We take a look at an early peak of Absolute Andy’s career, going back to 2009 as he faced Bryan Danielson for the wXw World Heavyweight title.
This one’s available via the YouTube link we’ve shared below – but was previously on the WWE Network/Peacock as a part of the weird Best of Bryan Danielson in wXw compilation that exists there (having previously been a part of the old wXw Classics series that Alan Counihan hosted). By this point, Danielson was winding things down on the indies, preparing for his first (albeit short) run with WWE/NXT, and had been just two months into his run as wXw’s World Heavyweight Champion – the title that was eventually unified with the wXw World Lightweight title…
We’re coming from the T-Club inside the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, for the main event of the second of the two Dead End IX shows in 2009.
We’ve got Thommy Giesen geeing up the crowd before the overdubbed entrances, and yes, we’re back in the days of Absolute Andy with hair… while Bryan Danielson was greeted with a sea of middle fingers, and a “Bryan is a piece of shit” chant. Those were the days. We’re also flying without a commentary track…
wXw World Heavyweight Championship: Absolute Andy vs. Bryan Danielson (c)
Andy grabbed Danielson’s belt and paraded it in his face before the bell, prompting some “next world champ” chants as the pair teased locking up. Danielson’s stalling led to the crowd mocking him with “you can’t wrestle” chants, before he finally engaged things, going for Andy’s wrist.
Andy reverses the wristlock, but Danielson countered back and forth before he walked into the ropes to force a break. Mocking Dragon, Andy drops to his knees to offer a punch-up, as Danielson was really ripping a page out of the Larry Zbyszko playbook as he stalled… so much so that Andy headed outside and joined the fans banging on the apron. A baseball slide attempt from Danielson’s easily avoided before a lock-up ended in the ropes, with Danielson cheapshotting Andy on the break. Danielson starts to focus on the arm a little from there, taking down Andy… only for the challenger to take things back to the ropes and throw in a cheapshot of his own.
Shoving breaks things down into chops from there, forcing Danielson to back off into the corner. Returning, Danielson snapmares Andy ahead of a chinlock, but that’s powered out of as Andy jacked Danielson’s arm over his shoulder to break free. Danielson seemingly revelled in the “same old shit” chants as he went back to the chinlock, with Andy breaking it again in the same way. Danielson backs away from Andy, which led to the crowd clucking like a chicken, then serenading him with “American Chicken” and “KFC” chants as we crossed the ten-minute mark with Andy conducting the crowd. Fed up with that, Danielson snapped, kicking out the knee before he stomped on Andy on the mat. An attempt at a surfboard gets Danielson those “same old shit” chants, so he instead drops and elbow, then a knee, as he updated the Ron Garvin playbook a little.
Hey, the Oberhausen crowd taunting Danielson for being boring led him to taking Andy back down for another chinlock. Straight out of the “I’ll show you boring” school! Boot choking takes Andy into the corner, before kicks to the back took us back to knee drops… and yes, the chinlock. Switching it up, we’ve a hands-behind-the-back Dragon sleeper as Danielson looked to put this one away, before… knee drop. Slaps from above rile up Andy, who fired up for a Sharpshooter… but Danielson grabs the rope before he was rolled over to force a break, then instantly went back after Andy’s arm. Snapmare. Elbows. Kicks. Two-count. Danielson’s running a very methodical playbook here, and like someone who’s only just picked up a fighting game, is spamming the same few things – because they worked.
A rare divergence sees Danielson go up top, but he’s instantly cut off and superplexed before Andy began to beat him to the punch some more. Andy’s flying shoulder tackle continues the turnaround, as did a clothesline into the corner, then a sidewalk slam out of it as Andy picked up his first close fall of the match. Danielson turned it right back around with a clothesline though, only for Andy to respond with an F5 for a near-fall. Punches take Danielson back into the corner, but a second superplex is shoved away as a missile dropkick instead took down the challenger… who was then met with a running kick for a near-fall. Cattle Mutilation’s next, but Andy’s able to get a foot to the rope and force the break.
We’re past the 20-minute mark as Andy fought back with a scoop slam as Danielson came back off the ropes. Sensing trouble, Danielson pulls referee Tassilo Jung in front of him to stop Andy from charging… then tries a low blow as Tass had his back turned. It’s blocked as Andy instead goes for a small package – see-sawing back and forth as Danielson ended up being unable to get the win from it. It’s back to old faithful for Danielson from there as he worked Andy’s arm, but a spinebuster out of nowhere cuts off the champion ahead of a top rope elbow drop for a near-fall. A Sharpshooter follows, but out of nowhere, Steve Douglas – Andy’s former tag partner in AbLas – came out for a distraction. Referees are quickly on hand to take care of the bandana-sporting Douglas, but that masks a second run-in… which Andy quickly took care of with a superkick. Thanks for coming!
Problem was, that took the ref’s attention away, allowing Danielson to hit a low blow and a small package… but Andy kicks out at two! Oberhausen erupted after the ineffective small package, before Danielson began to wear down Andy with some hammer elbows. Rather than go for a stoppage, Danielson covers Andy, again for a near-fall, before another Cattle Mutilation was fought out of… with Andy getting to his feet, backing into the corner, sandwiching the ref in the process. Andy retaliates with a mule kick behind the ref’s back, before a small package almost put Danielson away – albeit with a questionably-fast count.
We resume with both men back to their feet, trading blows until a superkick rocked Danielson… only for him to rise up and kick Andy out of the corner. A diving head kick’s next, as Danielson again went up top, only to leap into an Andy spinebuster, before the Sharpshooter – and a drag away from the ropes – led to the submission!
Result: Absolute Andy submitted Bryan Danielson to win the wXw World Heavyweight Championship in 26:30 (****)
Post-match, Danielson snatches the belt off of a celebrating Andy… only to hand it back to him and shake the new champion’s hand before leaving the ring as Oberhausen conga’d around the T-Club to celebrate. Lovely stuff from a ferocious crowd, and something you’d struggle to contain a smile watching.
Watching this match in a vacuum, outside of everything that preceded it, the slow start really had me wondering what I was missing out on… only for the remainder of the contest to more than make up for it. Danielson’s insistence on going to the same few moves early on to spite the crowd backfired on him in the end – and led to the end of his reign. A star-making performance for Absolute Andy, who’d end up losing the belt to Steve Douglas before the end of the year… and it’d be the thick end of a decade before Andy had a second run…