Last week, we saw several individuals stake their claim as the next great contenders in AEW. This week, it was all about the multi-man matches. What is there to learn from singles competitors in multi-man environments? Let’s find out…
MEN’S SINGLES | CHAMPIONS: JON MOXLEY (WORLD) & CODY (TNT)
*8 Taunts per match is the most in AEW.
1) MJF (8-0 Singles, 10-2 Overall)
Last week, MJF was busy getting a rookie to scream into a microphone how good MJF’s record is. This week, it was Mr. Friedman’s turn, screaming into a microphone about his claim as the next World Championship challenger. Far be it from me to disagree with him- he’s been number one in these rankings since we began them. At this point though, I’d like to see MJF get some more reps in against more reputable competition. The last man he fought who’s even sniffed the World Title picture is Jungle Boy. As good as I think MJF is, to prove himself, he'll have to show more against better competition.
2) DARBY ALLIN (7-4 Singles, 8-7 Overall)
Allin does not have the impressive record many of the men on this list have, but power rankings are not just based about records. What Allin lacks in win percentage he more than makes up for in his unique style and absolute fearlessness. Allin has proven himself against some of the most fearsome competitors in AEW, but he may not be the man to dethrone Mox. Both men are used to fighting from behind in matches, and Mox’s significant size and strength advantage could be the difference.
3) LANCE ARCHER (10-1 Singles, 10-1 Overall)
Archer is one of the few who doesn’t need to fight to prove his dominance. Don’t forget, this is the same guy who tossed a man through a ceiling two weeks ago. Just figured I’d remind you. Every week Archer becomes more dominant and more fearsome, the only question is which champion Archer will set his sights on.
4) BRIAN CAGE (6-1 Singles, 6-2 Overall)
Taz has been busy training up and talking up his Machine as well as bringing Absolute Ricky Starks on board. And while their Dynamite debut as a team didn’t end with a win, you can hardly blame Cage. Moxley is consistently targeting his left arm and Allin basically ripped the skin off Starks’s back with a thumbtack skateboard. Cage’s biggest issue seems to be his surgically repaired bicep, and whether it’s his apprehension of getting that targeted or just a natural regression, the Machine has receded back to the field in terms of his in-ring numbers. He’s downright average when it comes to everything from match offense to reversal rate to strikes. He remains the top grappler in the company, but something might have to be done to his in ring style to help him climb the rankings again.
5) SHAWN SPEARS (8-2 Singles, 9-8 Overall)
Yes, folks, it is time for Spears to make his debut in these rankings. The “Chairman” has been working quietly on Dark and has been impressing, amassing an 8-2 singles record including four wins in a row. Spears does nothing particularly well, but he has few weaknesses in the ring. He’s one of the better defensive wrestlers in the company as well with a 33% reversal rate, and his over one hour spent in ring is proof he has the endurance to handle the grueling matches both Cody and Mox put their challengers through. Like MJF, Spears will have to test himself against better competitors going forward, but every journey begins with a step forward and Spears has certainly done that.
WOMEN’S SINGLES | CHAMPION: HIKARU SHIDA
1) NYLA ROSE (6-2 Singles, 9-2 Overall)
I’ll be honest up front, the women’s rankings are not going to change much. Between injuries to top stars like Britt Baker and Kris Statlander and the focus on multi-man matches on this last Dynamite, what we knew about the women’s division last week by in large remains true. Rose is the same. She’s as dominant as any woman out there and there’s no doubt she will face Shida again.
2) BIG SWOLE (5-3 Singles, 5-3 Overall)
We will finally get to see Swole in the ring- hopefully against a top contender- very soon on her quest to fight Britt Baker at All Out. And that’s the key for Swole: as good as she looks when she’s in the ring, she has to be able to show that ability against the best in the game.
3) PENELOPE FORD (6-4 Singles, 6-5 Overall)
Ford’s win on Dark helps her stay relevant when it comes to staying in the top three even as Diamonte had a match on Dynamite. Much like Swole, Ford needs to test herself against other women in these rankings to prove she’s a top contender.
4) DIAMONTE (2-3 Singles, 2-3 Overall)
There’s no doubt Diamonte has potential, and every week we’re learning more and more about her style. She’s a solid defensive wrestler, a great grappler and an above average striker on a per match basis. There’s really nothing wrong with her game, and if she harnesses the motivation to get contracted and prove herself on an international stage, I don’t see any reason why she can’t top these rankings at some point.
5) BRITT BAKER (4-4 Singles, 6-4 Overall)
It’s fairly frustrating that AEW hasn’t given any other women the chance to put their names on that list, but the good news is Baker should be back fighting in a month. As long as her rehab is on track, Doctor Baker will return at All Out and, hopefully, remind us all why she’s remained in the top five despite being out of action for months.
MEN’S TAG TEAM | CHAMPION: MEGA COWBOYS
1) FTR (4-0)
FTR’s main contribution to our television viewing experience this week was an amusing contract signing where we learned they are officially part of AEW. But let’s be real: for fans, it doesn’t matter to us whether teams are officially signed or not. FTR is here, and we know how great they can be. They’ll get to show it next week in another multi-man match, hopefully we all remember how great their last one was, and we’ll just count the day until FTR officially turn their focus to the Tag Team Champions.
2) DARK ORDER (8-1)
In these rankings, I don’t necessarily punish anyone for a loss. And certainly against a team as dominant as Page and Omega have been, the Dark Order losing a tough contest isn’t worth punishing. As Mr. Brodie Lee said, the Dark Order has “strength in numbers…” how long before that strength manifests itself during actual matches? This question is why Dark Order remains at #2.
3) JURASSIC EXPRESS (7-4)
Yes the boy and his dinosaur have exploded up these rankings after one 10-man tag match where they played a satellite role in the developing story between Jericho and Cassidy. But the reality is the Express were the only ones to truly hold their own against the very dangerous Inner Circle, Luchasaurus is maybe the only man Jake Hager seems to fear and we know how great Jungle Boy is. When I looked deeper at this team, I saw a team ranked first in the company in strikedowns, sixth in reversals per match and sixth in total offense. They have the fifth best strikedown rate in the company and a 51% match offense percentage. It’s time to stop sleeping on this team; their combination of speed and power, size and finesse, is one of the more dangerous in the company without a doubt.
4) YOUNG BUCKS (7-3)
While the Bucks remain at the forefront of tag team wrestling in AEW even without competing, this is the same team that has lost to Private Party and the current champs. These rankings are not about what a team can do, they’re about what teams have done. Put bluntly, the Young Bucks have to do more now to prove to me they are worthy of the #1 spot they were basically given upon the creation of AEW.
5) BEST FRIENDS (12-5)
When it comes to proven track record of success, there are few teams that compete with the Best Friends. However, while I did say these rankings are about what teams are doing now, I also said these rankings are not just about record. And my issue with the Best Friends now, as it has been for the past few weeks, is their lack of success against AEW’s top teams. My prescription as it has been for weeks: more two on two wins against the best in AEW.