AEW certainly had a memorable 2020, the year the company established its residency in Jacksonville.
It started with such amazing moments in front of very rowdy crowds. Then the world changed, and the young company found a way to adapt to Daily’s Place as a long-term home.
2020 was a year filled with shocking debuts, memorable title changes, and some unforgettable moments. Here is hoping AEW can have a strong 2021, and we can all see their events with big live crowds yet again.
As we still try to figure out why MJF is such a good singer, let's try to distract ourselves and present the five most surprising moments in AEW in 2020.
#5 The first "Pandemic Era" AEW show At Daily's Place
2020 has been the most challenging year for the world in at least a generation. AEW got the year off to a great start with a show on the Jericho Cruise and an excellent AEW Revolution pay-per-view in Chicago.
They had six months of loud and passionate AEW fans to start AEW Dynamite, but that all changed after their March 11 show in Salt Lake City. On March 18, 2020, the "Pandemic Era" shows at Daily’s Place began.
The first AEW Dynamite show is incredible in terms of how it was pulled off at the scary start of the pandemic. AEW filmed it in a nearly empty Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida.
The show started with Cody Rhodes stood in a darkened ring and cutting a great promo. The rest of the Elite arrived before it led to the lights being turned on by Kenny Omega, who explained they were here to entertain the television audience. It was a powerful beginning to a strange new normal.
The show was made less jarring thanks to some solid matches and other wrestlers being used as the show's live crowd. It is a model that has been copied by WWE and other organizations with live audiences.
AEW even pulled off two shocking debuts on this first show. The Dark Order had promised the debut of The Exalted One, and it was surprising to see Brodie Lee make his AEW debut in that role. The late, great Lee would have a tremendous impact on the Dark Order and several storylines for the rest of 2020.
The other debut was a very memorable introduction for “Broken” Matt Hardy. After the Inner Circle defeated the Elite in the main event, Matt Jackson introduced the Elite's newest member. First, we saw a drone land in the ring and cut to the arena's upper deck to provide a memorable debut for Hardy.
The number of surprises and show-changing moments in the first "Pandemic Era" show is quite remarkable.