The Best Matches In AEW History

By michael
Mar 6, 2024
Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega - AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam 2021

This one is going to be difficult. Whatever your thoughts are on the various aspects of AEW”s business: how they book stars, how they light the arena, how they market the promotion, all criticisms may be valid. However, everyone who watches the AEW product, whether because they love it or hate it, can agree that they put on world-class wrestling constantly. Therefore, finding the best matches in AEW history is a task that is by no means easy.

Picking some great matches from AEW is fairly simple. However, picking the best feels like a fool”s errand. It very well could be that by the time this article comes out, it’s possible they could have a new one to add to the discussion. Their best matches are constantly changing but we wouldn’t be a wrestling website if we didn’t try. That said, here are the best matches in AEW history at the point of this writing.


Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega - AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam 2021
  • Event: AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam 2021

Yeah, you”re going to see Bryan Danielson & Kenny Omega a lot on this list. Can you really blame us though?

Back in 2021, a few things were clear for fans. AEW does things much differently than WWE, for better or worse. Danielson debuts at the pay-per-view just a few days earlier. We all know the match we want to see is Omega vs. Danielson. That’s the match worth watching. That’s the dream match.

WWE would be aware and make us wait. For weeks? For months? Who knows…but they would have had us wait for it, knowing they had it in their back pocket and could give it to us whenever they wanted. To be fair, this does make some sense.

Yet AEW knew what they had and decided to just throw it on free TV in front of a capacity crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Omega was so good. He attacked Danielson’s neck every chance he could, which is what anyone would do if they were him. The pacing was great. They both let the opening moments breathe and didn’t rush the match. This wasn’t a blood feud that goes right into brawling. This was a face-off between two masters of their craft, and they approached it as a chess match.

It would have been great to see more than a time-limit draw, but the fact that we even got these two in a ring together was perfect. No one had to win because anyone who watched won.


Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes - Double or Nothing 2019
  • Event: AEW Double or Nothing 2019

This match scores well for the technical as well as the storytelling. It was more than just a match to prove which Rhodes was the superior in-ring performer. These were two guys who had both felt lost at times during their respective runs in WWE. They were constantly trying to prove they were more than their gimmick and were capable of living up to the name and legacy of their father. You had Cody vs Dustin, both of whom would tell you that this match meant everything to them.

Keep in mind that going into this match was an important factor. It was one of AEW”s first important PPVs. This was essentially the biggest match for the Double or Nothing card too. If this match wasn”t good, we might question if AEW could deliver great stories. Matches could be good, but could they actually make great storylines? We were not sure, but Dustin/Cody could give us that knowledge.

This match was intense and the visual of Dustin Rhodes covered in blood is one you’ll see in AEW for a long time to come. He came out with red face paint, but by the end, the paint was gone replaced by a literal crimson mask. Cody did not escape without a scratch himself, as he was covered in his own blood.

They stole the show that night and proved how undeniable they were. The hug at the end, to some, felt misplaced. Especially due to how the brothers were fighting so much before the match and during it. However, it just felt right anyway for some reason. In the end, they created one of the best matches in AEW history too.


MJF vs Bryan Danielson - Iron Man Match 2023
  • Event: AEW Revolution 2023

It is arguably one of the best matches in AEW history and also one of the best, if not the best, Iron Man match of all time. We know that with the likes of Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart on the list of Iron Man Matches, it”s tough to think a random AEW match could be better. However, MJF & Bryan Danielson really pulled it off.

These two warriors put on a show. For Danielson, this was just another notch on his belt, another bullet point on the resume. He has long been regarded as one of the greatest in-ring workers of this generation. If there was any competitor in AEW that was going to have the greatest Iron Man match of all time, Danielson was a prime candidate. Plus, we knew he had the cardio to go even longer than an hour.

We didn”t know what we had in MJF. Sure, this man was a rising star at the time and could cut one hell of a promo. He”s a great character, but is he a good wrestler? He needed to prove that he could last in the ring against a guy like Danielson, who is still arguably the best technical wrestler on Earth. MJF always seems to shine when the lights are brightest and when he could shine the biggest.

In the end, both men delivered. MJF impressed a lot of people that night and told us he was more than just a character. He proved he”s one hell of a great worker in the ring too.

It’s an hour of your time, but if you’re reading this and have never seen the match, go out of your way to do so. You will not be disappointed.


Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs Young Bucks - AEW Revolution 2020
  • Event: AEW Revolution 2020

It was inevitable that these competitors would end up on the list. Kenny Omega has long been known as one of the greatest competitors of his generation. Meanwhile,  the Young Bucks have earned a reputation (at times with controversy) for being wrestling classic workers. Adam Page, while he had been on the rise by this point, still had a lot to prove. AEW was going to give him a chance to do that by 2020.

This makes the list because of long-term storytelling that felt like the hallmark of what AEW would be. This match had everything you would expect: near falls, big spots, physicality, and everything else in between. Many lists out there have this as the single greatest match of all time for AEW. This writer thinks that while it’s great, it’s just a little further down the list.

It”s certainly one of the best matches in AEW history, but it is always subjective to say one match is the single best in company history. However, if you feel this is the best match AEW has ever produced, that is awesome too!


Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega - Forbidden Door 2023
  • Event: AEW Forbidden Door 2023

There are matches that you should watch again. Then there are matches that you should watch again the moment you finish watching it the first time. This feels like the latter. It was relentless and featured two competitors who have such incredible chemistry in the ring that you could watch them fight every single night. They embody the idea of “fight forever.” Will Ospreay & Kenny Omega are impressive in every match they are in, but together, it”s like pro-wrestling magic.

You have always to be impressed when watching two masters of their craft in the ring. The fluid in-ring action feels like this was highly scripted and practiced relentlessly. Many moments felt as if they had been filmed and edited together to appear flawless.

They also featured a very stiff and heavy assault on each other. Each move felt more impactful than the last. These guys made it look so personal and that they were killing each other in the ring. This would make sense as they are considered 1A & 1B of the best wrestlers in the world today (with apologies to the five or so other wrestlers who often get thrown into that conversation).

It started with chain wrestling and then moved into a defensive clinic. It felt like it would be block after block until one would unleash a hellish move on another. At some point, the match felt less about winning and more about survival. Who could take the punishment and keep pushing forward? Who would outlast the other?

Omega is on the shelf indefinitely as of this writing, and we are all hopeful for a recovery. When he does we know that Ospreay & Omega will have their third fight and it will be required viewing for every wrestling fan.


Adam Page vs Swerve Strickland - Deathmatch 2023
  • Event: AEW Full Gear

This match may have had us yell “Holy S***” more than we care to admit.

This writer has complicated feelings about a death match. It’s impossible to make it feel like a death match without the threat of actual death. Often, it’s a little overplayed. When they get it right and make it something to behold, you have to give them extra points.

Adam Page and Swerve Strickland are, in many regards, the future of AEW. Page is an AEW original, and Strickland is a latecomer thanks to a terrible miscalculation by WWE. What these two have in the ring is magic. They have a very clear hatred of one another that they take out on each other in their matches.

This was Page’s fourth deathmatch, which is stupid all by itself. However, this one lived up to the billing—nearly 30 minutes of brutal back and forth. Swerve won by taking a cinder block to the back of Page”s head and then choking him out with a steel chain. However, the sight of the night will forever be Page drinking Swerve’s blood.

A Texas Deathmatch for the ages, and one of the best matches in AEW for sure. Deathmatches are, often, incredibly stupid. Yet this somehow made it onto our best-of-all-time list for AEW. Go figure?


Lucha Brothers vs Young Bucks - AEW All Out 2019
  • Event: AEW All Out 2019

Like with Double or Nothing 2019, every PPV in 2019 had to be big for AEW. Before AEW was a “thing,” the All Out show took place with some of the biggest names on the independent scene competing. It was a huge event that still is one of the best non-major company shows of all time. Could AEW All Out deliver in the same way?

For this show, the Young Bucks again took their spectacle-style wrestling to new heights. This was the blow-off to their feud with the Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Pentagon, Jr.), and they got the ladder involved. The rest was history.

This match had the feel of a spot-fest. Think about it, these four and a ladder? What else would you expect, right? It”s a freakin ladder match! However, most of the spots still made plenty of sense and felt more like one-upmanship from both teams.

The Young Bucks wanted to protect their reputation as one of the best tag teams in the world. At the same time, the Lucha Brothers wanted to show that they had arrived as big players in an upstart company like AEW.

The Lucha Bros. ended up winning the match and taking back their AAA tag team titles. Yet one could argue that the fans in attendance were winners for getting to watch such an awesome display. This was clearly one of the best matches in AEW history.


CM Punk vs MJF - AEW Revolution 2022
  • Event: AEW Revolution 2022

Adding an aging CM Punk to the list might seem like a poor form when many others in the company are better in-ring competitors at this point in their careers. We don’t care though. What makes a match great isn’t just the action in the ring but the moments and storyline leading up to it too.

MJF and CM Punk had a fantastic feud going into the match. MJF played the part of the mega fan disillusioned by Punk’s abandonment of the wrestling world at the peak of his powers. For Punk, it was to prove that all this time away was for a good reason. Plus, while he was a little rusty in the ring, he still wanted people to know that he was worthy of his moniker as “Best In The World.”

They settled on a dog collar match, which can often be a brutal match for most competitors.

Punk made it feel special when he entered the area with his old ROH theme music.

These guys had one hell of a match, as everything lived up to the hype. It was a bloody, violent, old-school wrestling throwback that shows both MJF and CM Punk aren’t just incredible current-day wrestlers but rather students of the game.

Punk got his win thanks to Wardlow”s interference. This was just another great bit of storytelling that has become a hallmark of Punk’s matches since he first arrived on the scene over twenty years ago.

It might be the last time we see these perform together, and we’re all blessed for having seen this and the buildup that led to it. Sure, it might be the last time but they gave us one of the best matches in AEW history. Can”t ask for more.


FTR vs Juice Robinson & Jay White - AEW Collision 2023
  • Event: AEW Collision (July 15, 2023)

One of the best parts of AEW is that you might just watch a random episode of AEW Collison and get one of the best matches in AEW history. If you were watching Collison on July 15, 2023, you got just that.

FTR is long regarded as one of the best tag teams in the world. Jay White & Juice Robinson went toe-to-toe with them every step of the way and put on one hell of a show.

White and Robinson played the heel role perfectly. They cut the ring in half and controlled much of the action. As with most tag team matches, the action was slower-paced in the beginning and then picked up to a frenetic pace toward the end of the match. The match also had a “Sweet Chin Music” and a “Sharpshooter” to boot. What a world and what a match this was.

This was a match that felt way bigger than the stakes surrounding it. It was also another reason Collison is sneakily one of the best shows in wrestling if you are looking for solid storytelling and excellent in-ring action. You will get awesome matches most weeks, and then every once in a while, you get elite action which is a hallmark of the AEW brand. To us, it is hard to beat that.


Kenny Omega and Young Bucks
  • Event: AEW All Out 2022

Our lasting memory from All Out 2022 will be the CM Punk press conference and the melee after the fact that turned the event into Brawl.

However, what was missed in all this was the incredible match between Death Triangle vs. The Elite. While one can argue that AEW has far too many titles, at the time it made sense to have Trios Titles as the company had plenty of factions to make it work. That is exactly what this match was all about, crowning the inaugural AEW Trios Tag Team Champions.

Death Triangle (Pac & The Lucha Bros.) vs The Elite (Young Bucks & Kenny Omega) would give us one of the best matches we saw from any company in 2022. In fact, many claim this is their all-time favorite AEW match of all time. It is not very hard to see why either.

Omega and The Young Bucks were particularly exceptional, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The fluidity of the match felt like they had been practicing this match for months. We sadly would not see The Elite defend those titles right away because of being suspended due to the Punk Brawl after the show. Thus, they were forced to vacate the titles, resulting in Death Triangle winning them.

All of this sort of killed The Elite”s momentum too, as they were riding a high point after this match. While the after-effects weren”t great, at least the match was awesome right?

It was certainly one of the best matches in AEW history. Yet you could also claim it is one of the greatest tag team matches of all time, period.

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