Match of the Year is one of the biggest talking points in the industry. The Daily DDT staff took a crack at picking their favorite matches of 2020.
2020 was a wild year for wrestling, to say the least. We have had innovative methods to deal with wrestling being more or less sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the jump to the majority of wrestling shows having minimal crowds, if any at all, has been a jarring shift for many, there have been some standout performances and booking from the workers in the industry throughout the year.
And if wrestling fans are going to do anything, it’s to pick their favorite match of the year. From the most followed review blogs to the intimate friend groups, it just wouldn’t be wrestling if we didn’t look back to see what matches made our jaws drop in pure joy for them.
So, join me, Chris, Samantha, Patches & Bruce as we share our personal picks for what were our match of the year.
MOTY: Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. Young Bucks, AEW Revolution
It was really hard to choose a match, but I kept coming back to this one. I love tag team wrestling. I was spoiled by the fantastic bouts with the Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian, and the Dudley Boyz. This match was one of the best tag matches I’ve ever seen, maybe the best.
Page & Omega had just won the tag team titles on the Jericho Cruise. There was a huge riff between Page and the Bucks. Fans were questioning if Omega could trust his partner in their biggest match to date. Omega shook hands with his Elite brethren before the match got underway. Omega made Page let him start and when Page was tagged in, he went full force. The tension spilled over into the match quickly.
This match took place in front of a raucous sold-out crowd, who went nuts when Page was tagged in. A roaring “Cowboy S–t” chant followed the pop. When Matt extended his hand, Page greeted him by spitting in his face. Matt quickly began going after Hangman to the point that Omega tried to pull Matt off of him and was shoved into the turnbuckle. Nick got involved by this point and went after Page hard.
This match turned personal for all four by then. It was no longer just for the tag team titles. There were many memorable spots, including Page and Matt trading suplexes up the ramp, Page stopping the Indietaker by putting Nick through a table, and the Bucks paying tribute to former foes, the Motor City Machine Guns.
Of course, there were some false finishes. None bigger than Page using Omega’s One-Winged Angel on Matt. Nick broke it up and that incensed Page. The crowd was electric throughout the match, but this sent them over the edge. To pay Nick back, Page hit him with his patented buckshot lariat on the ramp. He immediately followed up with the same move to Matt, pinning him to retain the tag team titles.
After the match, Omega wanted to shake hands with the Bucks. Page left the ring and motioned for Omega to join him. He sat on the ropes, waiting to see if his partner would join him. He eventually did and they walked up the ramp together, with Page stopping to drink a fan’s beer.
Page, Omega, and the Bucks more than delivered with the storytelling that led up to the feud and the story within the squared circle. This is a match that will stand the test of time.
Honorable Mention: Cody vs. Mr. Brodie Lee, Dog Collar Match, Dynamite
This match is a MOTY contender. There were so many great matches this year, but this one stands out. At the time, this was a fantastic match. Now knowing that it was Brodie Lee’s final match before his untimely death, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Five weeks prior, Lee surprised the wrestling world when he beat Cody for the TNT Championship. Lee challenged him to a dog collar match, the first one in AEW history. The match had a big fight feel, especially with Greg “The Hammer” Valentine in the crowd (this match took place in a socially distant crowd and Valentine was alone in a sea of empty seats). Valentine is synonymous with dog collar matches and having him there was important.
The Nightmare Family accompanied the challenger to the ring, while “The Exalted One” was flanked by John Silver and Anna Jay. Silver attached the collar to Lee’s neck and was a constant presence early on. Cody attacked Silver twice (once by hitting him with the chain & knocking him from the turnbuckle and later putting him through a chair). Lee made Silver leave.
As with all dog collar matches, this one was particularly brutal. Cody was on top of the turnbuckle when Lee yanked him down. He also hit a DDT on Cody on the chain. By this point, Cody was bleeding and Lee grated the chain across his forehead and eyes. To add insult to injury, Lee gouged the laceration.
Cody gets some revenge by yanking the chain between Lee’s legs before dropping him with a Russian Leg Sweep. The match escalated when Cody pulled Lee down into the apron before hitting him with a tope suicida as soon as Lee was on the outside. Cody was on the crowd side of the barricade when Lee decided to pull the chain to make Cody slam into the barricade. He followed that up by yanking Cody over said barricade and made him crash to the ground.
A frustrated champion grabbed the time keeper’s table and placed it next to the ring. Before he could put him through the table, Lee found himself on the receiving end of a Cody Cutter on the outside. The pair dueled inside the ring for a bit before Lee went up top. That ended up being a mistake as “The American Nightmare” kicked him down to the apron before nailing a package piledriver onto the table.
The match got more and more intense and more aggressive the longer it went. Both men used the chain to their advantage, but never quite sealing the deal. Cody reversed a discus lariat, which caused both men to get caught in the chain. Cody wrapped the chain around Brodie’s face before hitting the Crossrhodes for the win and to become the TNT Champion.
Even knowing the result, I found myself mad about Lee losing all over again. I suspect I was more mad that it was his final match and he doesn’t get anymore title reigns. In his short seven months with AEW, Mr. Brodie Lee made a hell of an impression. This match would have always been looked back on as one of the best in Dynamite history. Knowing it was his last match ever makes it one of the most special.