AEW finally learned to close a Dynamite with their major championship program. Bryan Danielson got to sound out in what feels like a long promo battle between him and MJF leading up to this 60-minute Iron Man match at AEW Revolution on Sunday. I’m torn on what I want to happen.
Typically, AEW likes long title reigns (there have only been six men heavyweight title holders. Ignore the ping-pong between CM Punk and Jon Moxley). They also are very active in the ring (MJF has only wrestled in ring twice since he won the title at Full Gear). MJF is the antithesis of previous title holders in the past, and I’m not sure if AEW has adjusted to that yet. Much of this story has centered around Bryan Danielson’s ability to climb up that Mortal Kombat tower.
In essence, an iron man match is the best way for MJF to beat Danielson at his own game. I mean, come on – you’re going toe-to-toe with one of the best wrestlers in the world where he can beat you in a myriad of ways. If you remember, MJF’s title reign was initially based around him having a reign of terror for a year, then possibly jumping ship to the New York office. His usual crowd trolling hasn’t hit the same with the feud. So, they’ve leaned into the personal angle – “I’ve lost everything, and now the AEW heavyweight title is my only thing.”
There are two schools of thought you can take. MJF is one of AEW’s young undeniable stars – a championship loss at this stage will not hurt him. Title holder or not, he’s still one of the biggest talents they have. If he loses to Danielson on Sunday, you could turn that into a storyline of this descent of losing everything. This would be another element of his character that we haven’t seen yet and it’s not like there isn’t money in an MJF/Danielson rematch.
If MJF wins, then he’s just beaten arguably the best technical wrestler in the company in a match where he’s the underdog. It’s another feather in his cap to say “you all thought I had no chance, and I did it.” It would follow the usual throughline of his braggadocious nature, and I’m sure AEW will want to add layers to that. They have to because I’m unsure if the promo wars angle will have long legs. You could use a win to springboard MJF wrestling more often because he got through the ultimate test.
On the flip side to this title match, Bryan Danielson had his own personal G1 tournament with wins over Rush, Timothy Thatcher, Brian Cage, Bandido, and Konosuke Takeshita. Since he started in AEW in late 2021, he’s never won the title. There’s an aura of him always being the runner-up. It could be that at this point in his career, Danielson may not even want the title — but, it could benefit from him holding it.
He’s one of the most popular wrestlers on the program, and he can’t just be the guy expected to come up empty-handed continually. You don’t bring a Bryan Danielson as “the always the bridesmaid” guy. Imagine all these terrific singles matches with a title attached to them – that’s how you elevate future stars. Danielson will make everybody look like gold.
Does AEW deviate from its usual script and make this happen? Tough to say because outside of Hangman Page, every AEW champ has been a long-tested veteran. It’s not a necessary shake-up, but it would be exciting. It’s a choice I don’t envy Tony Khan making, but this championship match coming up is an important one.