AEW Top 25 of 2023 – #19 & #18

It’s whacking day here on Day Four.  Back-to-back hard hitters.

  1. Moxley’s Jealous

Rush vs Bryan Danielson, Dynamite, 02/08/23 

Meltzer: 4.75*

Jealous because by the end of this, Bryan Danielson’s entire upper body was red, chest blistered, face covered in blood.  After MJF’s henchman Rush beat the crap out of him in the ring; beat the crap out of him out of the ring, making him pour blood before beating the crap out of him some more.

Until Danielson finally fought back with stiff forearms then the two did battle on the apron with more stiff chops and slaps until Rush flung him off via overhead belly to belly.  Right onto his shoulder, injured during the earlier rounds of MJF’s ‘trials’.  In fact he barely made it out to the ring to start the match.

But eventually fought back to chants of ‘Si! Si! Si!’ from a raucous El Paso crowd to polish off the Mexican after rolling through a rebound German into a second busaiku knee.

I wrote at the time:

This was as physical as wrestling gets and the crowd were into it unlike anything else so far.  Great fight, great atmosphere.

Which about sums it up.

  1. Thwack!

Jamie Hayter vs Emi Sakura, Rampage, 01/27/23 

Meltzer: 4*

It speaks for this match that Jim Ross referenced it for months afterward whenever each lady made an appearance.  JR doesn’t do hyperbole, it’s one of his biggest strengths.  He also doesn’t ‘do’ a lot of modern-day wrestling.  Doesn’t like the dives, doesn’t like opponents waiting to catch one-another, doesn’t like anything that kills disbelief.

So it’s a good thing these two had the hardest hitting women’s match all year.  About ten minutes of just brutalizing one-another with chops, forearms, lariats and suplexes.  Like the above, it started with the heel smashing the babyface for several minutes.  And like the above, both were all-but bleeding from bruised chests by the end.

Hayter responded with a series of exploders and lariats so stiff that Jericho on commentary openly acknowledged that a big part of why the fans like her is they can see how hard she hits.

It’s not just a tag line.

As evidenced by a basement lariat that needed a ‘THWACK’ graphic alongside it.

Finally, after a Sakura backdrop driver, Hayter popped up, another big lariat, Hayterade for the win, both so exhausted they remained flat out on the mat after the bell rang and had to be helped to their feet.

While not every women’s match need necessarily be this physical (in fact it’s probably unwise, Jamie didn’t last much longer before her shoulder gave out), this was such a long way from plates up the ass and botched finishes.  And anyway, very few of the current roster are capable of sniffing a match this realistic, this believable, this good.

Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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