THE WORLD IS CHANGING!
AEW POWER RANKINGS POST-12/2
IT’S STIIIIIING!! Sorry, he’s not on the power rankings so that was the only time I’m going to get to say that. Yes, Winter has come and it brought maybe the best episode of Dynamite in the show’s history. An ultimatum laid down, an icon debuted, the world title changed hands and an invasion announced? How could it get any better?? But how does that chaos affect these rankings? Let’s discuss!
1) KENNY OMEGA
After a one week run at the top, Jon Moxley must once again take the backseat to the Cleaner. And I use that word advisedly as Omega more or less turned heel to beat Moxley, betraying the gentleman’s agreement Omega himself had laid out. Omega’s character is brilliant, and while he and AEW had every opportunity to blow their load with a full on Omega cracks Moxley in the head with a chair heel turn, they didn’t. And what we got is more complex, more in depth, it has a longer shelf life, and only Kenny Omega could deliver us something like this.
1a) JON MOXLEY
For the fourth week in a row I’m keeping the 1-1a format even though Moxley lost his title because it takes two to tango. While Omega’s heel turn and invasion of Impact Wrestling will get all the headlines- and rightfully so- Jon Moxley provided just as much to the main event of this week’s Dynamite. For the duration of his World Championship reign, Moxley stood in stark contrast to the superhumans that stand on top of other promotions. From John Cena to Drew McIntyre to even Kazuchika Okada, larger than life characters dominate most of the other big companies in the world. But Jon Moxley is not that. While he was undefeated in his AEW run, every night he proved he has a blue collar true American champion: he was a grinder and a fighter, a man we could all get behind. His story with Kenny isn’t done, and I’m here for every second of it.
3) YOUNG BUCKS
The Bucks didn’t have a match on the biggest Dynamite of the year but they did exactly what they’ve done the last few episodes: put over the up and coming teams. They’ve got a match with TH2 this coming week (excellent) they’ve already been in a barn burner with Team Top Flight. It seems like the Bucks have truly taken the mantle of veteran champs and now are helping to build the next generation of the tag division. While both men are in their early 30s, their awareness of what steps need to be taken next is world class.
4) INNER CIRCLE
It’s a big jump for AEW’s original stable, but it’s very well deserved. The story told in the opening battle royal was excellent (as they tend to be in AEW) and then the announcement of the Ultimatum next week gives us the most unpredictable story in the company. There are so many ways they could go with this, and the number of interconnecting stories involving every single member of the group is absolutely world class.
5) TEAM TAZ
Is it fair that Team Taz jumped above FTR given FTR’s body of work? Maybe not. But Team Taz brought out Sting… need I say more? That’s not the only reason of course, Team Taz is still a world class stable with excellent stories being told every week, but the debut of Sting needs to be reflected somehow in these rankings.
FTR was idle this week which is a big reason why they fell two spots, but the drop has more to do with how great the Inner Circle and Team Taz (and Sting) performed this week. Make no mistake, FTR is still among the best tag teams on earth and this little hiatus has caused a temporary drop for them.
7) DARBY ALLIN
It’s ironic that Darby has actually dropped a spot specifically because he helped put Team Taz (and Sting) over. To me, Allin is still one of the top unaffiliated singles wrestlers in the company, I enjoy every match he’s in and he’s a good match with almost anyone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he is the perfect TV champion.
8) DEATH TRIANGLE
While Death Triangle was off this week, the reason they don’t move in the rankings is because they are still a collection of three of the top 10 in-ring competitors in the world. I stand by that. Pac, Fenix and Penta are some of the best athletes and in-ring technicians in the sport right now. Combine that with Pac’s tremendous promo ability and just the potential of this group alone will keep them in these rankings for awhile.
9) ORANGE CASSIDY
For some of you, you may be wondering why it took so long for Orange to make his debut in this list; for others, you may be wondering why Orange is still allowed to be a professional wrestler. If you’re the latter, hi Mr. Cornette! Thanks for reading! If you’re the former, however, all I can say is these rankings came at an unfortunate time when Orange wasn’t doing much. But after his performance in the battle royal, something dawned on me: Orange Cassidy is almost a parody of what baby face wrestlers have been for years. I’ve always had an issue with getting my head around these big muscle head baby faces getting dominated for three quarters of a match and then hitting four moves and going home. But with Cassidy it actually works. He’s so lazy he doesn’t bother to put up his dukes early on and every heel in the company hates him so the numbers catch up with him eventually. He’s a great promo but he rarely speaks, and he is actually great in the ring but he rarely tries. Less is more with Orange and it is finally really connecting with me.
10) EDDIE KINGSTON
This booking is not Eddie’s fault: the pandemic shut Pac out of the country and totally changed Death Triangle’s story which they brought Kingston into to clean up. That being said, his booking now borders on the nonsensical. Every match or segment he’s in is bloated, makes very little sense and doesn’t really add anything to the show. Screaming “I want Lance Archer now!” as Dynamite goes of the air is just a head scratcher. Again, Kingston is one of the best promos in the world, but his nonsensical booking and his average in ring work will continue to drag him down.
OUT OF THE RANKINGS
HIKARU SHIDA: On a show where Kenny Omega may have changed the wrestling world by winning the men’s World Title, Women’s World Champion Shida… got scared by some pots. This is ridiculous.