*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.
The road to Fyter Fest is starting to take shape but there are speed bumps along the way. AEW is very pleased with how the schedule has started to come together following Double or Nothing and have the majority of the roster back and working together. Champions are staying active, new challengers are emerging, and they believe the best is yet to come.
AEW Power Rankings - Week 35
1. Nyla Rose & Penelope Ford
Perhaps no one on the roster has had more to prove than Penelope Ford in recent months. Ford was blasted by many for being too involved with Kip Sabian and holding him back. The duo mixing business and pleasure appeared to be a detriment, but they've turned it around in a big way over the last three weeks. Sabian & Jimmy Havoc earned an AEW Tag Team Titles shot and now Ford scored a victory over the AEW Women's Champion on Wednesday. Ford is now angling for a title shot, feeling she is the rightful top contender. As for Rose, she still believes she is owed her rematch.
2. Best Friends (Chuckie T, Trent, & Orange Cassidy)
The Best Friends were happy with the win, but obviously not happy with what happened after. For them, the ultimate goal is still the AEW Tag Team Titles and they want to be as healthy as possible going into the match. They are angry at AEW officials for failing to protect them after the match, believing that AEW was going to be about honor, not about orange beatings.
Cody walked away impressed with Mar Quen and appreciated him helping during the attack after the match. He questioned where his "friends" in The Elite were and his own family, but didn't want to dwell on that or speculate too much. The game plan was simple for Cody. He knew he had to ground Quen and go after his injured knee. He figured if he followed the game plan, he would come away victorious and he was proven right. As for Hager, Cody has said he welcomes anyone, he's just upset Hager felt the need to attack instead of ask.
4. Sammy Guevara
Guevara could not contain his excitement after his victory over Colt Cabana. He wasn't going to let Matt Hardy rain on his parade and he was quickly sliding into the DMs of some well-known celebrities, bragging how he had defeated Colt Cabana. If you want to know who Guevara hit up, feel free to hit me up.
Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood promised a new style of wrestling in AEW and they delivered in their in-ring debut. "Everyone comes in here with their gimmick playbooks and trick plays. We're not about that. Smash-mouth wrestling is what we bring to AEW. Defense wins championships. Ground and pound wrestling. That's what we're about," Dax told me after the match. FTR has their sights set on one team and that's The Young Bucks. Beating them and proving that their style is better is why they are in AEW. Titles are secondary to proving that their style is not outdated and that is can still be successful despite what the "experts" say.
6. The Elite
The Young Bucks are more focused on FTR than the AEW Tag Team Titles, Kenny Omega is still focused on proving he is the best, and Hangman Page is just wondering why no one else got dressed up for their meeting. Omega feels disrespected that FTR and the Young Bucks have the audacity to call themselves "the best tag team in the world" when they are the AEW Tag Team Champions. The Bucks understand where Omega is coming from and obviously respect his individual talent, but when it comes to tag team wrestling, they've been at the top of the game for 15 years, not 15 weeks. When I asked Hangman for his thoughts on the situation, he said, "Huh? You're not dressed up either."
7. Brian Cage
Taz has dismissed any talk of Cage's gas tank being a problem. He continues to re-iterate that he has been protecting Brian, not wanting Moxley to get a full scouting report ahead of Fyter Fest. Taz said, "If you want to believe the hype that Brian has no gas tank, it's your mistake."
8. Darby Allin
AEW officials are not pleased with Allin going against doctor's orders and doing high-risk actives while he should be taking it easy. One course told me that if Allin gets injured while performing stunts outside of the ring, his contract will be null and void and he will not be paid. It's a risk Allin is willing to take because he's Darby Allin.
9. Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss
Janela is looking for a career jump-start and has turned to his friend Sonny Kiss to try and help out. They both see a path in the tag team division and they're looking to come together to make some noise in the division, but they don't want to rush things. They feel they need some time and practice together to really get their timing down before jumping into the ring against some of the top teams in the division. Expect them to work out the kinks on AEW Dark in the coming weeks.
10. Jon Moxley
Moxley wasn't thrilled with Cage's attack, but also believes it provided him with proper insight ahead of their match. "He's powerful and explosive, but what about the deep waters? It took a lot out of him just to beat me up for two minutes in a parking lot, and I'm still standing. Can he go five minutes? Ten minutes? 20-minutes? I'll find out." The oddsmakers have given Cage a big-time punchers chance in the match, but the betting actually came in on Moxley after Wednesday as bettors began seeing the holes in Cage's game.
11. Marq Quen
Quen was happy to receive the title shot and felt he was put in a no lose situation. A win and he's the new AEW TNT Champion. A loss and he could chalk it up to inexperience, not being 100%, and not having enough time with his new coach Matt Hardy. Quen performed well and this loss certainly won't be held against him moving forward.
12. Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander
Shida & Statlander might be very good on their own, but they are not good together. They have no issues with each other, but they also don't understand the point of teaming together constantly. Shida wants to prove she's the best female wrestler in the world while Statlander wants what Shida has; the AEW Women's Title.
13. The Inner Circle (Santana, Ortiz & Jake Hager)
Winning was not the goal of this match according to Chris Jericho. "We could win every match if we wanted to," he told me "but what does that prove? That we're the best? Everyone knows we're the best. We're here to send a message. It's a marathon, not a sprint. No one remembers who won the battles, they remember who won the war. Congrats to Fake Friends and Blood Orange Cassidy for winning generic six-man tag number 53. Who won the war?" Santana & Ortiz didn't quite share the same mindset as they were hoping to pick up the victory, feeling they've been letting the team down recently. Jericho loves both men, and everyone in the Inner Circle, so their spot is not in jeopardy. But they put a lot of pressure on themselves to be the best and they don't feel as if they're living up to that standard at the moment. Also of note, Chris Jericho has been fined for his post-match actions.
14. The Butcher & The Blade
It was a solid effort by Butcher & Blade, but the problem for them is that they were the "smash-mouth" team in AEW and now FTR has come along. Butcher & Blade are essentially FTR-lite and the style that separated them from the rest of the division is now being done by a team better than them. Butcher & Blade will need to figure something out if they want to stand out moving forward. For those asking about Allie/The Bunny, I haven't been able to get a firm answer. Butcher & Blade are getting mixed signals on where she stands with them and don't want to lose focus on their ultimate goal of being champions. However, they are upset that Allie has found success with QT Marshall, who will be getting a Tag Team Title match alongside Dustin Rhodes next week. Allie tried to tell Butcher & Blade to spend more time on AEW Dark as it's an easy path to the title, but they wanted to do things the hard way.
15. Colt Cabana
Cabana remains at a crossroads. He's having a lot of doubts right now and believes Mr. Brodie Lee might be able to offer him some guidance. I spoke with Cabana following his meeting with Lee and he said, "I came in there with one idea, wanting to tell him off, but by the time we finished talking, I realized he's a genius and I'm now strongly considering the offer. This could be exactly what I need to get my career back on track."