Sunday, December 20, 2015

NXT Advent Calendar Day 20: Hideo Itami versus a WWE star that stole his finisher

Before Hideo Itami made his way to WWE's developmental roster, he had two finishers very different from the Shotgun Kick and double foot stomp he used as his finishers in NXT. The more famous of the moves is one he innovated and helped popularize, a fireman's carry drop knee strike called the Go To Sleep. When CM Punk came into WWE, he adopted the move and the GTS became a hugely popular move the world over.

But it wasn't his only finisher stolen by a major WWE star. His striking finisher long before the Shotgun Kick was a running single leg high knee which was as fast as it was brutal in appearance. The Busaiku Knee Kick put down a ton of opponents in the physical sport-oriented Pro Wrestling NOAH.

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At SummerSlam 2013, it would also put down John Cena. Daniel Bryan would win the WWE championship with his new finisher, generally just called the high knee by WWE, but nicknamed the "Knee Plus" by many fans.

Long before that event though, Daniel Bryan was Bryan Danielson and he worked several times in NOAH as part of their working agreement with ROH. One such battle came at Autumn Navigation '08, in a stupendous twenty-five plus minute battle. Check it out in full below.

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