Since launching in 2019 AEW has achieved positive results across the board. Whether it’s storytelling, consistency, or deep characters, the company has done a lot of good so far. One of these main advantages is the game quality produced weekly, especially when it comes to larger title fights or PPVs.
In the past three years, Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer has rated 13 AEW matches 5 stars or higher. While his opinion and rating system are subjective, Meltzer’s ratings have always been used and viewed by fans, either to gauge a show’s quality or to see if their opinions align.
13 Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara, Dynamite 2022, 5 stars
What would be Cody Rhodes’ last match in AEW turned out to be one of his best. Defending the TNT title against Sammy Guevara in a ranked match, the pair put on a fantastic performance with one of the best singles ranked matches in quite some time.
From pace to incredible spots, this match was a fantastic show for both men, with a springboard cutter off a ladder being one of the most impressive spots in the company’s history. The match kicked off Guevara’s second reign with a bang.
12 “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson, Winter is Coming 2021, 5 Stars
After finally scaling the map to win the AEW World Championship after a nearly three-year history, Adam Page’s first challenger stepped up and it was none other than one of the best in the world, Bryan Danielson. This was the first time an AEW title match hit the 60-minute time limit, but it didn’t feel like a shitty ending.
The pair set up a clinic at an elaborate pace that felt like it had taken nowhere near an hour. This led to a rematch a few weeks later which was also fantastic but didn’t quite hit the 5 star mark.
11 Adam Cole & Young Bucks vs. Christian & Jurassic Express, Full Gear 2021, 5 stars
This was a Falls Count Anywhere match between six men who had been at odds for quite some time. It was a beautifully crafted car wreck of organized chaos that included several fun locations and fast-paced action.
It lacked real emotion and storytelling, which is why the rating for this match was controversial among fans, but there’s no denying how entertaining it was as a non-stop brawl between talented competitors.
10 Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega, Grand Slam 2021, 5 stars
Danielson’s very first match in AEW made headlines when he and Omega fought in what many considered to be a dream match between two of the best in-ring performers of modern times, and they lived up to all those expectations.
It was clear the pair would eventually hold off for a second round, but that didn’t take away from the fact that it was excellent and still received a 5-star rating. This resulted in a 30-minute time-limit tie that protected both men going forward.
9 Young Bucks Vs Death Triangle, Dynamite 2021, 5 stars
The Bucks really started to get comfortable with their heel persona in this match, and it was a hugely enjoyable AEW World Tag Team Title match to start an episode of Dynamite.
Although it was broadcast on cable TV, the four men didn’t hold back and put on a match full of different styles, with mat wrestling, hard-hitting action and ridiculous highs. Maybe the pace was a bit inconsistent at some points, but it was still a great televised match.
8th Kenny Omega vs. Rey Fenix, New Year’s Smash 2021, 5 stars
Omega’s first-ever defense of his newly won AEW World Championship showed just how strong his next year as champion would be. He and Rey Fenix have undeniable chemistry, and that was on full display in this match, which was AEW’s first-ever show of 2021.
The match itself was brutal and electrifying, and was capped off with the post-match debuts of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, and a reunion with The Young Bucks, establishing AEW’s dominant force for the following year.
7 Best Friends vs Santana & Ortiz, Dynamite 2020, 5 stars
This was a parking lot brawl between four men whose hatred for each other justified that stipulation. During the pandemic, AEW was able to get creative by allowing matches to take place outside of the ring, and this was the perfect example of how to do it right.
The violence in this match was impressive and the use of cars and other aspects of the backstage environment was incredibly creative and made for a truly unique match with a great ending.
6 Cody Rhodes vs Dustin Rhodes, Double or Nothing 2019, 5 stars
At AEW’s very first event, this match made headlines. This fight between two brothers was something fans had been wanting for a long time, but when it came to WWE it was a huge disappointment. This was proof that two competitors can create something magical when given creative freedom.
The emotions in this match were overwhelming and the bloodshed felt like an old-school NWA classic between two men with deep connections to business.
5 FTR vs Young Bucks, Full Gear 2020, 5.25 stars
This was one of the most anticipated tag team matches of all time, so the four men had a hard time living up to expectations. In a match that felt like a love letter to tag team wrestling, it lived up to the claim of being a dream match.
This was an entertaining showcase that included several callbacks to the great teams of the past while also focusing on the history between the two teams. FTR’s return from their usual game plan was ultimately their downfall, in a grand ending to one hell of a game.
4 Young Bucks Vs Lucha Brothers, All Out 2019, 5.25 stars
This ladder match for the AAA World Tag Team Titles was pure madness. These two teams defied gravity at several points, using the ladders in a way that had never been used before, without overdoing it to make it unrealistic.
This was an incredible match that featured several horrible spots that were pulled off perfectly, so kudos to all four involved for managing not to get seriously injured in this crazy matchup.
3 Kenny Omega VS “Hangman” Adam Page, Full Gear 2021, 5.5 stars
This was the culmination of a multi-year journey between Page and Omega, which explored friendship, breakups, battling demons, and overcoming personal issues to find motivation and strength. In AEW’s best long-term story yet, they produced one of the most satisfying conclusions ever when Page won the title.
Although there was nothing crazy about the match, it was full of emotions, and the long journey that preceded this match took it to an even higher level, with the story unfolding perfectly.
2 Young Bucks Vs Lucha Brothers, All Out 2021, 5.75 stars
Two years after their frantic ladder match at All Out, these two teams battled it out for the 2021 AEW World Tag Team Titles, this time in a steel cage. This could very well have been one of the greatest cage matches in history.
The violence, pace and everything else in this match was perfect and it felt like a real war. This was a great way to cap off the Bucks’ fantastic run as champions, with the time ripe for the Lucha Brothers to win the gold.
1 “Hangman” Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs. Young Bucks, Revolution 2020, 6 Stars
This is considered one of, if not the, greatest tag team match in professional wrestling history and watching the match it’s very clear to see why that is. This played an important role in the Adam Page saga and perhaps even escalated it to much greater proportions.
The storytelling, back-and-forth action, emotion, and crowd electricity all played into this fight that was absolutely thrilling and remains AEW’s best match to date.
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