All Elite Wrestling wants to be treated like a sport, right? That's why they credential media, do post-show scrums, have win/loss records, and will introduce analytics when the television show starts. Tony Khan is heavily involved in sports and everyone in the company mentions how they will be a "sports-centric" product in every single interview when discussing their vision.
Well, you want to be treated like a sport, I will treat you like a sport.
Nearly every outlet does weekly power rankings for major sports. Power rankings are so important that they decide who wins the National Title in College Football. I have taken it upon myself to shoulder the responsibility of power ranking AEW every single week, right here, on Fightful. When those in AEW are done thanking Chris Jericho, they can hit me up with a thank you as well.
Nothing in the world of AEW is off-limits in these rankings as long as it happened on television. If you don't see something ranked, feel free to ask me on social media (@jeremylambert88) where it would fall. I will use a random number generator and reply ASAP.
AEW All Out is in the books and the television product is beginning to take shape. A World Champion has been crowned, a Women's World Title match is official, and the AAA Tag Team Titles will no longer be used. Let's get to it.
AEW Power Rankings - Week One
1. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho will not be docked for having the AEW World Title stolen. They didn't take away Tom Brady's Super Bowl MVP just because his jersey was stolen after Super Bowl LI, did they?
2. Nyla Rose & Riho
I don't know why Riho and Hikaru Shida got to bypass the Casino Battle Royale and compete in a one-on-one match to get a shot at Women's Title. But they did. And Riho won in a good match and impressive underdog performance. Nyla Rose was just as impressive with her performance in the Casino Battle Royale, eliminating nine competitors in the match. They move on to face each other on Oct. 2 to crown the first-ever AEW Women's Champion. Hopefully AEW pushes this match hard through their social media channels and gives fans more insight into who both ladies are before they step into the ring in DC.
3. The friendship between Cody & MJF
No one gets it. No one can understand it. Why does Cody like MJF? Why did Cody pick MJF to be in his corner over his wife, Brandi? Because Cody truly understands MJF. Maybe we're all wrong about young Maxwell. We don't know what it's like to be a wrestling prodigy. To be thrust into the spotlight at a young age and immediately be expected to perform. To have thousands of people, most of whom don't hand sanitize, want to shake your hand when they see you in public. We don't understand MJF. But Cody does. And their friendship is stronger than ever after All Out despite the "lessers" not understanding and making their own assumptions and conclusions.
4. Arn Anderson's Spinebuster
5. Tag Team Division
The tag team division in AEW is STRONG. Private Party put on an awesome performance on The Buy In, The Lucha Bros and Young Bucks kept up their string of great matches, and Not LAX made their debut in a scene straight out of Point Break.
Yes, there are issues. And we all know I'm talking about the gear of Jack Evans & Angelico, but overall the AEW tag team division is as good as it gets in wrestling right now.
Except for Stu Grayson. Need a name change if I'm going to buy you as some dark underworld leader, Stuart.
9. The Buy In
Fourth time was the charm as The Buy In for All Out felt like a pre-show with the goal of getting fans to buy a pay-per-view. No rallying speech, no backstage nonsense, and limited Librarians. Some good matches, video packages, and a lot of hype.
12. Cracker Barrel
They sponsored an insane match and had Jim Ross drooling over their fried chicken for 15 minutes. If Cracker Barrel didn't see a rise in fried chicken sales after All Out then the AEW fanbase isn't as strong as we believe it is. Or Popeye's got a fresh batch.
Getting a stoppage victory over Kenny Omega is a big win, even if Omega "wasn't focused" due to the opponent change. But PAC is below Cracker Barrel because I guess it's Pack and not Pock? It's pronounced "2-Pock," not 2-Pack. I don't care how much of a bastard you are, you can't just change the diction of thug life.
This is the BEST trios and opening act in AEW.
He came off like a star in the opening match. But he'll never live down his loss to Zingbot.
50. Jim Ross' obsession with pinfall form
If Jim Ross is going to criticize every pinfall attempt because a wrestler doesn't have the right leverage then AEW shows need to come with a Jim Ross Mute button. Not all pinfalls are created equal and Ross pointing out every "wrong" attempt doesn't add anything to the broadcast. It makes the wrestlers look dumb for not doing it the "right" way and ignores fatigue and positioning.
68. Jim Ross' obsession with pointing out referee mistakes
We need VAR.
73. Kenny Omega
Omega is 1-2 in singles matches in AEW. Historically, wrestlers who begin their AEW careers with a 1-2 record still get to main event the first show on television.
75. Joey Janela and Darby Allin
Wins and losses matter, so it's tough to justify either guy receiving the spotlight right now. They'll always have those YouTube promos.
Can we push these things back, so wrestlers aren't slamming their legs into them on dives? Fortunately, everyone was fine after All Out and it's good they have a month off before the next show.. Don't eliminate the dives. Just eliminate a potential injury element.
94. Shawn Spears
Spears came off as the fifth most important person in his match against Cody. Turns out, Cody was right about this guy.
112. Kip Sabian
Remember when he went 20 minutes with Hangman Page?
168. Pyro during Cody's entrance
I'm all for pyro and I'm all for Pharaoh accompanying Cody to the ring because pyro is fun and dogs are awesome. But someone has to be smarter about setting off the pyro with Pharaoh that close to the entrance. Either production screwed up in a big way or Cody wasn't explicit enough in his directions. Get on the same page next time so fans don't have to cringe as Pharaoh tries to get away while being led to the stage.
Joker: Casino Battle Royale
I appreciate the new twist on the battle royale. But this feels like it was left on the cutting room floor by Vince Russo and someone in AEW stumbled upon on it, didn't realize who came up with it, and decided to run with it thinking they could do no wrong.