I’m honestly not sure how I feel about the promo Maxwell Jacob Friedman cut on Dynamite tonight (June 1). Its fans are already calling it his “Pipe Bomb”, and comparing it CM Punk’s iconic moment on Raw in 2011. Critics are rolling their eyes and comparing it to Vince Russo-era of WCW worked shoots.
There were a few problems with Russo’s turn of the century booking. One of them was that the company aggressively promoted the things we “weren’t supposed to see”.
Wherever this angle ends up going, you have to give AEW credit for one thing... they corrected that mistake (if you think what happened in Los Angeles on Wednesday night wasn’t sanctioned by Tony Khan as part of a storyline, all I can say is I’m envious. I’d be more engaged if I believed). The company’s social media accounts deleted their tweets of the segment shortly after it aired on television. The announcers not only didn’t discuss the segment, they pretended it didn’t happen at all. It was exactly what you’d do if something just happened on your show that wasn’t supposed to happen (whereas if it was legitimately unsanctioned, MJF’s mic would have been cut long before he’d finished talking).
The segment is out there, though. And if I am right, AEW doesn’t mind that at all. UPDATE: Welp, they did delete the single seven minute clip someone uploaded to Twitter. Was that because of the length? To further the angle? Because I’m wrong and this is real? More debate fodder, I reckon. Here’s a thread of tweets with the promo edited into chunks:
Another nice touch happened in the Kia Forum while the cameras weren’t rolling. Fans in attendance report that Punk came out, seemingly to try and talk with Friedman. Rather than talk to his recent rival and one-time hero, MJF left through the crowd.
It was also reported that AEW Executive Vice-President Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks walked onto the stage, looking confused about what was going on.
So while I have some concerns about a story that says, “that other stuff is fictional, but this is REAL”, and am still not clear on how more traditional wrestling elements like matches, feuds, and MJF’s alignment will fit into it — I do tip my cap to AEW’s attention to detail.
And young Max Friedman for cutting a hell of a promo.