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BANKIE'S HOT TAKE #100 - Daniels vs Carter: Generational Match

Wow. 100 editions of the Hot Take.

I never actually thought I’d make it to 100 of these articles. After starting off inconsistently, I really picked up the pace in the middle of 2023, thanks to my time with American X Wrestling. Then, with the repackaging of Hardway HQ and covering independent wrestling more frequently, I was able to increase the amount of content coming out.

And now, we are here at #100.

For this edition of the Hot Take, I wanted to talk about a match that has been a long time coming.


I’m going to straight shoot when it comes to Darius Carter.

I have been a fan of his since Day 1. Literally Day 1. When I saw Darius perform against Blake Haze on January 30, 2009 in Elmwood Park, NJ for the Liberty Wrestling Organization, I knew that the kid was money. Even though he lost within a minute, he had poise that only a select few possess.

He has grown up immensely over the years. Back in the early to the mid-2010s, many performers said that, although he was incredibly talented, Darius lacked maturity. In spite of that, he was able to make his own lane anyways.

He created the Crusade for Change in Beyond Wrestling. Alongside TJ Marconi, the Minute Men, and Anthony Gangone, the Crusade, under Carter’s lead, became, in my opinion, the best group in the game. 

With their unique look with the masks they wore, Carter’s Crusade inspired a plethora of independent promotions to find their versions of the faction. Yet, no one could compare to the original.

Carter’s braggadocious nature could not be held down once he left Beyond. He subsequently became the tri-state technician, performing on a high-level against the best of the best in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. His skills were so refined, especially after a tour of the United Kingdom, that he had an opportunity to face WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne in August of 2017.

The rise of DC over the past few years has been nothing short of outstanding. Not only has Darius grown up, he has become a true locker room leader of the promotions he performs in. He has not only carried several wrestling championships, but has helped keep the art of old school wrestling alive. He makes people believe.

When Darius Carter won his second Super 8 Tournament, while reigning supreme as ECWA Heavyweight Champion, earlier this year, I knew that he had become the Crown Jewel of the Northeast. He had done it HIS way. With no mainstream exposure, and all based on word-of-mouth, Darius Carter had become THE guy in independent wrestling.

So when I heard about the ECWA Night of Legends event coming on August 3, 2024 in Newark Delaware, I was stunned when I heard about a match that truly is worthy of the term “generational”.

Darius Carter will be defending his ECWA Heavyweight Championship against “the Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels!


To many, Christopher Daniels might be the greatest independent wrestler of all time.

“The Fallen Angel” has done it ALL. Breaking into the wrestling business through Windy City Wrestling in the mid-1990s, Daniels has been a personification of a workhorse.

He is one of the founding fathers of Ring of Honor, main-eventing the first show with Low Ki and “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson on February 23, 2002. He formed the vile Prophecy and became the biggest rulebreaker in the promotion. He held the ROH World Tag Team Championship four times, the Six-Man Tag Team Championships with his buddies Kazarian and Scorpio Sky, the ROH Television Championship once, and, in 2016 at the 15th Anniversary Show, his “prophecy” was fulfilled when he became the ROH World Champion, pinning Adam Cole.

Daniels’ work in TNA also cannot be understated. His match with AJ Styles and Samoa Joe at Unbreakable on September 11, 2005 might have been the greatest triple threat match of all time. He held the NWA World Tag Team Championships six times, the TNA Tag Team Titles three times, and the X-Division Championship three times as well.

His work around the world is second-to-none. He has wrestled in Japan, Germany, England, Mexico, and Canada. He has been able to adapt in any situation, and stand out as an absolute stud in between the ropes. 

Also, despite almost twenty years of researching, I’ve never been able to prove the rumor that Daniels was the “hot and spicy” Curry Man, who had taken Japan by storm in 2004, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles with the aforementioned Danielson.

My research will continue onward.

Regardless, Daniels is a world-renowned performer and well-respected mentor. He currently is helping out behind the scenes with All Elite Wrestling in an executive position.

Yet, in my opinion, “the Fallen Angel” does not achieve the success he has gotten over the years had he not won the Super 8 Tournament in 2000.


Besides Mr. Carter, Christopher Daniels is the only other man to have won the Super 8 Tournament twice, having done it in 2000 and 2004.

Losing in the finals of the 1999 tournament to the late, great Steve Bradley, Daniels would not be deterred in 2000, defeating Vic Capri, Ace Darling, and “the Black Nature Boy” Scoot Andrews on February 26, 2000 in Newark, DE to win the fourth annual Super 8 Tournament.

That win gained him national exposure in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and helped propel him to the top of independent wrestling. 

Four years later, on April 3, 2004, on the eighth edition of the Tournament, Daniels ran the gauntlet again, upending Rocky Romero, Mike Kruel, and Austin Aries to win. Not only was this his second Super 8 victory, he subsequently won his second ECWA Heavyweight Championship in the process.

Now, with Night of Legends coming on August 3, 2024, in the town where “the Fallen Angel” won his first Super 8 Tournament, Christopher Daniels prepares to go head-to-head with Mr. Darius Carter with the ECWA gold on the line.

To me, this is truly a generational match. The foundation of what the independent wrestling scene was built on takes on a man who is holding the mantle firmly.

In my heart, this is a toss-up. 

For Daniels, this is a chance to become a real life Rocky Balboa. It is always believed that legendary fighters have one last great fight in them. Could “the Fallen Angel” shock the world and win one more ECWA Heavyweight Championship before hanging up the boots for good?

For Carter, this is the biggest match of his life. For a man that has handled pressure in professional and personal settings his entire career, he has to realize that standing before him on August 3 is a man who has faced EVERYONE. His experience trumps everyone he has ever faced before. Carter is going to have to be greater than his wildest dreams. This will not be easy. In fact, as I stated, it really is the biggest match of his life.

I implore everyone to find a way to get to Newark, DE for this match. If you truly love independent wrestling, you should make sure to get to Night of Legends to see this one. It’s generational and, dare I say, the only time you will get to see two independent wrestling stalwarts face off in a match of this type of significant magnitude.

“The Fallen Angel” vs “Wrestling’s Richest Prize”. Holy crap.


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