AEW have been going for nearly five-years now, and have built a reputation upon putting on some of the best pay per view events of all time. AEW All In 2023 was the jewel in the crown, as the company drew over 80,000 fans to London’s Wembley Stadium.
However, they haven’t all been great. Just like with the WWE, when AEW do something bad, it becomes terrible. Some of the worst pay per view moments in the company has nearly killed their wrestlers, embarrassed fans and made a mockery of some of the biggest legends of the sport.
Worst AEW Pay Per View
Before we look at the worst AEW PPV, let’s take a glance at what are the lowest-rated pay per views in the company’s history. While (in my view) there have been no truly bad AEW PPV events, there are some that have been definitely lacking and could have done a lot more to entertain the fans.
This list will be based on the user ratings on Cagematch.net. Wrestling fans award a rating to each show and match, with the average rating being calculated and given to the show. The lowest shows have been added to this article, and we have explained how each show has earned its spot on the list.
5. AEW All Out 2022
The fallout of All Out 2022, which saw CM Punk and The Elite fight backstage to mar the evening of the wrestling, helped hide the deficiencies from one of AEW’s worst shows. Cagematch users voted All Out 2022 the fifth worst PPV in AEW history, and the reason is clear to see.
All Out 2022 had some big matches on the card, but a lot of them failed to deliver. CM Punk vs Jon Moxley saw an injury early on in the match that affected the quality of the bout, while Chris Jericho’s win over Bryan Danielson seemed like a huge waste of The American Dragon. An injury to Christian Cage meant his match against Jack Perry only lasted 24 seconds, while MJF’s return as “The Devil” only lead to a confusing Casino Ladder match.
The booking for the show was confusing and disjointed, with the flow of matches not giving the fans the chance to really get into the event. The aftermath of the event really covered up the disappointment of All Out 2022 and disguised how poor the event truly was.
4. AEW Revolution 2021
If not for the ending of the main event, I can’t help but feel that AEW Revolution 2021 would not have made it onto the list of the worst AEW PPV’s. This is not to say that the show didn’t have its issues, but the end of Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley left a bad taste in the mouth of the fans.
The main event of the show saw Moxley battle Omega for the AEW Championship in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. While the match was actually a very good bout, the ending ruined the match for a lot of fans. The fans were promised a huge, death-threatening explosion, but in the end they got a few sparklers and a tiny “pop” that your local council would be embarrassed to put on in their local bonfire night display.
The finish nearly botched an incredible face turn for Eddie Kingston, mimicking the ending of the legendary Terry Funk vs Atsushi Onita match from FMW, in Japan.
3. AEW Fight for the Fallen 2019
In the early days of AEW, they put on a few free pay per view events (paid for outside the USA) to help build up the roster and introduce them to wrestling fans. Established talent like Cody Rhodes and Kenny Omega were put on the same card as up and comers like MJF, Sammy Guevara and Adam Page, introducing the AEW fans to the characters that would carry the company for years to come.
The show had some fantastic matches, like Cody and Dustin Rhodes vs The Young Bucks, and the dream match between Kenny Omega and CIMA. However, these were on the same card as some of the worst matches in AEW history, like Allie vs Brandi Rhodes, which helped drag down the rating of this bout.
This event was put on for charity (for veterans of the US military), which you’d think would have given it some goodwill from the fans – but apparently not. It did feature some of the worst wrestlers in AEW history, so maybe the ranking as the third worst AEW is warranted.
2. AEW Double or Nothing 2023
The most recent event on this is AEW Double or Nothing 2023, which failed to impress despite some huge stars on the show. The likes of Orange Cassidy, MJF and Darby Allin put on fantastic performances at DoN 2023, but that failed to make up for a show filled with mediocre matches.
The unsanctioned match between Adam Cole vs Chris Jericho was given a terrible rating of 3.65 (even though I quite enjoyed it), and the show kept on failing to live up to expectations from there. The middle of the show was filled with matches that the fans did not care about, with the women’s title match going only three minutes due to a catastrophic injury to Jamie Hayter.
For the first time in his title reign, MJF’s match did not go on last. He defended the AEW Championship against the rest of the “Four Pillars” (Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin), seceding the top spot to the Anarchy in the Arena bout between The Elite and the Blackpool Combat Club. That match was a big spot fest that failed to achieve the same critical acclaim as previous bouts, and ended the show with Wheeler Yuta, of all people, pinning Kenny Omega for the show victory.
1. AEW All Out 2020
It was always going to be a pandemic era pay per view that would be the worst ranked in AEW. Daily’s Place in Jacksonville played host to the worst show in AEW history, which two of the lowest-rated matches ever seen in AEW. The worst match in company history was Matt Hardy vs Sammy Guevara, which saw one of the most dangerous bumps in wrestling history and incredible neglect from the AEW medical team.
The event never really got going, with AEW’s high standards seemingly having a night off at All Out 2020. Matches like Young Bucks vs Jurassic Express, FTR vs Page & Omega and Moxley vs MJF were okay, but failed to deliver on the heights that were expected of them. The wrestlers struggled to perform with the crowd cheering them on, and it showed in the performances.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.