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#MustWatchMonday (2/15/16): Bryan Danielson vs. Takeshi Morishima


Last Monday night on RAW we witnessed the end of the career of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Daniel Bryan. Despite all odds, he managed to carve himself a WWE career that most can only dream of: having held all the currently active men's WWE titles, as well as main eventing WrestleMania XXX. What's even more amazing? He did all that in only 5 years.

I could go on and on about how great Daniel Bryan was in WWE, but that's been pretty much covered to death, so I'm here to talk a tiny bit about his career in Ring of Honor. Going by Bryan Danielson, he was in Ring of Honor for 8 years and played a huge role in its growth. Now what sets apart Bryan Danielson from Daniel Bryan was that Bryan Danielson was never the underdog.

He was always a respected competitor, and was always taken seriously by the other wrestlers. He held the ROH World Championship for 462 days and during that time, he unified it with the ROH Pure Championship after a classic match with Nigel McGuiness. Besides that, Danielson had tons of great matches during his run in this promotion, going up against the likes of Tyler Black (now known as Seth Rollins), El Generico (Sami Zayn), Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro), Naomichi Marufuji, KENTA (Hideo Itami) and the list just goes on and on. He was a huge reason for the mid-2000s being known as the golden age of ROH. One of my favorite matches of his though during that time? This one.




From 2007 to 2008, Takeshi Morishima came from Pro Wrestling NOAH and invaded ROH, dominating the roster and winning the ROH World Championship. On August 25, 2007, in a match that would eventually win the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Match of the Year award, he defended his title against none other than Bryan Danielson. This match was in one word, brutal. What's even more amazing? Bryan get his retina detached and his orbital bone fractured during the first part of the match and went on to wrestle for 20 more minutes. That's dedication to your craft.

For all the impact Daniel Bryan had in the WWE, his impact in independent wrestling was as big, if not bigger. He's the wrestler that many independent wrestlers aspire to be, and he paved the way for smaller guys being given a shot in the WWE. This is a wrestler that people 30, 40, 50 years from now will be talking about as one of the greatest of all time. Thank you, Dragon.

Did you like the match? What's your favorite indie Bryan moment? Discuss in the comments below.

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Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.

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