This is my first non-WWE match review. My favorite wrestler is CM Punk, but my favorite in-ring performer is Daniel Bryan. I first started watching him when he made his WWE debut, but I didn’t become a fan until after he got fired from WWE for choking Justin Roberts with his tie. I didn’t watch Bryan when he was in Ring of Honor, but I did know he was one of the best independent wrestlers. After Bryan was fired from WWE, he did an independent wrestling tour and the gym of the high school I graduated from was one of the places he went to during his tour. He wrestled as Bryan Danielson. I attended that indy show and I was able to meet Danielson before the event started. He was sitting at a table signing autographs and he wasn’t charging any money. He was also taking photos with the fans and agreed to let people take photos of him “choking” fans with a tie. Don’t believe me? Click HERE to see Danielson choking a fan (not me and not my photo). This was just two months after he was wrestling for the best wrestling promotion in the world. I can’t think of any wrestlers that famous who would sign and pose for photos at a table for free. I asked if Danielson could sign the back of my ticket and he agreed to do it. I watched Danielson wrestle that night and I thought that he could someday become WWE’s next John Cena if they re-signed him. Nine days later, he was one of the seven members of Team WWE at SummerSlam 2010. I enjoy Daniel Bryan’s WWE matches and I would like to see more of his Ring of Honor matches. Earlier this month, I bought a ROH DVD called “Best in the World” and Bryan Danielson vs. Lance Storm was one of the matches on the DVD.

The Facts:

  • This match happened in Chicago Ridge, Illinois on April 1, 2006. The attendance was 1,700. The hosts were Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak. This was the day before WrestleMania 22 which was in Chicago.
  • This was Lance Storm’s debut match in Ring of Honor. His last wrestling match before this match was Chris Jericho vs. Storm at ECW One Night Stand on June 12, 2005.
  • The storyline of the match was that Storm came out of retirement to try to win the ROH World Championship. Bryan Danielson was the champion and his title was on the line in this match.
  • When this match happened, Storm was 36 years old and Danielson was 24 years old.
  • Storm is a seven-time ECW and WWE tag team champion, three-time WCW United States Champion, and one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion.
  • One of the wrestlers Storm has trained is current WWE Money in the Bank briefcase holder Dolph Ziggler.
  • The time length of the match was 26:24. According to one of the online reviews I read, it was the longest match of Storm’s career.

The Match:

Danielson and Storm start the match with technical wrestling. Danielson goes for a dropkick and Storm avoids it. More technical wrestling. This match just started and already they are doing stuff I rarely see on Monday Night RAW. Danielson slaps Storm in the corner. Storm puts a front face lock on Danielson. Storm gets Danielson to the corner and Storm slaps him. They get back to the middle of the ring. Leg takedown by Storm and the first pin attempt by Storm. Danielson kicks out. Storm and Danielson start technical wrestling again. Another pin attempt by Storm. Danielson kicks out. Danielson hits Storm with a dropkick and then a knee drop. Pin by Danielson and Storm kicks out. Danielson does a face lock on Storm. Dropkick by Storm after he gets out of the facelock. Danielson leaves the ring and then returns to the ring. They go back to doing technical wrestling and they do a nice looking sequence of moves. It’s hard to describe the match because they are doing moves I don’t usually see on TV. The fans chant “You still got it” to Storm. Wrist lock takedown by Danielson. Storm is able to pin Danielson and Danielson kicks out. Danielson attacks Storm in the corner. Danielson whips Storm into the ropes and knocks him down. Storm kicks out of a pin. Storm gets back in control and does a delayed suplex on Danielson. Another nearfall after Danielson kicks out of a pin attempt. Storm works on Danielson’s upper body. Danielson gets Storm to the corner and drives his shoulder into Storm’s midsection. Danielson chokes Storm with his boot. The referee stops Danielson and Danielson says to him, “I have ‘till five”.

Danielson whips Storm out of the corner and Storm reverses it. Storm gets Danielson in a submission hold and Danielson quickly gets to the ropes. They fight outside of the ring. They go back into the ring and Storm is able to get a pin attempt. Danielson kicks out. Storm climbs up the turnbuckles and Danielson hits him with a forearm. Storm falls out of the ring. Danielson attacks Storm outside the ring. He throws Storm back into the ring and goes for a pin. Storm kicks out. Danielson keeps Storm grounded and puts a submission hold on Storm’s head. Storm gets to his feet and fights out of the hold. Danielson knocks Storm down and Storm kicks out of a pin. Danielson tries to get Storm in another submission hold, but Storm is able to hit Danielson with a mule kick. They fight back-and-forth and then Danielson gets Storm to the ropes. Backbreaker by Danielson and then he does the surfboard. Chinlock applied by Danielson and the referee breaks it up. They exchange forearms and Storm knocks Danielson down with a kick. Danielson kicks out of a pin. Suplex by Danielson. Storm kicks out of three pin attempts.

Danielson tries to execute a move on Storm, but Storm reverses it and hits Danielson with an enzuigiri. Leg lariat by Storm and Danielson kicks out of a pin attempt. Tiger driver by Storm. Danielson kicks out of a pin attempt. Powerslam by Storm. Danielson kicks out of a pin attempt. Danielson hits Storm with powerbomb. Storm kicks out at 2. Danielson with a bow and arrow hold on Storm. Will Storm tap out? Storm fights out of the hold. Storm blocks a few moves and then hits Danielson with a superkick! Danielson kicks out at 2! Storm goes for a superplex, but Danielson tries to turn it into a sunset flip and Storm blocks the sunset flip. Super back suplex by Danielson! Storm kicks out at 2! Crossface chickenwing by Danielson. Storm gets to the ropes. Danielson goes for the flying headbutt from the top rope and Storm moves out of the way! Cradile piledriver by Storm! Danielson kicks out at 2! Single leg crab by Storm on Danielson. Will Danielson tap? Danielson tries to get to the ropes, but Storm pulls him to the middle of the ring. Danielson gets out of the hold and turns it into a pin attempt. Storm kicks out at 2! Storm goes for a superkick, but Danielson ducks. Roaring forearm and a Regal Plex by Danielson! Storm kicks out at 2! Danielson goes for Cattle Mutilation. Storm reverses it into a pin attempt. One…two…kickout! Tiger suplex by Danielson. Storm kicks out at 2. Cattle Mutilation by Danielson! Storm taps out! Danielson retains his title!

Winner: Bryan Danielson

Rating: ****1/4

I found many reviews of this match and the ratings were as low as ***1/4 and as high as ****. Those ratings tell me that those people see this match as a good/almost great match. To me, this match is a great/almost classic match. The two reviews I saw before I first watched this match both gave the match ***3/4 so the match was better than what I was expecting. Many Bryan Danielson/Daniel Bryan matches are at least four stars and I think this is one of them. His matches usually don’t disappoint me. The only Danielson/Bryan match that disappointed me is surprisingly the Punk vs. Bryan Over The Limit match. I want to like the OTL match, but I think it’s overrated and I like their Champion vs. Champion match on RAW and their Money in the Bank match more. I’ve only seen the OTL match a couple times so maybe my opinion will change after a few more viewings.

Before I saw this match, I knew Danielson was going to retain the title, but I didn’t know what the finish was going to be. The nearfalls at the end of the match were great. There was a lot of technical wrestling and that stuff can get boring and slow sometimes, but the entire match was fun to watch. The crowd was into the match and that made the match better. If this match happened at any WWE Pay-Per-View, there would be a good chance it would steal the show. This match is not in the top 10 of Danielson/Bryan matches and it might not be in the top 50, but it’s a good match to watch if you haven’t seen it. Any Danielson/Bryan match is good, but this one is better than the average Danielson/Bryan match and it’s one of the best Lance Storm matches I have ever seen. To watch this match, click HERE. If you don’t have time to see a 26+ minute match, click HERE to see the highlights.

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