ViRTUE's RAGE: Best AEW Debuts in 2020
Submitted by Virtue on 09/13/2020 at 02:20 PM

September 13, 2020

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue


There have been several notable debuts in AEW so far in 2020 with the likes of Matt Cardona, Matt Hardy, Brodie Lee, Miro, Brian Cage, FTR, Eddie Kingston, Matt Sydal, and Thunder Rosa. With that said, I am going to list my top five debuts in AEW this year. Just because someone did not make the list does not mean their debut was underwhelming or bad, I just feel the ones I have selected are what stood out to me the most. Unfortunately, we may never see good ‘ol CM Punk ever come back to wrestling or a huge name like Brock Lesnar shocking the world and landing in AEW. Nonetheless, it is what it is and we have who we have.

5) Brian Cage made his debut in AEW at Double or Nothing in May with Tazz as his manager/advisor. He was a surprise entrant in the Casino Ladder Match in which he went on to win and earn a shot at the AEW World Championship. Coming into the company with Tazz by his side and winning a title opportunity like this was obviously an impressive debut for Cage, even if the finish to the eventual match against Moxley was a bit baffling by Tazz throwing in the towel for him. Cage not only fits the bill of what a potential main event star should look like in terms of his build, but he can also work both a power style and a lucha libre style in a match. We all know the diehard AEW fans love their lucha libre sequences. We will have to wait and see if Cage ever becomes a major player in the AEW main event scene, but he checks most of the boxes to have that opportunity at some point.

4) Matt Hardy made his official debut in AEW on an episode of Dynamite in March as the Broken Matt Hardy character. As the show was nearing its end, Hardy’s drone (Vanguard 1) flew down and landed in the ring with the Elite. The camera then panned up to the upper deck and zoomed in on Hardy who ended the show while chanting “delete” at Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. It’s no secret I have been a fan of Hardy’s Broken Universe gimmick since its inception in TNA. I will admit that is also where it peaked because it was obvious since WWE and Vince McMahon did not come up with the idea, it was never going to properly see the light of day there. Although initially intriguing in AEW, the absence of fans because of the pandemic ultimately shortened what it could have been there. Some people have argued with me that this type of stuff has no business in pro wrestling. However, WWE gave us the power of the urn with Paul Bearer and the Undertaker and eventually the Kane storyline, which was a smash hit back in the day. At his age, Matt Hardy is much safer working the Broken Universe gimmick than trying to hang with the crazy match style AEW typically consists of. Recent injury concerns with Hardy checkmates my point. Nonetheless, Hardy’s AEW debut was pretty darn solid.

3) Brodie Lee made his debut in AEW on the same episode of Dynamite in March as Matt Hardy did. When most people thought Hardy would end up being revealed as the Dark Order’s Exalted One, surprise, it ended up being Brodie. In my opinion, it took something like this to finally make the Dark Order seem legit rather than some hokey mid-card jobber faction. Some people still cringe at this group, which I will admit that for the longest time I did, too. That is until Brodie showed up and took the reigns as the Exalted One. I have always been high on him since his days with the Wyatt Family as Luke Harper in WWE. Why should that change because he is now in AEW as the leader of the Dark Order? It shouldn’t. Brodie would eventually get a shot at Moxley and the AEW World Championship, but he ended up losing the match at Double or Nothing. However, given a little more time, Brodie would end up getting booked strong and went over Cody convincingly to become the new TNT Champion. Whether you like the Dark Order or not, Brodie has at least made them more relevant since his arrival.

2) FTR made their AEW debut on an episode of Dynamite in late May when they drove their truck into the arena and shockingly did not attack the Young Bucks but rather saved them from being attacked by the Butcher and the Blade. Obviously, this was a stall tactic to make the fans want the Young Bucks Vs FTR match even more. AEW is clearly focusing on tag team wrestling in 2020, which is evident by how many tag teams they have on the roster. This is something WWE has done poorly for the better part of this century and AEW wants to show they can fill that void for the fans. It also did not take long for FTR to become the AEW Tag Team Champions, which they just recently did at All Out by defeating Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page. Now with Chris Jericho recently declaring he and Jake Hager are teaming up to be in the tag division and the obvious feud that will eventually happen with FTR and the Young Bucks, AEW has more than stabilized tag team wrestling for this generation. If they want to be known for great tag team wrestling, they are going in the right direction.

1) Miro just recently made his AEW debut on last week’s Dynamite when he was announced as Kip Sabian’s “Best Man”. Kip Sabian? Who? Perhaps Miro will help with making more people care about Sabian. It’s great to see Miro on a pro wrestling TV show outside of WWE, who poorly booked him over the years. To this day, I believe Vince McMahon failed twice on allowing “Rusev” to be a top guy, once after his loss to John Cena at WrestleMania 31, and the other time when WWE did not capitalize on Rusev Day like they should have. Unfortunately, I predicted that WWE would find a way to squash Rusev Day, and they did. Now that Miro is in AEW, which is obviously the best place for him to be not named WWE because of better exposure by being on TNT, the sky is the limit. Let’s just hope all those EVP’s of AEW do not politic their way into convincing Tony Khan not to make a huge deal out of Miro. Like I said on Twitter, I hope the M in Miro does not stand for mid-card. He’s a star and should eventually make his way to the top of the AEW totem pole. It was good to see Dynamite finally get over 1 million viewers last week, albeit unopposed. Now let’s see if they can sustain the momentum and utilize all their new talent acquired in 2020 to their max potentials.

I am curious as to what the NoDQ Galaxy thinks of this list and the order it is in. Reach out to me on Twitter or in the comments section below whether you agree or disagree with me. Whose AEW debut do you think has been the best so far in 2020? Also, who do you wish to one day see in AEW?

Thanks for reading Virtue’s Rage and I WILL BE BACK…

Twitter: @NoDQ_Virtue

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