Top 3 WWE and AEW Matches for Week of February 4 (2023)

Top 3 WWE and AEW Matches for Week of February 4

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    Top 3 WWE and AEW Matches for Week of February 4 (1)

    Timothy Thatcher and Bryan Danielson.AEW

    Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Bleacher Report where we take a look back at the three best matches from WWE and AEW from the past week, with a few honorable mentions thrown in for good measure.

    Bouts from Raw, NXT, Dynamite, SmackDown and Rampage will all be considered. There is no set criteria, so any kind of match could end up making the list. Some might be technical clinics, some might be high-flying spot fests, and some might be bloody brawls.

    This week, three contests stood out from the pack for completely different reasons.

  • The Viking Raiders vs. The Brawling Brutes
  • Bryan Danielson vs. Timothy Thatcher
  • Seth Rollins vs. Chad Gable

Before we get into each of these matches, let's look at a few that almost made the cut.

(Video) Top 10 Friday Night SmackDown moments: WWE Top 10, Feb. 3, 2023

Honorable Mentions

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    Darby Allin vs. Samoa Joe

    Wednesday's TNT title match was another brutal encounter between two men who are both known for their violent styles despite being complete opposites. Unfortunately for Darby Allin, Samoa Joe's relentless attacks were too much to overcome, and he lost the belt back to the King of Television. This bout was wild in the best possible way.

    Jon Moxley vs. Adam Page

    The trio of matches between the heart of AEW and the soul of AEW has been fantastic, but Wednesday's third encounter may have been their most personal. Hangman Adam Page scoring the win was definitely the right call, but the amount of blood we saw from Jon Moxley during the match might make some of the more squeamish fans a little uncomfortable. Watch at your own risk.

    Axion vs. Tyler Bate

    The former A-Kid and Tyler Bate were both standouts in NXT UK, but this week gave them their first opportunity to work with each other in front of an American audience. Axiom's high-flying technique mixed with Bate's unique version of British Strong Style to create one of the most exciting matches of the week. NXT might not be everybody's cup of tea these days, but this is one you should go out of your way to check out.

(Video) Top 10 NXT Moments: WWE Top 10, Feb. 7, 2023

The Brawling Brutes vs. Viking Raiders

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    We can try to dress it up with pageantry, storytelling and emotion, but at the end of the day, pro wrestling is and always will be about people beating each other up.

    Fighting is the bread and butter of this business, and if you like a good knockdown, drag-out fight, then you probably enjoyed The Brawling Brutes vs. The Viking Raiders on this week's SmackDown.

    While the inclusion of Valhalla has been met with a mixed response, seeing Erik and Ivar being pushed as a serious threat to anyone they face has been great in recent months. @WrestlingInc

    The Brawling Brutes should've been tag team champions by now. They are so good together <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a>

    During that same time, Ridge Holland and Butch have come into their own as a tag team and climbed the ladder on SmackDown to be one of the top contenders for a title shot.

    This week, these two teams beat the absolute life out of each other in the final of the tournament to crown new No. 1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

    The former Pete Dunne being significantly smaller than his opponents did nothing to stop him from dishing out his signature brand of focused brutality. You can be the biggest guy in the ring, but if someone tries to break your fingers, it's going to make it hard to throw a punch or grab someone for a suplex.

    One of the most impressive spots in the match was Holland hitting Ivar with an Alabama slam. It was an incredible display of power from the British powerhouse.

    (Video) Top 10 Raw moments: WWE Top 10, Feb. 6, 2023

    Erik and Ivar scored the win to earn a shot at the Usos, but they didn't make it out of the arena before Sheamus and Drew McIntyre showed up to get retribution for last week's attack.

Chad Gable vs. Seth Rollins

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    The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view is already less than three weeks away on February 18, so WWE hit the ground running with qualifying matches during Monday's post-Royal Rumble edition of Raw.

    One of those bouts featured Rollins taking on Gable in what was arguably the best match of the night. Some might say Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor takes that honor, but it all depends on what you look for in your pro wrestling.

    Jimmy Van @jimmyvan74

    Chad Gable is so good man. And Seth Rollins gave him a ton of offense, made him look like a million bucks. Great match up. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWERaw</a>

    Rhodes and Balor had more drama and outside-the-ring shenanigans going on, but Rollins and Gable were able to go out there and just have a great performance without all of that extra stuff to worry about. You don't always need a storyline to steal the show.

    The leader of Alpha Academy will likely be remembered as one of this generation's great underrated and underutilized performers. He always looks like a million bucks and makes his opponents look just as good, but his win-loss record leaves a lot to be desired.

    This match had technical wrestling, high-flying moves, stiff strikes, suplexes, slams and everything else you could want in a standard bout with no special stipulations. This might not be the match you use to sell tickets, but it's the one people will be talking about after they leave the arena.

    (Video) Sami Zayn launches a sneak attack on Roman Reigns: SmackDown, Feb. 3, 2023

    The crowd was on fire throughout the whole thing. Nobody expected Gable to win, but every time he came close, you could feel the WWE Universe holding its breath. Rollins is as over as anyone on the roster, but an upset win by Gable would have been well-received had it happened.

Bryan Danielson vs. Timothy Thatcher

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    Are you a fan of technical wrestling? Do you like when story threads are weaved into the action of a match? Do you like first-time encounters between veteran performers?

    If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then you probably loved Danielson vs. Thatcher from this week's Dynamite.

    Chris Mattingly @cmattingly97

    Bryan Danielson and Timothy Thatcher just gave us a technical wrestling masterpiece <br><br>That match is everything I love about pro wrestling. <br><br>Thank you <a href="">@TonyKhan</a> for quality PPV level matches each week on free tv! <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEW</a>

    This was another one of MJF's hurdles for Danielson on his way to fighting for the AEW World Heavyweight Championship. The American Dragon has defeated stars like Konosuke Takeshita and Brian Cage recently, but Thatcher is a different kind of grappler.

    In a lot of ways, he's just like Danielson. Both men love to focus on submissions and wearing down specific parts of an opponent's body. In this case, it was Thatcher working on the arm that AEW already established as being injured during his prior bout with Cage.

    (Video) Why Roman Reigns Lost to Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber 2023 - WWE News & Rumors February 2023

    The more damage MJF's hand-picked opponents can do to Danielson's arm, the easier it will be for the champ to retain his title with his signature Fujiwara armbar. That was the entire theme of this fight, and the crowd ate it up.

    This bout might not make many Match of the Year lists, but it definitely stood out on this week's show as the most proficient display of technical ability.

    The three matches outlined here were all great examples of why pro wrestling is awesome, but there was a lot of fun action this week. What match stood out to you the most?


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