NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 result: Kazuchika Okada vs. Bryan Danielson

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist (X: @SR_Torch)


Kazuchika Okada beat Bryan Danielson in the semi-final match at Wrestle Kingdom 18 today.

Okada, who lost to Danielson at AEWxNJPWForbidden Door in the U.S. last year got revenge on his home turf by wearing down Danielson with a heavy of Heavy Rain and Rainmaker attacks down the stretch.

Although Danielson beat Okada via submission at Forbidden Door, he was the one with revenge on his mind in this match, as he suffered a broken arm during their match at Forbidden Door. Most recently, Danielson suffered a broken orbital bone during a tag match against Okada on AEW Dynamite.

Danielson targeted Okada’s arm and head throughout the match and built up to a dramatic moment where he put Okada in the very same submission that Okada tapped out to eat Forbidden Door, but after screaming in pain for a long period of time and struggling to escape, Okada managed to get his foot on the ropes.

Down the stretch, the fighting spirit of Okada was too much for Danielson as Okada shook off a flurry of Danielson’s signature elbow strikes and went on the attack. Late in the match Okada hit Heavy Rain twice before eventually connected with the Rainmaker for the win.

The English announce team did not mention anything about Okada’s pending free agency at the end of January, but instead they hammered home that this was the start of Okada’s 2024 in NJPW with a big win over Danielson on NJPW’s biggest stage.

Okada showed respect to Danielson after the match and bowed to Danielson, who returned the favor and bowed back to Okada. The English announcers teased a third match between Danielson and Okada in the near future  while noting that Danielson was at a disadvantage in this match due to the damage to his eye.

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