It’s been a bit of a muted week over at AEW this week. It’s not that there haven’t been developments in storylines, but nothing has necessarily come and shook me and demanded my attention. That’s slightly concerning considering Double or Nothing is getting closer and closer, but I’m reasonably optimistic things should pick back up again in the next couple of weeks.
But as for this week, which superstars proved themselves to be more elite than the rest of the roster? Who was the best of the best for the week?
Let’s get into the Power Rankings and find out!
5. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page
This is the first entry for the AEW World Heavyweight Champion in the Sports Obsessive AEW Power Rankings, and that’s quite a peculiar fact when you consider it. You’d expect the World Champion, the figurehead of the company, to be in the rankings every week, and yet Hangman Page has been pretty quiet over the last few weeks, not making the splash you’d expect from the champ. In fairness, he was away with COVID for a period, but his feud with CM Punk has just come across as muted when it really should have elevated Page as ‘The Man.’
Page went a little way to rectifying that this week, defending his title against DDT Pro Wrestling’s impressive Konosuke Takeshita in a hard-fought contest. A champion successfully defending their title will always score on the Power Rankings here, but it also starts to build the momentum Page needs going into the main event of Double or Nothing. He needs to look like a warrior, not just a man who stares down Punk on the rampway.
4. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.
She may no longer be the AEW Women’s Champion, but the Doctor is still in the game. One of the clear contenders to win the Women’s Owen Hart Cup, Baker demonstrated why she is still a major player by making short work of the ‘joker’ of the tournament, Maki Itoh.
While the match was more played towards laughs than serious, hard-hitting action (not always a bad thing), Britt’s victory does point to an interesting future scenario: if she wins the women’s cup and her partner Adam Cole wins the men’s cup, will we start to see an on-screen alliance between the pair? And will that make Britt and Cole AEW’s top power couple? (Sorry, Sammy and Tay!)
3. Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland/Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs
Both teams got the nod in third place here as both achieved the same result—they both got a title shot at AEW World Tag Team Champions Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus at Double or Nothing! The feud between the two teams here has been of a territorial nature: they both want to prove to the other that they are the top team around.
Only one problem: to be the best team, then arguably, you need to be the pair holding the tag team gold. With both teams being given the shot here, they get an opportunity to answer their question—who really is the best team?
I’m not sure that referring to Keith Lee as Rex from Toy Story is the best insult you could have used though, Ricky…
It’s a little bit of a strange one, this. Technically, MJF’s nemesis, Wardlow, endured the trial by whipping to go on to the next trial and face Shawn Spears next week in a cage on AEW Dynamite. Surely Wardlow has the advantage here?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, Wardlow endured his trial. But he had to take a beating to get there. The whips were one thing; Wardlow seemingly took them in his stride. But an MJF low blow and a crack to the head with a ring-assisted punch did its damage, as did a Shawn Spears C4 which allowed ‘The Chairman’ to get a ‘three count’ over the big man.
So yes, Wardlow goes on to the next trial—but what shape will he be in? They’ve already proven Spears can get a three-count over Wardlow, even if it was an unofficial one. What will he be able to do in the cage if he’s not 100%? Hence MJF places number two in the power rankings for what was a tactically smart manoeuvre.
1. Adam Cole
It’s Adam Cole BAY-BAY. Mr Cole is number one on this week’s power rankings and for good reason. He continued to make good on the rumour that he is set to be the one to win the men’s Owen Hart Cup by beating Jeff Hardy. That a veteran like Jeff Hardy was game to put Cole over says a lot about the respect there is for Cole and his worth to the company. In fact, I’d say this run in the tournament has built up Cole better than he was before his title match with Adam Page! Controversial maybe, but I honestly feel that way.
The post-match beatdown by The Elite of The Hardys, Darby Allin, and Sting only added to the feeling that this is an upswing for The Elite. That’s not a bad thing by any means, and will only mean we will see Adam Cole in the Power Rankings more and more moving forward.