Putting on great matches is what wrestling is all about. People want to pay money to see their favourites wrestling great matches, and the better a match is, the more buzz a wrestler gets.
Dave Meltzer’s match ratings have meant that a lesser known company putting on a great match will get eyes on them simply by him giving them his five star rating. Many wrestlers including Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay have said they value his opinion and look out for his give star ratings after their matches.
While you should not take Meltzer’s rating as gospel, they are handy to see which matches are good and which are bad. If you have similar opinions to him then his ratings will be helpful to you. If not, there are other ways to find good matches.
Cagematch.net is one site where users rate matches, and it aggregates that into a score. This is also good to use to find out good, or bad, matches to watch that may align with your opinions of wrestling.
In this article, we will be looking at which AEW matches Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has rated five stars.
AEW 5 Star Matches
Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes – AEW Double or Nothing 2019
The first five star math in AEW history came at their first every show. The long awaited Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes match was one of the most anticipated match on the show and the brothers had to deliver to help put AEW on the map.
Luckily they used every ounce of talent they had to put on a masterclass. It was a slowly built bloody encounter that showcased both men’s main event credentials. It even had some people call for a Dustin Rhodes AEW Championship run.
The Young Bucks vs The Lucha Brothers – AEW All Out 2019
Both of these teams had a reputation for incredible in-ring ability prior to AEW, and they proved it in spades in their ladder match at All Out 2019. It was the first ladder match in company history and was for the AAA Tag Team Titles.
Both team went absolutely crazy with dangerous spots and incredible high flying action. The match was wrestled at 100mph and features some incredible spots off the top of ladders. Not all of it was well received, with some critisising high-risk moves like the Canadian Destroyer off a ladder and through a table.
However, it is one match you simply cannot look away from and definitely good enough to be AEW’s second five star match.
Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs The Young Bucks – AEW Revolution 2020
It was a bit of a wait until AEW’s next five star match, but when it did come around it surpassed the previous ones by far. Dave Meltzer rated the Page & Omega vs Young Bucks match from AEW Revolution 2020 a full six stars, ranking it the highest rated match in the companies history.
The match dynamic was incredible. Page’s friendship with the Bucks had deteriorated, whilst Omega remained best friends with all three. However, he patience with Page was waning and it looked like either man could turn on the other at a moments notice.
However they managed to hold it together for nearly 30 minutes of wrestling. In an emotionally charged bout, they beat The Young Bucks, but that only pushed the future Adam Page vs The Elite story down the rode, which will be mentioned again in this article.
Best Friends vs Santana & Ortiz – AEW Dynamite 10/9/20
One of my favourite matches ever was the Parking Lot Fight between Best Friends and Santana & Ortiz. It was a brilliant hardcore match that took place in a car park behind the arena that put two of AEW’s most underestimated tag teams against each other in a grudge match.
The feud started in a hilarious manner, with Santana & Ortiz destroying Trent’s mom’s car. The match came full circle when, after Orange Cassidy was found lying in the back of a car’s boot, helped the Best Friends beat Santana & Ortiz and ride off into the sunset in the back of Sue (Trent’s Mom)’s new car.
FTR vs The Young Bucks – AEW Full Gear 2020
FTR vs the Young Bucks was a match years in the making, despite both teams being in complete different companies. The Elite spent months building up a potential match with FTR on Being the Elite, with the former Revival even taking a catchphrase of the Elite “Fuck the Revival” as their new name, FTR.
The match was technically sound and had great in-ring action. However, in my view it was really hurt by the lack of crowd. Due to COVID, it took place in front of an empty arena. With 10,000 fans in the arena, I think this would be a much more remembered and highly rated match.
The build for the match was also confusing, with The Young Bucks not making it clear which side of the heel/face divide they were on.
Kenny Omega vs Rey Fenix – AEW New Years Smash 6/1/21
One match which may get overlooked was when Rey Fenix challenged for the AEW Championship. Usually a tag-team competitor, he stepped up greatly when he took on Kenny Omega in 2021, just one week after the Brodie Lee Tribute show episode of AEW Dynamite.
It was the perfect blend of a Kenny Omega match and Rey Fenix match. Incredible athleticism mixed with ridiculous high flying spots, done at a blistering pace, made this match must watch. For my money, Rey Fenix is the most exciting wrestler to watch in the world, and against a “Greatest of all time” contender Kenny Omega makes this a much watch instant classic.
The Young Bucks vs PAC & Rey Fenix – AEW Dynamite 8/4/21
One match that has went under the radar is another match featuring the Young Bucks and Rey Fenix. Fenix and PAC, as Death Triangle, won the first ever tag team Casino Battle Royale at AEW Revolution 2021, earning themselves an opportunity to take on the AEW Tag Team Champions, the Young Bucks.
That match took place on AEW Dynamite and was awarded five stars from the Wrestling Observer. It featured fast paced action, exactly what you’d expect from the four men in this match. PAC and Fenix showed that they could be a top team in AEW, despite losing the match.
The Young Bucks vs The Lucha Brothers – AEW All Out 2021
The Young Bucks continue their dominance over this list with a second five star match with the Lucha Brothers. Two years after their first encounter in AEW, they faced off against inside of a steel cage. It was here where the Young Bucks record breaking AEW Tag team championship reign would end.
This match felt a lot longer than the 20 minutes that it lasted. But, not in a bad way.
The four me crammed in so much into this match that it felt like a 40 minute epic. What other teams would stretch out to 2,3 or 4 matches, they crammed into one of the greatest matches in AEW history.
Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega – AEW Dynamite Grand Slam
In my opinion this is the best AEW match of all time. As soon as Bryan Danielson entered AEW, fans were begging to see him square off against AEW Champion Kenny Omega. With two of the worlds greatest wrestlers squaring off, it was almost guaranteed to produce absolute magic inside the ring.
And it did. The pair fought to a thirty minute draw that messed with every emotion you had. It had excitement, jeopardy and even concern for Danielson’s wellbeing. The draw set up perfectly for a longer match down the line with a definitive winner, but even with the incomplete nature of this match, it still got given a 5 star rating from Dave Metlzer.
Adam Page vs Kenny Omega – AEW Full Gear 2021
The culmination of the greatest story in AEW history came at Full Gear 2021. Adam Page had chased Omega and his championship for over a year, with his journey to becoming AEW Champion starting nearly three years before at the birth of AEW.
It was the second Adam Page vs Kenny Omega encounter, one year after Omega pinned Page to earn himself the chance to fight for the AEW Championship. He beat Jon Moxley on that day and held the championship for almost a year, until the plucky young Hangman Adam Page defeated him after a pair of Buckshot Lariats in the main event of the show.
The Elite vs Jurassic Express & Christian Cage – AEW Full Gear 2021
This match from Full Gear 2021 gained five stars from Dave Meltzer, but one that I will say that I think he got wrong. The match was fine and certainly entertaining. The two teams had been feuding for a while and a hardcore match was definitely the right way to go.
The match some brutal spots and all six men went all out. Jungle Boy showed a new side to himself and The Elite were their usual incredible selves. However the match just lacked the excitement that needed to get it over that five star mark. Other matches on the show like MJF vs Darby Allin and CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston deserved the five star marker over this match.
It’s the kind of match you watch once and say “wow, that was good”, and then never watch it again.
Adam Page vs Bryan Danielson – AEW Dynamite Winter is Coming
Only the first of the two Page vs Danielson matches gained the five star rating from Dave Meltzer. In my opinion both exceeded the five star marker, but in Dave Meltzer’s view, the first battle at Winter is Coming gained the magic rating.
The match for the AEW Championship opened the show. This wasn’t uncommon in AEW, who have put their biggest matches as the opening to draw in the fans. However, fans knew something special as the clock ticked past 20, then 30, then 40 minutes.
An AEW match had never before gone a full 60 minutes, and this match looked like it wouldn’t. Danielson had cardio for days, and it looked like Adam Page was done when it came to late in the match. However, Page hit a desperate Buckshot Lariat on Danielson.
He was down for the count, but as he scrambled to cover the former WWE Champion, the bell rang and the 60 minute time limit had run out.
Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara – AEW Dynamite 26/1/22
The first Undisputed Championship match in AEW gained a full five star rating from Dave Meltzer. Record breaking three time TNT Champion Cody Rhodes took on interim TNT Champion Sammy Guevara to decide who truly was the man to hold the coveted championship.
The pair faced off in a ladder match. It was the first singles ladder match in the company history, and they pulled out all the stops to make it the most memorable.
The spots in the match were ridiculous. If the delayed superplex off the top of a ladder wasn’t crazy enough, then Sammy Guevara’s cutter on Cody from one ladder to another, then watching the pair fall 15 feet onto the mat will surely make you think again.
Jericho Appreciation Society vs Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, Ortiz & Santana – Double or Nothing 2022
A an all-out brawl between 10 top wrestlers was what happened during the “Anarchy in the Arena” match at Double or Nothing 2022.
The JAS continued their never-ending feud with the Blackpool Combat Club, Eddie Kingston and Santana and Ortiz, after the Blood and Guts match was apparently not enough to seal the deal.
The match saw the men brawl arond the arena all match, keeping the action going by cutting to and from each man. This kept the pace up and made sure there was never a dull moment in the match.
It also gave us the iconic image on Eddie Kingston coverer in blood and attempting to set Chris Jericho on fire.
Young Buck vs Lucha Brothers – AEW Rampage 6/2/22
Opening Rampage with a match between two of the top teams in AEW history was always going to produce gold, and this match was no exception.
While probably the weakest in their incredible canon of matches, this match between the Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros still did enough to earn Dave Meltzer’s five-star match rating.
United Empire vs Death Triangle
In the Quarter-finals of the AEW Trios Championship tournament, United Empire vaulted the Forbidden Door to take on Death Triangle in a huge trios match.
Anything with Will Ospreay is always going to be fantastic, and the fast-paced nature of a trios match suited all six men in the match.
The Elite vs Death Triangle
The final match in the much-lauded “best of 7” series between The Elite and Death Triangle also proved to be the best.
All six men battled in a high-intensity sprint to the finish, battling constraints as they put on one of the greatest Dynamite matches of all time.
There are not enough words to describe the insane spots and bumps took in the match. Each man put their life in their opponent’s hands, and it made for one incredible, five-star worthy match.
Turning this final match of the series into a ladder match was a stroke of genius, playing into all six men’s streets and giving a satisfying conclusion to the series for the AEW Trios Championship.
Adam Page vs Jon Moxley – AEW Revolution 2023
While not usually a fan of the Texas Death Match, even Dave Meltzer recognised the genius of Page and Moxley, awarding their Revolution bout an impressive five-star rating.
Both men pulled out all the stops to inflict as much violence on one another as humanly possible, Chains, chairs and barbed wire were the order of the day, with Moxley even stabbing at the head of Page with a regular kitchen fork.
In the end, it was Adam Page who won the day, forcing his opponent to tap out by hanging him by the neck using a chain. A gruesome end but one that hopefully gives a satisfying end to the feud.
MJF vs Bryan Danielson – AEW Revolution 2023
The second match of the night to earn the five-star rating from Dave Meltzer, but the only one to shatter it, was the main event.
In the final match of AEW Revolution 2023, MJF defended his AEW Championship against Bryan Danielson in a 60-minute Iron Man Match, a true test of his pure wrestling skills.
Well, he passed the test with flying colours. This match was given a 5.75 star rating, and was declared the best Iron Man Match ever by many pundits.
MJF won the bout in overtime, in a match lasting 67 minutes. It added another accolade to his growing list, showing the world he could truly hang with the all-time greats like Danielson.
Which is your favourite of AEW’s five star matches? Let us know in the comments down below