Updated: May 18
Note: When this article was originally published, two matches (Max Caster vs Cheeseburger and Nyla Rose vs Skye Blue) that took place at the Elevation #62 tapings but did not air due to a power failure had not been included in the records on the official AEW Roster Page. This changed the following week and Match #3000 was altered as a result and I have updated the information about that match in the introductory paragraph. However, I have left the infographics I created in their original states. Primer: Don't let the title fool you. This is not a love letter in the traditional sense. It's a tough, critique-filled and very opinionated sort of affection and fondness. Indeed, for better and for worse, this is how I show my love. Just two days ago, All Elite Wrestling passed a milestone with the promotion of its 3,000th professional wrestling match. The match in question was Death Triangle's Trios victory over the Andrade Family Office in the Opener of Rampage #41. There was no official announcement or commemoration of this happening as this is not a statistic AEW tracks as part of their record keeping. Therefore, how can I be so sure? Well, it's because I counted them, as I have from the very first, the Casino Battle Royale featured on The Buy In to Double or Nothing 2019 three years ago this month. Need proof? Consider the below.
This graphic shows the number of matches as per Event organized year over year. It's an intriguing way to represent the growth both by the number of total matches and variety of different programs. However, even with the advent of Battle of the Belts quarterly specials and the first full-year of Elevation and Rampage, the company is on pace for fewer matches this year than the previous for the firs time ever. This is mostly owing to the fact that now that AEW has returned to weekly touring, the precedent of YouTube shows with double-digit matches every single week has been discontinued in favour of different live event experiences. Need more convincing?
This graphic shows the matches organized by their place on the Card. The final column represents the 8 Outliers, which are as follows: 2019: Three Lights Out matches (Moxley vs Janela/Omega vs Janela /Moxley vs Omega) 2020: One Mixed-Tag match (Riho & Omega vs Penelope Ford & Kip Sabian from the Jericho Cruise 2020 that aired on Dark #18)
2021: Two Lights Out matches (Thunder Rosa vs Dr. Britt Baker, DMD and Moxley & Kingston vs [Suzuki-gun] Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer) and one Exhibition match (Cody Rhodes vs QT Marshall with Arn Anderson as the Special Guest Referee)
2022: One Lights Out match (Adam Cole vs Orange Cassidy) These matches all aired on AEW programming, are therefore part of AEW canon and even though none counted in the Win-Loss records, all are nevertheless AEW matches. On a semi-related note, the following matches, ordered chronologically, that have not aired on AEW programming and yet have still counted in the official records:
Dark #14: Match #158 - Austin Gunn & Billy defeated Preston Vance & Shawn Spears > No official explanation as to why this was left off the broadcast has ever been given. Nevertheless, the following week, the match was referenced by the announcers and Austin's record was displayed as 1-0. (An added note: A tweet advertising Gunn Club vs Proud-N-Powerful was sent out earlier in the day but obviously plans changed.)
House Show #1: The House Always Wins: Matches #1288-1296 > The only House Show in company history took place at its home base at Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida. The company was kind enough to Live Tweet out near real-time results complete with match times for each of the nine contests. In the Opener, The Butcher won a Battle Royal and went on challenge Darby Allin in the Main Event for the TNT Championship.
Chris Jericho's Rock N Wrestling Rager At Sea: Triple Whammy: Matches #2143-2158, 2162-2171 and 2178-2185 > Spread across four nights of seafaring debauchery, the inclusion of these thirty-four matches in the official record books* was a decision reversal as previously Tony Khan had indicated the matches would not count. They were subsequently filmed, presumably by a professional production team, and may eventually be seen by the masses if and when AEW launches its streaming platform. The Main Event on the final evening saw Orange Jericho (Orange Cassidy & Chris Jericho) defeat Team Taz (Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs) with post-match appearances by the not-yet signed Danhausen and New Japan star Will Ospreay. *Despite my consistent (and usually successful) attempts to correct the official Roster Page, Powerhouse Hobbs' has been shorted a Career Win since this time. He won a Singles match vs Christopher Daniels on Night 3 of the cruise and while the Fallen Angel was credited with the loss, Hobbs' win never got added.
Fan Fest: Matches #2721-2727
> Promoted as a "AEW Fanfest" Live Event the day before Revolution 2022, but displaying the Dark logo on the video screen and ring apron (and, as such, currently counting under this column in my Metrics spreadsheets), seven matches featuring talent not wrestling the following night were put on for the fans prior to the musical performances that followed. Dark Order (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) [with Alan Angels & Preston Vance] defeated The Factory (Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto) to close the show. From the photos, this was very sparsely attended, so perhaps this is why it has yet to hit the YouTube channel.
Also of note, there have been several instances of matches being filmed in front of paying audiences and then not finding their way onto the our screens. The reasons vary from mid-match injuries (QT Marshall vs Darius Lockhart last year and, most recently, Leyla Hirsch vs Christina Marie) to discovery of unsavory social media posts (Clutch Adams) to the unknown (17 matches from Universal Studios Dark Tapings as well as a few odd matches from Pandemic Era and a single one-off from the Cincinnati Elevation taping).
A third and final way to view the matches is by division.
Here, we have several year-over-year indicators of growth, particularly in the different Women's Divisions. As already stated, many of these will level out this year compared to last and we can consequently expect to experience our first decline.
And it's within that decline that my appreciation and adoration for this company rests. Anyone can love you on the way up, while you're building and the future is bright, shiny and bursting with unfulfilled potential. If you wish to transport yourself back to any point to those time, feel free to peruse my recent three-part series in which I've recapped the entirety of AEW's history looking at my view of the best (and the rest) of its matches. However, if you prefer to live in the here and now, then the reality that while AEW is undoubtedly growing in certain respects, as a company that produces and promotes professional wrestling matches, the company has at least temporarily peaked from. a match production perspective. Which, to be clear, is almost certainly a good thing. Of course, undeniably, the company is expanding in other ways. With the recent purchasse of Ring of Honor, and the inclusion of nearly all its championships to AEW programming, Tony's attention to detail can only be stretched so far. The upcoming co-promoted Forbidden Door event is perhaps the start of a long-term meaningful relationship that could see a fifth Pay Per View added to the annual calendar. Also, upon the return of Kenny Omega, we should fully expect the launching of the Trios Championship. I realize some of these issues divide the fanbase to varying degrees and time will tell whether they prove successful or not.
Cheers to the next 3000, AEW.
As always, anyone with questions or comments is encouraged to contact me on Twitter @AEWmetrics.