AEW They may have only been around for four years, but in that time they have hosted a large number of matches on their various weekly shows on TV and also on YouTube. Many of those matches have had gimmicks attached to them.
While more memorable match types like Blood & Guts and Casino Battle Royal have become commonplace in AEW, there are some gimmicky matches that fans may have completely forgotten about, even when the promotion is still relatively young. This may be because they are one-off fights, completely forgettable, or taking place the first year the promotion started.
10 Cracker barrel crash
At the first Al Out in 2019, AEW teamed up with Cracker Barrel to create the Cracker Barrel Clash match, which was essentially a hardcore match with a few barrels involved as well.
Darby Allin, Jimmy Havoc and Joey Janela brought the find in this extreme match, which saw scary venues, disgusting studded moments and an example of just how tough these three men can get. The Coffin Drop spot with the Cracker Barrel on the steel steps was especially brutal.
A Bunkhouse match is something AEW has only brought out once when Ther Butcher and The Blade took on Natural Nightmares in what was a brutal match indeed, and far better than the match that preceded it deserved.
In the early days of WCW, Dusty Rhodes became synonymous with this type of match, which was made even better since his son Dustin Rhodes was the one who brought him back into existence in AEW. It was a slightly unique version of a normal hardcore game, with a few different weapons here and there.
8 hair against hair
When hair vs. hair matchups do happen, it usually comes after a big build and often feels very significant. In AEW, the two Hair vs. Hair matches that have taken place have been predictable, boring, and not treated as much of a problem.
Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans was nothing, and Chris Jericho vs. Ortiz was just as predictable. Fans would be forgiven for thinking this stipulation ever took place in AEW given how little construction or occasion these matches were given.
7 three strikes
The “Three Strikes” match is a fun one, where it’s essentially 2 out of 3 knockdowns with the first being a pinfall, the second being a submission, and the third being a knockout. Fans could imagine Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, or Eddie Kingston bringing the house down in a match like this, but instead it took place on Dark.
Big Swole and Diamante had the first and only Three Strikes match in AEW. It was a fun sprint and added something extra special to what was usually a show devoted only to glorified squash matches.
6 broken rules
At All Out 2020, fans will remember the terrifying moment when Matt Hardy suffered a concussion but was cleared to continue the match, in what was somewhat uncomfortable to watch.
However, many fans will have forgotten the gimmick match the pair were having: a broken rules match. This was essentially a Last Man Standing match with Hardy’s career on the line, only under a different name due to Hardy being “broken”.
5 royal riot
AEW crushed the Royal Rumble and World War 3 concepts in 2022 with Royal Rampage. Two rings and two battle royales took place simultaneously, with the two winners then fighting each other. It was a fun concept but one that many will have forgotten.
This, of course, was overshadowed by the Blood & Guts match from the same week, and since this took place on the oft-ignored Rampage show, there will be some regular AEW viewers who didn’t even see this.
4 bull rope
There have been some classic Bullrope matches over the years, like between Eddie Guerrero and JBL, Randy Orton and Dusty Rhodes, Lex Luger and Stan Hansen, and more. You’d think fans would remember this rare match that was featured on AEW, but it was very forgettable.
Dustin Rhodes faced the least important member of The Factory, Nick Comoroto, in the main event of Dynamite in a Bullrope match. He was fine, if bland, and he shouldn’t have been anywhere near the bottom spot on the card.
In 2021, QT Marshall and Cody Rhodes had some tension that they hoped would be resolved in a type of match seen only once in AEW: an exhibition match. This had no referee, as Arn Anderson was the one overseeing things, played no part in the records, and was more just a “friendly” matchup.
It ended with QT Marshall turning around and landing a Nightmare Factory punch, aligning himself with Anthony Ogogo, Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto.
2 teeth and nails
The Tooth & Nail match is one the fans will likely have tried to force themselves to forget. Britt Baker and Big Swole fought in a movie match at Baker’s dental office, but it wasn’t the setting for a wrestling match at all.
Tight hallways, poor acting, soft fighting, and a messy structure led to this being a disaster. It was a strange match and thankfully AEW never came back, and probably never does again.
There haven’t been many Dumpster Matches in wrestling history, and with the most notable being between The New Age Outlaws and Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie, every other version of this match has been pretty forgettable.
Although The Gunns vs. The Acclaimed was a decently fun match, no one talks about it as a cult classic or memorable match like the original was at WrestleMania. Many will have forgotten that this occurred on an episode of Dynamite as recently as 2022.