker, and taking a Tombstone Piledriver from the middle rope.

Max couldn’t cover due to the damage that did to his own wounded knee, which Bryan targeted with the submission he grabbed at the one minute mark. MJF managed to refrain from tapping until the bell, however. He tapped right afterwards as ring announcer Justin Roberts announced a draw.

Tony Schiavone could be heard talking to someone in his headset as the crowd chanted “bullshit”. Schiavone made his way to the ring as trainers administered oxygen to the champ. After conferring with Roberts and referee Bryce Remsburg, we went to sudden death.

In the overtime period, Friedman tried to cheat several different ways — mostly by trying to use his Dynamite Diamond Ring without Remsburg seeing. The ref confiscated that while MJF was reaching for the rope to break a single leg crab, but the champ had another plan. Tricking Danielson by tapping after the rope break, Friedman rolled out and grabbed the oxygen tank that was being used on him moments earlier. He clocked Bryan with it when he came to retrieve it.

The Dragon managed to survive in a LeBell Lock after that, but only for a time. Unable to force a break, Danielson tapped. MJF remains World champ, and silenced anyone who doubted his ability to be a 60 minute man in the process.

Get complete Revolution results and coverage of the entire show here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats