In a candid interview with NJPW, Bryan Danielson, a key figure in AEW, delved into his challenging year marked by two significant injuries, both sustained during intense bouts with NJPW's Kazuchika Okada. As he gears up for Wrestle Kingdom 18, Danielson offered a profound insight into the essence of "Fighting Spirit" and "Strong Style," concepts he feels intimately connected to, especially in light of his recent trials.
Resilience Defines Danielson
Danielson, known for his resilience, views "Fighting Spirit" and "Strong Style" as more than mere wrestling terminology. To him, they represent an unyielding determination to persevere against all odds.
This philosophy, he believes, has been his guiding light, particularly during his recovery from his injuries. However, Danielson contrasts his journey with that of Okada, suggesting that the latter's path in NJPW has been comparatively smoother.
"Okada stepped into the limelight almost effortlessly upon his return from an excursion," Danielson observed, hinting at a disparity in their wrestling odysseys. Reflecting on his hardships, Danielson recounted an incident from 2007 where he suffered a fractured orbital bone and a detached retina.
Without the support system of a major wrestling promotion like AEW, he was compelled to return to the ring prematurely to make ends meet. "It was a testament to my 'Strong Style' and 'Fighting Spirit'," Danielson stated, emphasizing his grit and commitment to the sport.
Despite his acknowledgment of Okada's talents, Danielson hasn't fully recovered from their previous encounters. He admitted to still grappling with strength issues in his right arm due to an early comeback. This, he reveals, was a sacrifice he made for the fans and the sport.
The injury has not only impacted his career but also his personal life, particularly in his role as a father. Intriguingly, Danielson hinted at the possibility of Okada's second injury being a strategic move, suggesting a deeper rivalry.
With Wrestle Kingdom 18 on the horizon, Danielson's resolve is clear: he aims to assert his dominance over "The Rainmaker" Okada. This matchup is not just about titles or glory; it's a personal quest for vindication, a testament to the true spirit of professional wrestling.
As the wrestling world eagerly anticipates this epic showdown, the question remains: will Danielson's unbreakable spirit triumph over Okada's acclaimed prowess?