AEW returned with a live event on Wednesday and officials could not control their excitement. Tony Khan, in particular, raved to me all day about how fantastic the shows had been, but how much better they would be under the live format and with roster members feeling more comfortable working under the circumstances.
AEW took extreme caution when it came to who they let in the building and once everyone was inside, everyone was taken care of by the top executives. One worker at Daily's Place told me, "I don't why Yannick Ngakoue is complaining. Tony Khan is the best boss I've ever had. And he's not even my boss."
AEW Power Rankings - Week 30
1. Sammy Guevara & Chris Jericho
Words can't describe how elated Chris Jericho was with Sammy Guevara after this match. As I've been reporting for weeks, Jericho loves Guevara and sees big things in his future but he wants Guevara to start taking things seriously and show some consistency in the ring. This match wasn't really in the ring, but this is the kind of performance Jericho was looking for out of Guevara. Santana commended Guevara, feeling this was the kind of match he needed to prove himself. "He can go in the ring. He needed to get his hands dirty. That's how men are made. Sammy became a man tonight."
2. Jon Moxley
Moxley is always excited to compete and appreciate the challenge Frankie Kazarian gave him. But he was never worried about this match. I've never seen Moxley with this much confidence. Even before the match with Chris Jericho, where he had a trick up his sleeve, there was still some nervousness there. But now, there are no nerves and he 100% believes he's the best in the world. The attack by Brodie Lee and theft of his title is only going to fuel him heading into Double or Nothing. An angry and confident Jon Moxley is not someone people want to mess with.
It was a trap match for Cody against Joey Janela. And though he won, he may have lost in the end. Cody defeated Janela but later in the night, he was too banged up to save his wife from the attack by Britt Baker, Jake Roberts, and Lance Archer. Brandi tried to understand why her husband wasn't by her side, knowing she's been through a lot over the best couple of months. But she's also not so forgiving in this manner. Cody's head in already messed up, but his body might not be able to get the rest it needs in the coming weeks as he'll be sleeping in the cigar room.
4. Nyla Rose
Rose was happy to be back in action and prove her dominance once again in the division. She will be watching next week's four-way bout very closely and fully expects to meet the winner at Double or Nothing. Rose does not care who she faces telling me, "I'll beat all those bitches at once."
5. Lance Archer
Archer made no apologies for what he did to Marshall or allowed Roberts to do to Brandi. He had a hit list from the moment he signed with AEW and he's slowly going through that list. I can report that Jake Roberts has been fined for his actions as live animals during celebrations are not allowed. Precendent was set with Chris JeriGOAT and followed through in this matter.
6. Brodie Lee
The Dark Order has questioned Brodie Lee's leadership since he was revealed as The Exalted One. As I've reported for weeks, they've grown tired of his leadership style, feeling picking on the weak not only within in the group but in the ring as well has not helped. Lee heard their complaints and decided to show them he means business, which is why he attacked Jon Moxley. I've been told that members of the Dark Order were so impressed by Lee stepping up that even if he doesn't defeat Moxley at Double or Nothing, he's proven that he is the leader they are looking for and will continue to have his back.
MJF has been medically cleared to compete, but questions of him being injury-prone still linger. He'll have a lot to prove next week and at Double or Nothing. These are all trap matches for MJF because coming off the victory over Cody, he was expected to move into a title program. But due to the injuries, it put him down the ladder a bit. Now, he has to prove himself all over again.
8. Joey Janela
Janela had to shake off some rust and going against a peaking Cody, even one that mentally isn't all there, is a tough matchup. Janela remains stuck in a holding pattern as he works hard and everyone sees the potential, but it's still not clicking in the ring in the big matches. For now, Janela is not good enough to win a championship but too good to enter into a rebuild.
9. Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy
Hangman Page remains unpleased with Omega teaming with other partners and losing. But Omega wants to keep wrestling and he wants to remain sharp as a team. Omega thought he had a partner on his level in Matt Hardy, but Hardy is a veteran at the tail end of his career, not prime Hardy Boyz Matt Hardy. Hangman told me, "He's partnered with a horse. An actual hose. Have you seen the black bar? I'm a real-life horse. And we're the champs. But now he wants to partner with baby oil and Split. I like baby oil. Split is a good movie. But I'm a horse." Omega was dejected following the loss while Hardy could not be reached for comment.
10. Frankie Kazarian
Kazarian was excited to get back in the ring and knew he has a tough test in a motivated and confident Moxley. There was no shame in losing this match and Kazarian is excited to get back on track in the tag team division alongside either Daniels or Sky.
11. Kenzie Paige
A tough task for Kenzie, but she impressed officials and will likely earn a two-way contract.
12. QT Marshall
Marshall took the match against Archer as he had revenge on his mind. It didn't go so well.
*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. Quotes are not real.