October 2nd, 2019 was a special day in professional wrestling history. The debut of All Elite Wrestling took place on TNT. AEW was the first wresting company to air on the network since WCW went out of business in 2001. The debut show marked an immense success in ratings for the new company. To this very day, those ratings are still holding strong. The company is celebrating its anniversary tonight -- Wednesday, October 14th -- with a huge show.
Let's reflect on a year that featured several exciting moments and look forward to what's ahead.
Through AEW's first year on the air, there have been countless memories. The first Women's Champion was Riho, who won the title on the very first show against Nyla Rose. Those two competed in a second battle on February 12th, 2020, that would see the title change hands to Nyla Rose in a fantastic matchup. Over this time, we saw the ups and downs of the women's division as well. But in its current state, the division is trending upwards. On the Anniversary show, the AEW Women's World Championship is on the line in a matchup featuring Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Big Swole.
During this year, we also saw some new superstars in the making and several amazing debuts. In one single night, we saw the reveal of The Exalted One, Mr. Brodie Lee. Alongside that debut, the great Matt Hardy made his debut to assist his friends in the Elite. More recently, we welcomed Miro when he made his jump to the company. Through all of those amazing debuts, the company has also continued to build stars for the future of the industry with the likes of Darby Allin, Ricky Starks, Hangman Adam Page, Private Party, and many more. AEW seems to be in great hands going forward.
Do you love tag team wrestling? Well, AEW has assembled what could be the greatest roster of tag teams ever. Currently, the Champions are FTR, who recently won the titles from Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page at All Out.
Throughout the year, we have been spoiled with great tag team matchups. In just the second episode of Dynamite, we witnessed an early upset when Private Party defeated The Young Bucks in the Tag Team Tournament. Back on the July 8th special edition of Dynamite: Fyter Fest, we watched an amazing eight-man tag match that featured FTR teaming with The Young Bucks facing off against Lucha Bros and Butch & Blade.
We are currently on a slow burn to getting the long-awaited tag match between FTR and The Young Bucks. The most recent match that was an absolute hit was Best Friends vs. Santana and Ortiz in a Parking Lot Fight. That match had everything a wrestling fan would love. AEW is in a great spot in this industry thanks to this division.
The TNT Championship has only been held by two men, Cody and Brodie Lee. Cody, the first champion, held the title for 82 days and defended it on Dynamite nearly every week. During his first run, he helped bring in new talent and elevate others to higher statuses. That all came to a crashing halt on a special Saturday edition of Dynamite where Brodie Lee destroyed Cody and the rest of the Nightmare Family.
Five weeks after that beatdown, Cody returned to go after Brodie and the Dark Order. They set up a Dog Collar match that took place just last week with Cody defeating Brodie to regain his TNT Championship. Following that match, we saw Orange Cassidy come out to set up a match for this week. Thanks to Cody and AEW for being in the likes of Eddie Kingston, Ricky Starks, and Warhorse during Cody’s first run to give all of them some much-deserved TV time.
AEW World Championship
The first AEW World Champion was Chris Jericho, who just celebrated his 30th year in the industry. It was a great call by the company to have that big of a name holding the world title when the TV deal started, as it ushered in an adequate number of viewers for them.
Earlier this year on PPV, Jericho lost the belt to Jon Moxley. Since winning it, Moxley has fought the likes of Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, Brodie Lee, and Darby Allin. Those matches have only set him up for what is now his toughest match since joining the company -- a bout with Lance Archer. This match will be a brutal fight and neither man will give up. They have a history too, as they fought earlier this year in NJPW. This could finally be the time for Moxley to drop the belt and fulfill what Archer says, “Everybody Dies."
Over the last year, AEW Dynamite has brought back passion and love for the sport to so many wrestling fans. The flame was previously dying out from years of staleness. But heading into year two, what does this company have in store? We will find out some of that tonight when the AEW Dynamite One Year Anniversary Show gets underway at 7 PM central time on TNT.