AEW: Looking back at the Top 10 Moments in 2020

The Dark Order (right to left: Stu Grayson, Brodie Lee, and Evil Uno) standing at the ramp (photo courtesy of AEW)
The Dark Order (right to left: Stu Grayson, Brodie Lee, and Evil Uno) standing at the ramp (photo courtesy of AEW) /
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10. COVID-19 shows

At the beginning of the COVID-19 show era, AEW taped shows before moving to live shows at Daily’s Place. During these shows, a new star emerged in “Pineapple Pete”, aka SUGE D on the independent circuit. SUGE D began wrestling on Dark and happened to wear a shirt with pineapples on it. This drew the ire of Chris Jericho, who expressed his disdain for “Pete” on commentary. We eventually got a match between the two on Dynamite (which you can watch in the above clip).

Another match that stands out during this no-fan era was when Kenny Omega faced Alan Angels. This was prior to Angels joining Dark Order as “Five”. While many assumed it would be a quick squash match, Angels got in plenty of offense on the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He was able to showcase what he could do against one of the best in the world. Some people *cough*RyanSatin*cough* didn’t think it was appropriate and made a big fuss about nothing.

During these shows, we also saw the debut of Broken Matt Hardy. It had been rumored for months that Hardy would join AEW once his WWE contract was up. Hardy fueled speculation by posting teasers on Twitter and YouTube. On March 18, he made his debut by surprising the Inner Circle. Vanguard 1 flew over the ring to signify that Broken Matt (as we learned the following week, this was actually Damascus). was in the building. When the camera panned over the empty seats, there he stood.

9. Brandi wills Cody to continue during the 10 Lashes segment

Back in February, Cody faced MJF in a 10 Lashes segment. This was one of the stipulations that Cody agreed to in order to face MJF at Revolution. MJF had turned on Cody at Full Gear. Cody wanted to face off with him in the ring, but MJF had three stipulations the Cody needed to fulfill:10 lashes on live TV, face WARDLOW in a steel cage, and keep his hands off MJF until their match).

MJF made Cody give him his own belt to use to receive the lashes. After the first lash, several wrestlers came out to the stage to watch. The third lash made Cody stay down a little longer, so Arn Anderson came down to give him some encouragement. After the fifth lash, MJF tried to get Cody to quit. Dustin Rhodes has made his way down and tried to take the other five in his brother’s place, but MJF declined.

The next two lashes were quick but made Cody fall due to the sheer pain. The Young Bucks then came out to cheer Cody on. MJF handed the belt to WARDLOW, who delivered the ninth blow. At this point, Brandi Rhodes comes down to the ring. She held Cody’s hand and she reminded him that he had one left before Cody kissed her hand. As Cody teared up, he stood up for his final lash. MJF landed one right across the chest. Those around the ring came in to help him.

The whole segment was uncomfortable to watch. It was compelling television. While everything about it was memorable, Cody’s wife coming out to comfort him really stands out as one of the more raw, emotional moments in AEW.