Chris Jericho and the Biggest Winners and Losers of AEW in 2019

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

Chris Jericho and the Biggest Winners and Losers of AEW in 2019

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    All Elite Wrestling's first year in business has been a wild ride with plenty of ups and downs along the way.

    There were major successes, like getting off the ground to begin with, having a few events and making it to television. There were also some bumps in the road, such as nearly losing the AEW World Championship belt.

    Those positives and negatives apply to the roster, too, as some have had a better year than others.

    Just as with the breakdowns of WWE's biggest winners and losers, let's reflect on AEW's best and worst of 2019.

Losers: The Librarians

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The Librarians are jokes in more ways than one. Of course, their gimmicks are silly and they aren't meant to be taken seriously—their win-loss records reflect that.

    Peter Avalon has one of the worst overall records in the company, having lost every one of his six matches.

    However, Leva Bates is only slightly better off with a record of 1-6 after she won a tag team match with Nyla Rose against Shalandra Royal and Shazza McKenzie on the November 6 edition of AEW Dark.

    Of course, Bates did absolutely nothing in that match to be proud of, as she didn't even tag in, meaning the only win this duo has was entirely due to Rose.

    Somewhere down the line, these two will get a legitimate victory, but that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

Winner: MJF

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    While Maxwell Jacob Friedman failed in his first two AEW matches, he's won everything since then. One of those wins netted him the AEW Dynamite diamond ring, supposedly worth $45,000.

    That makes it one of the most valuable assets in the whole company and it's in the possession of MJF, who argues he doesn't even need the money.

    Despite his wealth, MJF isn't above robbery when it comes to stealing the show after he went from a relative unknown to one of the fastest-rising stars this year.

    So far, he's been endorsed by Chris Jericho, beat a former No. 1 contender and screwed Cody out of all future title opportunities.

    MJF is a winner because he's better than us and we know it.

Losers: Jurassic Express

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    Credit: Lee South/AEW

    As popular as Jurassic Express have become, two of the three members have among the worst records in AEW.

    Marko Stunt sits at an abysmal 1-9. Oddly, Jungle Boy, despite being bigger and treated as a more legitimate wrestler, hasn't even won a single time, with a record of 0-10-1.

    Of course, Luchasaurus has been more protected, as it makes sense that one of AEW's largest athletes is harder to defeat and hasn't suffered as many losses. However, part of that is because he spent time on the shelf with an injury.

    The stable is beloved despite the group's tendency to come up short, so 2020 may be better for them. But this year was a rough start to their AEW careers.

Winners: SoCal Uncensored

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    SoCal Uncensored may not be true members of The Elite and Executive Vice Presidents of AEW, but they are definitely pillars of the brand.

    Scorpio Sky is tied with Kenny Omega for wrestling the most matches with 16 under his belt, while Frankie Kazarian is two behind. Sky also holds the distinction of having the most wins out of everyone on the roster with 12 victories.

    One of those was a pin over Chris Jericho, which no one else has been able to do. While Sky came up short in his title match against Le Champion, he put up a great effort and still has gold around his waist.

    SCU will forever be in the history books as the first AEW world tag team champions after defeating The Lucha Brothers on October 30.

    The group's tag team record is 11-3, which further cements them at the top of the division.

Losers: Brandon Cutler

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Brandon Cutler has the same 0-6 record as Peter Avalon, meaning he's in a select group of wrestlers who have had half a dozen or more chances to prove themselves but are yet to get a single victory.

    Even outside of AEW, the last time Cutler won a match was March 13 against Joey Ryan at Bar Wrestling 32: The Trouble with Tribbles.

    Like everyone on this list, though, this does not mean he is a loser just for having a bad year of losses.

    Not everyone can win all the time and Cutler also has other responsibilities in AEW beyond wrestling. His role as executive content producer likely takes priority over his success rate in the ring.

    Still, Cutler has become a go-to guy to feed to others and will head into 2020 on the lower end of the roster.

Winner: Riho

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Despite being only 22 and weighing in at under 100 pounds, Riho overcame the odds to become the first AEW women's champion.

    Her record is impressive at 8-2, especially since those two losses were in tag team competition and her partner at Fight for the Fallen, Dr. Britt Baker, had a concussion nearly the entire match.

    She took down Nyla Rose to win the belt, beat one of her former teachers in Emi Sakura and stands a good chance of keeping the momentum going in 2020.

Losers: Alex Reynolds, John Silver and The Dark Order

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    If you're thinking about joining The Dark Order, you might be a loser.
    If you're thinking about joining The Dark Order, you might be a loser.Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Anyone who joins The Dark Order is a loser. That's kind of the point, as the group specifically targets people who are down and looking for friends or purpose.

    This includes Alex Reynolds (0-4) and John Silver (0-3), who were clear and obvious jobbers from the start.

    Formerly known as The Beaver Boys, they recently joined The Dark Order in hopes of turning their careers around, yet the first segment they were part of was criticized heavily.

    Instead of ending the year proving the doubters wrong, more scrutiny came with their attack to finish the last Dynamite of 2019 with fans pointing out a Creeper's awful punches.

    The Nightmare Collective is questionable at best, but even that group is stepping on The Dark Order's toes and upstaging them with how dominant Awesome Kong has been.

    In 2020, The Dark Order has to improve dramatically or the faction runs the risk of being AEW's first big flop.

Winner: Jon Moxley

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Don't let the fact two of Jon Moxley's Lights Out matches haven't counted toward his official win-loss record fool you into thinking he's not one of the most prolific winners in AEW.

    His true tally is 7-1-1, after losing only a tag team match alongside PAC and fighting him to a time-limit draw the following week.

    Other than those hiccups, Moxley has beaten everyone in his path. And some of those wins, like his last against Alex Reynolds, was as definitive as it gets.

    Since his debut at Double or Nothing, Moxley has been arguably the biggest talking point in AEW and has seemingly fallen back in love with the business after some harsh feelings about his time as Dean Ambrose in WWE.

    Now, he's rejuvenated and the No. 1 contender, so he may even have the AEW World Championship in his possession in early 2020.

Loser: Joey Janela

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    Credit: Lee South/AEW

    Joey Janela made an impression at All In and was one of the first people brought into AEW, so he seemed like he'd be a big deal on the roster.

    You'd never know that if you looked at his track record, though.

    As of December 18, Janela is unofficially 3-9. AEW doesn't really count the Lights Out matches and battle royals, but fans have still seen him lose nine times.

    It took five months for him to get his first win on AEW Dark against Brandon Cutler, who has been booked enough as a jobber to diminish that victory.

    Janela's most recent win over Shawn Spears is the best thing he's done and could mean a shift in his momentum. If not, and if he continues to be nothing more than a punching bag, his stock won't be worth much by mid-2020.

Winners: The Inner Circle

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Sitting at 8-1-1, Chris Jericho is the only person who tops Jon Moxley's win-loss record. This makes sense for the AEW world champion.

    As with SCU and Riho, that means the veteran will forever be tied to AEW's history as its first champion and one of the pioneers who helped build company from the start.

    Le Champion has been generous enough to share his success with others, recruiting Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, Santana and Jake Hager into his stable, The Inner Circle.

    While the rest of the group isn't as untouchable, they have all proved themselves. Hager looks more intimidating than he has in years and is in line for a career renewal, while Guevara and Proud-N-Powerful are building up lots of stock to their names.

    The group have run roughshod over the roster and continue to get away with their antics, for the most part. There is a good chance they stay dominant for a while in 2020 after having such a great 2019.

Honorable Mentions for Losers

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Outside of those already talked about, there are some others who are worth discussing, even if they didn't make quite as big of an impression.

    On the loser side of things, plenty of wrestlers from Ace Romero to Yuka Sakazaki haven't won a match, but most have only wrestled once or twice. It doesn't sting as much to have a 0-1 record when that loss was a Casino Battle Royale.

    QT Marshall, though, is quickly making a name for himself as a resident jobber with a 0-3 tally.

    Surprisingly, Kip Sabian and Jack Evans are doing rather poorly with 2-6 and 3-8 records, respectively. They need to turn those scores around fast.

    OWE is disappointing as a whole, with T-Hawk (0-3) and El Lindaman (0-2) behind CIMA, who is 2-5.

    Lastly, there's Michael Nakazawa. His record of 1-3 isn't the worst in the company, but after he was attacked by PAC as a way to get to Kenny Omega, it seems certain his role in AEW is as a stepping stone.

Honorable Mentions for Winners

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    Everyone from The Elite and management to the production crew are winners.
    Everyone from The Elite and management to the production crew are winners.Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Some of the winners who get lost in the shuffle are the broadcast team.

    Justin Roberts, Tony Schiavone, Dasha Gonzalez and Earl Hebner all went from being cast aside by WWE to renewing their careers with AEW.

    To an extent, the same applies to Jim Ross. Practically every week on his podcast, Grilling JR, he speaks about how much he enjoys his job and being a more productive contributor than he had been in years.

    Aubrey Edwards has quickly solidified herself as AEW's top referee and is among the most beloved people on the roster.

    Most importantly, though, AEW as a whole can be considered the biggest winner. Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Matt and Nick Jackson (The Elite) got together with Shahid and Tony Khan and gambled on themselves to become a legitimate alternative to WWE.

    After years of other promotions trying the same thing, AEW has managed to become the first since WCW to really give WWE something to think about for the future.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.