The show must go on. That was the mindset for AEW this week, but it's unclear if that will be the mindset moving forward. AEW was very careful not to say "next week" but instead say "next Dynamite" while promoting upcoming matches.
While most praised AEW for their empty arena set, the company gathered more than ten people in the arena and could face repercussions from WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump. AEW wants to make sure the health and safety of the performers comes first and are hesitant to feature a lumberjack match and a match promising blood and guts during the ongoing pandemic.
I'll have more news regarding the next episode of AEW Dynamite on my Twitter account (@jeremylambert88)
AEW Power Rankings - Week 23
1. The Inner Circle
Chris Jericho was instrumental this past week in getting everyone on the same page. As I reported last week, he was not happy with last week's loss and looked at the post-match beatdown as a team-building exercise. Those exercises continued this week. While the rest of the world was partaking in self-quarantine and social distancing, Jericho got the Inner Circle together for sleepovers and intense practices. I've heard rumblings that other members of the AEW roster were not happy that Jericho circumvented the CBA as it was recommended that teams not gather during these times. Defiantly, Jericho told me, "It was a recommendation. Like Britt Baker recommends flossing two times a day. But I only floss one time a day and my teeth are still perfect. So what does Britt Baker know? Is she a dentist?"
Britt Baker is a dentist.
2. The Lucha Bros
A fine win for The Lucha Bros as their official partnership with PAC is paying off. The Lucha Bros have been very happy at the newfound training they are getting with PAC. It seemed like Fenix was thinking about a singles career just a few weeks ago, but forming a partnership with PAC really changed things around for the duo.
3. Hikaru Shida
A strong win for Shida as she builds momentum for another possible title shot. It was not lost on AEW officials that she pinned Penelope Ford, who was looked at as the weakest of the three opponents. But a win is a win.
4. The Dark Order
The Dark Order could not have been more excited following Dynamite. They have finally revealed their leader and they believe he will take them to the next level in the company. The group has picked up a lot of momentum in 2020 and now with Brodie Lee officially on the squad, they believe the sky is the limit. There are some concerns from the outside about Lee given his age and history as a follower, but those in the Dark Order are confident in his ability.
5. Matt Hardy
While things look gloomy for The Elite, they were thrilled at getting Matt Hardy on their side. The deal with Hardy came together quickly and other teams are looking into tampering, feeling they weren't given a fair chance to secure the services of Hardy. The Dark Order believes The Elite acted in bad faith during contract negotiations. But Hardy's arrival into The Elite creates a whole new set of problems for the group as he's another outsider who lacks chemistry with the group. Hangman doesn't understand the addition, saying, "He talks and laughs weird. Is he drunk?"
6. The Jurassic Express
No Marko Stunt for Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus and now questions arise. Stunt has always been seen as the weak link of the group and with him not being around and Jurassic Express picking up the victory, it's fair to wonder if Stunt will be long for the group. Sources tell me that Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy still have a great relationship with Stunt and there are no plans to make an immediate change based off one match. But they were happy to finally pick up a victory.
7. MJF & Shawn Spears
MJF and Shawn Spears have been banned from the AEW Hall of Fame for illegally gambling on the company they work for.
8. Riho, Kris Statlander, and Penelope Ford
Riho and Statlander don't take the loss, but remain in a holding pattern following Riho losing the title and Statlander not winning the title. Ford is still viewed as someone with all the potential in the world, but her lack of focus due to Kip Sabian is an issue once she gets in the ring.
9. The Elite
Tensions continue to arise in The Elite following the six-man tag team loss. Hangman thought Omega was going to be in the match, but Omega is not cleared for competition, so Hangman had to step up. He told me, "His pinky is hurt and he can't wrestle. I can't feel my pinky, my face, or any part of my body and I'm wrestling every week." Matt was also out of sorts having to team with Hangman and Cody, who he has very little chemistry with as they don't have much ring time together. They looked like a thrown together group and performed like one. Secretly, The Elite is hoping things are shutdown due to the coronavirus so they have more time to get on the same page. If Blood & Guts happens next week, it could be the end of The Elite should they lose.
10. The Best Friends
Social distancing put a damper on The Best Friends night. Chuckie T told me that because they had to elbow bump instead hug, their power wasn't as strong as it typically is. Chuckie T also believed he was going to be able to say the S word due to the circumstances, but was talked down into saying the D word. This mentally hurt him going into the match and it showed. I'm told that the parking lot brawl will not be sanctioned by AEW as they recognize parking lots for parked cars, not wrestling matches.
11. The Butcher and The Blade
The duo continues to falter without the guidance of MJF. Not having The Bunny by their side was also an issue for them. While the coaching abilities of The Bunny have been questioned, Butcher & Blade feel she is the right coach for them. They thought having MJF at ringside would be enough since he has made for a great player/coach in the past, but he was too busy gambling to pay attention. Butcher & Blade were not happy with MJF's lack of attention. MJF told me, "They cost me $100,000 and I'm still richer than Cody."
*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.