Upon its inception, AEW introduced a unique weekly ranking system for each division, documenting the top five wrestlers, potential #1 contenders, and their respective win/loss records. This feature, distinguishing AEW from WWE, was discreetly phased out in 2022, sparking considerable debate among fans online.
The primary criticism of the ranking system was its tendency to make story development somewhat predictable. Additionally, it had its flaws, notably highlighted by the situation with FTR, who, despite being the top-ranked tag team in AEW for an extended period, became a running joke for not getting a title shot.
During AEW Collision, AEW President Tony Khan announced the reinstatement of the rankings system starting this month.
“The Rankings are coming back to AEW going forward, starting this month,” Khan wrote on X. “@AEW is having a very exciting January, and this is only the beginning of an amazing 2024 for AEW and our fans. Thank you all watching Saturday Night #AEWCollision right now on @TNTdrama!”
The shift follows the crowning of Samoa Joe as the new AEW World Champion at the AEW Worlds End pay-per-view in December. In his initial promo as champion, Joe expressed a desire to refocus on the sports aspect of wrestling during his reign. He challenged any contender eyeing his title to present their track record and reputation. Shortly thereafter, he was approached by Hangman Adam Page, Swerve Strickland, and HOOK, with HOOK highlighting his AEW win/loss record.