TAG TEAM APPRECIATION!
We’re moving into fairly uncharted territory with AEW Dynamite. The schedule is changing for the NBA (which is why these particular rankings are coming out late) and it feels like All Out in September is going to be a massive event. So it feels like these rankings are more and more subject to change every episode. But the more things change, the more they stay the same and it certainly seems like the top competitors in each division have more or less solidified themselves. Let’s find out if that’s the case…
MEN’S SINGLES | CHAMPIONS: JON MOXLEY (WORLD) & CODY (TNT)
1) MJF (8-0 Singles, 10-2 Overall)
Short and simple entry here: MJF is on a collision course with Jon Moxley and that course ends at All Out. MJF will not fall from this spot unless he loses, that much is clear, so the only question is whether or not MJF has the ability to beat Moxley.
2) DARBY ALLIN (7-5 Singles, 8-8 Overall)
No Darby this week unfortunately, but that doesn’t change the fact he’s as hot as can be and it seems like he’ll get his chance at a title sooner rather than later. He still seems like a natural matchup for Cody in terms of style, and with Cody evidently succumbing more and more to fatigue, this may be the time for Allin to grab his advantage.
3) LANCE ARCHER (10-1 Singles, 10-1 Overall)
Who the hell knows what’s going through Archer’s mind right now? He used his own manager’s back to give his message this week after beating the piss out of some more boys in the back. Archer is scary and absolutely unhinged and oh by the way, he’s also a damn good wrestler.
4) BRIAN CAGE (6-1 Singles, 6-2 Overall)
Not having seen Cage in two weeks it’s hard to say for sure if he still deserves this spot, but this week was more about tag team wrestling anyway so we’ll let it slide. The story is the same with Cage: he’s an overwhelming offensive force and a consummate grappler, I can only hope we’ll see more of him while Mox is otherwise occupied…
5) SHAWN SPEARS (9-2 Singles, 10-8 Overall)
Spears’ overall record is poor because he struggled for so long as a tag team wrestler. But he’s been putting up solid wins consistently on Dark and he’s looked pretty good. He’ll be in and out of this bottom spot until he can get some more reps on Dynamite against stronger competition, but his performances do warrant some recognition.
WOMEN’S SINGLES | CHAMPION: HIKARU SHIDA
1) NYLA ROSE (6-2 Singles, 9-3 Overall)
Another week, another single match for the women of AEW. This is getting fairly frustrating at this point, not least because Rose should be defending her top spot here either with her words or by mercilessly beating her contemporaries. But with no one else in action on Dynamite, this is what we’re stuck with.
2) BIG SWOLE (6-3 Singles, 7-4 Overall)
At least Swole had an actual fight this week.
3) PENELOPE FORD (6-4 Singles, 7-6 Overall)
Ford may actually have benefited from losing in the first round of the Deadly Draw because it means she can get some more singles action in. The story with Ford is the same as always: she’s probably the best pure athlete in the women’s division but her losses in big matches have cost her a few spots in these rankings.
4) TAY CONTI (0-0 Singles, 1-1 Overall)
I’m just going to be honest here: I love Tay Conti. She’s quickly becoming my new favorite woman in AEW, not least because her in ring style is unique, stiff and flat out entertaining as all hell. There’s no doubt in my mind she’s going to be the next big thing and it’ll take a lot to convince me otherwise.
5) DIAMANTE (2-2 Singles, 4-3 Overall)
The Diamond is proving herself as a tag wrestler, which is unfortunate as AEW does not have a women’s tag team title. While that may be in the offing at some point, at least now it gives us an insight into all these womens’ abilities. Diamonte is a balanced wrestler with striking and grappling ability, and if she can parlay her success in the Deadly Draw into a great singles run, she may rocket up these rankings sooner rather than later.
MEN’S TAG TEAM | CHAMPION: MEGA COWBOYS
1) FTR (5-0)
Finally we get to the true meet of this past week’s episode of Dynamite. It was tag team appreciation night in Florida and FTR used the big night to show their true colors: pile driving a senior citizen into next year. Finally we know FTR has shaken off this façade of class and have leaned into their truly brutal nature. The Mega Cowboys should be worried.
2) YOUNG BUCKS (8-3)
The Jacksons got their chance to move up the rankings with an opening match against the Dark Order and they took full advantage. Fighting off a pre-match attack from Dark Order cronies, the Bucks looked as good as they have since their title match at Revolution. Oh by the way, look who’s just above them…
3) DARK ORDER (8-2)
You can’t punish Evil and Stu too much for losing to Kenny Omega’s favorite tag team and they still looked good even in defeat. The duo are extremely adept strikers and, while it can’t be quantified, the constant interference and intimidation by Dark Order teammates can certainly be the turning point in any match.
4) BEST FRIENDS (13-5)
It seemed Best Friends would sooner help their… um… best friend in his match with Jericho than have a match for themselves (do better next time lads). But luckily for the Best Friends, their incredible record will keep them high in these rankings even if they don’t fight every week.
5) JURASSIC EXPRESS (8-5)
Unfortunately for the boy and his dinosaur they suffered a fairly straight forward loss to the champs, but they still made the Mega Cowboys bust out the Last Call which is no mean feat. Omega and Page don’t pull out their finisher against just anyone, and Jurassic Express remain the best strikers in the company not named the Mega Cowboys. A couple more wins could easily get these boys back on track.
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