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It was hard to not be nostalgic for AEW’s early days during Dynamite Homecoming

AEW’s YouTube

I never thought I’d look back fondly on much of anything from 2020. But when AEW returned to Daily’s Place, their pandemic era home in Jacksonville, Florida for Dynamite last night (Jan. 10), it was hard to not feel a little nostalgia for a simpler time in the promotion’s history.

Fans had an easily accessible, big time alternative to WWE for the first time in decades. There was some tribalism, but every comment section or Twitter thread about AEW didn’t devolve into fan warfare (in retrospect, it’s amazing the “Wednesday Night War” was as civil as it was). Dynamite wasn’t perfect, but it felt like a bunch of people who liked each other making a wrestling show they thought fans would like.

None of which is to say the current AEW product is bad... I’m sure someone will say that in the comments anyway, but I generally enjoy most of what they’re doing even if it doesn’t always come together as a cohesive television show. And I’m not here to analyze why it’s changed over the last couple years. That’s a much longer post, and while I could list the theories I don’t have any new insight or knowledge. There’s also reasons to believe AEW has brighter days ahead, and overall it’s definitely good for wrestling that the company exists.

I just miss when it was the little company that could without all the internal and external drama swirling around it. And seeing the show in Daily’s made me realize that, acutely.

Those feelings were amplified for the two eight-person matches booked for “Homecoming”, since they featured two young wrestlers who were mentored by someone we lost during AEW’s Jacksonville residency — the late, great Brodie Lee. They were set-up by the promotion’s latest excellent tribute video tribute for the Exalted One:

Preston Vance got the win for his makeshift team (Orange Cassidy, Adam Copeland & Dustin Rhodes), using Brodie’s discus lariat to get a pin on Bishop Kaun (teaming with his Gates of Agony partner Toa Liona, their Mogul Embassy teammate Brian Cage, and Lance Archer). Anna Jay made Skye Blue tap out to the Queen Slayer, leading her motley crew of Kris Statlander, Willow Nightingale & Thunder Rosa to victory over Blue, Julia Hart, Saraya & Ruby Soho.

It was nice. And it made me miss Brodie even more than the early days of AEW.

Let us know what you thought of AEW’s return to Daily’s Place in the comments below. And on your way down there, check out the rest of the highlights from last night’s Dynamite in the following playlist:

  • Hangman Page is looking for a fight & Claudio Castagnoli answers the call!
  • HUGE 8-man! Cassidy, Copeland, Vance, & Rhodes vs Mogul Embassy & Archer!
  • Who’s first for AEW World Champion Samoa Joe? Strickland, Adam Page or HOOK?
  • AEW Tag Champ Ricky Starks takes on fellow homegrown talent, Sammy Guevara!
  • 8-Woman Tag! Statlander, Nightingale, Jay & Rosa vs Saraya, Soho, Hart & Blue!
  • The Undisputed Kingdom make a statement in Daily’s Place!
  • Sting & Darby Allin return to Daily’s Place to take on the Callis Family!
  • Two red-hot stars face off! Swerve Strickland vs Daniel Garcia!

For complete results from Dynamite click here. To read a recap & review of all the night’s events click here.

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