With AEW Double or Nothing less than two weeks away, AEW has really stepped up its game behind the scenes to ensure a worthwhile show. The full roster is starting to return and though many still need to knock-off some ring rust, they have been chomping at the bit to get back to work.
AEW has been extremely pleased with the last two shows and feel they are hitting their stride despite the circumstances.
AEW Power Rankings - Week 31
1. Hikaru Shida
Shida solidified herself as the best in the division not named Nyla Rose and at Double or Nothing, she'll get the chance to prove she's better than Rose. Despite firmly being the number one contender, Shida wanted this match to show Rose that while she's been resting or facing weak competition, she truly is the best in the division. When I asked Rose about Shida's performance, she told me, "She's beaten all the people I've beaten. Congratulations. We'll see how she's feeling after May 23."
2. Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy
Hardy picks up his first victory in AEW and Omega picks up a victory without Hangman Page. Omega is a bit in flux right now as he wants to remain active but can only do so much with his tag team partner choosing to remain quarantined. Hangman will be back for Double or Nothing but Omega wonders where he'll be mentally and physically. Hangman told me, "Does he not understand the concept of full gear? I'm always full gear ready. Tell him to worry about body oil or whatever." Omega could not be reached for comment.
3. Best Friends
The Best Friends weren't thrilled to find out that MJF assisted them in victory and hate that it's a loss on the record of The Jurassic Express. At the same time, Fenix attacked first and Chuckie T & Trent were worried about their other best friend. Overall, the Best Friends were happy with the victory as it puts them one step closer to a title shot. Don't forget, they hold a victory over Kenny Omega in tag team action. They are talking with management every day trying to get the title shot they feel they are owed and are not happy they have to beat Private Party, on the pre-show no less, to officially earn a title shot.
4. Brodie Lee
Brodie wanted this match against Daniels as he felt disrespected by Daniels, who previously mocked the existence of The Exalted One. The Dark Order is now fully drinking the kool-aid, feeling Brodie is the man to lead them for the foreseeable future. Even if Lee comes up short against Moxley at Double or Nothing, the Dark Order is firmly behind him and his future plans.
5. Chris Jericho
Jericho took care of business against Pineapple Pete but the big news was his announcement of the Stadium Stampede. This match had been in the works for weeks as AEW wanted to deliver a big arena fight despite the circumstances. Jericho didn't want to wait any longer to get his hands on The Elite and with fans banned from the arena, thought this would be the perfect way to deliver a big match and end The Elite once and for all. "The Inner Circle will be the best team to ever grace that field," said Jericho.
He's back and still better than you. He was able to knock off some ring rust but is obviously feeling like he needs more of a tune-up, which is the reason for the match against Marko Stunt next week. MJF is worried about being overhealed and wanted to make sure he peaks at the right time against Jungle Boy.
7. Britt Baker
Many wondered why Baker was so pre-occupied with Statlander rather than focusing on the victory. There's a simple reason for that. "Pearly whites are more important than shiny gold."
8. Lance Archer & Jake Roberts
Roberts & Archer wanted time to explain their actions from last week. But I've been told they were trying to bait Cody because they knew how irate he was. Their plan worked and they believe they are 100% in Cody's head going into Double or Nothing. They know Cody has been in a fragile state for months and think he's just about ready to break. They have no issue delivering the final blow.
Cody is being investigated for property damage and attempted vehicular assault. He knew he needed a big gesture after leaving Brandi out to be snaked last week and this was that gesture. Brandi took notice of the gesture, but it does not make up for what happened to her. Cody will remain in the cigar room for at least another week.
10. Kris Statlander
Statlander continues to knock off the ring rust after a long absence. She has been hybernating in her natural habitat and been incommunicado with AEW officials over the last few weeks. But she returned ready to work and AEW officials didn't ask any questions because they don't want to be on Statlander's bad side. Statlander was very confused by the actions of Britt Baker as she didn't realize Baker also speaks her language. Statlander has never come in contact with doctors or dentists and is not wondering if they are also aliens.
11. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy
It was a rusty performance for Luchasaurs and Jungle Boy, who haven't been able to team or train together for weeks due to the pandemic. They found their rhythm by the middle of the match and thought they were no their way to victory when Fenix and MJF got involved. Jungle Boy wants to make sure Luchasaurus is on high alert at Double or Nothing because he knows MJF will try every trick in the book and he fully expects Wardlow to get involved.
12. Santana & Ortiz
A disappointing loss for Santana & Ortiz who were feeling very good after Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara defeated Hardy & Omega last week. Santana & Ortiz do feel ring rust were part of the problem and believe if they were to get a rematch next week, they would be victorious. Jericho wasn't happy since he's invested a lot in Santana & Ortiz and does feel they've underdelivered as a team. But much like Guevara, he knows the future is bright and isn't willing to give up on his investment.
13. Christopher Daniels
Internally, people are pushing for this to be Daniels' last year in the ring. He's a step behind and his typically finishing moves aren't even getting a two count anymore. Daniels has resisted retirement and wants to reunite with Frankie Kazarian so Scorpio Sky can be the singles star. There are many decisions to be made in the SCU camp.
14. Penelope Ford
Ford believes AEW officials haven't been paying attention to her. I can confirm they were impressed with her on Wednesday. However, she was the one pinned in the fatal four-way contest and officials have the same complaint with her that they have with Kip Sabian -- they aren't good for each other. If there's ever such a thing of being "too in love," it's certainly the case with Ford and Sabian as their love distracts from their work. Mixing business with pleasure is only a recipe for success if you're married to the business as well.
15. Pineapple Pete
He will continue to get opportunities moving forward as AEW officials were impressed with his presence and work ethic. Look for him to join a team in the near future to really sharpen his skills. It's possible he floats between teams but look for him to spend the majority of his time with SCU.
16. Lee Johnson
Good job, good effort.
*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.