Top 15 Best AEW Matches You Need To Watch

Hamish Woodward

AEW has some of the best wrestlers in the world on their roster and have put on the best matches in the world during some of their biggest shows.

Since 2019, AEW has established itself as the premier wrestling company in the United States. As we are constantly reminded, WWE is not a wrestling company. It’s “Sports Entertainment” and they “Make Movies, pal!”. So as the best wrestling company in America, AEW has some of the best matches in the world on their shows.

Some of the best wrestlers in the world have flocked to AEW, to prove themselves as the best.

Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole are but a few of the incredible wrestlers who have graced the All Elite Wrestling ring.

But some of the best matches in the companies history have come from unlikely sources. You’d be surprised if before you heard about AEW, I said the likes of Chuck Taylor and Britt Baker were outworking Chris Jericho and CM Punk.

Obviously I’m being slightly facetious, but those two wrestlers have a spot on this list alongside other great talent, like the Lucha Brothers and PAC.

Here is a list of the top 10 best matches in the history of AEW.

AEW Best Matches

16. Orange Cassidy vs PAC – AEW Revolution 2020

This match is a personal favourite of mine, and a five star match for me. It is also top of the list of the best Orange Cassidy matches.

Orange Cassidy vs PAC had one week of build, and had very little story going into the match. However, the pair had such great characters that it made the perfect match.

Orange Cassidy, the King of Sloth style, utilised his “not trying” style in the ring, much to the chagrin of PAC.

The Englishman, formerly called Adrian Neville in NXT, tried to beat the shit out of Orange Cassidy, but he didn’t-try so well that he managed to avoid his attacks. PAC was one of the best WWE wrestlers on the roster before he left, and showed himself as top of AEW too with this match.

Many interferences later, PAC pins Cassidy for the win, but it was a star making performance for Orange Cassidy.

Both men remain huge stars in AEW, and this was one of the matches that made me take notice of the pair.

The pair crossed paths again at Double or Nothing 2021, facing Kenny Omega in a triple threat match for the AEW World Championship.

15. Dr Britt Baker DMD vs Thunder Rosa – AEW Dynamite St Patricks Day Slam

The only women’s match on the list, but one that made Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa into stars in AEW.

This brutal encounter between the Dentist the crazy skeleton lady was one of the best AEW matches ever.

It was by far the best AEW women’s matches since the companies inception.

It was a “lights-out” match. It’s a concept created by AEW, where a grudge match can take place irrespective of the rankings.

This means that, even thought Thunder Rosa picked up the win, she did not advance any higher in the AEW Women’s World Championship rankings.

The match was brutal. Kendo sticks, chairs, tables and even thumbtacks were beat down their opponents.

The lasting image of Britt Baker, smiling as she licks her own blood from her lips is everlasting. It even became a best-selling t-shirt.

The brutality of this match is one that hadn’t been seen before in the AEW Women’s division. It was the best Lights Out match the company ever produced, beating out Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega, which did not make this list.

14. Kenny Omega vs PAC – Iron Man Match – AEW Dynamite 26/2/21

One of the early “dream matches” in AEW turned out to be once of the best.

Just before the incredible tag team match agains the Young Bucks at AEW Revolution, Kenny Omega had a score to settle. He faced nemesis PAC, who he had been feuding with since the start of AEW.

The match, from an in-ring standpoint, was one of the best at that point of AEW. The two men were at the top of their game, and truly earned their spot on the list of AEW best matches.

PAC did what no-one else had tried, but what all fans had wanted to see. He cost himself a fall by hitting Omega with a chair. However, he used the injuries sustained by Kenny Omega to win the next fall himself.

Both men fought valiantly, but the matched one fall each. Both men surely have another round in them, and I look forward to the future bout.

13. Adam Page, Alex Reynolds & John Silver vs MJF & Proud ‘n’ Powerful – Brodie Lee Tribute Show

This match from the Brodie Lee tribute show was not just a great match, but an emotional affair.

Brodie Lee, formerly Luke Harper in WWE, passed away on December 26, 2020. He was the leader of the Dark Order in AEW, and a former TNT Champion. (click here to read about Brodie Lee Best Matches).

The match was less about the in-ring action than it was the emotion. The whole show was booked by Brodie Lee’s son, Brodie Jr. He picked his favourites to team together, which gave us Hangman Adam Page and the Dark Order.

All the men in this match were visibly crying before the match (except MJF the bastard). It’s definitely one to go and watch, as well as the whole show. The Brodie Lee memorial episode may be the best in AEW history, and this match makes it.

12. Inner Circle vs The Elite – Stadium Stampede – AEW Double or Nothing 2020

This match main evented Double or Nothing 2020 over Jon Moxley vs Brodie Lee. That left it with pretty big boots to fill, and it did so in spades.

The match was fun. It was ridiculous, it was hilarious, it was simply fun. You had Matt Hardy being reincarnated in former gimmicks as he’s dumped in a swimming pool. You had Chris Jericho pretending to be a witch with a cone on his head. It even had Matt Jackson suplexing someone the entire length of the pitch. It was simply fun.

The match also ended with a ridiculous One Winged Angel off the stand through a table, slamming Sammy Guevara 30 feet in the air.

It’s long, but it is incredible. It is much better than the second Stadium Stampede, between the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle.

11. Darby Allin vs MJF – Full Gear 2021

MJF 4 Pillars

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.

The 10th best match in AEW history was truly a star making performance for the young star Darby Allin in AEW.

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.

10. Best Friends vs Proud ‘n’ Powerful – Parking Lot Brawl

I have previously reviewed this match before. Click on Best Friends vs Santana and Ortiz to read that.

This match was originally scheduled to take place earlier in the year, but a pandemic forced it be cancelled.

The story going into this match was simple, and oddly fitting of the Best Friends. Santana and Ortiz had wrecked Trent’s mums minivan, which she used to drive the pair to the ring in occasionally. The best friends therefore needed to get revenge, and did so in a stipulation befitting of PnP’s crime – a parking lot brawl.

The match received five stars from Dave Meltzer, and I can see why. It had hard hitting action, brutal bumps into car windscreens, and numerous weapons being utilised. All four men came out bloodied and battered, and the blood really added to the match.

The highlight of the match came as a car boot opened to reveal a prone Orange Cassidy. He leapt from the boot to punch their foes, ultimately helping the Best Friends to win the match.

9. Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara – AEW Beach Break 2022

One of the best matches in AEW history was a ladder match between Sammy Guevara and Cody Rhodes, for the TNT Champion, on the January 26 2022 edition of AEW Dynamite. The match was the first one-on-one ladder match in AEW history, and had the TNT championship on the line.

Sammy Guevara had defeated Dustin Rhodes (Cody’s brother) the week prior to become the interim TNT Champion. This was because Cody Rhodes missed the show due to COVID, and a unification ladder match was scheduled for the following week.

The match was an incredible spot fest, both men leaping from ladders in increasingly dangerous and entertaining fashion.

The highlight of the match was Sammy Guevara launching himself from the top rope, onto a ladder and then immediately hitting Cody Rhodes with a diving cutter from 15 feet in the air. The pair came crashing to the mat in spectacular fashion.

8. CM Punk vs MJF – AEW Revolution 2022

The Dog Collar Match at AEW Revolution 2022 was the polar opposite to their encounter on Dynamite, but CM Punk and MJF pulled off a match both men can call one of their best matches.

The match was arguably the best match on a show that featured 4 matches that could be argued to be five star classics. This bout was a brutal and bloody dog collar match which took both men to depths of depravity which we have not seen for a long time.

Both men used weapons, strangled each other with the chain and threw each other on thumbtacks as they tried to kill each other inside the ring. The canvas was stained with blood by the end of the match with CM Punk looking like he might pass out from the blood loss.

The match was an incredible story-driven affair despite the barbaric nature of it. Wardlow finally turned on MJF when he handed CM Punk the Dynamite Diamond Ring to seal the Chicago-born wrestlers victory and hand MJF the defeat.

7. Adam Page vs Bryan Danielson – AEW Winter is Coming 2021

The first ever 60-minute match in AEW history makes this list of the best AEW matches of all time.

This match was Adam Page’s first defence of his AEW Championship. Hangman hadn’t wrestled since winning his championship, but that did not stop his opponent, former WWE Champion and wrestling legend Bryan Danielson.

Danielson had a penchant for kicking heads in, and he put that skill to great use in the build up to his bout with Page. He systematically decimated the Dark Order en route to Winter is Coming, facing each member in their home town and, in his own words, kicking their heads in.

Danielson turned himself into the ultimate heel on the run up to the bout, luckily up against the ultimate babyface Adam Page. Page had recently defeated Kenny Omega for the AEW Championship at Full Gear, completed a near three year arch to become the top face in AEW. Unfortunately, Danielson was determined to end that reign and slot himself on the top of AEW.

6. Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes

Match number four in the best AEW matches of all time was one of the first in the companies history. Brothers Cody and Dustin Rhodes fought at AEW Double or Nothing, and was the first match in AEW to get five stars from Dave Meltzer.

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.



5. The Young Bucks vs The Lucha Brothers – AEW All Out 2021

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This iconic cage match from AEW All Out 2021 came so, so close to topping the list. It narrowly missed out on being the best tag team match on the list, but it is really a toss up between this and the next entry.

The two sets of brothers had an incredible match, confined to a steel cage surrounding the ring. The four men spent 22 short minutes completely destroying each other with destructive results.

One highlight was Matt Jackson kicking Penta and Rey Fenix with a shoe with thumbtacks stuck to the bottom of it. It looked like some ridiculous medieval torture device, and absolutely tore Penta El Zero M’s face to absolute fuck.

The wrestlers didn’t stop for the entire 22 minutes. It was a fast paced, all-action thrill ride that needs to be seen to be believed. It is well worth watching this match in it’s entirety, or else you will not believe anything you have read about this match.

4. MJF vs Bryan Danielson – AEW Revolution 2023

The best match of MJF’s career was the 60-minute Iron Man match against Bryan Danielson at AEW Revolution 2023.

The bout was the main event of the show and lasted an incredible 67 minutes. Both men showed an incredible amount of stamina during the match, going hard until the final seconds and keeping the fans on the edge of their seat.

MJF won the match 4 falls to 3 in overtime, forcing Bryan Danielson to tap out to the LaBelle Lock after 67 minutes.

Danielson won the first fall by pin fall and the second via DQ, when MJF hit his opponent in the testicles. However, that allowed MJF to pin The American Dragon twice in quick succession, levelling the scores 2-2.

MJF won the third with a Heatseeker Piledriver, before Danielson levelled again when he made the champion tap out to the Regal Stretch. He seemed to have the win when MJF tapped out with seconds to go, but the clock ran out before his hand hit the mat.

After much cheating attempts, MJF hit Danielson in the head with an oxygen tank, before locking in the LaBelle lock and forcing him to tap out in overtime. MJF won the match and retained the AEW Championship in the longest match in AEW history, lasting 67 minutes.

3. Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs The Young Bucks – AEW Revolution 2020

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The second best AEW match in history is the historic match between Adam Page & Kenny Omega and 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.

2. Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega – AEW Dynamite 22/9/21

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Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega is the second best AEW match ever. “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson entered AEW and in his first match completely blew everybody away.

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.

For my money, there is no better match in American since I started watching wrestling. Bravo, Omega and Danielson.

Well, that was until this next match overtook it.

1. Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega – Forbidden Door 2023

What can be said about this match, other than it is the greatest match of all time?

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 .

There will be no match that will come close to this bout – until the proposed rematch at All In at Wembley Stadium. Until then, Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega at Forbidden Door is, to me, the greatest AEW match of all time.

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