Bryan Danielson continues to put forth great matches in front of the camera and leadership behind the scenes that must be recognized.
There has been a wealth of great professional wrestling this year. Every week, there seems to be a new match to consider for the top honors when awards come out, and with a few months left, there are more to come. One individual who has been a central figure in many of those epic matches for All Elite Wrestling is the GOAT, Bryan Danielson. This year he’s not only been fantastic in the ring, but he’s the company’s MVP through and through.
The Blackpool Combat Club is the best faction in professional wrestling. What is important about this group is that they not only act as excellent professional wrestlers in front of the camera, but Danielson and Jon Moxley stand out as fantastic leaders in the locker room. Moxley has stepped up in several ways when the company needed him. Danielson has done the same, which should give him the MVP honors in 2023.
CM Punk’s release created a massive void in AEW. The entirety of AEW Collision was built around Punk, and that setup backfired. Tony Khan needed to find a top name to slot into that position quickly and Danielson stepped up. He and Ricky Starks spent a few weeks as the top feud on the show, leading to two excellent matches in September. He did this coming back early from an arm injury he suffered during his June match against Kazuchika Okada at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door in June.
That brings the conversation around to Danielson’s match list for 2023. Even with the injuries that have pushed him to the sidelines, Danielson has put together a list of matches that sound like a greatest hits track for any other wrestler. He’s had one-on-one matches with the likes of Konosuke Takeshita, Bandido, Tim Thatcher, Rush, and MJF – just this year alone. Then you throw in the recent matches with Starks, Okada, and the AEW WrestleDream showcase against Zack Sabre Jr. and it’s hard to not consider him to be one of the top performers of the year. All of this at the age of 42.
Bryan Danielson will not wrestle forever. He’s openly talked about winding down his career. But what he gives fans each week, and what he provides to AEW as a leader in the back must be recognized. 2023 once again shows that he’s willing to put the company above himself and for that, he should be recognized as the MVP for All Elite Wrestling.