MJF fought Bryan Danielson in an epic 60-minute ironman match to put a cap on All Elite Wrestling’s first pay-per-view of the year, Revolution, for the AEW World Championship.
After 60 minutes and the score tied at three apiece, AEW CEO Tony Khan refused to let the match end in a draw and ensured the following fall won.
MJF would outlast Danielson and tap him out to retain the AEW World Championship in one of the promotion’s most epic matches of the year.
The match started with MJF playing his mind games. He would leave the ring to waste time after briefly engaging with Danielson. He would do it again and go into the crowd to let off steam with some of the fans. He then took a cup of water and threw it in the face of a young fan.
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The two then went back and forth, maneuver after maneuver, trying to gain some kind of advantage over each other. MJF missed a backflip on Danielson and the “American Dragon” ran back into the ring and then dove through the ropes towards him.
In the first 20 minutes of the match, there were no falls. Both were desperate to pick up the first drop and spent about 2 minutes rolling around the ring putting each other in different pin maneuvers and got so exhausted that both almost hit a 10 count while lying down on their backs to catch their breath.
Danielson stood up and scored the first fall after hitting the Psycho Knee. But MJF responded with a low kick and landed two straight pinfalls. MJF was technically disqualified on the low kick, eating the pinfall, then pinned Danielson twice to tie the game 2-2 with 30 minutes remaining.
Danielson and MJF continued the fight outside the ring. MJF landed on a chair in the corner and was hit with 10 leg kicks from Danielson and then another body leap from the champion.
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On the failed flip, MJF appeared to modify something in his leg and was seen hobbling around outside the ring. With just over 23 minutes to go, he brought Danielson to a ringside table and set him up for a big elbow drop from the top turnbuckle. He hit perfectly.
The referee was watching Danielson before MJF brought him back to the ring. The referee started the count from 10 and returned to the ring just as the count was about to hit 10 – say it was 9.6 seconds away. He came back to what was left of the table and hit a gravestone stake driver on Danielson. MJF suffered knee pain and Danielson started bleeding.
MJF brought Danielson back into the ring and hit the Heatseeker to take a 3-2 lead with about 19 minutes left in the match.
“Are you the best in the world? You are nothing ! MJF shouted at Danielson in the 42nd minute.
For a good 5 minutes it appeared that MJF was in the driver’s seat, but it appeared that Danielson was just biding his time and recovering his energy from a fall. With 14 minutes left, Danielson went to the top rope after sending MJF flying outside the ring. He perfectly hit a flying knee on MJF before both contestants got back in the ring.
Two minutes later, Danielson hit a flying head kick and brutally cut his own MJF. Blood poured from the champion’s head – more blood than was seen in the Texas Death Match between Jon Moxley and Adam Page earlier in the night.
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At 10:41, Danielson submitted MJF and the game was tied 3-3.
Danielson tried the Labelle lock, but MJF crossed over and tried the salt of the earth. He would pull him off the ropes and put an arm bar on Danielson with 8 minutes to go. MJF would have three of Danielson’s four limbs in a lock, but it would be the “American Dragon’s” right leg that would reach the ropes and break the hold.
“This is awesome,” shouted fans at San Francisco’s Chase Center about 7 minutes from time.
MJF managed to push Danielson through the ropes and hit another Heatseeker with about 3:45 to try and pin Danielson. But Danielson would step down.
The two got to the top ropes and MJF put Danielson in position to hit a tombstone piledriver on the middle rope. Danielson would be knocked out but MJF lands on his left knee and writhes in pain. With 1:22 to go, he tried to cover it but only got to two.
Danielson put MJF in a one-legged crab with 60 seconds left. Danielson had the champion in the center of the ring and he almost tapped. Time would expire, then MJF would tap.
The match ended in a draw. and the fans would not be happy. They shouted “bulls—t” out loud as coaches watched Danielson and MJF.
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Lead announcer Tony Schiavone came down to the ring and told referee and ring announcer Justin Roberts that the next pinfall would win the match, per Khan’s decree.
It’s sudden death.
Danielson nearly picked up the quick pin, as did MJF after a low kick. MJF tried to use a ring to hit Danielson and missed. Danielson hit another Psycho Knee but only got the two count on MJF.
Danielson brought MJF back in the one-legged crab, but this time the champion reached the rope. MJF pretended to tap to make Danielson think he had tapped. MJF would go to the ground and hit an unsuspecting Danielson with an oxygen tank. MJF would put the Labelle Lock on Danielson but also didn’t make him tap.
Danielson tried to build momentum but MJF would tap him out.
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MJF would have his arm raised in victory and retain the AEW World Championship.