The last month or so has been an absolute rollercoaster ride for professional wrestling fans. It wasn’t that long ago that rumors began circulating that CM Punk was set to join AEW after a seven-year hiatus from the ring. However, another rumor emerged shortly after that about ex-WWE superstar Bryan Danielson (formerly known as Daniel Bryan) was set to join AEW as well.
In the event that Bryan Danielson does debut in AEW, whether that’s at one of the upcoming Chicago events or next month at Grand Slam in New York City, BetOnline is favoring his first opponent to be none other than CM Punk. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the history that the two men have together. They’ve already fought each other on the independent scene over 15 years ago and even feuded over the world championship during their time in WWE. It only makes sense that they’d clash at least one more time in a new company.
There’s also the fact that a Danielson/Punk feud is a relatively logical feud to begin with. For starters, the chemistry and familiarity they have with each other should result in a potential Match of the Night candidate, regardless of when it happens.
This is a match that the fans want to see. Punk and Danielson are two of the best wrestlers over the last 20 years and with the creative freedom they’d have with an AEW match, there’s no telling what they can pull off. With all the anticipation leading up to their debuts, it only makes sense for them to clash right off the bat.
Bryan Danielson First AEW Opponent Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, August 20
- CM Punk (+175)
- Kenny Omega (+450)
- Darby Allin (+500)
- Sting (+500)
- MJF (+600)
- Chris Jericho (+700)
- Sammy Guevara (+700)
- Orange Cassidy (+800)
- Cody Rhodes (+900)
Complete odds available at BetOnline.ag.
Can Omega Be Danielson’s First AEW Opponent?
If a match against Punk is off the table, AEW World Champion Kenny Omega is more than a suitable opponent to face Bryan Danielson in the latter’s debut match. When it comes to the last 10 years or so, it’s hard to find a wrestler with a better list of matches than Omega.
Whether he was tearing down the Tokyo Dome with Kazuchika Okada in New Japan Pro Wrestling or the clinics that he puts on at every AEW pay-per-view, Omega has certainly earned the moniker of being the ‘Best Bout Machine.’ Now, when you throw Danielson into the mix, you have the potential for a Match of the Year candidate. The two have previously locked up on the independent scene, however, they haven’t done it on a stage as they could in AEW.
Fathoming the possibility of Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson squaring off seemed like a pipe dream a few years ago. After all, Danielson was recently retired due to numerous injuries and then continued working for WWE while Omega was in Japan and AEW. Fortunately, the stars aligned and now the idea of seeing them face-to-face is more of a reality than ever.
Bryan Danielson First AEW Opponent Odds: Darby Allin
Over the last month or so, Darby Allin has been heavily rumored to be CM Punk’s first AEW opponent. After all, the young up-and-comer essentially called Punk out in a promo on Dynamite not too long ago without using his name.
Even if Allin is Punk’s first opponent, it doesn’t mean that he can’t be Danielson’s as well. After all, the theory is that Punk and Allin will square off at the All Out pay-per-view in Chicago on September 5. At the same time, people think that AEW will hold off on Danielson’s debut until the Grand Slam show in NYC on Sept. 22. Considering how that event will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium (which seats over 23,000 people), AEW will want to put on a huge match, so why not go with Allin vs Danielson?
Allin only began wrestling in 2015, so this is a fresh match that has never happened before. He’s also one of AEW’s rising stars, so a match with Bryan Danielson could certainly bring even more attention to him as well. It’d be interesting to see how Allin’s reckless style meshes with Danielson’s technical prowess, especially in a packed stadium with anywhere around 20,000 screaming fans. Putting these two competitors against each other would be nothing short of a win-win situation for AEW and all those involved.