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The Rankings Recap 1.9.22: Analyzing the AEW Tag Team Rankings

January 9, 2022 | Posted by Andrew Cazer
AEW Rankings

We’re back with a new set of rankings to analyze. Last week we took a look at the men’s singles rankings and evaluated the current scope of the top five. We found that CM Punk in particular has been snubbed within the AEW Top 5 but generally the current basis of the top ten isn’t entirely flawed. You can, as he has for a few weeks now, make a true argument for Sky in the top 5, so while I argued against it last week I can see a point where Sky belongs, but arguably Punk does too. With all that said this week with new Tag Team Champions crowned, we’re going to look at AEW’s most up-to-date Tag Team Rankings and see if there are any snubs or teams who deserve to be ranked.

Commenting on the Comments

Before we get to this week’s rankings, let’s take a look at the few comments we got last week and respond to those.

Riquende had this to say regarding the rankings: “One quirk of the ranking system I would like to ponder on is the TNT (and I guess soon to be TBS) champion being removed from the top 5 and so potentially ‘unable’ to challenge for the main belt. I wonder if that could be leveraged into a storyline in the future (a cowardly heel AEW champ maneuvering the #1 contender face into winning a TNT/TBS title match to remove them from consideration… which would inevitably lead to a champion vs champion match down the line).”

– I think it’s an interesting point to raise that by becoming AEW TNT/TBS champion you’re leaving yourself liable to be removed from the world championship contention. I think it lends itself to have a potential champion vs. champion match down the line with a pretty good storyline prebuilt for it as well. I do wish they’d directly address that fact though and personally, I’d be on the end of thinking they should be viable to contend but only by winning a #1 contender shot by way of a ladder match, tournament, battle royal, etc. So even if they’re not ranked still create a path to the championship as a champion.

Ryan had this to say about the rankings: “You know what would have been an interesting idea? The tag teams rankings. We all know that the company can turn over a boulder and find another tag team just waiting to be pushed on any of their four shows (Yes, Dark and Elevation count; have Youtube time, you have a push lol).”

I agree entirely that the tag team rankings would be good to analyze which inspired me to take an extended look at the tag division this week. Next week we will focus on the women’s division before returning back to the men’s division. As stated previously we’ll change it up weekly as the rankings don’t fluctuate too much so this should keep the column fresh. I think AEW’s in a wonderful position as a company in that their tag division is deep as you said and they do wonders by pushing them up the ranks through Dark and Dark Elevation.

This Week’s Rankings

AEW has brand new tag team champions and surprisingly the former champions have been removed from contention almost immediately. While this is obviously due to the scary injury Fenix suffered during the championship match and the uncertainty around his rehab time it’s still surprising. When Kenny lost his championship and was off to rehab he didn’t fall off the rankings for a few weeks.

In all honesty, it’s a breath of fresh air to have The Lucha Brothers removed because we finally get some new faces on the Tag Team Rankings. For the entire month of December, the tag rankings were made up of some variety of these teams minus the Dark Order. It’s understandable to a point but it also can be a bit frustrating as a fan who knows AEW does have fantastic depth in the tag division. It’s nice to see things shaken up even a bit.

With the new year starting and rankings resetting it makes sense for AEW to keep things the same until we get a specific reason to shake things up. That said, after reviewing a majority of the tag teams I can list at least two that I think have an argument to be ranked already and should be ranked sooner than later, but we’ll get to that at the end. First, let’s discuss the current rankings.

#5 The Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds)

Silver and Reynolds did not start out as an impressive team and should always be an example for new/younger stars in AEW. It’s not always about where you start. Let’s not forget when they began these two were just the Beaver Boys and eventually they joined the Dark Order and were the fall squad of the group. Now they are the part of the group that racks up wins while Uno and Grayson have become the fall guys. This team is 15-1 since June with a majority of those wins coming in multiperson (6+) tag matches. Their only loss also came in a six-person tag match against the Gunn Club. Outside of that, they have 4 traditional tag team victories all of which came in 2021. Their only victory in 2022 was a six-man victory over The Hardy Family Office, not a hugely significant victory but still a solid win on Dark Elevation of a good squad. Their traditional tag wins have been over primarily a bunch of nobodies. Overall they fit at best as number five but honestly, I think there are two other teams that would be more sensible in this spot if not more, but I’ll address that later for now I want to see more from these two in traditional tags if they’re going to be ranked otherwise feed them to Santana and Ortiz or FTR and get them off the list.

#4 FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)

These two are one of the best teams in the world and by that nature have earned a spot on this list by default, that being said I’m not entirely sure they belong here considering they’ve recently had AEW title matches in November and December and came up short both times. Although they did get their wins back for the AAA championships along the way so it’s not like they’ve been losing nonstop. They are 2-1 since their latest championship match with only one of those matches being a traditional tag team match. In that traditional tag team match, they beat local jobbers on Elevation so thus far in 2022, they haven’t done a whole lot to impress me. FTR is like Alabama they almost have to work themselves out of the rankings by stringing together losses but I wouldn’t be mad if they weren’t on the list for a few weeks to give a few other teams some shine. Regardless it’s not like they don’t deserve it I just think there’s an argument to be made that they don’t need to be ranked at this moment.

Santana And Ortiz: AEW's Best Tag Team Haven't Won A Championship Yet

#3 Santana & Ortiz

It appears that their former name of Proud n Powerful is no longer in use as they’re typically on the ball with these things. That may have changed long ago and I just noticed but still worth noting. This team should really be the top-ranked team if we’re being honest. It’s damn near robbery that this team hasn’t received a championship match since February of last year. They are 16-4 since June and 13-1 in traditional tag matches. Their one loss in traditional tag matches was at the hands of FTR, a team that they would go on to beat two months later. A majority of their wins are over jobber teams but they’ve recently been involved in a program with 2.0 and Daniel Garcia in which Santana and Ortiz finally got a victory over that trio after they had their number for several weeks. With Santana and Ortiz picking up a much-needed win I’m glad they’re recognized on this list, but it’s past time for them to return to championship contention if you ask me.

#2 The Young Bucks

The Young Bucks have not been as focused on the tag team division since losing the Tag Team Titles to the Lucha Brothers in September. Despite that, they are still ranked number two in the division. Similar to FTR and honestly even more so these two are like Alabama, they’re almost guaranteed to be forever ranked and would need to see a serious fall off or injury to be removed from the top five. The Bucks would almost fit in better at the bottom of this list as they’re currently 4-3 since they lost the titles in September. In that time they’ve been involved in a number of multi-person tag matches that they’ve come up short in. Now that Adam Cole has joined the fold the Bucks have been more involved in what he has going on but that could soon come to a climax. In the Bucks’ sole traditional tag match since losing their titles they defeated Chaos representatives Chuck Taylor and Rocky Romero. While they haven’t had many matches and have come up short a few times their victory over an established tag team is relatively significant and likely goes a ways in getting them the number two spot. It’s a recency thing to have the Bucks over Santana & Ortiz because I wouldn’t be mad if they were as low as #5 with a 4-3 record.

#1 The Acclaimed 

The Acclaimed at number one may feel strange if you just look at their overall record since their last Tag Title match in October as they’re 8-5 in that time frame. However, they are 7-1 in traditional tag team matches in the same time frame. So when paired with other teams the Acclaimed struggles but in a traditional tag team setting they are one of the best. I do think they could benefit from a victory over another ranked squad as that would really establish them as the top tag team ready for a championship match. They’re one of the only teams to have a victory already in the new year and the last time they lost a traditional tag match was against fellow rising stars Lio Rush & Dante Martin. They hold victories over Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson a tag team with a strong record and also a recent win over a surging Bear Country on AEW Dark just a few weeks back. It would just take a loss to another ranked team to knock them down a notch but it’s fair to say as things stand right now The Acclaimed is one of the top teams in AEW.

The Snubs

(Tag Teams who should already be in the top five)

Who are all the members of AEW stable The Gunn Club?

The Gunn Club (Billy Gunn & Colten Gunn) – This team is truly not one of my favorite teams but in terms of the AEW Rankings Colten especially is deserving but this team is as well. As a team, Billy & Colten are 20-1 since April and 10-1 in traditional tag team matches. The one loss they’ve taken was in a match against Sting and Darby Allin, two of AEW’s biggest stars. While this team has only beaten enhancement talent it’s still been teams you’re used to seeing on Dark. They’ve beaten teams like Bear Country, The Wingmen, Chaos Project, and The Factory. Granted they lost their most recent tag match they’ve strung together a number of multi-person victories over the last few weeks. You could even make an argument that Colten/Austin deserve a title opportunity more. As a team those two are 12-0  however only two matches were traditional tag matches against Chaos Project & The Nightmare Family. If you think that Silver & Reynolds deserve it over these two due to strength of schedule then I suppose you could make an argument for it but I really think some variation of the Gunn Club deserves it more at this point than them.

The Pinnacle (Wardlow & Shawn Spears) – Yet another team who should be ranked over teams like The Dark Order, FTR and maybe even The Young Bucks. These two have been racking up win after win recently and while the strength of schedule has been light it shouldn’t entirely discredit an 11-0 run with 10 wins coming by way of traditional tag team matches. Despite normally facing enhancement teams they do have victories over Fuego del Sol & Marko Stunt, as well as Bear Country all superstars who are generally featured on AEW TV or Youtube. They’re likely not ranked as Wardlow’s been on a run as a singles competitor but it’s hard to argue these two are undeserving of a spot somewhere within the top five.

Keep an Eye on:

Tony Khan Officially Confirms 2.0 Has Signed With AEW

2.0 – Since their debut 2.0 is currently 12-8. They are 7-3 in traditional tag team matches since making their debut for the company in August. Their losses have been to Lee Moriarty & Sydal, Darby & Sting, and Moxley & Kingston. The ladder two teams are nothing to scoff at and provided solid matchups for 2.0 as they get acclimated to the new scenery. They have gotten a couple of significant victories over Ortiz & Santana in multi-person matches but otherwise a majority of their victories have been over enhancement talent. They haven’t broken out and defeated a significant team in a traditional tag team match but if they get a regular tag vs. Santana and Ortiz and manage to get a victory there then they’re surely in line to be ranked.

The Nightmare Family (Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson) – This tag team is 8-4 since July and 5-2 in traditional tag team matches. Their two losses have come to The Acclaimed and The Gunn Club. Those two teams are either ranked or listed in the snubs above so not entirely awful to come up short to those teams. They really don’t have anything for significant victories to really make an argument to rank this team but they could be on the cusp if they’re given an honest run. I don’t really anticipate it at this point especially if we see more tag teams start to mix it up in the coming weeks but still they’re worth keeping an eye on.

Private Party – Private Party has come a long way from stealing a victory over the Young Bucks early on in AEW’s tenure. Now they’re paired with Matt Hardy and sitting on a 7-5 record since August. With Marq Quen being on the shelf with injury this team did have to take some time on the sidelines but he has recently returned and hopefully we can see them return to being a top featured team in AEW. Most recently they came up short in a multi-person match but they are 3-1 in traditional tag team matches and their only loss in that time has been to the current tag team champions Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus. Their wins are typically over enhancement teams but they have beaten Chuck Taylor and Wheeler Yuta in that time as well. Private Party could be on the cusp of being legitimate contenders they just need to string together some wins now that Quen is back from injury.

Bear Country – Bear Country is a team that’s worth keeping an eye especially as they continue to be a featured team on Dark from time to time. They are 6-4 since April and recently had a big match with the Acclaimed on Dark, despite coming up short they did start to feel like potential contenders. I don’t think that this team is in the plans to be a top team and fortunately AEW has a ton of depth that they won’t necessarily ‘need’ them to fill in anytime soon, if they wanted to mix things up this team should be considered as they’re really good and do a great job at making other teams look good. I’m not calling for them to be ranked, but I wouldn’t mind them being allowed to string some wins together and then eventually put over other really good teams which is pretty much what they’ve been doing recently anyways.

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AEW, Andrew Cazer