Another year is in the books for All Elite Wrestling. It was a year of growth and expansion that saw many changes for the company. There was a new show added in AEW Rampage on Friday Nights, which is surely needed after the growth of the roster as well. We saw additions of longtime veterans from other companies to newcomers from around the world. Furthermore, Tony Khan opened the forbidden door to showcase talent between different companies. Through the good and the bad, it was truly a successful year in this young company.
Everyone believed through the first year that the Women’s division was the weakness of this company. Well, year two changed that view around.
For most of the second year, Hikaru Shida was the face of the women’s division through this rough time in the world. But she held her own and cemented the title as a very prestigious championship. She finally lost it to Dr. Britt Baker at Double or Nothing this year and has yet to recapture it.
Baker has continued to make the division even better. Being that she is a beloved heel, fans are just waiting for that next big-time baby face to dethrone her down the line. However, it just doesn’t seem like that will be anytime soon. We also saw the growth of this part of the roster with the talented stars coming on board, such as Thunder Rosa and Ruby Soho.
Wow! Year two really brought out the debuts in AEW, including some names we thought we would have to wait longer on. There was also the return of a name that some thought would never EVER come back to a professional wrestling ring. That man was CM Punk, who returned at a special edition of Rampage at the United Center in Chicago.
A few weeks after that debut, we saw the additions of Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole at the end of the All Out PPV. Some other names joining the mix in year two were Ruby Soho, Malakai Black, Christian Cage, and the Legend Sting.
Tag Team Division
No other tag team division touches what AEW has. For nearly all of year two, the tag team division was run by The Young Bucks. They did a great job establishing a dynamic heel team. They took out almost every single opponent within the company. That stretch of dominance lasted until All Out, where they lost the titles to the Lucha Bros in a classic steel cage match.
Moving forward into year three, there will be plenty of competition in the division. Some teams to watch out for this year are PnP, FTR, and Top Flight.
The newest champion right before year two closed out was Sammy Guevara. He took down the dominant Miro in a great back-and-forth contest last Wednesday on Dynamite.
To start off year three, the forbidden door was opened up as the TNT Open Challenge is back on. This time we saw Bobby Fish taking his first step into the AEW ring. Who else could we see challenge for the title? When you see a TNT Championship match is on, the show is a must-watch. It also looks like Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page are watching the championship closely.
AEW World Championship
Kenny “ByGod” Omega, AEW World Championship for nearly a full year now. A few weeks back, he went to a time-limit draw in a classic match against Bryan Danielson. But he has said time after time he will not be getting a rematch and it definitely won’t be for the title anytime soon.
Let’s take a quick look back at year two, one that saw Kenny endure classic matches throughout the year. The most recent was against Bryan Danielson in a non-title match. There were additional great matches against the likes of Christian Cage, Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix, PAC, and Orange Cassidy.
That brings us to the start of year three, and last night there was a Casino Ladder Match to find Omega’s next opponent. The winner would receive a future AEW World Championship match. There were plenty of worthy challengers in that match, but the major question was, who is the Joker in this match? Well, it turned out to be Hangman Adam Page, who made his triumphant return after being gone for a few months. He was also able to win the match and now gets to continue his story with his rival Kenny Omega.
The future is very bright for this young company. They have legends to guide them along the way as well as young cornerstones of the company that AEW can build around for years to come. The names that stand out are Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, Jungle Boy, and MJF. The talent doesn’t stop there though. There are plenty of other young talents that are still building up their names, such as Lee Johnson, Top Flight, Anna Jay, Tay Conti, and several more.
At the start of year two, we saw another name starting to come into their own in AEW. That man was Brodie Lee. But he was taken from his family, friends, and fans far too soon at the end of December 2020. It was a very hard time for many and the grief still endures. Lee was becoming a big force in the company, even capturing the TNT Champion for a little while as well. But AEW put on a tribute show at the end of 2020 to remember him in addition to a celebration for him last week in his hometown. Never forget what he meant to those around him and this company. We will always remember!