Things remain fluid in All Elite Wrestling in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. It's a tense situation as not everyone is present at the shows and they are scrambling to fill the schedule with worthy match-ups.
I can tell you that the promotion is excited about the debut of the TNT Championship. The tournament begins next week and they feel having a big hook for upcoming weeks of television will keep viewers around. However, they are worried they won't be able to deliver on the conclusion as Double or Nothing could be a bust.
AEW Power Rankings - Week 25
1. Kenny Omega
Omega continues to prove why he's one of the best in the world as he's willing to take on all challengers. League officials are impressed with Omega as they know they can count on him during these times. Omega has told them, "Put anybody in front me." Officials have carefully selected Omega's opponents because they don't want to burn through marquee matchups that were scheduled for the playoffs, but they also don't want to risk an upset loss where the winner isn't able to capitalize. Guevara and Trent are two guys where, had they won, AEW was confident that could use that victory to catapult to the next level. They are also two guys seen near the level of Omega, so fans don't think AEW is protecting Omega by giving him cupcakes.
2. Sammy Guevara & Shawn Spears
Guevara and Spears pick up momentum heading into the TNT Title tournament. Behind the scenes, Spears has been pushing to be part of The Inner Circle, feeling that he works well with Guevara and fits in with their vision. Spears is still searching for a partner and with the pandemic, the search has been halted. Spears has been training with the Inner Circle to make sure he's remained in top shape and he's been dubbed as an honorary training partner of the group. Jericho likes Spears, but also doesn't want to throw off the balance of the Inner Circle or tie Guevara, who he sees as a major singles star, to a tag team.
3. Hikaru Shida
Shida struggled more than officials expected in this bout. I'm told that Shida didn't take Jayy lightly, it's just circumstances didn't allow her to be 100%. She wasn't able to do any tape study, she came into the match with some nagging injuries, and she had a rough travel schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials have said that Shida's performance won't be held against her because of the circumstances.
4. Lance Archer
Archer was impressive as expected. He pushed for this match against Marko Stunt because he wanted to have a dominant victory that stood out for his debut. Officials are already tired of Jake Roberts' influence, but there's nothing they can do about it. One official told me, 'Everyone knows Jake is using riddles to get what he wants, but no one can solve the riddles, so he gets what he wants. We have 21. He has 22."
5. Natural Nightmares
Dustin Rhodes wasn't thrilled that he ended up in the TNT Championship tournament. He wanted to remain focused on his partnership with QT Marshall, but was entered into the tournament because he was one of the available wrestlers during the pandemic. Dustin was not part of the original plans for the tournament.
6. Jon Moxley
Moxley got his wish granted as he'll face Jake Hager for the AEW World Title in two weeks. Moxley and Jericho both pushed for this match. Jericho, as he explained, is waiting to use his rematch clause. He wants Hager to do some of his dirty work for him as he has to deal with Matt Hardy. Moxley not only wanted to face Hager, he wanted to face the entire Inner Circle in a fight to the death. And I'm not kidding.
7. Chris Jericho
Jericho has filed a protest to league offices regarding Matt Hardy using illegal cameras to spy on his training. I'll have more on the situation next week.
Trent is the breakout singles star between him and Chuckie T, but the story remains the same for the Best Friends. They are better together than they are separate. Trent was disappointed in how the match played out, not realizing that there was only a minute remaining in the match when he lost. Trent was wrestling to win the match, but he would have been satisfied with the tie given his opponent.
9. Darby Allin & Cody
Cody loves Darby and much like Spears is an honorary training partner of The Inner Circle, Cody sees Darby as an honorary training partner of The Elite. But Darby doesn't see it that way. He doesn't want The Elite's help for anything. He is a lone wolf who marches to the beat of his own drum. He respects The Elite, but will continue to work on his own and make it on his own. He never wanted Cody's handout and was offended at the offer. The Elite remains worried about Cody, feeling he's trying to replace what he had with MJF.
10. Anna Jayy
Jayy was impressive. Many expect Shida to run through her and she more than held her own against the highly ranked Shida. Expect her to be moved to Dark for more seasoning as she tries to earn a full-time contract.
11. Marko Stunt
Stunt was not supposed to wrestle on this show. He missed previous weeks as he was under the weather and he was not medically cleared by all officials. But he was medically cleared by the main doctor who took his temperature, so he was able to wrestle. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy didn't want him wrestling, not only because of his condition but also because of the opponent. They knew Marko was walking into a beatdown. They were right.
12. The Dark Order
Things remain tense in Dark Order as Brodie Lee is not the man they were expecting him to be. One Dark Order member, who asked to remain anonymous, said, "We thought he'd be leading prayer circles, having us drink Kool-Aid, and coming up with a master plan to rid AEW of those who don't conform. Instead, he's yelling at us for yawning and sneezing while in a board room. Not my Dark Order."
*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.