AEW’s going all in, or maybe we should say going all out (both puns totally intended) to present Maxwell Jacob Friedman as their top star in the wake of everything that happened after their last PPV.
MJF is doing tons of press and getting main event spots heading into his World title match on Saturday night (Nov. 19) at Full Gear. Most expect him to walk out of Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center as AEW champion this weekend. Whether he does that as a babyface or a heel remains to be seen, but it’s clear Tony Khan is counting on Max to be the breakout star he needs after the controversy surrounding CM Punk and The Elite has dominated the discussion around the TK’s company for the last two-and-a-half months.
Our latest example? MJF got the “send the crowd home happy” post-show promo gig last night (Nov. 16) after Dynamite in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He continued to blur the traditional face/heel lines while delivering a very pro-AEW speech to the folks who stuck around after the television cameras stopped rolling.
Most notable was his praise for Khan, a man he called a “fucking mark” on national television not long ago. He also made a thinly veiled reference to Punk’s unfortunate run with the company.
“I’d like to get real real quick with all y’all, real quick. Just give me a second. No, no. No bullshit. No bullshit. Everybody listen to me real quick.
“A lot of bullshit has gone on, a lot of bullshit. We all know it. We all know it. However, let me make something crystal clear. Me and you [Tony], we’ve been at odds once or twice. I’m not gonna stand here and pretend that’s not the case. But there’s something I take issue with that I’ve been seeing lately.
“Everybody make some noise if you’re a fan of professional wrestling. [chhers] Now, you guys think you’re wrestling fans? Imagine for one second, if you had the opportunity to bring your love of professional wrestling out to the world, and create an alternative — would you do it? This man, this man right here busts his ass, week in, week out to give not just you, but to give all the boys in the back an opportunity to show the world how much we love professional wrestling.”
“This shit is not ballet. Every time we get in this ring, we are risking our lives. Dou people understand that? And we don’t take that lightly. And what I damn sure don’t take lightly is somebody coming into my company, dropping trou, and taking a dump. That shit ain’t happening anymore!
“Because this is the place. And the only reason why it’s here is because of Tony fucking Khan!
“Without AEW, professional wrestling is a monopoly. And do not get me wrong. I love WWE. Trust me — I love WWE. However, however — hear me out, hear me out — your favorite wrestlers don’t get paid properly, and don’t eat properly unless Tony Khan makes that alternative.”
He goes on tell TK he’s “carrying this goddamn company” on his back, so if he were his boss, he’d pay up “in the bidding war of 2024.”
The Generational Talent makes some valid points, and mixes kissing his boss’ butt with professing his love for the competition. Those kind of mixed signals make it hard to tell if we are getting a good guy version of MJF, if they’re just setting us up for The Devil to show up at Full Gear.
Either way though, AEW is about to revolve around Maxwell Jacob Friedman. For the next year or so, anyway.