Top 10 AEW Wrestlers Of 2021


Hi folks! Today, we are looking at the top 10 AEW wrestlers of 2021. It hasn’t been easy to decide, but with the help of our followers, I’d like to believe it’s fair. However, any list like this is subjective, so feel free to share your own list in the comments below. I should also mention that I include tag teams as one entry. Before we delve in to the top 10, here are some honorable mentions who were considered:

Jungle Boy – Jack Perry is one of AEW’s four pillars for the future. However, I do not feel they elevated him compared to 2020 as a singles star, or with Jurassic Express. The stable has picked up some good wins, and Christian Cage’s mentorship will help them out in the long run. Yet, there’s more to come from Jungle Boy, and hopefully it surfaces in 2022. (37 wins, 13 losses)

Jade Cargill – I’m ready to receive some “what the ****?!” comments on this, but there’s an argument to include her in the top 10. She is the only undefeated wrestler throughout the entire year. In terms of rankings, it makes no sense that she isn’t getting a title shot over Riho, but I’ve previously shown how illogical rankings can be. She definitely should be #1, but AEW is building to this, despite many fans feeling it’s too soon. Every time I see her, I know she has the look and the athleticism, but she isn’t over yet, and still lacks experience. There are others who may be more deserving. (21 wins)

Hikaru Shida – Other than Cargill, the only other woman I would include in the top ten is Shida, because she carried the division through the pandemic in to 2021. She proved monumental in the passing of the torch to Britt Baker by establishing the women’s title as something to be cared about. Shida made the women’s championship a prize, and getting a new title belt signified her contribution. Since her title loss in May, she has struggled to gain momentum. This is why I could not bring myself to include her. (23 wins, 4 losses)

Eddie Kingston – From indie veteran to global star, Kingston has had an exceptional rise since debuting with AEW. He has had little success in terms of titles or picking up wins over big names, but he has proven his worth. 2022 could be the year we finally see him be more than his backstory, by writing a new chapter which will prove he is capable of the potential others saw in him years ago. (30 wins, 9 losses)

Christian Cage – He had one monumental victory this year, when he defeated Kenny Omega for the Impact World Championship on the first episode of Rampage. However, he has done little else in AEW, other than helping Jurassic Express. The rest of the time he was putting over Josh Alexander in Impact. Still, it has been an amazing return to glory, as the only wrestler to have featured in huge main event matches for WWE, AEW and Impact in the same year. (12 wins, 3 losses)

CM Punk – Many would have assumed Punk would return to wrestling with a bang, but it has been a build trudging along at a snail’s pace. It makes sense though, given years of absence. The rivalry with MJF is the beginning of him picking up the pace. It’s promising, but it’s not enough to include him over those who carried the brand he now calls home. (8 wins)

There are many other names I could mention. Chris Jericho, Orange Cassidy, Malakai Black, Cody Rhodes, Adam Cole, Thunder Rosa, Jon Moxley, and more. Kudos to AEW for making 2021 a competitive year, while doing its best to balance fresh faces with those who have been around since the beginning.

#10. Bryan Danielson

Nobody has done as much in a short time as “The American Dragon”. Danielson’s passion to work with as many different opponents has been inspiring, along with the two 60-minute draws with AEW World Champions. Danielson continues setting the bar for what a wrestling match can be in this era, showing how much of an extraordinary and revolutionary talent he is.

We know he had to deal with limitations in his former workplace, but he has since been unleashed to show the world everything he has learned. Unlike CM Punk, Danielson hasn’t had to recover from a long break, and is more keen than ever to prove he is the best to lace up a pair of boots. It’s not a matter of if, but when he will become World Champion. In terms of professional wrestling, Danielson is a massive asset to AEW, and anyone he works with will learn and get more over by default. The only reason he isn’t higher is because he has only been around since early September, but I had to include him somehow. — 13 wins, 1 loss, 2 draws

#9. Miro

One of the more impressive title runs this year was from “God’s Favorite Champion”. Darby Allin had arguably the best TNT championship reign until Miro took it away and kept it relevant. He has been re-established as a force of nature, while also sharing the natural charisma many knew he had.

I think the way he lost the title was counterproductive, but they could explain it as he was dealing with an injury. Either way, after a slow start to his AEW career in 2020, Miro dropped Kip Sabian and proved he has all the tools to be a dominant champion. One day, we may call him World Champion. I would go as far to say he has become AEW’s best powerhouse wrestler — 17 wins, 3 losses

Top AEW Wrestlers

#8. Sammy Guevara

Well before the “Spanish God” defeated Miro for the TNT title, I would have considered Guevara for this. As part of the Inner Circle, he has been the breakout star of the group, getting over as a babyface who can stand on his own two feet. We have to remember he was nothing but another indie wrestler before AEW’s inception, and being under Chris Jericho’s wing has helped him tremendously. I am sure his mentor is super proud that the fans are showing their support, and he makes a deserving TNT Champion.

You know, I always thought he would get over as a heel, but somewhere along the way… the fans connected with him. I can’t pinpoint the reasons, but perhaps it’s because they see how good he is in all aspects of his game. Sammy is exciting to watch, and if anyone benefitted from the Inner Circle, it was him. The kid has a bright future. — 14 wins, 4 losses

#7. The Lucha Brothers

There is no fear for Fenix and El Penta Zero M. Ever since AEW pulled them away from Impact, I was upset because it felt like their talent weren’t being treated with enough respect. I’d seen what they were capable of, and when they failed to pick up the tag titles in 2020, I was wondering if AEW would ever pull the trigger. The tag team division is highly competitive, but it felt like an injustice that other teams were getting the nod before them.

If you can watch a Lucha Bros match feeling nothing, you have a heart made of ice. No matter who they work with, it’s always exciting, and this isn’t solely because of their chemistry, but the fact they are individually sound. Both Fenix & Penta can carry themselves as singles stars, so put them together and you get gold. Their title win over The Young Bucks in a steel cage at All Out was one of the best matches of the year. — Fenix: 29 wins, 8 losses / Penta: 33 wins, 11 losses

Top AEW Wrestlers

#6. The Young Bucks

I’m not a big fan of their style, but they are a major asset to AEW. One thing you can say about Matt & Nick Jackson is they are excellent at working with the right opponents. Take the match against Page & Omega, for example, or the cage match this year with the Lucha Brothers. Their ability to craft quality tag team encounters cannot be understated. The Young Bucks are one of the best teams in the world. Even if their over reliance on Super Kicks and indie-riffic spots may take some of us out of the action.

The Young Bucks are here for becoming the longest reigning AEW Tag Team Champions of all time. They enjoyed a 302 day reign between November 2020 and September 2021. Along with the rest of The Elite, they were put on a pedestal to be knocked off. When the time come, they got the Lucha Brothers over something wicked. This is what great heel champions do. They make the titles a big deal by doing anything to win, so when it comes time to drop them to a babyface team, it’s a celebrated event. — Matt: 20 wins, 9 losses / Nick: 19 wins, 9 losses

#5. Darby Allin

He is the most consistently over baby face star in AEW. Along with Sting, they have enjoyed success over Team Taz and Men on a Mission this year. However, one of the biggest moments of his career was being chosen as CM Punk’s first opponent. Also, he & MJF stole the show at Full Gear. While he lost in singles competition on the biggest shows, fans still name him one of the four pillars of AEW.

It’s testament to Darby’s passion and reckless abandon, that the fans don’t see his losses as setbacks. They are career moments to build him in to a character which will flourish in the years to come. With Sting’s guidance, Allin has again expanded his horizons. There’s much to be said about a guy who Sting and CM Punk claim is the future of the business. So he creeps in to the top 5, not because of his win-loss record, but because 2021 has set him up for the next step. — 30 wins, 4 losses

Top AEW Wrestlers

#4. Hangman Page

His path in 2021 has not been a smooth ride. Page began the year struggling to accept the Dark Order as his friends. After embracing them, he targeted his former tag partner, Omega, for the World title, but was unsuccessful at the hands of The Elite. Then, he went on a hiatus for paternity leave, and it was unknown if he would return later in the year. Despite this, the fans never relented in their love for The Cowboy. The long-term rivalry between Page & Omega needed to reach its conclusion, and the fans were finally treated to it at Full Gear. With all the animosity built up between him and former friends, The Young Bucks, they (for an unknown reason) purposely chose not to get involved in the decision.

In wrestling, sometimes it is more about the result than the journey. I will not say the storyline between Page & Omega was the quality of Shakespeare. No one will look back and say it was the greatest tale ever told. Yet, fans will reminisce on it being the making of Hangman Page. Eventually, it did the job of getting him over as a credible AEW World Champion. The reason he isn’t in the top three is because his year was so mixed,. “Cowboy Shit” is here, but staying on top is another matter. — 18 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw

#3. MJF

I hate this man, and you should too. Never mind the company, MJF is one of the most over heels in the business today. His character work has improved exponentially over the past two years, to where even CM Punk isn’t sure how to deal with him on the mic. MJF achieved little aside from a record third Diamond Ring, but picked up a huge long-term storyline victory over Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. Yes, Jericho won their last match, but to anyone who looks back on their feud, it was MJF who dominated it. He also put Darby Allin in his place, after declaring himself the top pillar in AEW. Without winning titles, MJF is cemented as one of the promotion’s biggest stars, and most definitely the most hated.

In an era where it’s so easy to find “cool heels”, MJF continues blurring the lines of kayfabe without crossing too far over the line. He hates children. His parents regrettably say he’s a piece of work and apologize for bringing him in to the world. The commentary team can’t stand him. Everyone plays their part to ensure MJF’s character is protected, because damn… we don’t want to respect him. If we were to respect him as a worker or a character, all the hard work will become unraveled. MJF needs to be the man you love to hate, and you know it. — 11 wins, 3 losses

Top AEW Wrestlers

#2. Kenny Omega

There’s something to be said about Kenny Omega’s year. He was everywhere! AEW Champ. Impact Champ. AAA Mega Champ. Whether he was in America, Mexico or Canada, he was working some of the best matches against all challengers. With Don Callis and the Elite, they made the AEW World title a big deal. Not only that, but Omega became the longest reigning champion in AEW history. This came after many fans had wanted to see Omega being treated as a big deal. Yet, I feel like his momentum cooled in the months following his title win.

Losing Hangman Page hurt his run, because he had to find other opponents to fill in the void until his return. There’s also the fact that Omega spread himself so thin, he was on such a heavy schedule and working through injuries. Don Callis did his job of garnering heat, but Omega himself, I have to question how motivated he was. For many fans in America, this was the first time seeing him as a World Champion, and I can’t say how over he got with them. Compare the reactions he gets to someone like MJF, and it makes you wonder if Omega was effective enough as a heel.

As far as wrestling goes, Omega is up there with the best. He has some of the best matches in company history. However, I’m failing to remember significant moments outside the ring. I feel like he did a better job of bringing prestige to the AEW World Championship than Jericho and Moxley before him. We can’t deny him of that. However, the reason I can’t place him #1 is because I think he’s still not majorly over in America. He’s still working like he would for New Japan, but many fans aren’t getting it. The United States is used to more boisterous characters, and Omega misses that mark for me.

None of this is to discredit all the hard work Omega has done this year. However, I had to explain why I took him from the original #1 spot I had him at. I’m a big fan of Omega, and am eagerly awaiting his return. — 17 wins, 6 losses, 1 draw

#1. Britt Baker

It feels like ages ago, but back in March, Britt Baker & Thunder Rosa fought in the first unsanctioned Lights Out match. Baker lost, but she would be the benefactor, as her popularity soared in a way which parallels Becky Lynch’s rise. When we look back on 2021, Britt Baker’s bloodied face will be forever etched in our memories. For the first time, the women of AEW made their mark by showing how tough they can be. I feel like Thunder Rosa doesn’t get enough credit for this, but I’m sure she will someday. The rise in Baker’s popularity came at the right time. Hikaru Shida had been champion for much of 2020, and it was the perfect scenario to move the title along.

AEW had always wanted Baker to play an important part in the division since 2019, but her inexperience was clear to see. She improved incredibly throughout 2020, and even more so this year. After becoming champion, Baker has reverted to being more of a heel, but still gets solid reactions. While doing nothing, she gets mentioned in other feuds, like in the back and forth between MJF and CM Punk. Nobody has touched her. At least, until the return of Riho, who is the only challenger to beat her since the Lights Out match.

Her list of title defenses saw her defeat Nyla Rose, Red Velvet, Kris Statlander, Ruby Soho and Tay Conti. In 2022, it will be up to AEW to build someone up to dethrone her, but I’m not seeing any obvious candidates. Baker could spend much of next year as champion, even more so because others will challenge over the new TBS title. Baker will remain AEW’s #1 women’s wrestler, and has already set the bar for the future of its division. As the only champion since early this year to head in to 2022, I had to give this to her. It’s not just the rest of the women’s division who need to aspire to Baker’s success, but the entire roster. Yes, Baker had some luck by getting her moment, but it’s what you do with it that counts.

With that said, I hope this list has been a good one. I’m sure there will be disagreements, but like I said, it is completely subjective. It won’t hurt to share your own in the comments below. When polling our Facebook users on who they believe are the “Four Pillars Of AEW In 2021”, I had seventeen responses. From their lists, I counted up the choices and came up with this result. Hangman Adam Page had the most votes, followed by MJF, who was one behind him. Britt Baker was third, only one vote behind MJF. Darby Allin just made it on to the fourth pillar over Sammy Guevara and Kenny Omega. With that said, I think AEW has had an exceptional year, and am looking forward to more in 2022. Thanks for reading! — 22 wins, 7 losses

Top AEW Wrestlers

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