Continuing on with handing out well-deserved awards for wrestling in 2023, it’s now time to look at the best of AEW this year!
2023 has been up-and-down for AEW, like all of wrestling has been. With every good thing, there has been an equally not as great thing. Last year’s awards was off the back of a trying time for the company’s creative direction, and while we all for sure not at that point again, the new calendar year is an opportunity for AEW to regroup and focus on the overall product to their highest potential.
Male Superstar of the Year:
- Bryan Danielson
- Christian Cage
- Eddie Kingston
- Orange Cassidy
The Winner: Orange Cassidy. Cassidy dominated the year as AEW International Champion. And while MJF was world champion for the whole year, Kingston became triple crown champion, and Cage was a fascinating character across all accounts, Cassidy was consistently a top draw in AEW for his plethora of great matches with people like Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix, Swerve Strickland, etc. His title reign was fresh and different, and never a guarantee successful title defense. It was unique in its run and is deserving of winning this AEW Award.
Female Superstar of the Year:
- Athena (ROH)
- Kris Statlander
- “Timeless” Toni Storm
- Willow Nightingale
The Winner: “Timeless” Toni Storm. Storm, simply, controlled the entire landscape of the AEW Women’s Division. She is now a 3x world champion, and now has a character that, to each their own, is getting over with many crowds. Despite the women’s division continuing to not find its groove, Storm remains a constant top player and draw for the company.
Overall Superstar of the Year:
Orange Cassidy was beyond what anyone could have hoped and wanted. The International Championship is prestigious because of him, and he’s not done yet, as he is already in his second run with the title. It’s going to be hard for Cassidy to top 2023, but going into the new year with a championship is always a good thing to look forward to.
Tag Team/Faction of the Year:
- Blackpool Combat Club
- Bullet Club Gold
- The Don Callis Family
- The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn
The Winner: Blackpool Combat Club. Another year, another successful one for this faction. They continue to wrack up singles belts, continue to produce great matches, and continue to be a featured act each and every week of TV and PPV. There are many great teams and groups, but the BCC have been steady and in rhythm throughout ALL of 2023, as opposed to the rest.
Breakout Star of the Year:
- Big Bill
- Julia Hart
- Swerve Strickland
- The Gunns
- Willow Nightingale
The Winner: Swerve Strickland. This man BETTER become champion in 2024. He is on a role. The music, the dancing by Prince Nana, the crowd atmosphere, his in-ring ability, everything. Everything about Swerve is working right now. He may have only gotten into a great groove in the second half of the year, but that alone is deserving of winning this AEW award.
Match of the Year:
- MJF vs. Bryan Danielson in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match for the AEW World Championship at Revolution
- MJF vs. Darby Allin vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Sammy Guevara for the AEW World Championship at Double or Nothing
- Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship at Forbidden Door AEW x NJPW
- Athena vs. Willow Nightingale for the ROH Women’s World Championship at Death Before Dishonor
- Bryan Danielson vs. Zack Sabre Jr at WrestleDream
- “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland in a Texas Death Match at Full Gear
The Winner: MJF vs. Bryan Danielson at Revolution. This 60-Minute Iron Man match was simply one of the greatest iron man contests in wrestling history. The match was layered in storytelling throughout. Whenever you can nail the psychology and storytelling part of wrestling in the ring, that is the ultimate beginning recipe for a great match. It even went past 60 minutes, with MJF getting Danielson to tap out for the final fall. If you haven’t already, this is an action-packed match that any wrestling fan should go out of their way to watch. You won’t be disappointed.
Rivalry of the Year:
- BCC vs. The Elite
- Bryan Danielson vs. MJF
- Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin
- “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland
- Kenny Omega vs. The Don Callis Family
The Winner: Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin. Despite being a long feud, still with some spots going on in present day, this feud always managed to find new ways to keep it interesting. Whether it was whatever Luchasaurus did, or Nick Wayne’s involvement, this rivalry always managed to be great. Cage’s work as a heel has been tremendous and Allin’s role as the plucky babyface is always satisfactory, to no one’s surprise.
Moment of the Year:
- AEW goes to London for All In at Wembley Stadium; becoming one of the largest wrestling audiences in history
- Adam Cole and MJF become best friends
- Adam Copeland debuts in AEW at WrestleDream
- Eddie Kingston wins the ROH World Championship; and becomes a triple crown champion at World’s End
- Jay Briscoe tribute show on AEW Dynamite
The Winner: AEW All In London. Obviously. Regardless of the quality of the show, seeing a company like AEW, who has grown so quickly as a solid #2 promotion in pro wrestling, to being able to put on a show of this magnitude at one of the most historic Venus in all of sports, Wembley Stadium, it’s awesome to witness. London (and England) are always great crowds and it’s cool to see that this will become a yearly tradition in August. See you in 2024 London!
There you have it folks! Who do you think had a great 2023? What or who else should’ve been mentioned? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!