Updated: Nov 17, 2020
AEW POWER RANKINGS POST-FULL GEAR
AEW Full Gear is over and anyone watching witnessed maybe the pay-per-view event of the year. Performances up and down the card were absolutely phenomenal and it makes it quite hard for someone like me to rank. But rank I will do and so begins the first week of the AEW Power Rankings, a new non-kayfabe ranking of the top 10 AEW wrestlers and tag teams. I rank the wrestlers based both on the eye test and the wealth of statistics developed here at Pro Wrestling Musings. Disagree? Reach out and let me know, that’s the fun of doing our rankings this way. So without further ado, let’s get to the first rankings!
1) KENNY OMEGA
Before the arguments kick off I want to make this known: I am a Kenny Omega mark. I truly believe I’m looking at these rankings objectively but it’s possible my own bias toward the Cleaner is influencing my view. That being said, what Kenny Omega has done since moving back into the singles ranks can’t be denied. This guy gave us the most entertaining 30 second match I’ve maybe ever seen, then he delivers a main-event caliber match with Penta and then goes on to give us this gem with Hangman Page. He didn’t need it to be a main event-level match so he tailored the whole thing to fit what he needed. Even his botches worked into the story. If Kenny Omega is in a match, it’s almost guaranteed to be one of the best things you see on the show and to me, that’s the essence of being a company’s top wrestler.
2) JON MOXLEY
I’ve said for a long time Jon Moxley is probably the best promo in the world and he makes every one of his angles really stick. I actually teared up during his intense promo with Eddie Kingston on the Full Gear go home. My only issue with Moxley is his matches don’t always connect with me. But I believe that’s a personal preference: I enjoy my high spots and heavy striking-based matches tend to lose me quicker since I watch a lot of MMA and it’s just not the same. Moxley strikes as much if not more than any wrestler in AEW depending on the day, but his ring physiology is among the best in the world. Every strike and every grapple looks real and you see it all on the champ’s face. Is it safe to say I’m excited that my #1 and 2 in these rankings will square off for the World Championship?
FTR may have lost their tag belts at Full Gear but they still impressed- to put it likely- with the match they put on. This is nothing against the Young Bucks, this has everything to do with how multi-faceted FTR proved they were. They’re tremendous heels and they really make you care about what you’re watching. Their storytelling is top notch and they just casually pull out springboard 450s when the story demands it. Three years of story and a reference to Tetsuya Naito’s Stardust Press, not mention the greatest tag teams of the past 30 years, proves to me FTR is maybe the best tag team on earth right now.
4) THE YOUNG BUCKS
This might as well be 3a, because there isn’t really any difference between the Bucks and FTR right now. The Jackson brothers proved without a shadow of a doubt they are among the best storytellers on earth and they are of course wrestling’s premier spot monkey. The only difference between them and FTR at this moment is how much we don’t know about the Bucks’ characters right now. They worked baby face in the match against FTR but they’ve been gradually turning heel for the last month. It’s not a bad story by any means, it just serves as the tiebreaker when juxtaposed to two of the strongest characters in the world.
MJF is a top-3 heel in the world right now and he’s just 23 years old. It’s rare to see a guy this young have such a developed understanding of the business and how to generate heat. The finish to his match with Jericho was brilliant and one of my favorite finishes on the card. And this is why MJF is ranked higher than several of the champions in AEW: every match with him could be different and it’s always entertaining.
6) EDDIE KINGSTON
You want a guy that’ll make you care about every match he’s in? Eddie Kingston took the lemons of multiple World Championship challengers being pulled on short notice and losing clean to Jon Moxley and turned it into one of the hottest feuds in AEW. Kingston’s in-ring work is not on the same level as any of the men we’ve seen so far which is why he’s fallen a bit but there’s no doubt he is one of the best storytellers there are in the world.
7) THE LUCHA BROTHERS
It’s the first appearance of wrestlers who weren’t on the Full Gear card and unfortunately the Lucha Bros probably will not be in the Tag Team Championship scene for awhile as the Bucks and FTR continue their feud. But we’ll be seeing the Luchas around and it’s a great thing because these two are two fo the most innovative competitors in the world. Every match they do something you’ve never seen and they continue to introduce more and more Americans to the Luchador style.
8) HIKARU SHIDA
This placement of the AEW Women’s Champion has almost everything to do with AEW’s frankly atrocious booking of women. Shida is a tremendous wrestler and I really believe there could be a lot more from her. But because of the lackluster booking of the AEW women’s division we haven’t been able to see Shida in a match with the heat so many of the other wrestlers in this list have.
9) CODY RHODES
I will not say Cody Rhodes is boring because he’s not, but there’s no doubt all of Cody’s matches follow a structure (minus one very obvious exception). Cody is the most dominant wrestler in the company by a wide margin by offensive percentage, and his matches show exactly why that’s the case. It’s weird to see a babyface wrestler enjoy such extended heat segments, and it leads to matches I can’t always get into. And again, the matches aren’t boring by any means, they just don’t always connect with me.
10) DARBY ALLIN
The only reason Darby Allin is so low is because I just haven’t seen a lot of him. These are the power rankings as they stand now, not the rankings as they will stand in a year. But everything about Darby Allin is something to love. As opposed to Cody, Darby Allin has one of the lowest offensive percentages in the company and it actually works because Allin is a babyface. He gets ragdolled around, beat up and battered for 10-15 minutes, but his comeback can happen so quickly it truly is believable. He isn’t the athlete that a Rey Fenix or a Nick Jackson is, but his quickness and springiness makes his matches fast-paced and fluid. Allin could rocket up these rankings depending on how his TNT Championship reign goes and I’m sure he will, and he remains maybe the top young talent in the company right now.