It did not look like Danielson helped with that at all. Kenny just muscled him up with no effort. He's not as cut as when he won the IWGP title in 2018 but he's probably stronger.
Rewatched the match this morning and while I initially thought they may have leaned a bit much on the chops early on, it absolutely makes sense with those two for two reasons imo. One, Kenny knows he cannot hang with Danielson on the mat, so while he did little flourishes here and there early, he did not want to roll with Dragon. He also knows how slippery that sum'bitch is for applying holds as we saw with numerous counters, particularly for the dragon suplexes. So lowest risk was strikes. He thinks he can outstrike the smaller man but really his bread and butter is the knee and that's a late match move. He's added those jabs that look way better than the overhand punches he used to throw, but he's still not the striker Danielson is. So Danielson relies on the kicks and his striking versatility to match and win the strike battle. Two, this match was built on ego. Who is the best in the world? Since 2005, there has not been any purer of a test in wrestling than extended chop battles. While this didn't break down into Sasaki vs. Kobashi, its essence lives on. And while there is one more violent way of showing dominance, the headbutt exchange, I'm glad they didn't lean this way too heavily. Instead, they used some headbutts as desperation moves like when Kenny knew he had taken too long to get up for the top rope dragon suplex and he needed to soften Danielson up, or in the last 10 seconds when they were trying anything to be the last man standing when the bell rang. Fucking awesome stuff. Great match is even better on a second viewing.
I agree that was the best the commentary team has performed in a big match. They knew how big of a match this was for the company and for these two and it showed.
So I've watched the match twice but I must've missed it both times. When does Dragon say "I've got 'till 5!" at Turner? Speaking of Turner, they must've been throwing in a lot of audibles because the ref was going back and forth communicating a lot. I know some of that is time but it looked like there were times Omega would tell him something and he'd relay it. Like early on when Omega pulls Turner into the corner opposite Danielson.
I think AEW is really just starting to hit its stride, despite having some great stretches throughout (that one stretch right up until the pandemic, early return of fans shows). I don't think it's hyperbowl () to say it's going to rival '96-'97 Nitro, 2014-2018 NJPW, '97 and '00-'01 WWF, early-to-mid '90s AJPW, mid '80s Mid South, early '90s WCW, etc. in terms of enjoyment. None of those promotions were perfect during those stretches by any means. I don't get why people often say "AEW is not perfect but..." Like no shit. No promotion has ever been perfect. AJPW wasn't sustainable with its escalation of violence and relied way too heavily on its pillars, NJPW books tags and juniors like dog shit and there are some annoying nuances with its style I don't love, WWF was super top heavy, Nitro was often a mess (wild, fun, and chaotic but not always), Mid South could be plotting at times but fire other. As I was saying in the star ratings thread, I don't think AEW has peaked in its ability to churn out classic matches like NJPW, but that's not what they're going for. They want to entertain, progress stories and characters, and keep giving you a reason to tune in, throwing in sporadic massive matches like yesterday. It's sustainable, two hour shows almost always fly by, and it often feels like the right mix of chaos and control.