Match Point is an ongoing series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. This week, we take a look at the match announcement that shocked wrestling fans – on “The Buy In” prior to AEW Rampage this Friday, Bryan Danielson versus Minoru Suzuki will take place.
To say that Tony Khan has been making waves on Twitter would be an understatement. Case and point, this past Tuesday, All Elite Wrestling‘s President, Chief Executive Officer, and General Manager made a notable addition to this Friday’s offerings. AEW Rampage will be preceded by a “Buy In” event, set to air live at 9 PM EST on YouTube. Originally, Bobby Fish vs. Lee Moriarty was the only match confirmed. Khan upped the ante, however, by announcing another big attraction. For the first time in over 17 years, two hard-hitting and submission-focused stars will clash. Let’s take a deeper look into Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki before the match in question unfolds.
Bryan Danielson Versus Minoru Suzuki – What to Know
You’re Gonna Get Your [EXPLETIVE] Head Kicked In
When discussing the most technically efficient wrestlers in the world today, discussion must be made for Bryan Danielson. His in-ring acumen is well-known, as he blends mat wrestling, high-flying offense, submission savvy, and a fair number of strikes into a package all its own. Since making his AEW debut last month at All Out, the former 5x WWE world champion has made an immediate impact. This was felt in his in-ring debut, which saw him take current AEW World Champion Kenny Omega to the limit in a 30-minute draw. Since then, Danielson has kept The Elite, as well as the AEW world title, well within his sights.
Bryan Danielson is no stranger to big-match situations. As stated earlier, he won 5 world titles during his time in WWE. This doesn’t even begin to cover his other accolades in the company, including multiple tag team title victories. On the independent scene, where Danielson first rose to prominence, he achieved even more. “The American Dragon” won world championships in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Ring of Honor, and elsewhere. Along with such names as fellow current AEW star CM Punk, Danielson helped cultivate the modern indie wrestling scene we know it as today. Though Danielson’s pursuit for gold continues in AEW, this Friday, championship ambitions will have to wait.
Be the Wind
Minoru Suzuki is called “The Wrestling King” for a reason. To deem Suzuki an intimidating competitor would be underselling his unique aura. Despite wrestling in his early 50s, he continues to compete with a twisted sense of glee, taking pride in manipulating the joints of his opponents and administer punishment that can only be associated with horror movie villains. This isn’t to say that the Japanese wrestling veteran hasn’t kept his eye on the prize. In New Japan Pro-Wrestling, his current home promotion, he is a 2x NEVER Openweight Champion, having held the title for a total of 322 days. During this reign, he bested names ranging from YOSHI-HASHI to Hirooki Goto to current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi.
However, his greatest mainstream publicity came on September 5, the same night his opponent on Friday debuted for All Elite Wrestling. At AEW All Out, Suzuki made his own debut for the promotion, confronting Jon Moxley following his victory over NJPW stalwart Satoshi Kojima. Since then, “The King” has faced not only Moxley but Eddie Kingston under the AEW banner. Suzuki’s American excursion hasn’t ended here, however, as Glory Pro Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, and other independent promotions brought him as an attraction guaranteed to bring in viewers. This Friday, during the AEW Rampage “Buy In,” Suzuki intends to make “The American Dragon” his next victim.
In 2004, I wrestled Minoru Suzuki 1 on 1. He beat the sh*t out of me. Showed me what violence and sadism inside a wrestling ring looks like. Since then, I’ve learned a thing or two about violence myself. And sadism. Excited to show Mr. Suzuki what I’ve learned #DANIELSONvsSUZUKI https://t.co/HOCbVJ8W3S
— Bryan Danielson (@bryandanielson) October 12, 2021
Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki – Over a Decade and a Half in the Making
As stated earlier, this upcoming match between Bryan Danielson and Minoru Suzuki will be their first in over 17 years. Let’s turn back the clock to 2004, where both men competed in NJPW in their younger years. By this point, the future “Leader of the Yes Movement” amassed considerable experience on the independent wrestling scene, building the reputation he is known for today. Meanwhile, Suzuki recently returned to the world of professional wrestling, intending to invade various promotions with his newfound focus, determination, and most importantly, penchant for delivering punishment. As one may imagine, their paths crossed on multiple occasions.
Throughout 2004, Danielson – known simply as American Dragon to NJPW viewers – and Suzuki took part in a multitude of matches. Though many of these bouts were tag team contests, they wrestled one-on-one at a Summer Struggle tour event on July 20. In their lone singles encounter, Suzuki defeated his younger opponent in a little over 13 minutes. In the years that followed, both men went their separate ways, achieving success in professional wrestling in their own ways. Now, as two grizzled, experienced veterans, they will meet once more. Can Danielson avenge the loss he suffered in “The Land of the Rising Sun” all those years ago, or will Suzuki show, once again, why he’s one of the most dominant competitors in the game today? Tune in this Friday, at 9 PM EST, on YouTube to find out.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.