Tony Khan is a soundbite machine. Part of that is being so open about business in AEW, and part of that is sharing perspectives as a fan at heart. When he partakes in interviews, it is always interesting to listen. Khan’s chat with Robbie Fox on My Mom’s Basement was no different as he revealed his favorite match, favorite moment, and breakout performer from AEW in 2021.
For favorite match of the year on TV and PPV, Khan picked Dr. Britt Baker DMD versus Thunder Rosa in Lights Out and the Young Bucks versus the Lucha Bros inside a steel cage.
I played a little 'Year End Awards' game with @TonyKhan and got his picks for some big categories....— Robbie Fox (@RobbieBarstool) December 9, 2021
Tony's Match(es) of the Year:
-Britt Baker vs Thunder Rosa; Lights Out (TV)
-Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros; Steel Cage (PPV) pic.twitter.com/BDq5oJsp7g
Both are excellent selections. If Baker and Thunder Rosa end up becoming legends, then the Lights Out bout would likely be the kick-off point to making them superstars.
AEW has had so many stellar matches this year that there could probably be 20 or so contenders. We can’t let Khan have all the fun. My personal choice for favorite match is Shaquille O’Neal & Jade Cargill versus Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet. They did Shaq right with the perfect treatment as a giant special attraction.
For moment of the year on TV and PPV, Khan chose CM Punk’s arrival to AEW and the All Out surprises of Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson.
Tony's Moment(s) of the Year:— Robbie Fox (@RobbieBarstool) December 9, 2021
-CM Punk returns to wrestling at The First Dance (TV)
-Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson debut at All Out (PPV) pic.twitter.com/OOlxXnwLch
Punk and Danielson were indeed game-changers for AEW. They shed the identity of the ‘little engine that could’ and became major players as a top-tier destination.
My pick for moment of the year is tied to a match outcome. The pay-off to finally see Hangman Page win the AEW World Championship was memorable. That story had been playing out since the inception of AEW, and so many fans were hooked along for the ride. Page suffered through trials and tribulations. That’s what made reaching the top so satisfying.
For breakout performer, Khan went with the person who I assume does his dental work. Dr. Baker earned the nod. Khan also mentioned the Four Pillars of Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, MJF, and Jungle Boy.
Tony's Breakout Performer of the Year: @RealBrittBaker— Robbie Fox (@RobbieBarstool) December 9, 2021
-Honorable mentions: MJF, Jungle Boy, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara pic.twitter.com/gtmHfU64vB
That group of five was being positioned for stardom during 2020, and they went five for five in achieving success. That’s a testament to the environment of growth in AEW.
Dante Martin is my choice as the winner. He came out of nowhere to turn heads with Darius in Top Flight. It would have been easy to shut down when his brother was out with an injury. Instead, Martin doubled down with excellence to earn prime spots on TV with his own storyline.
In a bonus question from a fan, Khan also listed his three favorite finishers. He went with Sting’s Scorpion Deathlock, Macho Man’s flying elbow drop, and the spike piledriver from Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson. That is good taste right there.
What are your picks for favorite match, favorite moment, and breakout performer in AEW during 2021?