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[2009-03-28-Chikara-King of Trios 2009] Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli & Dave Taylor vs Johnny Saint & Mike Quackenbush & Jorge Rivera

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This was setup to showcase Johnny Saint as the MVP and it delivered just that, although everyone was great in this, his performance was the standout. Crazy to think he's in his 60's at this point and he was just making his US debut that weekend as he had spent most of his career wrestling in Europe with the one tour with Michinoku Pro. Regardless of his age, he didn't wrestle like someone his age (benefits of working most of his career taking as little bumps as possible) as he was just endlessly pulling out the same great looking submissions and counters whenever he was in that he was pulling out back in the 70s in the UK on Joint Promotion shows. He did take a bump over the top rope here which he isn't known for, so that got a pop out of me. His exchanges with Danielson were phenomenal and it makes you wonder what a fantastic match those two could have had in their primes. As I mentioned before, everyone else was great in this, but I'd say the runner up for MVP in this was Danielson. He was incredible just heeling it up on the other side and showing signs of frustration as the match went on and he kept getting outclassed in the grappling department.

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This is a fitting match for me to watch because it's Johnny Saint's 80th birthday today. He is 67 in this match but as Edwin mentioned he still wrestled brilliantly for a man of his age.

First Half

Saint starts the match for his team against Dave Taylor and Danielson and does a freaking monkey flip that I didn't see coming. Danielson sells his leg after Saint targets it as a callback to the match the night before with the Roughnecks. Bryan and Saint tag out to Claudio and Quackenbush and after a bit of stalling with the "Ayy" chants, the two of them have some fun exchanges of speed vs power in a technical way before they tag out to Taylor and Rivera for a quick moment before Saint and Bryan Danielson get back in. There are some more moments of Johnny Saint showing those slick counters against all three men of Team Uppercut and while yes I would love to have seen Saint vs Danielson in both men's primes, Claudio vs Saint was just as cool to see Saint get out of the bigger man's holds. Saint was also fun to see wrestle against his fellow Englishman Dave Taylor as well. Claudio threw the first strike of match with a European Uppercut against Skayde who wrestled quick with Claudio showing off how great of a base he can be. Dave Taylor was the 2nd oldest guy in the match besides Johnny Saint but he still impressed the hell out of me. He was still spry in the exchange with Skayde and showed it more throughout the match he could keep up with the younger guys, he is someone along with Saint I need to look into more for the GWE project.

Second Half

Quack stomps the damaged leg of Danielson after Danielson stomped his leg and things get more serious from here. It's a bit grittier with more strikes and more vicious holds. After the Masters work on Bryan's leg for a little bit, Danielson fights back and gets to his corner to tag Claudio and Dave to work on Quack's back before Mike gets some hope spots in and then Danielson comes back in. Quack imitates some of Danielson's elbows and the Cattle Mutilation before doing the Chikara Special and then getting thrown out of the ring. Saint does the Johnny Saint Special rolling into the ball and getting a near fall before going over the top rope. Bryan and Rivera go hold for hold with Rivera reaching the ropes to get out of the Cattle Mutilation from Bryan and then going for a dive right to the outside and then It's Claudio vs Quackenbush to end the match with Claudio doing a Top Rope PowerBomb to win the match for Team Uppercut.

This match is amazing to watch. A technical first half of beautiful wrestling followed by the second half with focused limb attacks on both Bryan's leg and Quack's back. Johnny Saint is a highlight throughout the match. He is so damn good at his age, it's either him, Satanico or Fujiwara for best wrestler over 65 years old in my opinion. He keeps up with the younger men in the ring with him and only really shows his age once in this match with the leapfrog before the Saint special. I enjoyed the match as it was a fun match in the first half that got serious while still having some levity in the second half. ****1/4

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