AEW's Bryan Danielson Talks Working Night Of NJPW Star Kazuchika Okada's First Match

Kazuchika Okada is considered to be one of NJPW's greatest modern stars, and at Wrestle Kingdom 18, he will once again clash with AEW's Bryan Danielson. Ahead of the event, Danielson had an interview with NJPW, and recalled being there when "The Rainmaker" made his debut in the promotion. Historically, Danielson was competing on the same match card that Okada made his NJPW debut during. However, according to "The American Dragon," this is a fact he doesn't regard highly.

"I was wrestling so many shows at the time, so it's funny when people mention that because I don't remember. It's an afterthought." Danielson compared the fact to a wrestling Easter Egg and further emphasized that while he thinks it's interesting, at the time he didn't care at all. While Okada wasn't on his radar then, "The Rainmaker" would eventually catch his attention later, especially after he entered into a feud with Hiroshi Tanahashi. "I was super impressed with Okada. Especially for somebody at such a young age when he started ... to do so well against people like Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, Yuji Nagata, all those guys who I know firsthand are fantastic wrestlers."

However, Danielson then stressed that while Okada is great, he's even better once you step into the ring with him. Due to this, he's had to push himself past his limits and these bouts have brought out a fire inside of him. Despite that, Danielson admitted that he still can't let go of Okada's involvement in both of his injuries. "There's a little bit — there's a lot of resentment. And a lot of borderline hatred — I hate to even use that word," he said. "Because I'm in the twilight of my wrestling career and Okada on his own has taken away over three months of that in the last year of my full-time pro wrestling career."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit NJPW and provide Wrestling Inc. with a h/t for the transcription.

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