MJF battled 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 a three apiece, AEW CEO Tony Khan refused to let the match end in a draw and made it so that the next fall would win.
MJF would outlast Danielson and make him tap 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 some time after engaging with Danielson briefly. He would do it again and go into the crowd to blow off some steam with some of the fans. He then took a cup of water and threw it into the face of a young fan.
The two then went back and forth putting on maneuver after maneuver trying to get some kind of advantage on one another. MJF missed a backflip on Danielson and the “American Dragon” would go back into the ring and then dive through the ropes at him.
Through the first 20 minutes of the match, there were no falls. The two were desperate to pick up the first fall and spent about 2 minutes rolling around the ring putting each other in different pin maneuvers and wore each other out so much the two nearly reached a 10 count as the lay on their backs catching their breaths.
Danielson would get up and score the first fall after hitting the Psycho Knee. But MJF countered with a low blow and picked up two straight pinfalls. MJF was technically disqualified on the low blow, eating the fall and then pinned Danielson twice to tie the match 2-2 with 30 minutes remaining.
Danielson and MJF continued the fight outside the ring. MJF landed in a chair in the corner and was hit with 10 leg strikes from Danielson and then another jump into the champion’s body.
On the failed flip, MJF appeared to tweak something in his leg and was seen hobbling around the outside of the ring. With a little over 23 minutes left to go, he got Danielson to a ringside table and set him up for a big elbow drop from the top turnbuckle. He hit it perfectly.
The referee was checking on Danielson before MJF took him back to the ring. The referee started the 10 count and made it back to the ring just as the count was going to hit 10 – let’s say he was at 9.6 seconds. He came back out to what was left of the table and hit a tombstone pile driver on Danielson. MJF was left holding his knee in pain and Danielson started to bleed.
MJF got Danielson back into the ring and hit the Heatseeker to take a 3-2 lead with about 19 minutes to go in the match.
“You’re the best in the world? You f—ing suck!” MJF screamed at Danielson at the 42-minute mark.
For a good 5 minutes, it appeared MJF was in the driver’s seat but it appeared Danielson was just biding his time and collecting his energy down one pinfall. With 14 minutes left, Danielson went to the top rope after sending MJF flying outside the ring. He hit a flying knee perfectly on MJF before the two competitors got back into the ring.
Two minutes later, Danielson hit a flying headbutt and brutally cut own MJF. The blood was pouring 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.
At the 10:41 mark, Danielson submitted MJF and the match was tied 3-3.
Danielson tried the Labelle Lock but MJF would roll through and try the Salt of the Earth. He would drag him back from 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 get to the ropes and break the hold.
“This is awesome,” fans at the Chase Center in San Francisco would scream with about 7 minutes to go.
MJF somehow managed to push Danielson through the ropes and hit another Heatseeker with about 3:45 to go and try to pin Danielson. But Danielson would kick out.
The two got to the top ropes and MJF got Danielson into a position to hit a tombstone piledriver off the middle rope. Danielson would be knocked but MJF landed on his bum left knee and writhed in pain. With 1:22 to go, he tried to cover him up but only got to two.
Danielson put MJF into a single-leg crab with 60 seconds left. Danielson had the champion in the center of the ring and he nearly tapped. The time would expire and then MJF would tap.
The match ended in a draw. and fans would not be happy. They yelled “bulls—t” loudly as trainers checked on Danielson and MJF.
Lead announcer Tony Schiavone walked down to the ring and told the referee and in-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 blow. 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 got MJF back into the single-leg crab but this time the champion got to the rope. MJF pretended to tap to make Danielson think he had tapped out. MJF would go to the floor and hit an unsuspecting Danielson with an oxygen tank. MJF would put the Labelle Lock on Danielson but didn’t get him to tap out either.
Danielson tried to garner some momentum but MJF would make him tap.
MJF would have his arm raised in victory and retain the AEW World Championship.