AEW Joker Card explained
The Casino Battle Royale has become a trademark matched type for AEW. It’s a 21 man battle royale, where 5 men enter at a time, and the 21st man in handed the AEW Joker card. This puts them in prime position to win the match, and earn the title shot the comes with victory.
There have been five Casino Battle Royales. Three have been men’s Battle Royales. The winner gained a shot at the AEW World Champions at a later date. There have been three mens Casino Battle Royales, and only one women’s. The women’s Casino Battle Royale winner gets a match against the AEW Women’s Champion in a title match.
One of the Battle Royale’s was a Casino Tag Team Battle, where 15 tag teams competed. The winning team gained a AEW Tag Team Championship opportunity.
Here we will rank all the AEW Joker Cards in AEW history, and see who the best one was. This will be measured in impact, surprise value and performance in the match.
6. Matt Sydal
The former Evan Bourne’s debut was one to forget. He entered as a surprise entrant, looking to make a splash in the US for the first time since leaving WWE.
However, the high flyer would ascend to the top rope. Jumping to execute his shooting star press, he slipped and landed on his head in the ring.
It was a horrific fall and one of the worst debuts you can imagine. Cleverly, AEW turned this into a story, where he was afraid to go to the top rope, although this played out mainly on AEW Dark where nobody saw it.
He ranks bottom as the worst AEW Joker card.
5. Mercedes Martinez
Fans were shocked when the first Women’s Joker card in AEW history appeared at AEW All Out 2019. The former Mae Young Classic competitor was a surprise entrant, but was eliminated by Dr Britt Baker, DMD, without scoring a single elimination.
She would make occasional appearances for AEW in the following month, including a tag team match teaming with Big Swole.
However, the former Shimmer Champion would sign for WWE in January 2020 and still wrestles under their NXT Brand to this day.
4. Lio Rush
Fans were finally allowed back in the arena for AEW Double or Nothing 2021, and the roof blew off when former WWE and current NJPW wrestler Lio Rush entered.
However, he was quickly eliminated by Matt Hardy and Private Party, not earning himself the AEW World title match that he wanted.
He suffered an undisclosed injury in that match. Despite signing full time for AEW after the match, he announced his retirement via twitter on June 8 2021.
3. John Silver & Alex Reynolds (The Dark Order)
The Casino Battle Royale at Revolution 2021 was the first ever Tag Team Casino Royale. It has the same rules as the Royal Rumble, so there were no suit cards to draw.
However, the AEW Joker card still came out last. This matches Joker card was the Dark Order, represented by John Silver and Alex Reynolds.
Silver has become a star, showing great comedic timing in backstage segments and on web show “Being the Elite” and as such the crowd were thrilled to have them there.
The pair would not win the match, being eliminated by eventual winners PAC and Rey Fenix
2. Ruby Soho
The former Ruby Riott made her debut at AEW All Out. Ruby Soho was the second ever women’s AEW joker card, and made good use of that fact.
Soho came in and won the whole battle Royale from the number 21 spot. After years of mismanagement in the WWE and stop start booking with the Riott Squad, it’s nice to see this immense talent finally being utilised properly in AEW. A feud with AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker will have one eye on the new number one contender, as the pair gear up for their title match sometime in the future.
1. Hangman’ Adam Page
The only AEW Joker to win the match is the very first. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page was scheduled to face PAC at AEW Double or Nothing 2019, but due to creative differences was cancelled.
Instead, he entered the match as the Joker card, and won it by eliminating MJF to win the match. A slight anticlimax as the fans already suspected he’d be the Joker card, but the AEW fans were behind him nonetheless.
Page would go on to lose to Chris Jericho at AEW All Out 2019, and miss out on the chance to become the first AEW World Champion.
He would spiral out of control, becoming and alcoholic and losing his friends on his journey. Page would win the AEW Tag team titles with Kenny Omega, before his friends turned on him and betrayed him.
He joined the Dark Order and is currently part of the stable, as he looks to still become the AEW Champion.
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.