On the Collision before All Out, Starks was prepared to sign a contract to take on Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat in a Strap Match at the pay-per-view. However, the veteran had a trick up his sleeve. While the contract did say “The Dragon,” Starks’ opponent wasn’t Steamboat, instead ‘The American Dragon’ Bryan Danielson made his shock return to the company to take on the young upstart.
The pair had a brutal match that saw them putting the thick leather strap to good use by whipping each other with increasingly hard shots to each other’s backs and even heads.
In the end, Danielson got the victory by putting Starks in the LeBell Lock while also wrapping the strap around Starks’ neck, choking him out for the win.
Now, Starks has posted a photo on social media showing the scars Danielson left on his back.
— Ricky Starks (@starkmanjones) September 5, 2023
Bryan Danielson admits Ricky Starks “carried him” at All Out
During the post-All Out media scrum, Danielson praised Ricky Starks for making the best of the opportunities given to him before admitting the young star “carried him” through the bout.
“Every time Ricky Starks gets an opportunity, he knocks it out of the park,” he said. “I will be the first one to say –- and this is outside of within our stories and what we do –- he carried me through that match tonight.
“I’m good at a decent amount of things and I’m confident in saying that he was the one who carried me through that match.” (H/T ITRWrestling)
While many were concerned Danielson had returned too early from the broken forearm he suffered at Forbidden Door, the star said he was in little danger as he used “smoke and mirrors” to get through it.
“There was a lot of smoke and mirrors tonight and I was in no danger whatsoever, other than the regular danger that you could do getting a hip toss, but I didn’t even throw a strike with my right arm, and I don’t think anybody noticed.” (h/t Post Wrestling)
Bryan Danielson seemed a little the worse for wear when he appeared later in All Out wearing a bandage on his head while celebrating Jon Moxley winning the AEW International Championship with the rest of The Blackpool Combat Club.