Like it or loathe it, wrestling is cool again. Owned by billionaire Vince McMahon – WWE is the most popular wrestling company out there by a long way. But there’s a new, upstart promotion financed by another billionaire and owner of NFL and Premier League teams by the name of Shahid Khan. Along with his son, Tony Kahn and independent wrestlers Cody, Kenny Omega, Matt and Nick Jackson they’ve created AEW.
Their first unofficial show sold out over 10 000 tickets in under 30 minutes with promotion exclusively using social media and YouTube. Since then, they’ve put on three events, signed two of the biggest free agents on the wrestling scene and inked a deal with TNT in the US for a live, weekly TV show starting in October. So here’s the top 5 moments from their first three shows.
Darby Allin Coffin Drop – Fyter Fest
Darby Allin is a less well known signing for AEW but he has proved his worth in spades with his debut match against Cody. Bumping around the ring like a madman and throwing caution to the wind with his selling and offence.
This moment in particular looked absolutely brutal and was swiftly followed by Darby being zipped into a body bag and taking a Beautiful Disaster kick from Cody.
Darby Allin is definately one-to-watch…
flipping piledriver on the ring apron – double or nothing
The Young Bucks and The Lucha Bros are simply real-life video game characters. They are the most athletic wrestlers in AEW and their match against each other at Double or Nothing proved it.
It was a match filled with epic moments, but my personal favourite was this insane flipping piledriver on the ring apron. It was a blink and you’ll miss it moment but once you’ve seen it you’ll want to watch it again and again.
chris jericho attacks kenny omega
First things first, All In wasn’t technically an AEW event. It is best described as ‘A Love Letter To Pro Wrestling’. Featuring an unparalleled amount of collaboration between some of the best wrestling companies that aren’t WWE, the now EVP’s of AEW put together the closest to a perfect wrestling show you will ever see.
You know this is a big deal and there is a change coming when Jericho pulls a classic bait-and-switch with Pentagon and attacks Kenny Omega. Listen to the crowd reaction when they realise it’s Jericho and then again when he takes off the mask. This was truly the moment, for me, that you knew this wouldn’t be a one-off.
joey janela elbow drop – fyter fest
Joey Janela, certified lunatic and death match specialist. Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose, former death match specialist and very recent WWE escapee put together one of the craziest and most entertaining unsanctioned matches in recent history.
The elbow from the ladder is a personal favourite but there were a number of others I could list… Thumbtack bumps (including Moxley suplexing Janela feet first onto the thumb tacks!) Multiple maneuvers through barbed wire boards and a bit of post match retribution from Kenny Omega.
jon moxley debuts
The first show needed a big moment, and in a show filled with big moments and highlights AEW delivered. After a shock win for Chris Jericho over Kenny Omega the former Dean Ambrose debuted to a surprised, rabid audience.
Moxley then spent a few minutes assaulting wrestlers and referees alike. Ending the first show standing tall was a stroke of genius and sent everyone away with unmatched levels of anticipation fr the next event.