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Charles (Loss)

[2006-04-29-ROH-Weekend of Champions] Bryan Danielson vs Nigel McGuinness

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ROH Title vs. Pure Title – Pure Wrestling Rules

Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness
Very overlooked match here but understandable. I’ve called this the greatest rivalry in company history, even sharing that assessment with McGuinness at the merchandise table in New Orleans. And if this match is anything to judge by, this rivalry may be even better than I had remembered.
Referee Todd Sinclair only mentions that the Pure Title can change via DQ and countout, leaving what appeared to be a glaring hole in regards to the ROH Title.
The match begins with beautiful matwork as so many viewers of this time can remember. Danielson works a Cravate but that gets broken when McGuinness lands a Divorce Court on the future HOFer’s left arm. This allowed the Pure Champ to dominate the first third of the match, just being all over Danielson’s left arm with various submissions and awkward positioning like he was white on rice. It got bad enough that Danielson had to use a rope break.
Of course, McGuinness trolled the temperamental Danielson into throwing closed punches in front of the ref twice, causing a rope break detriment. And also of course, Danielson would manage to get his hope spots in. The moment that stood out the most to me was McGuinness having his legs used using his legs to scissor Danielson’s torso while also applying the Kimura Lock. I wonder if Danielson will ever find himself locked in that submission again and if he’ll be able to survive it for more than five seconds that time around.
Danielson would position himself out of an arm submission, setting up McGuinness for a surfboard. But in something so simple yet to brilliant, he couldn’t apply enough pressure on his left arm due to all of the work put onto it. He’d have to settle for his usual plan B in that moment, charging the knees of McGuinness on the mat. This control would be short-lived as McGuinness would slam his left arm on the mat and slide him out of the ring.
After hitting a German Suplex upon reentering the ring, Danielson couldn’t follow up due to the pain in his left arm, although he escaped a hammerlock in the corner by using his feet and got some momentum with clotheslines and forearms using his right arm. A Crossface Chickenwing would convince McGuinness to use a rope break after serious contemplation, bringing this match to an even level.
As they’re about to get into the third act, the match has another highlight as the overzealous Danielson charges at the hand-standing McGuinness and gets two boots to the face followed by a Tower of London, forcing him to use his final rope break. McGuinness would also go on to use his final rope break due to Danielson’s technical excellence.
The last few minutes were just off the charts. They brawled on the outside and McGuinness got the advantage, then used a table to pin down Danielson. The crowd was so antsy about Danielson being counted out that when he got in at 19, it was treated like a genuine nearfall. After trading blows, Danielson would lock the Cattle Mutilation on McGuinness, who would escape by finding a way to absorb the pain and position himself to fall out of the ring and break the hold.
After a tope suicida, they brawled again on the outside. Danielson would make the mistake of flying at McGuinness in the crowd. The Pure Champ smacked him with a steel chair, causing the crowd to go apeshit. This time, the ROH Champ couldn’t overcome the blow, finding himself being counted out. The crowd is popping huge for the title change, only for Sinclair to state that it was never declared the ROH Title could change hands in such fashion, and thus Danielson keeps it on a technicality despite McGuinness winning within the rules of the contest.
Danielson gets a well-deserved standing ovation when he’s left in the ring.
That booking was absolutely necessary to ensure rematches in the future, and is in no way a downer. This match has actually gotten better as the years have gone by, and is one of the all-time classics in ROH history. It is overshadowed by too many things to mention, which is understandable. After having a couple nights to sleep on this, I’m comfortable with my rating as this is one of the greatest matches in company history, and the Danielson vs. McGuinness compilation is worth every penny for just this match alone.
Rating: ****3/4

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