The fact that Garcia is being courted by WWE and AEW is a miracle. Not that Garcia isn't a good wrestler, he's very good, great in fact. What's a miracle is that Garcia's career lasted long enough to see AEW exist, and that he was able to walk down the ramp into NXT. Garcia is a wonderful wrestler who's going places fast, but that almost wasn't the case. I'm not just here to talk about Garcia's accident, as that's not all there is to his story. Garcia has put on amazing technical clinics all over the North East for years now, and those matches deserve a spotlight. It feels like in 2020 the floodgates were opened and Garcia was everywhere. No matter what company I turn on now, Vxs, Limitless, ICW the kid is on my screen stealing the show whether he wins or loses. Before we get to his matches though, we need to look at the accident.
On January 6th , 2019, Daniel Garcia was in a car crash. Garcia, along with Kevin Blackwood, Puf, and Kevin Bennet, hit a patch of black ice and ran into a guard rail. The group, known as the Buffalo Brothers, said that the car was ripped almost in half. It was Pepper Parks, trainer of the men and better known as The Blade, who reported on the accident. Bennet and Puf were reported to have minor injuries but Blackwood and Garcia weren't as lucky. Blackwood had head trauma as well as broken bones, and Garcia had a broken femur and broken ankle on opposite legs, as well as some other injuries. Both men would have to undergo surgery after the fact. The entire wrestling community gathered around these man as everyone from CM Punk To Ruby Riott shared their gofundme trying to get them the help they needed. Over $37,000 was raised as wrestling rallied together. Only five months later Garcia was back in the ring. I've personally broken my tibia and it took 3 months for me to feel comfortable walking with any weight on it. So that being said, I cannot physically imagine the intense fortitude of Garcia to come back from his injuries in just five months. People were expecting him to be out for a year, but he was back in the ring by June.
Daniel Garcia's career is much more than just surviving a horrific accident though. He acknowledges that the accident and the scars he bares are now part of him, but that's the key, they're just a part of him. Garcia trained under Pepper Parks along with the other Buffalo Brothers and made his debut in 2017 at Nickel City Wrestling. He was just 18 when he made his debut, and immediately he showed promise. He spent most of 2017 through the accident in companies like ESW, C4, Smash and Pro Wrestling Rampage. He did make his first WWE appearance during this time, however, losing to Drew Gulak on 205 live. It was after a fatal four way match between the Buffalo Brothers that the car accident occurred, and Garcia would return on June 21st, 2019 in a losing effort against Stu Grayson. It didn't matter whether Garcia won or lost, what mattered was that he was actually wrestling and looked amazing in that ring. From there he would win a battle royal that gave him a match against Josh Alexander for the C4 title which he won and still holds to this day. While rising to the top of C4 Garcia would compete in both Beyond Wrestling's Discovery Gauntlet and WXW's Ambition tournament, spreading his fame both across the nation and around the world. Garcia would spend Winter 2019 anchoring Limitless Wrestling, and after going on a six month hiatus due to the pandemic, would return to wrestling in September 2020 teaming with Blackwood against Butcher and the Blade on AEW Dark. Since then he's wrestled in everything from ICW Pit Fight to NXT. Having now made appearances on NXT and AEW it's clear big things are coming for Garcia.
#10:Daniel Garcia vs Lee Moriarty
When this got announced as an opening round match for the 2020 Vacationland cup I was shocked. This could have easily main evented any show across the country, and in fact I bet there are lots of mania weekend shows wishing they had this main event. This match was the first tournament match on the card and it set the tone for the tournament that we were in for a treat. For 15 minutes Garcia and Moriarty tear it up showing why people can't keep their names out of their mouths. There isn't much to say about this one besides it's simply great. Watch this match to get a feel for why these men are on everyone's minds and why it's two names you're hearing more and more.
#9:Jordan Oliver vs Daniel Garcia
This is a pretty recent match, and shows just how good the next generation of wrestling is. Both of these men are going places fast, and this 18 minute match could have easily been a main event. Instead, these two opened Violence x Suffering's first IWTV show. Oliver often gets treated like a high flyer because he hangs around with them, but he's a technical worker through and through, and putting him in there with Garcia gave him a chance to show that. Being able to get someone over is one thing, but in this loss here Garcia not only had to get Oliver over, but get the company as a whole over. The crazy amount of ground game on display by both men was amazing, with Garcia being able to show how good his holds are. These two pull off moves I've never thought of, like a Boston Crab onto the turnbuckle. This match is a wonderful example of the kind of technical wizardry Garcia brings to the ring, and just how innovative his matches can be.
#8:John Silver vs Daniel Garcia
It's a good rule of thumb that if Garcia steps in the ring with a member of the Dark Order, it's going to be a good match. I wasn't able to include his matches with Evil Uno, but every time Garcia fights one of them magic happens. This almost 20 minute classic opened episode seven of season 2 of Beyond Wrestling Uncharted Territory and stole the show. Garcia knows a counter for every counter to every counter, and uses that knowledge well here. The two things I've come to expect in a Garcia match are long sequences of either chain grapples or holds that twist and move in ways my brain can barely follow, and strikes that make me wince just seeing them. This match gets a little more brawl-ish than most Garcia matches as they head out of the ring and let me just say when someone is tapping out from a submission on hardwood floor instead of a ring mat it just looks so much more vicious. This match is Garcia just doing his Garcia thing, and nothing could make me happier.
#7:Arez vs Daniel Garcia
This match opened Lucha Memes Guerra De Naciones, and what a way to start a show. The whole theme of the show was Mexico vs USA, and to see Garcia representing America just shows how far he has come so quickly. This is a wonderful match that sees a little more aerial work out of Garcia then we're used to, but when you're in there with some trained by Blue Demon Jr what else could you expect. Seeing the crowd get truly invested in this is delightful and Arez and Garcia go to war. Selling is important, and there is a spot where Garcia eats a superkick and literally glides across the ring as his feet forget what friction is. Garcia is such a great talent when it comes to making simple moves look effective, such as an inverted atomic drop, a chop, and a shoulder to the gut. This match shows that in spades as Garcia leaps off the ropes throwing his shoulder and elbow into Arez again and again. It's not groundbreaking, but there's a reason Garcia often opens a show: he knows how to wake up a crowd and get them excited. It's impossible to watch this match and not be excited for not just the show, but for the next time you get to see Garcia.
#6:Violence is Forever vs Buffalo Brothers
I had to include a tag team match on this list, and matches with Violence is Forever tend to make my top tens. Blackwood and Garcia have basically trained together their entire careers, and when you watch matches like this it's pretty obvious. They wrestle like one person in there, and make it look natural. The parts of the match where Garcia wrestles Dominic Garrini are just so excellent because Garrini is a purple belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. They lock in a pair of ankle locks on each other at one point before Garrini launches Garcia into the air with his feet, catches him in an arm bar that Garcia reverses into an ankle lock. I once saw someone call Garcia a young Kurt Angle, and the way this boy locks in a hold makes it hard to deny. As much as I want to gush about the Garcia/Garrini segments, it's a tag match, and Blackwood and Kevin Ku are no slouches either. They both put on wonderful showings in this match, reminding us all that a tag team match is much more than just a single's match with double the people. The ebb and flow of this match is fantastic, with some great double team moves and hope spots. Garcia chopping back and forth on Garrini and Ku to escape a double team beatdown comes to mind. Beating Violence is Forever is no small task, which is why the Buffalo Brothers doing it main evented C4 Underground 5, and why it's my favorite tag match of theirs.
#5:Daniel Garcia vs Shane Mercer
In the pit, we just fight! I know it seems that I included a lot of losses on this list, but this is one of those matches where just by showing up Garcia opened a lot of eyes. ICW No Holds Barred is a deathmatch company, and their Pit Fight shows, while a little lighter on the gore, are still pretty brutal. The fact that Garcia stepped into this world at all got a lot of people happy, and this match suited him well. Chairs and doors were the main weapons of the day, but the end is one of the more memorable spots in Pit Fight history. Mercer rips the door off the cage and starts slamming the giant cage door into Garcia. It's a great image, and Garcia took it like a champ. It's a fun, different match from the rest of Garcia's match catalog, and shows that he can fit in anywhere. He gets some good shots in on Mercer, who's a pretty established name in deathmatch. This was actually his second Pit Fight match: the first one went under 5 minutes, while this one went 10. With any luck we get to see a little more of this side of Garcia, because no matter what kind of match he finds himself in, Red Death fights.
#4:Daniel Garcia vs Pepper Parks
As mentioned earlier in this article, Pepper Parks is better known to fans of AEW as The Blade. The man has been a staple of indie wrestling for years and years to the point where he has trained multiple waves of talent. This match is a pure example of teacher vs student, and it's one of my favorites. This was only Garcia's fourth match since returning from the accident but you would have no idea watching this match. There is no sign of weakness in Garcia as he absolutely throws his heart and soul into this fight. Beating your trainer is always an important moment in a wrestler's career, and Garcia shows just how much he's learned in only a couple of years at this point. It's also one of the few non tournament matches on this card, reiterating just how big a draw this fight was. Watch this match to see just how good a passing of the torch can be.
#3:Daniel Garcia vs Fred Yehi
Ever see a sharpshooter so deep that the two people's cheeks rub together? Garcia is not a man who just slaps on a submission for the heck of it: when he hits a submission he cinches it in deep with the intent to end the match. Yehi is no one to sneeze at either, however, as if you haven't seen him you're missing out. On the aforementioned Lucha Memes show Yehi was in the tag team main event alongside Mecha Wolf taking on the team of Lowrider and the legendary Blue Demon Jr. This match is just hard hitting wonderment, and one that was rightfully booked as a dream match. Garcia has some amazing underdog moments in this match, including a spot where he is knocked down and sits up, only to be chopped so hard he falls back on the mat and bounces back up in defiance, only to be chopped again and defiantly sit up again, only to be chopped again, and get to his feet. It's the kind of sequence where if you didn't already like Garcia you sure did now. Garcia pulls out the win in this encounter, and its a great showing of how much heart this kid has.
#2:Daniel Garcia vs Stu Grayson
I wanted to include this match because it's probably the most important match Garcia will ever have. I didn't want to dwell too much on the accident in this article, but the reality is Garcia was expected to be out for at least a year, if he ever returned. Breaking a femur is not something you recover from easily, and having a broken ankle on the other leg makes rehab incredibly difficult. Story time: like I said, it took 3 months for me to start walking on my broken leg again, and the mental pain was almost worse than the physical. The fact that I forgot how to walk: my mom and I were screaming at each other at how walking works. I felt so inept that I couldn't even take a step normally and the muscles just didn't know what to do. So to recover from an injure much worse than that in only two months longer, and to not only get back to walking, but leaping around a wrestling ring and putting on a top notch match, it's astonishing. I truly admire this match because I can only imagine the work and determination that went into it, not just in the ring, but every single day for five months. This match proved that Garcia still had what it took, and that what could have ended his career was just a setback, and he came back stronger than ever. The match is still very good, but everything behind it makes it truly special.
#1:Josh Alexander vs Daniel Garcia
Here we are, my pick for Garcia's best match and one that kept being delayed but was worth the wait. Between Garcia being unable to make shows and then Alexander having Impact engagements it took from August when Garcia became number one contender to November when Garcia finally got his shot. This match was of course the main event because the crowd was so hungry for it. Alexander had been champion since January and was establishing himself as a dominant champion: a final boss of sorts in C4. Garcia on the other hand, was the comeback story of the year. Alexander won the title a couple of weeks after Garcia's accident, and Garcia's rise up the ranks after returning became the biggest story in C4 besides the title reign. These two had to meet eventually, and it was worth the wait. Alexander is a mighty fine technical wrestler and these two were able to just go out and wrestle. The mat work here is second to none as these two counter hold for hold for hold for hold. Garcia's strength and aggression makes it hard for him to be an underdog, but in this match he found someone even scarier in the ring. Garcia fought for over 20 minutes to finally take down Alexander and win the biggest match of his career. It's a must see match that truly shows off everything good about Garcia.
Having now made appearances for both AEW and NXT, the kid has to be going somewhere soon. His indie career has been a beautiful thing to watch, and for my money, Zack Sabre Jr. needs to watch out, because Garcia might just be the best technical wrestler in the world today.
While you're here at Wrestling News World, why not become one of our Premium Members for exclusive backstage news? You can even start off with a 30 day free trial!