Interest in AEW Full Gear’s main event is almost as much about how Maxwell Jacob Friedman wins or loses as whether he wins or loses.
MJF’s played the villain throughout his wrestling career, but he’s also no stranger to hearing crowds cheer for him. Sometimes that’s because, even as a bad guy, he’s too entertaining not to applaud. Sometimes, as has been the case in his World title feud with Jon Moxley that will come to a head tomorrow night (Nov. 19) in Newark, New Jersey, it’s because Friedman’s performance and the story he’s a part of leads us to believe he might be about to turn over a new leaf.
But as we wonder if he’s going to emerge from the Prudential Center tomorrow night a babyface (or positively received tweener), or if the self-proclaimed devil will fully return to his evil ways (possibly with the help of Stokely Hathaway or William Regal), Max told the New York Post’s Joseph Staszewski he’s not hung up on all that.
For one thing, he continues to eschew traditional pro wrestling labels like “face” and “heel”:
“Being anything other than myself, fully authentically, doesn’t interest me. I am who I am.”
And while he’s used to hearing boos and says he feeds off negativity “like no one else in the history of mankind,” MJF see the differing and mixed reactions he gets as more evidence of his popularity:
“People will react to me the way they want to react to me. That’s megastar s—t. That’s John Cena s—t. That’s Rock s—t. That’s [Hulk] Hogan s—t. There were times in their career when they would come through that curtain and they got the loudest boo and there were times where they came through that curtain and they got the loudest cheer. That’s what I bring to the table. Think people need to stop worrying about fake bulls—t labels and just enjoy this ride because I’m over as s—t and it is fun.”
Boo or cheer, get used to enjoying Friedman’s “megastar shit”. Because that’s the role he says he’ll be playing in the wrestling business from here on out:
“Professional wrestling hasn’t had a megastar in far too long and that’s who I am.”
Roman Reigns might have some thoughts about that. Maybe The Tribal Chief and The Generational Talent can sort it out if they’re working in the same place after “the Bidding War of 2024.”