Most of the time we post wrestling content here on the Big Kick Off it tends to be WWE related. As the resident wrestling nerd in these parts I feel we should start to look at the broader world of professional wrestling.
All Elite Wrestling (AEW) as I’m sure most of you reading this know is the second biggest wrestling organisation in North America. It would also be classed as one of the elite promotions in the world, cheeky little pun for the boys.
This past week AEW reached a very significate milestone in its relatively short history.
Their weekly television show Dynamite that airs live on TNT has been on the air for a year now.
In that year we have been lucky to see new stars emerge, familiar faces doing what they do best and witnessed some breath-taking matches. It really has been a stellar first year for AEW with Dynamite delivering the goods on an extremely consistent basis.
While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, here’s looking at you Jim Cornette. You can’t deny the work rate that these guys and gals put in week in week out for our entertainment. It may not always be a homerun but AEW never tend to strike out either.
So, let’s look of some of these breath-taking matches that we talked about. In fact, let’s count down the best five matches from the first year of AEW Dynamite in my own humble opinion.
It goes without saying that we won’t be counting AEW PPV matches here, we are strictly sticking to matches that took place on Dynamite.
As always give us your favourites in the comment section below because we do have a lot to choose from.
Honourable Mentions – Cody vs Wardlow (19/02/2020), Brodie Lee vs Cody (7/10/2020), Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy (06/05/2020), Jon Moxley vs Darby Allin (05/08/2020) and Cody vs Orange Cassidy (14/10/2020)
5. FTR & Young Bucks vs The Butcher, The Blade & Lucha Brothers (08/07/2020)
While this match took place on night two of Fyter Fest it was still classed as an episode of Dynamite, to quote Celebrity Deathmatch referee Mills Lane “I’ll allow it.”
Sometimes these multi competitor matches can be a bit of a mess. This eight-man bout was far from it and had plenty of engaging story points and exciting moments throughout.
FTR recently arrived at AEW after leaving WWE. As soon as they stepped into the door everyone wanted to see them face off against Young Bucks. This was the start to that slow build, fans got to see if these two amazing teams could work together against a common foe.
They pulled of stunning double team moves and all four men had very smooth chemistry as a team.
However, they couldn’t keep this up for the entire match. We seen a lack of communication between the teams. This allowed Lucha Bros to turn the tide and pick up the win for their team.
The whole match was really built around FTR and Young Bucks and it had the fans chomping at the bit to see them go at it.
Honestly, just watch this match for that springboard Canadian Destroyer spot, sweet mother of divine.
4. Best Friends vs Santana & Ortiz (16/09/2020)
One of the many things AEW is good at is bombastic madness. The fact they also give that madness away on television and not PPV is probably madness too.
For my taste I wasn’t overly into this feud at the beginning. It had its moments, but they were ultimately fighting over the fact Santana & Ortiz destroyed the car belonging to Trent Barretta’s mother. A little bit silly in my opinion.
However, they hooked me in with this brutal Parking Lot Fight.
In an era when hardcore matches are very watered down in mainstream wrestling this felt real and gritty. I do have a line and I don’t like chair shots to the head or people needlessly killing each other. But this was just the happy medium.
It was heated, intense and left all involved physically battered. Trent Barretta’s back was a bloody mess from getting sent back first into a car windshield.
This felt like a war between these two teams.
We got people getting slammed in and on cars, chains getting used and plenty of vehicular based destruction.
The Best Friends limped away with the win with an assist from their buddy Orange Cassidy.
All the boys jumped into Trent’s mothers van and she drove them off into the sunset with Sue flipping the bird to Santana and Ortiz on the way out, I love wrestling.
3. Riho vs Nyla Rose (12/02/2020)
One thing AEW has failed to do is give us a reason to care about their women’s division. Which is a shame because they do have some talented female performers in their ranks. They just didn’t give them an awful lot of television time and constantly put on meaningless matches.
They have been unlucky with injuries and Covid-19 not allowing their international performers to travel to the good old US of A.
The potential is there but they just need to give us something to care about.
In fairness that is exactly what Riho vs Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s World Championship did.
Easily the best women’s match from the first year of Dynamite. It was a rematch from their contest on the first episode of Dynamite to crown the inaugural champion.
It was the story of David vs Goliath told perfectly.
The champion Riho showed immense fighting spirt despite her physical disadvantages.
While Nyla impressed with her strength and power against her much smaller opponent. It honestly turned me around on Nyla, I thought she was another lumbering and boring powerhouse full of botches.
Goliath won the day this time around and Nyla Rose became our new AEW Women’s World Champion.
More matches like for the women please because when giving the time they will produce the goods.
2. Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page vs Lucha Brothers (19/02/2020)
While AEW have failed to build their women’s division, they have thrived when it comes to tag team wrestling.
More times than not it’s the highlight of any AEW show. They have a rich and diverse tag team division and one of the best in wrestling.
The longest reigning champions in AEW history are Kenny Omega and Adam Page. During this run they had great battles against the likes of SCU, Young Bucks and FTR. The latter beat them for the gold and are the current tag champs.
However, they done their best work with Lucha Brothers.
This match was phenomenal. It was had some stellar sequences, great tag team ingenuity and was done at a breakneck speed.
Omega and Page retained their titles when they hit their Last Call finishing move. Brining the fans to their feet after watching a tag team masterclass.
Many didn’t want to see Omega and Page together and preferred them as solo acts. But we are glad they did and helped to elevate the tag team division.
Their entire reign, character work, fractured relationship and eventual slip all made for must watch television.
We wait with bated breath to see them go at it one on one. With the pair of them odds on to be future AEW World Champions.
1. Kenny Omega vs PAC (26/02/2020)
Sometimes I like to give top spot on these lists to surprise picks and not be to mainstream. But this is a case of the obvious choice being the right one.
When you have two world beaters like Kenny Omega and PAC going at it in a 30-minute ironman match you expect greatness. Anytime the pair met it produced but this took it to a whole new level.
My words won’t do this any justice, if you haven’t seen it just go and watch it.
PAC went 1-0 down early getting himself disqualified-on purpose when he smashed Omega with a chair to get the upper hand.
This set the standard and it just took off from there.
We seen table spots, highly intensity and two warriors battling for supremacy.
Omega would bring the score back to 1-1 but seemed down and out in the dying seconds. PAC had Omega locked in his Brutalizer submission hold with the clock almost at zero. Somehow Omega mustered up the strength to fight through the pain and take the action to sudden death.
Omega would pull out his deadly V-Trigger and One Winged Angle combo to get the win in sudden death.
Two of the best in the world going at it. Fans are dying to see PAC back when the Brit can travel back to America. Expect Omega to really come into his own in 2021 after his spell in the tag team division.
This was the best match in the first year of AEW Dynamite by far.