Welcome as we look at the current state of AEW's plethora of groups, gangs, and gaggles. It's been a while since we've done this so let's start by looking at where factions ranked during late 2021 in previous articles.
While the above chart may look like a jumble there are a couple of stand outs. The Elite started strong but dropped in November and fell completely off the rankings afterwards (immediately following Omega's loss of the championship and the beginning of his physical rehab). Death Triangle was a mainstay in the rankings despite being snake bitten with injuries and travel issues (these issues have only gotten worse in 2022). Team Taz was a late addition to the rankings but as we will see their stock has only grown stronger in the past few months.
Before we get to the main list a quick bit on what criteria I used to rank factions. Every category will be awarded a ranking of "HIGH", "MID", or "NI" (needs improvement).
Strength: The combined win % of team members. The numbers are taken directly from AEW's roster page. I used workers overall 2022 W/L records. Wins in tag or trios matches count more as every member gets a win towards their record. For instance, Austin and Colten Gunn have no singles wins. If they win a tag match however the overall records for Gunn Club gets a +2 in the W column (1 for Austin, 1 for Colten).
Cohesion: Ability of a group to work together. If they can avoid tripping over each other or hitting each other with moves they will score higher. Points will be lost if cracks are starting to form such as a heel turn for a member being foreshadowed. This category is fairly subjective.
Purpose: Even if not expressly stated, most groups have some form of a "mission statement". This could range from winning championships to simply the love of violence.
Attainment: The ability to win championships. Currently there are championships from AEW, ROH, and AAA in play although titles from Impact and NJPW have also been featured in the past. I will only count belts that have been featured on camera on AEW programing (sorry GCW Champ Moxley!).
Groups to Watch
America's Top Team- Now that they've fallen backwards into face roles, it will be interesting to see if this continues and how the group grows. With Scorpio Sky winning the TNT Championship back the attainment score gets a boost. Once Paige van Zant gets a match we can consider the group a proper faction (with Sky, "Ego" Page, and vanZant). It will be interesting to see how American's Top Team grows after that.
Andrade Family Office- This group really feels like the island of misfit toys. Tossed aside by others (Private Party) or too weird for other groups (Angelico) yet they serve as great weekly foils for the faces of AEW. A title win for Andrade or a high profile tag feud for Butcher and Blade and the AFO could make gains.
Offices of Mark Sterling - With the addition of Tony Nese, Smart Mark Sterling is quietly assembling a crew of workers with incredible physiques. Jade Cargill is one of the more dominant champions that AEW has so the attainment score is already high. Just needs another addition to be a truly formidable stable.
The Baddies - Speaking of Cargill, if she chooses to separate herself from Sterling she already has a group that has plenty of potential. Cargill, Hogan, and Velvet have the most potential for growth in the next month I feel.
The Undisputed Elite -
Strength- MID: 72.5% win percentage.
Cohesion- MID: The Bucks look like they would rather be anywhere else and it feels like they're just waiting for the return of Kenny Omega. Kyle O'Reilly has made it a habit to miss-time a kick or two into his team-mates.
Purpose- MID: Uhh, be super annoying?? Cole has stepped up to usurp the leadership role but this wont last forever.
Attainment- NI: Aside from stealing belts for a photo op, neither Cole or ReDragon have won any championships during their time in AEW, while the Young Bucks are months away from their last tag title reign.
Adam Cole - The False Prince
Bobby Fish - Tag Guy
Kyle O'Reilly - The Other Tag Guy
Nick Jackson - Yet Another Tag Guy
Matt Jackson - Tag Guy: Part 4
House of Black -
Strength- HIGH: 84.6%
Cohesion- HIGH: Nothing brings dudes together like being in a cult devoted to darkness.
Purpose- MID: The corruption of Julia Hart is taking it's sweet time while the corruption of Cody worked wonders!
Attainment- NI: If AEW gets a trios championship, House of Black gets my vote for inaugural title holders.
Malakai Black - Leader
Brody King - Heater
Buddy Matthews - Bad-Ass Aussie
#5 The Pinnacle
Strength- NI: 55%. The worst win percentage on this list and low enough that it will most likely knock them out of the top five next month. MJF and Spears both have losing records and are dragging the group down.
Cohesion- MID: Once Wardlow gets done with the Pinnacle, I imagine that the cohesion of the group is only going to get worse. FTR is ready to move on to better things and while Spears is the perfect Milhouse to MJF's Bart, it's not enough to keep this group going.
Purpose- MID: Their purpose used to be simply one of the strongest groups in AEW, now I'm not even sure. I guess its purpose is to stick around when MJF needs friends for a multi-man tag but this group feels like it's the most likely to dissolve before we get through summer.
Attainment- HIGH: This is solely due to FTR being one of the best Tag Teams in the world right now. Current AAA and ROH tag champs and if they took the AEW tag belts as well it would feel justified.
MJF - Leader
Shawn Spears - Henchman
Dax Harwood - Top Tag Guy
Cash Wheeler - Top Tag Guy
#4 Jericho Appreciation Society
Strength- MID: 70%.
Cohesion- HIGH: Just like the Inner Circle previously, the JAS is a well coordinated unit.
Purpose- HIGH: Provide fuel for Jericho's ego. All the members are doing great in that category.
Attainment- NI: Big goose egg in regards to championships.
Chris Jericho - Leader
Jake Hager - Heater
Daddy Magic - Square Headed Tag Guy
Angelo Parker - Tag Guy
Daniel Garcia - Sports Entertainer
#3 Jurassic Express
Strength- HIGH: 81.8%. This is pretty much all Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus as Christian has only three matches this year (with a 1-2 record).
Cohesion- MID: Christian Cage is going to turn before the year is out, you can bet on it.
Purpose- HIGH: While not expressly stated, Jurassic Express exist to be the feel good group in AEW. From the sing along entrance to the power of the friendship between a boy and his dinosaur, this trio is putting smiles on faces. Which means that if Cage turns, it will hurt all the more.
Attainment- HIGH They're the tag champs! 'Nuff said.
Jungle Boy - Plucky Babyface
Luchasaurus - The Dino Pal
Christian Cage - The weathered veteran
#2 Blackpool Combat Club
Strength- MID: 77.7% Wheeler Yuta's losses prior to joining BCC still count and those loses lower the overall ranking. If we were looking at just Moxley and Danielson, their win percentage would be over 90%.
Cohesion- HIGH: Once they bleed each other, they've proven to be a tight unit.
Purpose- HIGH: Fighting. Pure violence. They've excelled at it.
Attainment- MID: While Yuta is the ROH Pure Champion, BCC is going to need more to raise this score.
William Regal - Leader
Jon Moxley - Bare knuckle brawler
Bryan Danielson - American Dragon
Wheeler Yuta - Top Rookie
#1 Team Taz
Strength- HIGH: 85.7%
Purpose- HIGH: Team Taz builds assassins and they are doing a bang up job of it. Starks, Hobbs, and Hook all look like stars and it's easy to picture them with AEW championships.
Attainment- MID: As for now they only have a single vanity belt. While I like Starks as champion he needs to defend the belt more for it to have any prestige. It's also clear that the only person to take the FTW championship will be someone else from Team Taz.
Taz - Leader/Announcer/Father
Ricky Starks - Lamborghini
Powerhouse Hobbs - M1 Abrams Tank
HOOK - Yamaha Sport Motorcycle