‘Cobra Kai’ Johnny/Daniel Season 4 Fight Was More Than Just a Rematch, Ralph Macchio Says

Cobra Kai Season 4 finally gave Karate Kid fans a moment they’ve been waiting for. Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) finally had a proper rematch. On Cobra Kai, Johnny and Daniel did it privately in front of their Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang students. But, this time it was about more than who scored more points. 

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Cobra Kai Season 4.]

'Cobra Kai' Season 4: Daniel and Johnny finally have a rematch
L-R: William Zabka and Ralph Macchio | Curtis Bond Baker/Netflix

Macchio and Zabka were at Cobra Kai: Live and Badass on May 5. Showbiz Cheat Sheet was there too to hear their stories. Here’s what they said about Johnny and Daniel’s rematch, and we’ll have more stories from the cast and creators that night right here. Cobra Kai Season 5 premieres Sept. 9 on Netflix.

Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are fighting for a lot more in ‘Cobra Kai’

Cobra Kai Season 4 saw Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang team up to defeat Cobra Kai. Getting along was a lot harder in practice. Macchio said the rematch was really about proving something to their students. 

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Doing the rematch, there’s a lot of pressure going into what that is. We talked about it at length. Do we want to attack that rematch decades later in a way like okay, here’s where these two characters are now? It wasn’t trying to do the 19-year-old version of that fight. So it’s really about fighting for our beliefs, for each of our students. So their intentions are both good. It’s not only about winning for their senseis. It’s more about fundamentals of what they believe in. A lot of it came from that.

Ralph Macchio, Cobra Kai: Live and Badass, 5/5/22

William Zabka and Ralph Macchio suffered to give ‘Karate Kid’ fans the Daniel/Johnny rematch 

Zabka admitted he skipped to the end of the script for that Cobra Kai episode. 

“I think we all skipped to the end to see who won,” Zabka said. “It was a double backfist to the face and then we could rewind and read it.”

Filming the rematch was not without its challenges, either. 

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“We filmed that in Atlanta which is where we shoot the show,” Zabka said. “So cold. That rematch started at 7 p.m. in February, 40 degrees outside. It was so cold, the mat was so cold they had to throw heating blankets on it and wrap our feet up and put us in the van between takes. Try staying, two, three o’clock in the morning doing these elaborate fight choreographies and not pulling a muscle. We had a lot of fun with it, thankfully no injuries.”

‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4 invested a bit more on the Daniel/Johnny rematch 

It’s remarkable what Cobra Kai can pull off on a TV schedule. The fight scenes are more elaborate than most movies. For Johnny vs. Daniel, they knew this was more than just a plot point to get in the can. 

“We had a little extra time than we normally do for a lot of these great fight action sequences,” Macchio said. “Sometimes we’re doing these without a lot of rehearsal time. We had a little bit extra. It grew in the story behind it and it was fun to play. The guys just wrote a perfect ending for it where nobody wins. Of course nobody wins.”

RELATED: ‘Cobra Kai’ Star William Zabka Says Johnny Lawrence Became ‘a Brand New Character’ After the ’80s