October 2nd 2019 was a monumental day in wrestling history. It was the debut of AEW Dynamite, with the first episode drawing over 1.4 million viewers.
It was an instant hit. Fans clamoured to see more of their old favourite wrestlers from WWE like Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley duke it out with the likes of Kenny Omega, Darby Allin and Orange Cassidy.
The company had run four events prior to the start of their weekly television show.
First was Double or Nothing, the inaugural AEW show which features one of their best matches to this day, when Cody Rhodes wrestled Dustin Rhodes in a brother-vs-brother clash.
Next came Fyter Fest, a parody of the doomed Fyre Fest festival. It was main event by an excellent Jon Moxley vs Joey Janela unsanctioned match, and also featured Cody Rhodes going to a time limit draw with up-and-comer Darby Allin.
Fight for the Fallen was the next event. It was a free event, made to raise money for charities supporting veterans in the US. It had a full card, but was main event by a great match between the Young Bucks vs Cody & Dustin Rhodes.
Finally, All Out 2019 was the last show before AEW Dynamite was born. It crowned the first ever AEW Champion, when Chris Jericho defeated Hangman Adam Page in the main event.
Then came the first episode of AEW Dynamite.
First Ever AEW Dynamite Episode
Cody Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara
The first match in the history of AEW Dynamite features two men who would go on to be huge parts of the company.
Cody Rhodes already was. He was part of The Elite, which helped Tony Khan to form the promotion and was even named after them. He would be one of the biggest stars in AEW, but would be kept away from the AEW Championship due to a self impose banishment from challenging for the belt.
Sammy Guevara was a young up-and-coming young star looking to make his name as part of AEW. He had made appearances in major indies in America, as well as working for Lucha Underground and AAA in Mexico. He was one of the young stars to watch in AEW.
Cody Rhodes would win a great first match. He kept Guevara looking strong, winning by roll-up after the “Spanish God” missed a shooting star press.
Cody would continue being a big part of AEW. He faced Chris Jericho for the AEW Championship at Full Gear 2019. Before the match, he revealed to the fans the stipulation that if he lost, he would never challenge for the AEW World Championship again.
He lost the match due to MJF, who was part of his team at the time, threw in the towel before low-blowing Cody, costing him the match and any chance at ever winning the championship.
Cody would lose the feud with MJF at AEW Revolution, and move on to a number of feuds over his AEW career. He became the first man to win the TNT Championship, beating Lance Archer in the tournament finals at AEW Double or Nothing 2020.
He would lose (and regain) the TNT Championship from Mr Brodie Lee, being the former Luke Harper’s last match before his untimely passing. He eventually lost the championship for good to Darby Allin.
Rhodes would move onto feuds with a wide range of people. He would face an eclectic mix of talent, including basketballer Shaq, boxer-turned-wrestler Anthony Ogogo, and alleged wrestler QT Marshall. Fans began to tire of Cody, with many urging him to turn heel, something he refused.
Cody Rhodes has feuded most recently with Malakai Black. He faced the former Alaistar Black three times, winning once. He also teamed with PAC at AEW Double or Nothing 2021, taking on Black and Andrade El Idolo, in a victorious effort.
Cody Rhodes left AEW in 2022, joining WWE. He made his debut at Wrestlemania, beating Seth Rollins in the best match of the night.
Sammy Guevara may have lost on the first AEW Dynamite, but he came out the winner by the end of the show. He joined up with AEW Champion Chris Jericho, Jake Hager and Santana & Ortiz to form the faction “The Inner Circle”.
Throughout the rest of 2019 and 2020, they were the top faction in the company. They helped Jericho keep his AEW Championship until he was defeated by Jon Moxley at AEW Revolution 2020.
Guevara remained with the Inner Circle throughout his AEW run, although did face some time off. He faced suspension in June 2020, when a clip was discovered from an interview where he said he wanted to “rape” WWE star Sasha Banks. He missed weeks of television, but returned once he undergone sensitivity training.
Matt Hardy Feud
In mid 2020, he entered into a disastrous feud with Matt Hardy. They faced each other many times, with a number of botches that caused injury to Matt Hardy.
In one brawl, Guevara threw a chair at Hardy whilst prone on a table. The heavy chair hit Hardy in the skull, causing huge amounts of bleeding.
Later on at their match at All Out 2020, Sammy would spear Hardy off of a forklift truck. The pair attempted to fall through a table placed below, but it wasn’t properly position, and Hardy smashed the back of his head on the concrete below.
Even more erroneously, the referee Aubrey Edwards let the match continue, even though Matt Hardy was clearly concussed.
However, soon the Inner Circle would turn face, and feud with MJF’s new faction. The Inner Circle, with Sammy, would win the feud, and he would go on a singles run for the first time since AEW Dynamite began.
Shortly after, he would defeat Miro to become the fifth man to hold the TNT Championship. He would then join the Inner Circle to take on Dan Lambert, American Top Team and the Men of the Year at AEW Full Gear 2021.
Sammy came a long way since the first episode of AEW Dynamite. He started of as a generic babyface who nobody really knew, and know how is one of the most exciting wrestlers in AEW, with fans clamouring to see him wrestle every week
Maxwell Jacob Freidman vs Brandon Cutler
The second match on the first AEW Dynamite was a much shorter affaird.
MJF was one of the young stars AEW were going to introduce to the world. He had never had national television spotlight before, and Cody Rhodes in particular wanted to introduce him to the world.
He joined Cody’s “Nightmare Family” early on in AEW, aligning himself with who he called “The Roller-Codester”. However, fans could see through his false niceties, and knew he would one day turn on Cody.
In this match, he took on Brandon Cutler. Cutler was a life long friend of the Young Bucks, wrestling for them in their backyard promotion from when they were children ( All detailed in the Young Bucks book “Killing the Business”).
This match wasn’t much, and was simply used a vehicle to introduce Maxwell Jacob Freidman, or MJF, to the world. He cut a promo on the crowd before the match, calling them fat losers to a chorus of boos, before beating Cutler in no time.
Maxwell Jacob Freidman, more commonly known as MJF, has established himself as one of the top heels in the company since the first episode of Dynamite.
He had wrestled sparsely, being protected from losses and being one of the most winningest wrestlers in the whole company. His losses are few and far between, and have only been to a handful of top stars.
It’s his promos that set MJF apart from other young stars in AEW. He is not just the shocking, line-edging lines that some purport him to be.
For me, he is one of the best promos in wrestling. His delivery is impeccable, and he can run on with a wide range of intricate and entertaining promos without even breaking a sweat. A good example is his scathing promo on Cody Rhodes after AEW Full Gear 2019.
Full Gear was the site where MJF finally betrayed his so-called friend Cody Rhodes, costing him the match against Chris Jericho.
MJF threw in the towel for Cody Rhodes during his World Championship match. Because of the loss, Cody could never challenge for the AEW World Championship ever again.
After the match, MJF hit Cody with a kick in the nuts, betraying his friend and fully cementing himself as a top heel in AEW.
He beat Cody in their match at AEW Revolution 2020, before moving on to a feud with Jungle Boy. He beat Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing that year, leaving him undefeated in singles competition and at the top of the AEW Rankings.
AEW Championship and forming the Pinnacle
He began his campaign to face Jon Moxley at All Out in the summer of 2020. He began a political campaign “MJF 2020”, angling for a match against who he called “Dictator Jon”.
MJF accused Jon Moxley of holding him down and not being a good a wrestler as he was. It gave him the opportunity to really flex his promo ability, and it finally gave him a main event program to show the world just how good he was.
He would lose to Moxley, but it was not a clean loss. He would go on to feud with Chris Jericho, joining the Inner Circle before betraying them to form his own faction – the Inner Circle.
MJF most recently fought with Darby Allin at AEW Full Gear. He opened the show in a match against Darby Allin, a fellow member of the “Four Pillars” of AEW.
With his victory over Allin, MJF is surely poised for an AEW Championship run. With his incredible winning streak, it’s only a matter of time before he is awarded a title shot against AEW Champion Hangman Adam Page.
He looked set to have a match with CM Punk in the near future, set up on AEW Dynamite.
Cutler was brought in to AEW mainly to work behind the scenes, and in an in-ring standpoint never progressed passed being a jobber.
He did have a feud on AEW Dark with Peter Avalon, with both men trying to get their first win in AEW, with Cutler eventually beating Avalon.
However, when the Elite turned heel in late 2020, he joined the team. He already filmed and edited Being the Elite, the AEW YouTube show, and incorporated that into his character.
He started to bring a camera to the ring, filming the matches from his own perspective and getting angles that the TV cameras never could.
Cutler has progressed to being the main lackey for Elite, which includes the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Adam Cole and Don Callis.
Cutler has taken on the role of the “trainer” of the group, humorously carrying a bottle of cooling spray with him to matches. Any chance he gets, he sprays the spray on the Elite, making it seem like he’s helping when really he isn’t.
That is where he remains, mainly as the comic relief and punching back for the Elite. He also films and edits Being the Elite, which he recently commented on in a twitter post.
Hangman Adam Page vs PAC
This match between PAC and Adam Page was meant to take place at the first Double or Nothing event. However, due to creative difference, the match was cancelled.
Instead, they went to a double count out at an independent show, and the rematch was set for the AEW Dynamite.
Adam Page had just come of the back of defeat to Chris Jericho. He lost at All Out to Chris Jericho, with Y2J becoming the first AEW Champion as a result. Due to this, AEW were happy to have him lose to PAC in AEW, which was the issue with their match Double or Nothing.
PAC had left WWE the year prior, and had gone on a great run as the Open the Dream Gate Champion in Dragon Gate.
As their champion, they did not want PAC to lose on his debut in AEW whilst holding their top belt. This caused AEW to cancel the match, not wanting to upset PAC nor Dragon Gate.
However, by the first episode of Dynamite, PAC had dropped the championship to Ben-K, and thus was able to lose to anyone AEW wanted.
By this time, Adam Page had already lost to Chris Jericho at All Out, so the decision was made to have PAC be the victor in this bout.
The story of Hangman Adam Page is the story of All Elite Wrestling itself. His story has been interwoven into the very fabric of AEW, and ever since the first episode of AEW Dynamite, he has been the focal point of the show in one way or another.
After his loss to PAC, Page kept himself aligned with The Elite, and formed an “odd-couple” tag team with Kenny Omega.
Despite both men being part of The Elite in AEW, they found it hard to work together. They suffered losses against teams like The Lucha Bros and the Inner Circle, but soon found their rhythm as a duo.
Adam Page and Kenny Omega won the AEW Tag Team Championships from SCU, the team comprised of Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky. They won the belts on the Jericho Cruise edition of AEW Dynamite.
After their victory, Page and Omega entered into a feud with the Young Bucks over the championships.
At this point, the tension between Page and the Elite had grown. Page thought the Bucks were trying to take away his biggest accomplishment, and trying to take his friend Kenny Omega away. The Young Bucks thought he was ungrateful, and throwing their attempts at friendship back in his face.
It all came to a head at AEW Revolution, where the two teams faced off in one of the best AEW matches in the companies history. After a 30 minute epic, Adam Page picked up the victory, but the tension persisted.
Omega would eventually turn on Page, sick of his anxiety towards their friendship. After he cost the Young Bucks a shot at their tag titles, they would lose the belts to FTR at All Out 2020. Omega would leave Page alone in the ring, abandoning him as a friend.
AEW Championship & the Dark Order
Page would soon be courted by the Dark Order. He rejected their advances to join their group, but was shocked to discover that they just wanted to be his friend.
Still burned by his experience with the Elite, he distanced himself from the Dark Order. However rather than confront him and force him to stay with them, the Dark Order gave him the space he needed, and helped him realise that they were his true friends.
Page lost in the finals of the AEW Eliminator tournament to his former tag team partner Kenny Omega. Omega would win the AEW Championship at AEW Winter is Coming later that year, holding the belt for nearly an entire year.
Page would win the Casino Ladder Match in the summer of 2021 and earn himself a shot at Omega’s championship at AEW Full Gear.
At Full Gear, Page defeated Omega to completed his arch and become the fourth ever AEW Champion. It was awarded 5.5 stars by Dave Meltzer and was one of Adam Page’s best matches in AEW.
The Bastard PAC had a tricky time in AEW since his debut. His first match against Adam Page was delayed due to creative difference, and was rescheduled for the first episode of AEW Dynamite.
He started strong in AEW. Wins over Kenny Omega and Adam Page catapulted him to high in the rankings, although he never earned himself an AEW Championship opportunity until Double or Nothing 2021.
He joined forced with the Lucha Bros in 2020, who helped him beat Orange Cassidy at AEW Revolution 2020. The match was one of the Orange Cassidy’s best matches, and ranks high on Cagematch as the best in AEW history.
However soon after the pandemic hit. PAC, a Newcastle native, was stuck in the UK with no means of travel. He could not perform on AEW Dynamite, and his teammates the Lucha Bros instead joined forces with Eddie Kingston and the Butcher & the Blade.
PAC would spend 8 months stuck at home, before returning to television in November 2020. He would feud with, and defeat, Eddie Kingston at New Years Smash.
He and Death Triangle teammate Rey Fenix would win the first ever tag team Casino Battle Royal at AEW Revolution 2021. They faced of with the then-champions The Young Bucks soon after on AEW Dynamite, in a losing effort.
PAC would get his first shot at the AEW Championship at Double or Nothing that year. He faced Orange Cassidy on Dynamite in a number one contenders match, with the winner facing Kenny Omega at the pay per view.
However, a powerbomb from PAC gave Cassidy a concussion, causing the match to be abandoned. Kenny Omega attacked PAC after the match, before the match for Double or Nothing was announced as a triple threat match.
In a brilliant match, Omega would steal a victory of Cassidy, and retain the championship. That was the last big match PAC was involved in, being put on the back burner a bit since then with all the big signings from AEW.
Despite the additions of CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and Adam Cole, he did manage to get a spot on the Full Gear show. He teamed with Cody Rhodes to achieve victory against Malakai Black and Andrade El Idolo.
AEW Women’s Championship Match – Riho vs Nyla Rose
The first AEW Women’s Champion was decided very much in the same way as the AEW World Champions. Riho defeated fellow Japanese star Hikaru Shida to earn a match for the championship, whilst Nyle Rose won the first ever Women’s Casino Battle Royale.
Their match for the Championship was set for the first episode of AEW Dynamite. Riho impressed in victory, but questions were raised about Nyla Rose.
She looked out of her depth, and sloppy in the rings. Fans turned on her quickly, but it would not be the last we saw of Nyla Rose in AEW.
Riho defeated Nyla Rose on the first episode of AEW Dynamite to become the first AEW Women’s Champion. In this role, she became one of the biggest draws for AEW.
Her segments were continually some of the highest in the whole show, as she proved that women could draw in AEW.
Sadly, her reign was cut short by the very woman she beat to win the championship. Nyla Rose won their rematch in February 2020 to win the AEW Women’s Championship, which Riho had held since AEW Dynamite’s first episode.
However, between that match was the disastrous title defence against Kris Statlander. The two women actually began with a great, well paced match.
However, it soon descended into anarchy, with the awful Brandi Rhodes-led faction, “The Nightmare Collective” running and ruining the match. It was one of the worst moments in AEW history.
Since losing the championship, Riho has done very little in AEW. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been stranded in Japan for the vast majority of the time, and has done very little since the pandemic ended in AEW.
For one of the biggest draws early on in AEW, it is sad to see such a talent not getting enough of the spotlight. She did face Serena Deeb in a brilliant match for the NWA Women’s Championship, but sadly came up short in that match.
Nyla Rose is a real turnaround for AEW. In the early days of AEW, people thought she was poor in the ring and looked sloppy with her opponents.
However, over the last 2 and half years, she has proved everybody wrong. She defeated Riho in February 2020 to become the second ever women’s champion. She held the title for a number of months, finally losing it to Hikaru Shida at Double or Nothing 2020.
Soon after she would paired with Vickie Guerrero, but that duo would be kept of television for months, with very little explanation.
She wrestled mainly on AEW Dark, but did manage to work her way up the rankings. She had title matches against Hikaru Shida and Britt Baker, both in losing efforts.
Nyla Rose also has one of the best twitter accounts out of all the AEW roster.
The Elite (Kenny Omega & the Young Bucks) vs Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz
The first episode of AEW Dynamite had a huge main event to compliment a brilliant show. It featured the new AEW Champion Chris Jericho teaming with AEW’s newest signing – Santana and Ortiz. They debuted at All Out weeks prior, attacking both the Young Bucks and the Lucha Brothers.
Here, they aligned themselves with Jericho as he took on The Elite – Kenny Omega and the aforementioned Young Bucks. The Elite had formed in New Japan in the famous Bullet Club, but went out on their own to form AEW with Tony Khan.
Kenny Omega has been one of the biggest stars in AEW since the company began. After this match on the first episode of Dynamite, he went on to form a tag team with fellow Elite member Hangman Adam Page.
Together they became the second ever AEW Tag Team Champions, defeating SCU on the Jericho Cruise. They held the championships until All Out 2020, where they lost the belts to FTR.
After the loss, Kenny Omega left Adam Page sprawled in the ring, refusing to help him up. He walked out on him, signalling the end of their friendship and the end of Adam Page’s time in the Elite.
Omega would turn heel along with the Young Bucks. He would then defeat Hangman Page at AEW Full Gear to become the number contender for the AEW Championship, while the Young Bucks beat FTR for the AEW Tag Team Championships.
Kenny Omega became the third ever AEW Champion when he defeated Jon Moxley at AEW Winter is coming. His victory came from the interference from Don Callis, his long time friend and new manager in AEW. Callis helped him retain his title at AEW Revolution, beating Jon Moxley in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match.
He held onto the title until November that year. He defended the championship against a wide range of opponents. This included PAC, Orange Cassidy, Christian Cage, Rey Fenix, Jungle Boy and Rich Swann.
He finally lost the championship in a brilliant match against Hangman Adam Page at AEW Full Gear 2021.
The Young Bucks
The Young Bucks are one of the best tag teams in the world, but had a tough time at the start of AEW. They suffered a shock loss in the first round of the AEW Tag Team Title tournament, losing to Private Party in a brilliant opening match.
They had a number of high profile tag team matches, but wouldn’t challenge for the AEW Tag Team Championship until Revolution 2020.
At Revolution, they faced off with Adam Page and Kenny Omega, who were the tag team champions at the time. Page and Omega won the match, which turned out to be one of the best tag team matches of all time.
They continued feuding with Page and Omega, with Page costing them a tag team title shot in a match against FTR. They would defeat FTR at Full Gear 2020 to win their first tag team championship in AEW.
Along with Omega, they turned of Adam Page and became full on heels. They would finally lose the AEW Tag Team Championships to Lucha Bros at All Out 2021, in an incredible cage match.
Jericho was the first AEW Champion, and formed the Inner Circle on the first episode of AEW Dynamite.
He would lose the AEW Championship to Jon Moxley at AEW Revolution, and start a feud with the Elite.
The feud would end during the Stadium Stampede match at AEW Double or Nothing 2020, where the Elite defeated the Inner Circle.
Jericho entered into feuds with the likes of Orange Cassidy and MJF next. However, he would never again challenge for the AEW Championship.
He most recently feuded with the Men of the Year and American Top Team, winning a 5 on 5 match at Full Gear 2020.
Santana & Ortiz
Santana and Ortiz joined the Inner Circle on the first episode of AEW Dynamite.
They had a number of great matches against the likes of the Young Bucks and FTR.
They have yet to win the AEW Tag Team Championships, but did have a five star match. Best Friends vs Santana and Ortiz in a street fight was awarded five stars by Dave Meltzer.