AEW prides itself on telling iitst’s stories in the ring, using some incredible matches to make big stars of their wrestlers and create moments fans will always remember.
However, some of the matches are so bad that fans can never forget what they have seen. In this article, we’ll look at the best and worst matches from every year of AEW, explaining what makes some great, and some terrible.
2019 Best Match – Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes, Double or Nothing 2019
The best match in the first year of AEW’s history was the brother vs brother clash that saw Cody Rhodes defeat Dustin Rhodes at Double or Nothing 2019.
The match was announced with little story, but the brothers built the feud themselves through self-contained promos and interviews. When the match did occur, fans were dying to see the pair lock horns again.
Cody and Dustin had wrestled once before, at Fastlane 2016 in WWE. The match took place in front of their late father Dusty Rhodes, but they botched the ending and were taken off Wrestlemania that year.
he match at Double or Nothing 2019 was a well-paced, old-school style match. With a focus on storytelling over big spots, it was much different to any other match on the show.
With callbacks to their father, the late Dusty Rhodes, and an incredible amount of blood shed, the match was pure drama. It saw Cody try to take down the old gunslinger one last time, proving himself not just to his family, but to himself.
The match was awarded a five-star rating by Dave Meltzer, the first of many five-star matches in AEW history, but still the best match in Cody Rhodes career.
2019 Worst Match – Brandi Rhodes vs Alli, Fight for the Fallen 2019
Brandi Rhodes tried her hardest to become a wrestler in AEW, but it simply did not work out.
She was great as an announcer in the WWE, but her transition to the ring was not good, and pairing her with Allie (who was incredibly green there, although now she has much improved as “The Bunny”) was not the right move.
It was a very slow and boring match, with a couple of decent moments. However, most of the spots were sloppy and in general the action wasn’t great, and brought the quality of the show down greatly.
2020 Best Match – Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs The Young Bucks
Just before the pandemic shut down the wrestling business as we know it, fans at AEW Revolution 2020 were treated to the best match in 2020, as Adam Page and Kenny Omega defended their tag team titles against The Young Bucks.
The two teams were all part of the same faction, The Elite, but had fallen into some disagreements in recent times. Hangman Adam Page felt isolated by the Elite, and wanted out of the group.
The Young Bucks refused and wouldn’t let him leave, which caused heavy arguments.
Kenny Omega was the man in the middle, trying to keep the peace between his while also trying to keep hold of the AEW Tag Team Championships.
This led to an explosion of emotions, where both teams gave it their all to try and defeat, both physically and mentally, the other team in the ring at AEW revolution.
The match was an instant classic, combining supreme in ring work with extraordinary storytelling and emotion.
2020 Worst Match – Matt Hardy vs Sammy Guevara, All Out 2020
No match in AEW history has been as dangerous, reckless and downright stupid as the match between Sammy Guevara and Matt Hardy.
Sammy Guevara vs Matt Hardy is the worst match in AEW history because it put the life of Matt Hardy on the line, in one of the most reckless flaunting of safety precautions you’ll see in contemporary wrestling.
Guevara speared Hardy from the top of a forklift, missing the table below completely and bouncing Hardy’s head off the concrete. Hardy was unconscious, but when he came to be, referee Aubrey Edwards allowed the match to continue.
It should have been called off and Hardy sent straight to hospital, but they wrestled five more minutes in front of a very uncomfortable audience.
It was scary. Matt Hardy was clearly concussed, but due to the stipulation of the “Broken Rules match”, they couldn’t let him lose (If Hardy lost, he had to leave AEW).
However, that was not an excuse to put his life on the line. That is why this is the worst AEW match of all time, and unless somebody dies in the ring, the number one on this list will not change.
2021 Best Match – Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega, AEW Grand Slam 2021
Bryan Danielson’s first match in AEW also took the honor of being the best match in AEW in 2021, in his clash against Kenny Omega at AEW Grand Slam.
His immense wrestling talent was complimented by the also immense wrestling talent of Kenny Omega. The AEW Champion accepted the American Dragon’s challenge for a non title match at AEW Grand Slam, and both men and all the fans are glad he did.
Both men performed exceptionally, but you could tell they pulled back in some instances, to save for the inevitable rematch. Usually that would make it a lesser match, but it doesn’t.
Bryan Danielson sold masterfully, in multiple instances making me think the match would be thrown out due to injury.
The match ended as a time limit draw after thirty minutes. While it was disappointing, it did leave both men looking great and showed that they both had more to give for a potential rematch.
2021 Worst Match – Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Rebel vs. Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero, AEW Dynamite #91
Some of the early women’s matches in AEW were rough, but none of them came to close to this tag team monstrosity.
As noted in a previous article, Rebel and Vickie Guerrero are two of the worst wrestlers in AEW history. They both appeared alongside two women not known for their in-ring ability in Nyla Rose and Britt Baker, not giving the match much hope to start with.
The ending of the match particular stupid. Vickie Guerrero (who is not a wrestler) decided to tag herself into the match, before accidentally knocking Nyla Rose off the top rope, before succumbing to Britt Baker’s “Lockjaw” submission.
If there’s one match I’d have to rank as the worst in 2021 for AEW, it has to be this all-woman tag team match.
2022 Best Match – Adam Page vs Bryan Danielson, AEW Dynamite #118
2022 was a blockbuster year for All Elite Wrestling, with the best match that year being he clash between AEW Champion Adam Page and the challenger, Bryan Danielson.
The rematch between Bryan Danielson and Adam Page for the AEW Championship opened an incredible AEW Dynamite show, just weeks after the pair battled to a 60-minute draw in similar fashion.
However, the rematch was a much different affair. Knowing he couldn’t out-work Danielson or match his cardio, he instead became a battering ram to take down The American Dragon before he had time to think.
Both men learned from the mistakes they made in the first match, rewarding fans who watched the original match and giving them an incredible match to watch again, again and again – definitely the best match of 2022 in AEW.
2022 Worst Match –
Tay Melo’s AEW Rampage clash against Madison Rayne was the worst match in AEW in 2022, because it was boring, slow and executed poorly by both the women in the match.
Madison Rayne was brought in as some sort of ring general, despite never being considered a great worker during her time in TNA.
While Tay Melo was having good matches at this time, she struggled to get the crowd involved. They were quieter than a Bobby Fish promo, and could not get anything out of this match whatsoever.
Neither of the women impressed in this bout, and it is telling that neither of them wrestled in AEW much at all following this bout.
2023 Best Match – Kenny Omega vs Will Ospreay, Forbidden Door 2023
While the MJF vs Bryan Danielson match from Revolution could be considered the top match in AEW for 2023, the six-star classic between Will Ospreay and Kenny Omega has to take the top spot for me.
Will Ospreay avenged his loss at the Tokyo Dome earlier this year with one of the greatest performances wrestling has ever seen.
He and Omega had an innate chemistry that you cannot team. Every move was crisp, perfectly executed and fit exactly in the story where it needed to be.
Despite interference from Don Callis, the match was perfect. The interference even helped the match, even if the referee did not do his job correctly .
2023 Worst Match – Jeff Hardy vs Jeff Jarrett, Fight For The Fallen 2023
While 2023 is not quite over yet, we feel quite confident the worst match of the year is the movie tie-in match between Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett.
Movie tie-ins in wrestling are always a mixed bag, and the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” match between Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett was no different.
Affectionately named the “Texas Jeff Match”, it was a confusing, barely visible mess that nobody got anything out off.
The pair (and their respective teams and families) ran through the backstage area, lit by a dark red light that rendered most of the action unseeable.
The match ended when Leatherface (the villain from the movie) interfered to help Jeff Jarrett win the match, leaving everybody confused.
What do you think is the best and worst match in AEW history? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.
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.