10 Worst Wrestling Matches Of 2023 (According To The Internet)

Gable Steveson vs. Baron Corbin, Leatherface, and more... the matches that STUNK in 2023.

Baron Corbin Gable Steveson

Like 2022 before it, 2023 in professional wrestling has been stranger than fiction, oscillating from the sublime to the ridiculous so rapidly that 2024 can't possibly be any weirder.

We say that every year. Wrestling can - and will - find a way to get more insane. It always does.

Fingers crossed that this doesn't extend to some of the in-ring horrors we've lived through since 1 January. While we are fortunate to live in an era where true disasterpieces rarely make it to television, even the most skilled wrestlers in the world have bad nights.

We're taking a different approach this year. Rather than compiling it in-house, we consulted the closest thing wrestling has to a critical aggregator, Cagematch.net, to gauge fan opinion on the lowest of the low in 2023. Essentially, these are your trashiest, nastiest, botchiest bouts of the year, as ranked and determined by hundreds of votes on the popular user-driven site. For transparency, scope is limited to promotions WhatCulture typically covers: WWE, AEW, IMPACT, and NJPW.

Good news! No Tyrus. You'd be reading about him thrice otherwise.

For every Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay or Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus, there's a match so bad it makes you question your very fandom. Let the dumpster dive commence.

(NOTE: Although it was amongst 2023's worst-rated matches on Cagematch.net, Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight has been omitted)

10. Ronda Rousey Vs. Shayna Baszler (WWE SummerSlam)

Baron Corbin Gable Steveson

Cagematch Rating: 3.12/10.

It would have taken an impossible effort for Ronda Rousey's WWE exit to be as miserable as her UFC exit, when she was knocked out in consecutive fights, but 'The Baddest Woman on the Planet' and long-time friend-turned-onscreen-rival Shayna Baszler disappointed in a match encapsulating much of what went wrong with Rousey's second WWE run.

Worked MMA rarely works. In the context of a professional wrestling show, it asks you to believe one of two things:

1. The MMA ruleset is a shoot, and everything else is a work.

2. MMA is a work.

Neither is good. Fights are either simulated or they aren't. You simply cannot promote both things on a worked show, and WWE should have learned its lesson from Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar.

Baszler and Rousey got a scant seven minutes to throw pulled punches and work MMA-style exchanges on the mat. They did little of interest within those confines, showing surprisingly little chemistry, despite their personal history, and the WWE audience was not Sports Entertained.

If wrestling's market-leading promotion is a buffet, Baszler vs. Rousey was a dried-out tray of congealed mac and cheese the chef forgot to place under the heat lamps.

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Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.