Was Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson the Best Match Ever?

About a week ago, I texted Bryan Alvarez, my Death of WCW co-author, the following note:

This took place after the Will Ospreay vs. Bryan Danielson match at AEW Dynasty in St. Louis, which I was lucky enough to attend live. Bryan mentioned this on a couple of his shows and I noted my feelings about the match on Facebook. Making a bold proclamation such as this, I was steeling myself for the backlash. But a funny thing happened – there wasn’t a ton of “RD is an idiot” posts. Instead, people were generally respectful and noted other matches they preferred. I was honestly somewhat shocked.

Going through the other matches folks mentioned, I could see where they were coming from on their views as well. Saw lots of Undertaker vs. Shawn notes, some Shawn vs. Razor ladder matches, a few Austin vs. Rocks, and a scattered Savage vs. Steamboats too. Also saw some notes of Steamboat vs. Flair, and ironically, I was there for one of those matches live as well. Since all these matches were famous, I’d seen them of course, many of them countless times – pretty sure I wore out more than one WrestleMania III tape just studying Savage vs. Steamboat over and over again. All those matches were great.

But, in my personal opinion, Ospreay vs. Danielson was better. And I stand by my text that it was, in fact, the best match I’d ever seen live. In fact, it’s the best match I’ve ever seen period. If it’s not yours, that is totally cool. But for me, nothing has ever topped it and I am absolutely thrilled I got to be in the building that night to witness it.

Ospreay is currently my favorite wrestler, and I couldn’t even tell you who comes close. His athleticism is of course off the charts, but I think what I like about him is that his acrobatic moves look they would actually HURT. I’ve seen so many guys launch themselves over the top rope to land on an opponent on the floor and while it looks impressive, I rarely get the sense of “ouch.” When Ospreay does it? I am like “how on earth did he not kill that guy smashing into him like that?” More than that though, I like Ospreay because he’s fresh. He’s not a guy I’ve been watching for ten years (I rarely catch any non-US based wrestling). So he’s essentially new to me and that makes seeing his matches, seeing where things are going with him, all the more enjoyable. I want to see him climb the ladder and wind up with the big belt, likely at Wembley. I want to see him ‘retire’ the Tiger Driver only to bust it out and kill Don Callis with it. I want to see all the matches and feuds that lie ahead. And that’s great because it’s been forever since I’ve seen someone capture my attention like that. Seriously, who is the last guy who gave you that sense of wonder? Let me know in the comments below.

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