Best AEW PPV Matches of 2023 (So Far)
2023 Matches of the Year: AEW PPVs
AEW pay-per-views in 2022 ranged from strong to fairly balanced on paper but always over-delivered come showtime. Double or Nothing boasted Anarchy in the Arena, and what many hailed as AEW’s most unpredictable PPV main event thus far. Forbidden Door was one of the most exciting shows top-to-bottom, despite all the outside forces attempting to thwart the event. All Out will always be talked about for The Acclaimed, Jamie Hayter, and the first World Trios title match, and definitely nothing else.
This AEW formula likely isn’t going away any time soon. So how will our favorite events in 2023 fair with it?
The Elite (c) v House of Black (World Trios Championship)
The build doesn’t do this match justice. The Elite’s sarcastic personas did little to mask the fact that they were just playing defense all bout. The Young Bucks threw their superkick parties, and Kenny Omega’s exchanges with every member of House of Black generated plenty of excitement. Both teams were neck and neck in terms of quick strikes, but the high-impact moves that ultimately mattered were landed by HOB.
The Elite were simply bested on this night. Strong combos, tenacity, momentum, and a banshee outside the ring — there was nothing HOB didn’t have, which made them dangerous aggressors. But now that the first match is over, can we please find out what this whole beef is about? Without ambiguities this time?
Adam Page v Jon Moxley (Texas Deathmatch)
It’s back to peak form for bloody Jon Moxley against fellow Texas Deathmatch-enthusiast, “Hangman” Adam Page. This battle certainly unlocks a new side to Page, one that shows him capable of tapping into hate when necessary without being comfortable with it. Page’s darker entrance ahead of this set a stellar atmosphere for the depths he was willing to go with Moxley.
Every laceration from the coiled barbed wire was out of spite. Every bone-crushing stomp assisted by bricks was methodical. Nothing about this madness was an accident, and each succeeding choke was an escalation of therapeutic violence. Until finally, it was enough.
A fitting conclusion to this chapter of one of AEW’s greatest rivalries.
MJF (c) v Bryan Danielson (60-Minute Ironman, World Championship)
For much of these 60 minutes, the young prodigy with an 8-year career was outclassed by the 24-year veteran. Who’d have thunk it? Between MJF’s half-a-dozen water breaks, and both he and Bryan Danielson pacing themselves cautiously to start, one wondered how the challenger would drag the champion to the deep end. Then, the urgent pinfalls started to cascade, and the fight for the lead refused to let up.
From the explosive piledrivers; to Danielson’s masterful display of leglocks; to MJF transforming into a genuinely scary person taunting Danielson’s daughter at around the 40-minute mark.
This epic match was as emotionally thrilling as it was important. Genuinely one of, if not the most ambitious and best match AEW has produced to date.
- Jack Perry v Christian Cage (The Final Burial, Revolution)