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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8. That Britt Baker promo

Early in her AEW career, Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, struggled to find her identity beyond “the dentist that wrestled”. She cut some cringeworthy promos, including one where she made fun of Tony Schiavone’s time as a Starbucks barista. Twitter did not like this promo.

Something finally clicked and she delivered an excellent promo on the Jan. 29 episode of Dynamite. The best promos are usually grounded in truth. She went for the jugular of Jim Ross when she called him out for only talking about her being a dentist and frequently butchering the names of wrestlers. Baker again went after Schiavone and also the Cleveland crowd.

Since then, Baker has only grown stronger in her promo skills. When she was injured, AEW kept her on TV every week where she continued to deliver promos, develop her character more, and built a feud with Big Swole (who was equally excellent during this buildup). The payoff was the first-ever cinematic match centered on a singles match between two women.

Honorable mention: This segment with Big Swole driving Baker away in a golf cart to the trash can was gold.

7.  TNT Championship open challenge

When Cody won the TNT Championship the first time, he decided to do an open challenge. He faced Marq Quen, Sonny Kiss, Jungle Boy, and Jake Hager. Then, he did something rather unprecedented for a major company: he extended the invitation to anyone (and not a wrestler already signed that made their debut when “picked” out of a crowd like when Mel was for the Nightmare Collective).

Independent wrestler WARHORSE made a case on Twitter on why he should be allowed to face Cody. WARHORSE and his fans subsequently made enough noise to get him a shot at the TNT Championship. He even had his good friend, Danhausen, give him tips to beat Cory  (“punch him in the groin!”). Ultimately, WARHORSE got his wish and turned in a very good showing against Cody.

Ricky Starks had just departed from NWA when he answered the challenge. Starks was so impressive in his promo answering the challenge and in the ring with the champ that he was signed to the company. Cody frequently mentioned Starks when he talked about future stars.

No bigger star came from the Open Challenge than Eddie Kingston. In a promo at an indie show, Kingston called out Cody among other wrestlers. From the moment he began his promo on Dynamite, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. They then had a fantastic match that included thumbtacks. Before the match was even over, #SignEddieKingston was trending. It trended for hours. Two weeks later, Kingston had a contract and has been a major part of AEW ever since.