12 Best AEW Dynamite Matches Of 2022 So Far

It's has been a year of great change and development for All Elite Wrestling, especially in terms of its weekly output. "Dynamite," AEW's Wednesday night offering, has played host to some of the year's most captivating pro wrestling matchups. From eclectic tag team encounters to methodically paced technical matches, AEW has provided a wide array of match types. It also helps that AEW has been signing talent that ranks among wrestling's best and brightest — be it WWE alumni or indy standouts.

One of AEW's biggest strengths has been delivering pay-per-view quality wrestling on its weekly broadcasts and this year has been no exception. Given its high output of matches and the consistent week-to-week quality, it was a challenge to narrow it down. However, these are some matches definitely worthy of a rewatch, especially with the year steadily drawing to a close. So sit back, try not to catch a superkick to the face and enjoy the 12 best AEW "Dynamite" matches of 2022, so far.

Hangman Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson II

When Hangman Adam Page captured the AEW Championship from Kenny Omega, it was the ultimate feel-good moment. However, it became clear that everyone's favorite cowboy wouldn't get much in the way of downtime, with a new challenger emerging quickly. Following his win in a No. 1 contender's tournament, Bryan Danielson was the first to challenge Page. Following some heated words, Danielson and Page collided in an epic 60-minute matchup which resulted in a draw and earned five stars from Dave Meltzer.

With both wrestlers unsatisfied with the result, AEW set a rematch for the promotion's debut on the TBS network — once again for the AEW Championship. Though the match was shorter than their first encounter, both men had a strong outing. Danielson has never had a hard time leaning into the role of heel and he definitely did here. By the time the match ended, both combatants were exhausted and shellacked with blood, with neither one showing signs of relenting. Finally, Page was able to hit a particularly brutal buckshot lariat to score a decisive win over the American Dragon.

CM Punk vs. MJF

AEW's recent high marks can be attributed to many different talents, but at the top of the heap are CM Punk and Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Punk's 2021 return to the squared circle generated plenty of buzz, putting many potential dream matches on the table. Soon enough, he'd be mixing it up with old foes like Eddie Kingston and testing young stars such as Darby Allin and Powerhouse Hobbs. However, one name that everyone had on their list of dream encounters was MJF, who'd been on a hot streak. The idea of two of modern wrestling's greatest talkers trading barbs had countless fans salivating and when it occurred, it did not disappoint.

Following some extremely heated words, both men opted to have their first encounter on "Dynamite" in front of a ravenous Chicago crowd. Far from the flashiest of matchups, Punk and Friedman told an excellent in-ring story, predicated on some stellar selling from both men. The occasion was so special that Punk even busted out the Pepsi Plunge, his classic finisher move from his Ring Of Honor days. The tide soon turned however, when Wardlow showed at ringside and covertly slipped MJF the Dynamite diamond ring. This was enough for MJF to score the three count, much to the chagrin of those in attendance. A solid outing for both men and an important win for MJF, whose meteoric rise would only continue from there.

Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita

The forbidden door has always been a recurring device within the walls of AEW. Many promising Japanese talents have stepped through the door since its inception, including DDT Pro-Wrestling's Konosuke Takeshita. Before returning to Japan, Takeshita made his presence felt in AEW with a series of stellar matchups with some of the company's best. This included the likes of Jay Lethal, Hangman Adam Page, and Eddie Kingston — all tremendous matchups that highlighted Takeshita's prowess in the ring. These matches were impressive enough to snag him a one-on-one encounter with then-interim AEW Champion Jon Moxley.

Moxley had already been on a lengthy hot streak, making this match a must-see. Needless to say, it didn't disappoint with both men beating each other from pillar to post, drawing blood in the process. Moxley has never been one to shy away from Japanese strong style — a wrestling style heavily predicated on stiff kicks and punches. By the end of the match, both Mox and Takeshita looked like they were ready to collapse in a heap of blood and sweat. Moxley scored the win, but this definitely cemented Takeshita as a must-watch talent that American fans will be anxious to see again.

Dax Harwood vs. Cash Wheeler

The duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler have seen tremendous success in professional wrestling. From their flawed but still impressive tenure in WWE as The Revival to their current run as FTR, the duo's shared body of work is mindblowing, from their classic series with Team DIY in "NXT" or their current reign of multi-company tag team title dominance. However, one of their finest outings wasn't against another team, but rather against each other.

FTR's match in the first round of the highly touted Owen Hart Foundation Tournament was given much fanfare and both men entering side-by-side only added to the surreal nature of the match. Harwood and Wheeler's knowledge of each other made it hard for either man to gain the advantage. The emotional stakes were high here, as it was clear neither man wanted to hurt the other. Business is business however, and both men matched each other move for move, hitting each other with blow after blow and counters aplenty. Eventually, Harwood scored the win over Wheeler with a well-timed rollup, the latter taking the loss in stride. The duo tearfully embraced, knowing they'd both delivered an instant six-star classic, with Cash leaving Dax to enjoy his victory.

Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker

If there's one area AEW that could use more attention, it's the women's division. Through a mix of stop-start booking, injuries and a lack of screentime for key players, the division is still miles behind where it ideally should be. That being said, if there are two performers who've successfully risen above these issues, it would be Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa. Going back to their incredible Lights Out match in 2021, Baker and Rosa have always delivered when squaring off with each other.

This was certainly the case when Rosa and Baker faced off inside a steel cage on the March 16 edition of "Dynamite." Much like their previous encounters, neither woman left anything to chance and hit each other with everything they had. The level of brutality in this cage match was enough to make any hardcore wrestling fan happy. Several steel chairs, thumbtack spots and one Fire Thunder Driver later, Thunder Rosa captured the AEW Women's Championship.

Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara

Cody Rhodes has been on quite the roller coaster for the last 12 months. It's no secret that The American Nightmare's final stint in AEW was rife with confounding creative issues. From misguided pro-America storylines to 2010s Super Cena levels of indifference to the crowd's heavily negative jeers, Cody's shine had definitely worn off. The once-beloved figurehead of the wrestling revolution was now being compared heavily to Triple H, someone Rhodes had previously lambasted.

His eventual departure and re-turn to WWE is still one of the more shocking defections in recent memory. However, before he left AEW in the dust, the son of a son of a plumber gave fans one heck of a send off. Cody, entering as a three-time TNT Champion, faced off against the Spanish God Sammy Guevara in a ladder match. What ensued was several minutes of back and forth, fast-paced wrestling peppered with gloriously painful ladder spots. Cody's effective selling combined with Sammy's agility always made for a great pairing and this was their masterpiece. Top it all off with Sammy's glorious cutter to Cody off of the ladder and you have the makings of an instance classic.

Blood & Guts 2022

When it comes to delivering the goods with big marquee worthy stipulations, AEW has been a bit spotty in that regard. From the highs of their cage and ladder matches to the lows of some their barbed wire matches, it's quite the spectrum of quality. In terms of spectacle and in-ring action, though, the 2022 Blood & Guts match is a gem. Only a few weeks after Anarchy in the Arena, the Blackpool Combat Club and the Jericho Appreciation Society were at it again!

Many pieces were in play: not only was Bryan Danielson injured, but Claudio Castagnoli had made his AEW debut at The Forbidden Door. Additionally, a ravenous Eddie Kingston was itching to get his hands on Chris Jericho and dole out some punishment. Contested under War Games style rules, the match saw each faction enter one-by-one until the field had been fully filled out. This allowed for several impressive sequences in which everyone got a chance to shine in some capacity, either on their own or in tandem with their teammates. Kingston throwing Sammy Guevara off the double cage and through a table still stands as one of 2022's defining wrestling visuals.

FTR vs. The Young Bucks II

Ever since FTR hit their championship-studded stride in 2022, many wondered when Dax and Cash would collide with the Young Bucks again. Their first encounter, despite being a thoroughly solid tag team matchup, was bogged down by some cluttered storytelling. This time around, the setup was much simpler: the Bucks were the clear heels and FTR were the clear babyfaces. The resulting match was not only better than their previous encounter, but also one of the year's best tag team bouts.

The Bucks have always excelled in matches with those who can compliment their agile and often flashy wrestling style. In this case, FTR's mastery of old school style grappling, ring awareness and wrestling psychology made for the perfect counterpoint. Every kick, every reverse and every near-fall had fans jumping out of their seats as the match truly could've gone either way. With the Bucks securing the pinfall, all seemed lost for FTR — until the official noticed that Cash had gotten his foot on the rope at the last second. This opened the door for FTR to mount a comeback and hit the Big Rig for the three count. With both teams tied at one win each, time will only tell when this epic trilogy will be completed.

The Young Bucks vs. Swerve In Our Glory vs. Team Taz

AEW rarely strikes out when it comes to insane tag matches utilizing more than one team, especially when it headlines a show. In this instance, the main event of Fyter Fest: Night One saw The Young Bucks defend the AEW Tag Titles against Swerve In Our Glory and Team Taz. The idea of Matt and Nick mixing it up with Keith Lee, Swerve Strickland, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs was definitely an exciting prospect. Needless to say, the matchup was well deserving of the main event slot and more than delivered as the show's closing act.

The field was a superb mix of agility from The Bucks and Swerve, but with a healthy dose of power from Lee and Hobbs. Much like many other Young Bucks matches, the final stretch was loaded with an absurd amount of kick outs, but it definitely aided the frenecting pace. Seeing how the Bucks had only recently won the straps from Jurassic Express, fans didn't expect them to lose them so quickly. However, in a shocking development, Swerve in Our Glory ended up leaving with the victory and the tag straps! It's definitely a standout amongst the many stellar tag team matches AEW has produced.

Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia 2

To say Bryan Danielson has been productive within AEW would be a gross understatement. From matches with Kenny Omega to Eddie Kingston, Danielson has shown fans that he isn't the same man they knew back in the WWE. His current run has more than made it clear that he's one of wrestling's most proficient grapplers and submission specialists. Daniel Garcia, an independent standout who signed with AEW in 2021, challenged that designation. Eventually, Garcia aligned himself with Chris Jericho as a part of the Jericho Appreciation Society.

Danielson and Garcia collided during the feud between the JAS and the only newly minted Blackpool Combat Club. Following a cheap win over the American Dragon at Fight for the Fallen, Garcia showed an unearned sense of cockiness. This resulted in a rematch on the August 17 edition of Dynamite, but this time with a two-out-of-three-falls stipulation. Proving that simplicity always wins out, this match benefitted from two combatants who did everything in their power to sell the realism. Danielson ended up putting Garcia to sleep, but seemingly gained some respect for him along the way.

Death Triangle vs. United Empire

Upon first introductions, the trio of Rey Fenix, Penta El Cero Miedo and Pac seemed to be quite the random assortment of talent. However, it soon became very clear that Death Triangle was a force to be reckoned with in the squared circle. Between the Lucha Bros' tag team prowess and Pac's often gif-worthy agility, any trios encounter with them in the mix is definitely must see. Case in point, their absurdly fast paced matchup with United Empire in the quarter-finals of the AEW Trios Championship tournament.

Since their AEW debut during the build to The Forbidden Door pay-per-view, United Empire had been delivering some stellar performances. This was a combination of trios teams that resulted in something truly special. The Lucha Bros and Aussie Open's tag chemistry was on point, delivering a marathon of impressive highflying moves and eye -opping tandem maneuvers. Additionally, the moments of Pac and Ospreay mixing it up are the stuff of dreams.

The Elite vs. United Empire

When Kenny Omega returned to AEW television following a lengthy absence, fans were hyped to see the Best Bout Machine tear it up again. Up until the quarter-finals of the AEW Trios Championship tournament, The Young Bucks' third man was a topic of great discussion. Fans got the answer on the August 17 "Dynamite," when the Cleaner finally made his long awaited return to a massive ovation.

Following their win over Los Ingobernables and Dragon Lee, the Elite now had United Empire — Will Ospreay and Aussie Open — in their crosshairs. This trios encounter had some added drama sprinkled in due to the residual heat from Omega and Ospreay's New Japan Pro Wrestling days. Omega particularly enjoyed teasing him about his apparent inability to fill his shoes following his departure from NJPW in 2019.

For many fans it wasn't a matter of if this match would be good, but rather how good it would be. The match more than delivered, with Omega and Ospreay getting plenty of time to mix it up one-on-one. Additionally, Aussie Open — former Progress Tag Team Champions — really got a chance to shine when matched up against the Bucks.

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