AEW’s Blood & Guts match is one of the best matches of the year, and the most anticipated Dynamite match for fans.
The stipulation is AEW’s version of War Games. It pits 10 (or 12) wrestlers in two teams against each other, in a match taking place in a cage surrounding two adjacent rings.
The match starts with two men in the ring, with a new one entering at equal intervals. This continues until every man is in the ring, and thus begins “The Match Beyond”.
This is the last stretch of the match, where you can actually win. Victory can only be achieved by submission or forfeit, leading to some brutal and bloody matches.
In this article, we’ll rank the best Blood and Guts matches in AEW history, analyzing what made them great and showing you the star ratings for each of the matches.
The Elite vs Inner Circle (2020, Cancelled)
While the first Blood and Guts match was ultimately cancelled, it still deserves a mention.
The match was supposed to take place in 2020, just weeks after the entire world shut down due to the pandemic.
This cost us The Elite’s debut in Blood & Guts, as they were to team together for the only time in AEW.
The match would have seen The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Adam Page and Cody Rhodes team together, and been a rare acknowledgment from Rhodes that he was indeed “Elite”.
Due to the uncertainty around COVID and the lack of crowd, the match was cancelled and eventually replaced by Stadium Stampede (with Matt Hardy taking over Cody Rhodes’ role).
Inner Circle vs The Pinnacle (2021)
After the failed 2020 edition, the first Blood & Guts match took place at the 2021 special edition of AEW Dynamite.
With their own version of the famous War Games match, Tony Khan pitted Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle against MJF’s new stable, The Pinnacle.
The ten men battled it out inside two rings encompassed by a giant steel cage. MJF, FTR, Wardlow and Shawn Spears battled hard against Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz, Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara, in one of the most violent encounters in AEW history.
MJF won the match for his team, when he forced the Inner Circle to submit with the threat of tossing Jericho off the top of the cage to the stage below.
Being the ultimate heel that he is, he threw Jericho anyway. The ending looked a bit goofy, which brought this down to only the 10th best MJF match of all time.
- Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 4.5 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 7.49
- Atletifo Rating – 3 Stars
Jericho Appreciation Society vs Blackpool Combat Club, Santana & Ortiz and Eddie Kingston (2022)
Last year’s Blood and Guts match was the best one so far, owing to the supreme talent in the match.
Chris Jericho once again led his side into the double cage, facing a mix and match team of Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta, Claudio Castagnoli, Santana, Ortiz and Eddie Kingston.
The match weaved in multiple storylines, even continuing a feud between teammates Castagnoli and Kingston.
This played into the match finish, as they both tried to get the win while on top of the cage.
This match was the most violent and bloody (Jon Moxley was involved, after all), and really gave a hint of what the Blackpool Combat Club would become when they turned heel.
This Blood & Guts match also involved two insane spots. The first saw Claudio Castagnoli swinging Jericho on top of the cage, while Sammy Guevara was also thrown from the top through a table once the match was over.
- Dave Meltzer Star Rating – 4.75 Stars
- Cagematch Rating – 8.40
- Atletifo Rating – 3.5 Stars
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.