AEW POWER RANKINGS POST-11/11
It’s time for our weekly shoot AEW Power Rankings! I want to be specific about how these are calculated before we go anywhere with this. I base these rankings off the following criteria: in ring ability, quality of promos, quality of booking, star presence, Pro Wrestling Musings statistics, “eye test.” There’s no formula, no computer- 2000s college football fans rejoice- that does it for me, these are the rankings of an avid AEW watcher and wrestling fan. With all that being said, we are going to see a little bit of movement this week after a wild episode of Dynamite. So let’s see where the rankings stand this week…
1) KENNY OMEGA
Yes I’m a Kenny Omega mark, I’ll remind you every week so you know my own bias here. But all Omega has to do at this point is mention the possibility that the Cleaner could come back to make us marks go insane and that’s what he did this week. Omega lacks the intense promo skills of World Champion Jon Moxley (which I will discuss next) but the sheer amount of story Omega packs into everything he does is almost overwhelming.
2) JON MOXLEY
Moxley remains possibly the best promo in wrestling which really holds him up here. His promo during last week’s episode touching on all the wrestling fans made fun of by friends and family I’m sure hit home for many of us as many of his promos do. His matches range from good to great, but the prospect of a match with, for my money, the best wrestler in the world Kenny Omega is absolutely mouthwatering. At the end of the day, Mox is a better promo than Omega, but Omega is a better wrestler and this is professional wrestling after all so Omega gets the nod at #1.
3) THE YOUNG BUCKS
The Bucks jump an idle FTR this week because, simply, FTR was idle. These two teams will be battling for this spot for awhile I’d imagine as both possess world class in ring, athletic, storytelling and promo abilities. But with FTR off an the Young Bucks announcing a match against the electrifying Top Flight for this coming episode of Dynamite, the Bucks make the jump.
Make no mistake, FTR is one of the best booked and most entertaining talents in the sport. Even while idle, the prospect of what FTR could be doing next is tantalizing and when they do return- my guess is as more fans come back to arenas to build another match with the Bucks- they’ll remind us all why they’re considered maybe the best team in the world.
The only thing keeping MJF back is his in ring ability- and I just mean the physical act of wrestling. Literally everything else the 23 year old does is world class and he showed it once again when he announced he was taking the Inner Circle to Vegas. MJF is almost single handedly making Sammy Guevara a hot baby face and he could do that to basically anyone. If he improves even slightly in his in ring work and gets himself a top-card feud, MJF will be #1 in these rankings.
6) EDDIE KINGSTON
Kingston is one of the best storytellers in wrestling right now. He went from one of the most emotional feuds of the year with Moxley to what promises to be one of the most brutal feuds of the year as he tries to break up Penta and Fenix. Kingston doesn’t have to get int the ring to tell incredible stories, whether he’s on commentary or on the house mic he makes you care about what’s happening and that is a rare gift in wrestling today.
Now you can call this recency bias, and there may be some truth to that, but the reality is I’ve always believed PAC is a top 10 wrestler on the planet; however, without knowing exactly when he’ll be back I couldn’t rank him. But now that he’s returned- and is about to feud with the afore mentioned Eddie Kingston- it’s time to be reminded PAC is a premier wrestler and one of the best intense promos in the business.
8) DARBY ALLIN
Allow me to go to my baseball background for a second: Darby Allin is a utility player. He does everything well: his in ring execution is great, he plays the underdog better than almost anyone else, he cuts great promos but he rarely has to speak because the production of his vignettes is excellent and cinematic. Allin’s story barely even involves the title he just won and yet it’s one of the more interesting in the company. If Darby Allin is in a match, it’s going to at least be entertaining if not show stealing and that is the essence of a television champion.
9) THE LUCHA BROTHERS
It seems pretty clear Penta and Fenix will not be a team for much longer, but they still are and their incredible storytelling in their match last week needs to be recognized. I am someone with very little background in Lucha Libre style, and I am now understanding how big of a deal it is to go for the masks in a match. Excalibur exclaiming “they would get disqualified” in Mexico if they even tried to rip the other’s mask off really sold everything for me. These two are on the way to having a brilliant feud and I can’t wait.
10) HIKARU SHIDA
I’m starting to get tired of Shida’s booking on AEW at this point. I mentioned quality of booking is one of the criteria I use to determine these rankings; and unfortunately AEW’s booking of its own Women’s Champion is so atrocious it drives Shida all the way down behind every other champion in the promotion. It’s sad, and unfortunately she can only go down in these rankings until that booking improves.
OUT OF THE RANKINGS
CODY RHODES: Cody’s bizarre segment with Jade Cargill, Brandy Rhodes and Team Taz was just that: bizarre. I’m not a huge fan of Cody’s booking- I believe if you’re going to get 60+% of offense in a match you should be a heel- and while he is an excellent promo, he’s a better champion than a challenger. He was jumped by PAC who is just more believable of a promo and a better in ring competitor. But I’m always open to be wrong about this apparent “Shaq” angle…