Continuing on with handing out well-deserved awards for wrestling in 2022, it’s now time to look at the best of AEW this year.
2022 has been sort of a rebuilding year for AEW, in large part due to behind-the-scenes drama and inconsistency in creative.
Without further ado, here are my official 2022 AEW Awards!
The Winner: Jon Moxley. Despite MJF always stealing the spotlight whenever he’s on TV, Moxley has held down the fort for AEW all year. He not only won the AEW World Championship two more times (three-time champion overall), but he bailed the company out in many situations where it seemed like creative was desperate for someone to help hold everything together. He also had fun and competitive matches with the likes of Danielson, Punk, MJF, and even had stellar matches with AEW’s up and coming stars in Konosuke Takeshita and Wheeler Yuta. 2022 will go very much go down as Moxley’s best wrestling year in his entire career (WWE included).
The Winner: Jade Cargill. Cargill asserted her dominance over the AEW women’s division once again. She became is the current and inaugural AEW TBS Champion, capturing that gold in the beginning of the year, and also has kept her undefeated streak still intact. Cargill’s biggest issue has always been if she can cut it in the ring. And yes, whilst she is still green in that department, she has continued to show massive improvement and seems to be getting better with each match. It is expected that Cargill will continue to have a great AEW career in 2023, with hopefully the AEW Women’s World Championship finally becoming a reality.
Despite Cargill continuing to show improvement, and be entertaining in her own way, Jon Moxley clearly was Mr. 2022 for AEW. Since making his debut to AEW in 2019, Moxley has continued to raise the bar, putting out bangers, great promos, showing leadership in the locker room, and becoming AEW’s most reliable hand in the main event scene.
The Winner: FTR. This was difficult, as The Acclaimed have had an exciting year as well, but despite not winning the AEW World Tag Team Championship this year, FTR dominated the tag team scene across the globe. Becoming ROH World Tag Team Champions, IWGP Tag Team Champions, and AAA World Tag Team Champions. FTR had awesome matches with The Young Bucks, United Empire, The Acclaimed, among others, and became even more of a crowd favorite. FTR continue to keep tag team wrestling relevant and are continuing to build their legacy as one of the best tandems to ever do it.
The Winner: Wheeler Yuta. Another difficult award to hand out, but Yuta has definitely emerged as a face to look at for years to come. His matches with Moxley and Danielson proved he has what it takes to go up against the best, and has continued to upgrade his character work, by being part of the Blackpool Combat Club. He is a young guy as well, only 26 years old. The future is bright for the young up-and-comer.
The Winner: CM Punk vs. MJF at Revolution. The overall story of this match helped give this match the victory here. Not only was the build leading up to this epic encounter great and worthwhile, but the storytelling continued to be a major factor throughout the match. This was simply a bloody masterpiece. Hard-hitting spots, an electric crowd, and the dog collar stipulation proved to not be a distraction, but rather a fun and effective addition in the grand scheme of things.
The Winner: CM Punk vs. MJF. This was essentially the MJF category. Everything MJF touches is gold. This was also another very tough decision, but at the end of the day, the feud between MJF and Punk is still as memorable ever, impressive due to this rivalry being built in the early part of 2022. As previously mentioned, the storytelling was absolutely incredible. It was hard to look away whenever these two men entered our screens. MJF digging up his old childhood memories, looking up to Punk, him gaslighting Punk into thinking he’s the bad guy. This was A+ television.
The Winner: Konosuke Takeshita. This pick may come as a surprise, but here me out. We all knew just how good Samoa Joe and Toni Storm were, they always showed they had potential in WWE. Swerve in Our Glory has been a fun tag team and they’ve had a solid storyline for most of 2022… but we knew how good Swerve and Lee were. And Saraya, she just came back and is still rusty after not wrestling since 2017. As for Takeshita, he has impressed the hell out of me. Takeshita was a new name for me to watch go out there and perform, and man did he. He had great matches with the likes of Adam Page and Claudio Castagnoli and has shown that he can handle his own in the ring. Also, he’s still only 27! Takeshita may be primed for a good run in AEW for 2023.
The Winner: Post-event media scrum after All Out. This was obviously. Despite there being some really good and interesting moments in 2022, the infamous media scrum takes the cake. The media scrum dominated the wrestling news cycle for months on end…and still is. Punk’s harsh words towards Colt Cabana and The Elite sparked a reportedly intense brawl between Punk, The Elite, Ace Steel, maybe even a dog too. Punk was forced to vacate his newly won AEW World Championship and has also seemingly been fired from the company. It also resulted in The Elite relinquishing the inaugural AEW Trios Championship, and being suspended indefinitely, until making their grand in-ring return at Full Gear. This was the lowest point for AEW as a company, and a low point for wrestling in general. Thankfully, AEW has bounced back and got back on track since then, but we are still hearing the aftermath of this shocking media scrum.
There you have it folks! Who do you think had a great 2022 for AEW? Agree or disagree, leave a comment down below!