AEW Metrics | 30 for 3000 - Part I

Updated: Apr 25

Primer: To date, AEW has featured over 2900 matches. In the next few weeks, prior to Double or Nothing 2022. AEW will reach the milestone of having promoted 3000 wrestling matches in a little under three calendar years. This is the first of a three-part series that sets out to celebrate selected matches over this duration but with an added caveat: to ensure a complete overview, I will be identifying a single match from each group of 100 (1-100, 101-200, etc.) that is either the most significant to wrestlers' Career Metrics or simply a personal favourite of mine. In turn, I will note the actual match that has the distinction of falling precisely on each century mark whether it be a Pay Per View Main Event or one of the numerous Dark matches that lasted less time than it took you to read this paragraph. The overall intention of this to celebrate the best (as well as acknowledge the rest) of AEW.

[1-100] Actual Match #100: Nyla Rose defeated Dani Jordyn on Dynamite #7 * Selection: Match #37 - Chris Jericho defeated Adam Page for the Vacant World Championship at All Out 2019

Photo Credit: TNT

In that AEW only had 152 matches in 2019, this is the only match that was required to fall within the first calendar year of the company. To that end, starting off with the inaugural World Championship match is a bit of an automatic in that Jericho's victory set him and AEW on its nascent path for the next six months as the Inner Circle formed and Le Champion reigned. The Demo God would top the table in 2019 Metrics by a relatively considerable margin and while he has dipped his two in the Main Event waters here and there on television, he has firmly asserted his role as a veteran who elevates younger talent.

[101-200] Actual Match #200: Jimmy Havoc defeated Sonny Kiss on Dark #19 * Selection: Match #176 Adam Page & Kenny Omega defeated SCU © (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) on Dynamite #16 for the World Tag Team Championship

Photo Credit: AEW

The first title change in AEW history took place aboard the Norweigan Pearl as a part of the Chris Jericho Rock 'n Wrestling Rager at Sea. For this alone, the match is metrically important in addition to representing a key piece of the multi-year storyline between the Elite stablemates. Their reign ended up setting a standard that has not been beaten to date across all divisions: 9 successful Title Defenses including three against teams that would become champions in the future. The Best Bout Machine finished1st in 2020 Metrics while the Anxious Millennial Cowboy ended up 4th.

[201-300] Actual Match #300: Wardlow defeated Lee Johnson on Dynamite #29 * Selection: Match #236 - Jon Moxley defeated Chris Jericho © at Revolution 2020 for the World Championship

Photo Credit: AEW

The Paradigm Shift heard around the wrestling world took place less than three weeks before AEW would enter what became known as the Pandemic Era. Moxley's win solidified his place at the top of the card if any doubt lingered following his departure from his previous employer. Even though Mox's reign was largely in front of either socially-distanced crowds, his dominance in the ring in 1-on-1 contests was simply second to none as he rattled off a company-record 25 consecutive Singles victories.

[301-400] Actual Match #400: The Nightmare Sisters (Allie & Brandie Rhodes) [with Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall] defeated Kenzie Paige & Red Velvet on Dark #38 * Selection: Match #354 - No Disqualification: Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose © at Double or Nothing 2020 for the Women's World Championship

Photo Credit: AEW

The onset of the longest AEW championship reign (372 days) began in earnest with the dethroning of the Native Beast. A total of 8 Title Defenses would follow and see Shida soar to the 2020 Metrics victory by the most considerable margin to date. All told, she would amass a then-record 27 consecutive Singles victories and will likely soon become the first woman to crest 1000 Career Metrics.

[401-500] Actual Match #500: Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss defeated The Initiative (Brandon Cutler & Peter Avalon) on Dark #45 * Selection: Match #407 - Abadon defeated Anna Jay on Dynamite #37

Photo Credit: AEW

I'm being completely honesty here. If you weren't watching at the time, allow me to try and cast your mind back to June 2020 and set the scene. The match was immediately preceded by a video package promoting pageant queen Anna Jay, calling her the Star of the Show, and as each of these competitors had yet to score her first AEW victory, clearly we all thought we knew what was coming. And we were wrong. The Living Dead Girl proceeded to thump the Georgia-native in just over a minute. Jay was then helped to the back by the Dark Order and the rest is history. Wrestling is about moments that create emotion and this did exactly that.

[501-600] Actual Match #600: Angélico defeated Griff Garrison on Dark #51

* Selection: Match #544 - Mr. Brodie Lee defeated Cody © [ with Arn Anderson] on Dynamite #46 for the TNT Championship

Photo Credit: AEW

A thematic connection to the above in that this result was also shocking in its brevity. Preceded by Cody's Open Challenges over the summer against both debuting and unknown names alike, Lee's victory provided another iteration of what AEW's secondary male championship could be. With a heavy heart and reflection, we realize now that this was also the peak of the Exalted One's brief stay in the promotion.

[601-700] Actual Match #700: Luchasaurus defeated Aaron Solow on Dark #57 * Selection: Match #626 - Parking Lot Fight: Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?) defeated Proud 'N Powerful (Santana & Ortiz) on Dynamite #50

Photo Credit: AEW

The rivalry between these two teams was a consistently strong point of AEW programming in the summer of 2020 for both the in (and out of) ring action it provided as well as being emblematic of how the promotion can have feuds outside of the championship scene that still feel worthy of a television Main Event. Sure, there were the other elements at play (Orange Cassidy in the trunk, Sue's mini-van) but this was fundamentally four individuals going full tilt in an entertaining brawl.

[701-800] Actual Match #800: Big Swole defeated KiLynn King on Dark #62 * Selection: Match #726 - No Disqualification, No Countout: Brandon Cutler defeated Peter Avalon [with Leva Bates] at Dark #58

Photo Credit: AEW

Skillfully placed in the exact midpoint, 8th on a 15-match card, because of course these two could not hold down a Main Event, this match remains a guilty pleasure. The conclusion to the 'Loser Must Win' trilogy was preceded by two draws and would ultimately bring the definitive end to The Initiative, who hold the ignominious record of AEW's worst Tag Team record with 12 losses against 0 wins.

[801-900] Actual Match #900: Peter Avalon defeated Mike Verna on Dark #67 * Selection: Match #851 - Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley © on Dynamite #61: Winter is Coming for the World Championship

Photo Credit: AEW

Snapping back to reality here, the Cleaner's win over Mox is what propelled the former to the 2020 Metrics victory and relegated the latter to the runner-up position. His run as World Champion lasted nearly a calendar year and remains the benchmark. This was the first, and to date only, time the top title has changed hands on television and the immediate follow up angle set the stage for the Belt Collector storyline that guided the company for most of 2021. To be clear, the Forbidden Door was now broken off its hinges and would never be quite put correctly back in place again.

[901-1000] Actual Match #1000: Tay Conti [ with Anna Jay & Negative One] defeated Davienne on Dark #72 * Selection: Match #990 - Inner Circle Tag Team Challenge: Inner Circle (Chris Jericho & MJF) [with Wardlow] defeated Sammy Hager (Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager) and Proud 'N Powerful (Santana & Ortiz) on Dynamite #68

Photo Credit: AEW

The novel concept of a faction fighting internally without actually breaking up is a less-frequently used motif in professional wrestling than one might realize. The Inner Circle, and specifically the "Me and My Shadow" singing duet, tightrope-walked their way into 2021 and managed to stay united for several more months after this match before the obligatory took place later in the year.

Be on the lookout for Part II of this series in the next few weeks. As always, anyone with questions or comments is encouraged to contact me on Twitter @AEWmetrics.

Media Inserts: Craig William

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