Thursday, February 22

TheSportster’s 10 Worst WWE Matches Of 2023, Ranked

WWE have hit many highs in 2023, with great business, big returns, successful events, and even some better matches than usual. However, WWE has still fallen into some similar traps from a booking perspective and sometimes a match quality perspective.


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These matches failed on multiple accounts and didn’t achieve the standard that fans expect from WWE premium live events in 2023.

In 2023, there have been some terrible matches on PPV and across WWE’s three weekly brands, and TheSportster’s ratings system will single out which of these are the very worst. These ratings will be compared to cagematch.net and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

To learn more about how we rank wrestling matches on TheSportster, please check out our match ranking criteria guide here.


10 Pat McAfee Vs. The Miz (WWE WrestleMania 39)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3.75/10

Storytelling

0.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1.25/2.5

Crowd Reaction

1/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 1.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: N/A

The match itself between Pat McAfee and The Miz wasn’t terrible, but it had nothing special about it and it didn’t need to be on the card at WrestleMania 39. It was an excuse for a cheap pop, and that’s all.

The action was very basic, a little clunky, and at this point in the crowd cared very little for a match with no stakes. Sure, it was nice to see The Miz get beat up a bit, and he sold well, but it is something fans have seen before and will see again.

9 Ronda Rousey Vs. Shayna Baszler (WWE SummerSlam 2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3.75/10

Storytelling

1.25/2.5

Technical Ability

1.5/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1/2.5

Crowd Reaction

0/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 1.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 3.09

If you piped in some crowd noise to this match, it wouldn’t have been half-bad. However, when you watch this with the pin-drop silence that filled the stadium at SummerSlam 2023, this becomes one of the hardest watches of the entire year bar none.

Rousey and Baszler tried their best to put on a technical showcase with some stiff moves and hard-hitting strikes, but the lack of interest from the crowd exposed all their mistakes and made it feel far worse than it was. A terrible way for Rousey to bow out of WWE.

8 Bayley Vs. Shotzi (WWE SmackDown 09/01/2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3.5/10

Storytelling

0.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

0.75/2.5

Crowd Reaction

1.25/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: N/A
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 2.96

WWE tried to build some heat between Bayley and Shotzi, but the character given to Shotzi was awkward and forced, and her performance here reflected some of those cringeworthy aspects of it.

Shotzi did put in a fairly decent in-ring showing here, but Bayley had an off night and it resulted in a slow match that felt like it dragged for double the time it actually was. The lazy interference from Damage CTRL was predictable and flat also.

7 Women’s Tag Team Showcase (WWE WrestleMania 39)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3.25/10

Storytelling

0.25/2.5

Technical Ability

1.25/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1/2.5

Crowd Reaction

0.75/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 2.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 3.48

This match had zero stakes. If the action was exciting then perhaps the crowd would have cared more, but the in-ring action was a complete mess. Despite there being some okay sequences and multi-woman spots, it was over-choreographed and forced for the most part, and the missteps and mistakes didn’t help.

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The worst part of this match though was the fact that Ronda Rousey stood on the apron and did nothing, only to enter the match and instantly get the win. This didn’t bring about the desired heat, and it made the whole thing feel pointless.

6 Becky Lynch Vs. Trish Stratus (WWE RAW 08/14/2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3.25/10

Storytelling

0.5/2.5

Technical Ability

0.75/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1/2.5

Crowd Reaction

1/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: N/A
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 3.15 Stars

The feud between Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus was one which had a lot of up and downs, and whilst they had one of the best matches of the year at Payback 2023, they also had one of the worst on Monday Night RAW.

Stratus was not up to speed in this one, looking lost and sloppy for the first time in her comeback run, which was a shame. The finish of the match took it to an even worse level, as after 15 long minutes it ended with a non-finish to set up another match. A complete farce and fans knew it.

5 Damage CTRL Vs. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez (WWE RAW 04/03/2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3/10

Storytelling

0.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1.25/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

0.75/2.5

Crowd Reaction

0.5/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: N/A
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 3.20

Damage CTRL may have gotten on track as a faction towards the end of 2023, but they were nearly completely destroyed around this period. They had no heat, and it led to the crowd being so disinterested in this number one contenders tag team match.

The lack of energy in the arena seeped into the ring, as the action was lethargic and uninteresting. Some moves and sequences were fine, but the overall package of the match did not deliver in the slightest, making it one of the worst RAW matches of the year.

4 Bray Wyatt Vs. LA Knight (WWE Royal Rumble 2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 3/10

Storytelling

0.25/2.5

Technical Ability

1/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

0.75/2.5

Crowd Reaction

1/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 0.75 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 2.06

The Mountain Dew Pitch Black match will go down as one of the worst gimmick matches in Royal Rumble history. This glow in the dark fever dream was hard to watch, and even though Bray Wyatt and LA Knight did some decent moves and had a few exciting spots, fans couldn’t tell as it was so hard to see in the dark.

The booking of the match was downright terrible, as the whole Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy partnership made no sense and felt directionless. At the very least, fans were excited to see Wyatt compete.

3 Bianca Belair Vs. Alexa Bliss (WWE Royal Rumble 2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 2.75/10

Storytelling

0.5/2.5

Technical Ability

1/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

1/2.5

Crowd Reaction

0.25/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 1.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 3.46

The bad booking from the LA Knight and Bray Wyatt match was seeped into this one, as it was dogged down by the magical nonsense surrounding Alexa Bliss and her allegiance to Bray Wyatt.

It didn’t help that the match itself was not of a high standard. The selling from both women was poor, the execution of moves felt lifeless and dull, and overall it was far too simple for a PPV world title match.

2 Baron Corbin Vs. Gable Steveson (WWE NXT Great American Bash 2023)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 2.5/10

Storytelling

0.25/2.5

Technical Ability

0.75/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

0.25/2.5

Crowd Reaction

1.25/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 1.5 Stars
  • Cagematch.net Rating: 2.26

Gable Steveson had a lot of hype leading up to his debut WWE match, but the crowd turned on him in an awkward match. They were at least energetic in their support for Baron Corbin, which gave the match some atmosphere. However, it didn’t completely distract from a boring slog in the ring.

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Everything was kept very simple for the green Steveson, who showed no sign of charisma or in-ring psychology. He performed some decent throws but his face was completely blank and void of any character work. One of the most disastrous debuts of all time, and Steveson hasn’t been seen since.

1 Snoop Dogg/Shane McMahon Vs. The Miz (WWE WrestleMania 39)

Overall Rating From TheSportster: 1.5/10

Storytelling

0.25/2.5

Technical Ability

0.25/2.5

Character Work/Psychology

0/2.5

Crowd Reaction

1/2.5

  • Dave Meltzer Rating: 1 Star
  • Cagematch.net Rating: N/A

Snoop Dogg stepping into the injured shoes of Shane McMahon is an all-time great WrestleMania moment and this match was hilarious. That doesn’t change the fact that it was the worst WWE match of the entire year by a country mile.

McMahon tore his quad quickly after performing a leapfrog over The Miz, leading a very awkward few minutes that were somewhat saved by Snoop Dogg, who delivered a half-decent people’s elbow (for Snoop Dogg, that is) to win the match on the fly.

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