Darby Allin is one of the best young stars in AEW history.
Over the past four years, Allin has been in AEW, he has wrestled against all the top stars in the company, holding wins over some huge stars in some classic matches.
With Sting by his side, Darby Allin has fought against all of the top stars in wrestling in his run in AEW.
He has been entrusted to wrestle alongside legends like Sting and Keiji Mutoh, as well as being CM Punk’s first match back in 7 years.
Allin has become a fan-favourite and a huge draw for AEW, and it set to main event his first pay per view against MJF at AEW Double or Nothing 2023, and he will hope to walk out with the AEW Championship.
10. vs PAC, AEW Bash at the Beach 2020
Fans were treated to a dream bout in 2020, in a match that saw Darby Allin and PAC in the main event of the special Bash at the Beach episode of Dynamite.
This match is a forgotten, underrated match from both men, and easily makes this list as one of Darby Allin’s best matches.
The heel-face dynamic was clear, with the vicious PAC being the much more aggressive of the two, beating down Allin and getting the crowd on the smaller man’s side.
This, couple with the high-flying, death-defying action both men are known for, puts this match at number 10 on this list.
9. vs CM Punk, AEW All Out 2021
At first, the match seemed disappointing. It was slow, sometimes plodding, and not what fans of CM Punk were expecting.
They were expecting the fast-paced match, similar to the style of his bouts with Undertaker and Brock Lesnar.
However, upon a rewatch, it was fantastic. Methodically paced, emphasising each move and slowly acclimatising fans back to CM Punk.
It also showed another side to Darby Allin – he wasn’t just a spot-based wrestler, who put his body on the line at a moments notice.
He could wrestle with the best of them, and he showed that here, in one of his best matches.
8. vs Cody Rhodes, AEW Full Gear 2020
The second encounter between Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin was one of the best matches either man had in AEW up to this point.
With Darby Allin’s TNT Championship on the line, he took on the first ever holder of the belt in a match that lived up to their first encounter.
While he had not managed a victory over two matches against Rhodes, Darby Allin proved his credentials as champion as he took The American Nightmare to the limit, pinning him to retain his championship belt.
7. vs Jeff Hardy, AEW Dynamite
A true dream match between one wrestler idolised by the other. Jeff Hardy and Darby Allin are two sides of the same coin, and with their lack of regard for their own safety, put on one of their best matches yet.
Competing in the Owen Hart Cup, the two men agreed beforehand to make this match a no-holds-barred match – giving ample opportunity for them to inflict as much pain on themselves as they could.
This match featured spot after spot of them crashing onto things, including the biggest ladder you’ve ever seen. Darby Allin did a Swanton Bomb off the top, out of the ring and through a pile of chairs onto Jeff Hardy – and that wasn’t even the finish!
Say what you want about this kind of wrestling, but if you like it, it is without a doubt of one Darby Allin’s best matches, and one of Jeff Hardy’s best matches too.
6. vs Samoa Joe, AEW Dynamite
This match was pure violence, and a return to form for Samoa Joe.
This match was fantastic: the beginning was great, but then it slowed down, letting the action breath and giving fans a chance to catch their breath.
When it picked back up, all hell broke loose. Chairs and thumb tacks brought out the crazy side in both, as they tore the ring apart to expose the wood below.
This played into the end of the match, when Samoa Joe hit Darby Allin with a second rope Muscle Buster onto the exposed wood, in one of the most insane endings to a match you’ll ever see.
5. vs Brian Cage & Ricky Starks (with Sting), AEW Revolution 2021
Sting’s debut in a cinematic match at Revolution 2021 was so good, that it makes its way onto the list of Darby Allin’s best matches.
Despite being in his 60s, The Stinger gave as good as he got, battling all of Team Taz in an abandoned warehouse, alongside Darby Allin.
The match was good fun, and made use of the lack of crowd from the pandemic perfectly.
This also kicked off the Sting and Darby Allin tag team run, which has been one of the highlights of AEW since they began teaming together during this match.
4. vs Jon Moxley, AEW Dynamite
Darby Allin may have main evented Double or Nothing 2023 for the world title, but his first shot at AEW Championship gold came against Jon Moxley in 2020.
The match was a hard-hitting bout, although underappreciated due to the lack of fans in attendance (due to the pandemic).
It showcased Allin as the plucky underdog, who took everything Moxley could dish out to him and still keep on fighting.
Darby Allin was busted open by Jon Moxley early on, but fought on as much as he could before he was finally put away by the AEW Champion, ending a great match between the two.
3. vs El Phantasmo, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson (with Sting & Shingo Tagaski), AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door
As one user on Cagematch put it, this match is a “stupid car crash of a match” – in the best possible way.
The Young Bucks returned to Bullet Club for the first time in years, putting on one of the most obnoxious, hilarious performances known to man.
The bulk of the match saw the heels beat down Darby Allin, with fans waiting with bated breath to see when Sting would enter the match.
The Icon was the most over man in the match, no selling everything and clearing house, to the roar of the crowd.
Shingo Takagi eventually entered the match and won the bout for his team, pinning El Phantasmo with the Last of the Dragon to end a fantastic bout.
2. vs FTR & MJF (with Sting & CM Punk), AEW Dynamite
This is one of the most fun matches you’ll see in AEW, so it has to be high on the list of Darby Allin’s greatest fights.
Amidst the CM Punk vs MJF feud came an all-star, six-man tag team match that boasted more star power than some WrestleMania main events.
CM Punk teamed with Sting for the first time (as well as Darby Allin) to take on The Pinnacle – MJF and FTR. Punk entered wearing Surfer Sting-inspired face paint, while Sting modified his own to pay tribute to Punk.
The bout featured some great action, but more importantly, some fantastic character work. MJF ran from Punk as much as he could, and was chased around the arena until the former AEW Champion could get his hands on him.
CM Punk, Sting and Darby Allin picked up the win in the match, in what turned out to be one of the best matches Darby Allin (or CM Punk for that matter) had in AEW up to that point.
1. vs MJF, AEW Full Gear 2021
No other match even comes close to being Darby Allin’s best match, compared to this masterpiece against MJF at Full Gear 2021.
He took on MJF in the opener of the pay per view, with MJF claiming that he could beat Allin with a simple side headlock.
Of course, this was simply an allusion to Darby Allin’s perceived lack of technical wrestling ability, given the fact that he is known for sacrificing his body with dangerous moves to win matches, rather than classical wrestling techniques.
The match, like any great story, came in three acts.
The first act was each man testing the other. They both tried to “out-wrestle” each other, trading holds and pinfalls trying to outmanoeuvre the other. It was a brilliant demonstration of something we’d never really seen either man do before in an AEW ring.
The second was the fight. This technical nonsense went out the window. Both men tried to inflict pain in a way only they know how.
Allin performed dives and stunts, putting his body on the line. He pulled no punches, and made sure everything he did to MJF hurt MJF more than it hurt him.
MJF focused on power moves, targeted to the back of Darby Allin. He knew that Allin’s main offence is based on attacks by his back, like his finishing move the Coffin Drop. Injure the back and you nullify his offence.
Ironically, MJF targeting the back of Allin ended up almost costing him. After a number of back breaker-style moves, he went down clutching his knee. The continued weight of Darby Allin on his knee caught his knee to lock up, and he was forced to nurse it throughout the remainder of the match.
Then they got to the third act, the end of the match. Darby got the upper hand, hitting a brutal Coffin Drop to the outside. However, he tried another on the inside, but MJF got his knees up and blocked the move.
A tombstone piledriver on the ring apron incapacitated Darby Allin, who was almost counted out of the match. After some tussling, the pair traded pin falls in the ring, with the crowd cheering every time a different shoulder hit the mat.
MJF then began the mind games. He brought Allin’s skateboard into the ring, but instead of hitting Darby, he begged him to turn the skateboard on MJF instead.
Darby Allin, trying to prove himself as a wrestler, not a stuntman, refused. He turned the skateboard in to the referee, distracting him for the split second MJF needed.
He hit Darby Allin with his Dynamite Diamond ring, before locking in the headlock he claimed he would win with, and pinned the unconscious Darby Allin for the victory.
The match told a story of two men, both trying to prove themselves to each other and everybody watching. One showed everybody that they were more than anybody though they could be, and the other showed them they were exactly what they expected.
For me, this is a five-star match.
The story told was perfect, and any wrestler would be proud to have such a match on their highlight reel. It showed me a new side of MJF, and makes me certain that he will win the AEW Championship sooner rather than later.
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.