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AEW Power Rankings I Factions #5 I January 24th

If last month was the twilight of the factions, this month could be considered midnight of the factions. All of the setbacks and cracks in the bonds have settled into failures and questioning of the point of them being together. And the beneficiary of this changed landscape? Team Taz! In this nadir, just being solid was enough to push them to the top.

#1 - Team Taz

Last Month - #2

Gold Held - None recognized by anyone outside Team Taz

Member Quit: Daunte Martin

Member Debuted: HOOK

Strength - 3: Losing Daunte seemed a massive blow, but then they debuted HOOK. Amazing group of talent, but each needs to advance to the next level

Cohesion - 3: They have their roles for now, but trouble over who the real star is seems just over the horizon

Purpose - 3: They build assassins, but do they build champions?

Attainment - 3: Lots of wins, but no (real) gold

Ricky Starks - Star

Will Hobbs - Heater

Taz - Mentor


#2 - The Pinnacle

Last Month - #1

Gold Held: AAA Tag Championships

Strength - 4: Undeniably top echelon

Cohesion - 2: Wardlow's resentment seems on the point of boiling over, and Friedman doesn't seem to be doing anything as a leader to help ameliorate the situation.

Purpose - 4: The Pinnacle exist to dominate and gather all the gold. They've hit a major road block, but they haven't forgotten.

Attainment - 2: Been eating too many Ls and it all comes down to one man: CM Punk.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman - Captain, Star, mastermind

Shawn Spears - Loose Cannon

Wardlow - Heater

Tully Blanchard - Mentor

Cash Wheeler - Tag guy

Dax Harwood - Tag guy

#3 - Death Triangle

Last Week: #3

Gold Lost: AEW Tag Championships

Strength - 3: An amazing crew, but a man down. PAC has made it sound like he's not going to let being blinded hold him back, but it remains to be seen what that will mean.

Cohesion - 4: Haven't been seen together or mentioned each other much lately. Is their fabled bond straining?

Purpose - 2: Do they have an end goal or a game plan beyond mutual protection?

Attainment - 1: Lost their gold and in PAC's case possibly his sight. Rough month for the Triangle.

Penta EZM - Big Brother

Rey Fenix - Little Brother

PAC - Blood Brother

Alex Abrahantes - Buffoon

#3T - The Dark Order

Last Week: #6

Strength - 2: No contenders in any division

Cohesion - 4: They continue to have each other's back through everything

Purpose - 2: Other than helping one another, they have no clear mission

Attainment - 2: Winning more than losing, but no "statement wins"

Negative One - Mascot

Anna Jay - Friend

Evil Uno - Friend

Stu Grayson - Friend

Colt Cabana - Friend

John Silver - Friend

Alex Reynolds - Friend

Pres10 Vance - Friend

Alan Angels - Friend

#5 - The Elite

Last Week: Not Ranked

Team mates gone indefinitely: Omega & entourage (Nakazawa & Callis)

Team mates gained: Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, Britt Baker

Gold Lost: AEW World Championship, AAA Mega Championship

Gold Gained: AEW World Championship (Women's)

Strength - 4: No question an amazing collection of individuals

Cohesion - 1: Come on

Purpose - 1: No coherent raison d'etre to speak of

Attainment - 4: Still getting wins, in spite of everything

Adam Cole - Power Couple

Britt Baker: Power Couple

Matt Jackson - Tag guy

Nick Jackson - Tag guy

Bobby Fish - Tag guy

Kyle O'Reilly - YET ANOTHER Tag guy

Brandon Cutler - Stooge, mascot, mook

#5T The Nightmare Family

Last Week: Not Ranked

Gold Gained: TNT Championship

Strength - 4: Velvet brings home wins on Dark, but basically, it's all Cody

Cohesion - 1: See picture

Purpose - 1: It's one thing for a faction to be all about the star. But Cody doesn't even get anything out of the arrangement, either!

Attainment - 4: TNT Champ, third reign!

Cody Rhodes - Star, Captain

Brandi Rhodes - Better Half

Arn Anderson - Mentor

Lee Johnson - Protégé

Brock Anderson - Nepotism hire

Red Velvet - Spitfire

Dustin Rhodes - Big Bro

Dishonorable Mention:

Of the factions not making cut-off, specifically noteworthy is the Inner Circle. It's been obvious from the start that this faction is to the advantage of Jericho and nobody else, especially not their resident tag specialists. Not only did Jericho not help Santana & Ortiz reach for tag gold, he teamed with every other member of the faction to compete with them.

This seemed so blatant to me, that I presumed that it was baked in, that these five men evidently shared a bond that over-rode considerations of advantage and disadvantage. Until Eddie Kingston proved that it was actually just that nobody had said it out loud before.

I find it ironic that after Max Friedman and Dan Lambert tried every weaselly subterfuge to try to bring down the Inner Circle, it was Eddie Kingston that finally lit the fuse of their destruction, simply by telling it like it is.


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