After a week where it felt like guys were going through the motions, AEW knew they needed a bigger show that got people talking. And they did just that. The reactions to the closing angle were all over the place, but AEW officials were said to be happy with how things came off, with one exception, which you can read about later.
I'll have more information on Cody's condition later this week on my Twitter account (@jeremylambert88)
AEW Power Rankings - Week 19
1. The Butcher, The Blade, & The Lucha Bros
A big win for these four, but how much does it mean? The Lucha Bros have failed to gain any real momentum and The Butcher & The Blade are in the bottom third of the overall rankings. There are no Eight-Man Championships in AEW and sources confirmed to me that the belts haven't even crossed the minds of officials. The goal for these four is to build on this win. Because consistency has been the issue. It's possible they end up forming a larger partnership, which could be beneficial for all parties.
2. Jon Moxley
Moxley continues to roll into AEW Revolution, picking up another victory. He knocked off Ortiz in singles competition and isn't letting the eye injury slow him down. However, it wasn't all good news for Moxley. He was fine for his actions of spiking Santana in the eye. League officials wanted to suspend Moxley, but Santana begged for a match instead. Santana got his wish. It's possible that AEW will not sanction the bout as things have gotten personal between Moxley and the Inner Circle.
3. SCU (Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)
SCU continues to string wins together and will receive their AEW Tag Team Title bout next week. The Best Friends are a solid team and SCU never felt all that threatened. They firmly believe what happened on the Jericho cruise was a fluke. As tag team champions, they didn't like defending in those circumstances. While Texas should be behind Hangman Page next week, SCU is confident that they will come out on top as the wind will not throw off their game plan. They're a much better team indoors.
4. Kip Sabian
Sabian scores a good win and he's been impressive despite his record. Don't forget, Sabian gave everything Hangman and Cody could handle during his time in AEW. And now defeating Janela looks good on his schedule. The partnership with Penelope Ford is still a slight concern as the two are mixing business and pleasure, but both are vehement in denying there is an issue with their partnership.
5. Yuka Sakazaki
A big win for Sakazaki over the established Britt Baker. Not much is known about Sakazaki but officials are very high on here, which is why they paired her up with Baker, hoping she could prove herself. And she did just that.
MJF barely made it out of Alabama alive. AEW knew the lashings would not sit well with many, but as reported above, the Rhodes family made it worse by coming down to the ring. AEW hired extra protection for MJF outside of the venue to ensure he could make it out. MJF is feeling very confident heading into Revolution. I'm told he feels he can do no wrong right now.
A loss in singles competition doesn't hurt Ortiz much as he's a tag team wrestler with no eye on a singles future. He put up a good match and this is largely about The Inner Circle trying to weaken Moxley before his big bout against Jericho. The mission wasn't quite accomplished, but Jericho remains happy with the performances of his Inner Circle team.
8. Darby Allin
Allin will be closely watched by AEW management going into Revolution. The use of the flamethrower was not approved and people are beginning to wonder if an attack is coming. Allin believes he is justified after what happened to him, but a flamethrower might be over the line. Sammy Guevara is reportedly looking into extra security after seeing the video.
9. Best Friends (Chuckie T & Trent)
A tough loss as a win could have earned them a title shot. The Best Friends are in the middle of the pack right now and can't seem to break out. There is still some tension over Trent's singles run and the growing popularity of Orange Cassidy. Keep an eye on The Best Friends over the next couple of weeks. It's possible they make a major move to shake things up.
10. Nyla Rose
Rose nearly lost her title shot due to her actions against Riho backstage. But Riho made it clear that she wanted to honor Rose's title shot and would be a fighting champion. Rose will be fined for her actions.
Pac was given a stern lecture by AEW officials for the lengths he went to to get a match with Kenny Omega. AEW does not condone any illusions of threatening women in a backstage environment.
Riho is fine after the attack by Rose. She will defend her AEW Women's Title next week as scheduled, but has been advised to take it easy this week.
13. Britt Baker
Wins and losses don't seem all that important to Baker right now. And after earning the trust of AEW officials on the microphone in recent weeks, some believe she went over the line in attacking Sakazaki after the match. Sources tell me that Baker might be using the wrestling career as a way to advance for dentistry career. Baker knocked a tooth out of Sakazaki's, which can happen in wrestling. But she was purposeful in her intent. And who is Sakazaki's dentist? Britt Baker. So, while Baker didn't pick up the winner's purse, she will make double, maybe even triple, in fixing Sakazaki's tooth. Officials have no issue with Baker attacking the mouth in sanctioned matches, but the post-match attack was a step too far.
14. Joey Janela
A tough loss for Joey Janela, who is struggling in AEW. Officials continue to be high on his potential but his lack of focus is very concerning at the moment. Janela is reportedly searching for a coach to keep him on track, but his "bad boy" tendencies have scared off potential suitors. I can confirm that Janela has reached out to the Jurassic Express about potentially linking up for joint practices.
As you would expect, Cody is in rough shape. He knew what he was getting himself into and he was not happy that so many people came out to try and stop MJF or delay things. Cody wanted to stand on his own like a man and take the lashes while also protecting his family and friends. He understands their sympathies and support, but felt he needed to handle this on his own. Cody won't be in action next week as he'll rest before his showdown with Wardlow. Cody also won't ask the league to punish Wardlow for stepping in and delivering one of the lashes, even if that wasn't part of the deal.
16. The Elite (Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, The Young Bucks)
Hangman Page made no friends in The Elite locker room with his action during the match. As I've reported for weeks, The Elite have monitored Hangman outside the ring to make sure his drinking has stayed under control. But once they got into the ring, they know he will deliver. That changed on Wednesday when he was impaired and seemingly confused during the match. His decision making was questioned and obviously they are pointing to his drinking as being the issue. I've been told by people close to the situation that Omega and The Young Bucks can't have it both ways. Either they are worried about him and need to have an intervention with him. Or they need to let him be free and responsible for his own actions.
*These rankings are a satirical take on pro sports power rankings and treat AEW as such. Any reference to sources or reports should not be taken seriously.