AEW Power Rankings I Men's Singles I 31st January 2022
Hello friends and welcome to the first Men's Singles Power Rankings of the year 2022. A lot has happened in the world of All Elite Wrestling since the turn of the year with debuts from Brody King and Danhausen and classic matches such as Hangman-Danielson II and Guevara vs Rhodes in a sublime Ladder Match and in this edition of AEW Power Rankings looks at the best of the best in the Men's Singles division. With the journey to Revolution starting, it's time to see who makes our Top Ten.
#1- Hangman Page (Non Mover)
Hangman eliminated all seeds of doubt about his ability to beat Bryan Danielson when he beat The American Dragon in a classic on the Jan 6th episode of Dynamite. But the life of a champion never stops and the following week, Page was taken out by a returning Lance Archer and now Hangman will have to different sized obstacle in his quest to become the greatest AEW World Champion so far.
The match will be fought under Texas Death Match rules, a stipulation that Lance Archer has seen success in in AEW. But a expert in Cowboy S*** will find comfort in the rules set of a Texas Death Match where violence will be necessary to retain the title. There's a reason Adam Page is called Hangman, you know.
#2- Sammy Guevara ( Up 3 Places)
After his heart breaking loss to Cody Rhodes on the Christmas Day episode of Rampage in which he lost his TNT Title, it would have easy for "The Spanish God" to lose confidence and go into a slump but Sammy's January might have been his greatest month of his career so far.
With a sprinkle of luck after Cody's enforced absence because of safety protocals, Sammy would beat Cody's replacement, his brother Dustin at Battle Of The Belts for the Interim TNT Title. After a successful defence against Daniel Garcia, all focus would go onto a unification title match against Cody to be contested under Ladder Match rules and what a match it was, fully deserving of the 5 stars it received.
That springboard cutter will be on montage packages for years to come and will be seen on many On This Day tweets for decades to come. Guevara's win might be the moment where Sammy hit the highest gear and goes full force to the highest pantheon of AEW. After an under-whelming first reign, which arguably was the worst TNT Title reign in AEW so far, maybe it's just me but this time round it feels very different and I expect Sammy to have a world class second reign as champ.
#3- CM Punk (Non Mover)
It was a tale of two victories for CM Punk this January. His victory over Wardlow showed that Punk had chinks in his armour after being ruthlessly dominated by MJF's hired gun and being a victim of a Powerbomb Symphony. But with lessons learned from one of his heroes Bret Hart, Punk pulled a "Survivor Series 95" and used what was left from his power bar to small package Wardlow for the 1-2-3.
Any fears that the match the following week against Shawn Spears would see Punk run out of miracles were eliminated when it took Punk 12 seconds to beat "The Chairman" thanks to a GTS. Now Punk will finally get his hands on MJF in the place where MJF would never want to meet his rival, Punk's hometown of Chicago.
There has been a lot of contention about a lack of CM Punk in the Official AEW Rankings despite his perfect record and his victory over a ranked wrestler in Wardlow but should Punk beat MJF next week, surely Punk should be in the Top 5 and on course for the shot he craves for the AEW Title.
#4- Lance Archer (New Entrant)
Lance's attack on Hangman Page the week after Page's victory shocked the AEW fans but it's aim has worked with "The Murderhawk" getting the next shot at Hangman Page's belt. While it is a case of a wrestler jumping the queue to get the shot by upsetting the champ enough for a match to take place, no matter how much the last few weeks of victories might have padded Archer's record, there is a case for Archer.
What if Lance had not fallen on his neck in the quarter-final match against Eddie Kingston in the AEW Eliminator? Archer would have been a difficult out for Bryan Danielson and Miro had he further progressed in the tournament. Should the case be in the shape of an eliminator like many many wrestlers have had in the past year? Probably, but we are where we are and in a couple of weeks, Hangman Page and Lance Archer face off for the title in a Texas Death Match, a match that Archer has had success in AEW, handing Jon Moxley a rare singles loss when he kept Mox down for the 10 count necessary to win a Texas Death Match to win the IWGP US Title.
#5- Orange Cassidy (New Entrant)
#6- Adam Cole ( Up 4 Places)
Orange's victory over Adam Cole in the Lights Out Match at Beach Break might not affect the W-L records officially in the AEW record books as Lights Out Matches do not count towards the resumes of AEW wrestlers, but in our hearts and minds Orange's win puts him above Adam Cole in the Power Rankings.
Adam Cole's 2022 so far has seen the master of The Panama Sunrise notch up three official wins against non-roster member Kaun, who many observers see as a potential star in the future, Jake Atlas and Trent Baretta with those victories helping propel Cole to the top of the AEW Official Rankings with the events of Beach Break unlikely to move Adam from that spot.
The match would be overshadowed by the very nice, very evil debut of Danhausen and with internet theories of Adam Cole's loss being caused by him being cursed by Danhausen, it'll be interesting to see how Adam Cole reacts to his loss. Will Adam declare his interest in getting a shot at the AEW World Title following the same path as his partner Britt Baker when she won the AEW World Women's Title shortly after a loss in a Lights Out match or will he focus his attention on Danhausen?
As for Orange, his victory at Beach Break will give Cassidy massive confidence after his previous 5 singles matches had produced a record of 2-3 and while he will need more victories to get into the title hunt, he has a victory over Cole to claim his stake should Cole take his chance and beat whoever the champ is if he goes for "Pretty Platinum".
#7- Jon Moxley (Re-entrant)
Mox's comeback to wrestling was just a beautiful thing from how great he looked to his promo which is the early odds-on favourite to win PWMusing's promo of the year for 2022 but Jon will be the first person to tell you that the most important thing is what happens when the bell rings. Good thing for Jon is that he has gone 2-0 in the newest chapter of his career with wins over Ethan Page and Anthony Bowens.
But the shadow of Bryan Danielson looms with The American Dragon keeping a keen eye on Moxley and while the prospect of a match between Mox and Danielson is mouth watering, it will the toughest test for Jon Moxley since his return.
However, 2022 could end up being the year for Cincinnati with the Bengals in the Superbowl for the first time in 34 years and if Moxley beats Danielson, it'll be a boost for the Cincinnati born star's mission to reclaim the AEW Title and become the first guy to regain the belt.
#8-Penta El Zero Miedo (New Entrant)
After the horrible injury to his brother Fenix in their tag title loss to Jurassic Express early in January, Penta has had to adjust to singles action but it shouldn't be a problem for the former IMPACT World Champion and Lucha Underground Champ.
Victories over Matt Hardy and Wheeler Yuta have made for a good start for Penta and more victories will see Pentagon as a potential contender for both singles champions and dangerous defence for whichever wrestler is holding the belt that the Mexican is gunning for.
#9- Dante Martin (Non Mover)
Yet again, the revolving door of Dante's tag partners since his brother Darius' injury early in 2021 continues with Lio Rush leaving AEW after his contract expired and with Matt Sydal, Lee Moriarty and Jay Lethal (oh god no) entering the room as new partners for Dante.
But in singles action, Dante has gone 4-0 in 2022 so far with a win over Team Taz's Powerhouse Hobbs the stand-out win of the four, catapulting Dante to No.2 in the Official Rankings. Could this mean that Dante will be the man that Adam Cole has to face to claim an AEW World Title shot? It'll be an opportunity that Dante will relish even if he starts the match as the underdog.
#10- HOOK (New Entrant)
After his debut against Fuego Del Sol which drew critical acclaim including a spot in the Voices Of Wrestling Top 100 Matches of the Year at No.99 (check out my contributions for the Baker-Rosa match and the Marvelous vs Sendai Girls 6-woman tag on the list) Hook has shown that it wasn't a flash in the pan performance with dominating wins over Aaron Solo and Serpentico and an assault on QT Marshall with a A.I like stepover in the process.
The "Cold Hearted Handsome Devil" has got off to an incredible start to his wrestling career which can only get better with more reps and with his inheritance of his father's finisher (then the Tazzmission, renamed Redrum) expect HOOK to end up furlongs ahead of the roster in the future.
Many others in AEW have staked a claim to in your Top Ten so here is a few honourable mentions in the Men's Singles Division.
Bryan Danielson- After his loss to Hangman Page on the first episode of Dynamite on tbs, Danielson took a short break from AEW but made a point to return to AEW TV to let Jon Moxley know that he's watching him in action.
Cody Rhodes- After having to take an absence from AEW TV due to safety protocols, Cody would fail to unify his TNT belt with Sammy Guevara's interim belt in their classic ladder match. Under a handshake deal with AEW after his contract expired, talk about Cody's future has been rife but "The American Nightmare" has now become the talk of wrestling with many eager to see his next move.
Shawn Dean- With a record in AEW (2-0) that was better than Arsenal FC (0-3-2) in the month of January. Dean's big victory over MJF on the tbs debut episode has kickstarted the Captain's 2022. Let's see if Shawn can carry on his great run of form.
Andrade El Idolo- With two victories against non-contracted wrestlers on the YouTube shows putting Andrade in the No.4 slot in the AEW rankings, Andrade has more notably spent his January in a feud with the concept of friendship with his lack of understanding of what the relationship between Sting and Darby Allin consists of in his attempts to buy "the boy". What hijinks will Andrade get up to in his attempt to purchase the services of Darby in February?