Best Wrestling PPVs of the First Half of 2023

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Posted 2023-06-05 by Steven Gfollow
Something a little different.

I have been asked by a few people what I consider to be the best wrestling for fans to watch, and with professional wrestling on an upswing at the moment in popularity across the world, there are probably some families out there with younger (and older) members who are into the sport and want to see what is worth catching. I could go back in time – there is a lot of wrestling content on streaming services nowadays! – but I'm going to stick with this year.

Now, I only watch New Japan Pro Wrestling, Stardom, World Wrestling Entertainment, All Elite Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Ring Of Honor and some Game Changer Wrestling and NWA, so my selections are limited to those promotions.

For what it's worth, AEW is my preferred brand.

So, in order of when they were broadcast, here are my 10 favourite Pay-Per-View and other big events from these promotions from 2023 so far.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 (January 4)

Japanese wrestling (puroresu) is something of an acquired taste, especially strong style, and is not for those with a short attention span, but this show was top-to-bottom a great event, with one of the best bouts I gave seen in quite a while in Kenny Omega v Will Ospreay. There are title changes aplenty throughout and some jaw-dropping moments. Only one match didn't do it for me (the Never Openweight Title), but the rest is really good or better. It is for a pro wrestling "purist", as such, but is just an incredible show.
WWE Royal Rumble (January 28)

The Royal Rumble used to be my favourite PPV, but the WWE have made it not worth watching for a while. This year, however, the two rumble matches made this a must-see show. The women's match had two iron-woman performances, and the men's had a feel-good ending and a Logan Paul/Ricochet spot for the ages. There were two matches in the middle that were not good, and the main event is a little dull when taken out of the context of the story-line it was a part of, but those two rumble matches make this a show well worth chasing down.
NJPW Battle In The Valley (February 18)

Another Japanese show, and all the matches are well worth catching on this one. It also has one of the very best women's matches of 2023 on the card, with Mercedes Moné (formerly known as Sasha Banks) and Kairi delivering the match of the night. But every other match is well worth catching as well, including some great back and forths and an awesome tag team match. Again, it is Japanese styled wrestling, and those who are more familiar with the US form might find some of the bouts long, but I really liked this one.
AEW Revolution (March 5)

There is an argument to be made that this is the best wrestling show of 2023 so far. Every match is great and worth watching, capped off with an incredible 60-minute iron man match. Iron man matches can be dull affairs as the wrestlers pace themselves; this one was on from the word go and the time flew by. Add to that an amazing trios match, a brutal Texas Death Match and a decent women's match, as well as everything else – not a bad match – and it is a show worth watching. By the way, AEW does not mind blood, so for those who find that not pleasant, this show might best be watched in black and white.
ROH Supercard Of Honor (March 31)

Ring Of Honor is owned by the same man who owns AEW, but they are being treated as their own thing, which is good because it makes shows like this feel special. This was a good combination of styles, with one amazing lucha libre (Mexican style) wrestling match, an incredible muti-team tag team ladder match and a hard-hitting world title match. One match didn't do it for me – the Pure Title match – but the rest are worth watching. A show all about the wrestling.
Stardom All Star Grand Queendom (April 23)

Stardom is another Japanese promotion, made up of all female wrestling. This was an amazing show… if you ignore the pre-show, which was not that good. The rest of the show, however, was really strong, showing some skills and techniques not often seen elsewhere. The tag match on the main card was not the best, but the rest stand up as amongst some of the best female wrestling seen. It was also such an easy show to watch.
WWE Backlash (May 6, 2023)

I found both nights of Wrestlemania to be held together by two or three good matches (sometimes made so by the storylines) with too much mediocrity between. This WWE show, however, was intense, made all the better by a rabid Puerto Rico crowd. The US Title match was not good, but the rest was well worth watching, including an amazing celebrity wrestling turn from rapper Bad Bunny. This was just a fun show all up.
Impact Under Siege (May 26)

This is the best Impact show of the year so far, with different styles throughout, some ongoing storylines that make sense, and some truly amazing wrestling. The main event between Steve Maclin and PCO, though, is a hardcore and violent affair, and if you don't want to see someone have their mouth stapled shut (no, seriously), then maybe skip it. The match between Jordynn Grace and Deonna Purrazzo is another strong contender for women's match of the year. This had something for everyone and was a really strong show.
WWE NXT Battleground (May 28)

NXT is the WWE developmental promotion, and they have a few PPVs each year. This one was one of the better in quite a while. While I think the main event should have gone the other way, the match itself was intense and hard-hitting, and the last man standing match between Ilja Dragunov and Dijak was just a brutal affair, as intense as wrestling can get without blood.
AEW Double Or Nothing (May 28)
(No video available at time of writing)
I'll finish this list with a contentious one, as many don't agree with me that this was a truly good show. Only one match didn't do it for me, and one was cut short due to pre-existing injury, but even if the TBS tittle match was a little lack-lustre, the surprise return at the end of it made up for that. The rest of the matches were really good. One of the better battle royals I've seen, a fun tag team match, a four-way match that was, again, one of the better I've seen, and finishing with a no holds barred Anarchy In The Arena match (with blood, lots of blood) made it a show with something for everyone.
And there we are, ten Professional Wrestling Pay-Per-View/Special shows worth chasing down for the fans – including lapsed fans – in the world.

There should be something here for everyone.

82691 - 2023-06-11 06:33:33


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