Everybody loves new AEW Tag Team champions The Acclaimed. You know who else a whole lot of people love?
Maxwell Jacob Friedman.
That was on display last night (Sept. 21) at Dynamite Grand Slam in Queens, New York. MJF was a major focus of the show, first with in-arena interview and then as an interested spectator in the main event.
Sure, we were in MJF territory. AEW’s been in the great state of New York since Friedman’s return at All Out, so being a regional favorite is surely a factor here. And in Buffalo and Albany, like NYV, Max was able to generate some heat before his segments were over.
But it’s taking a lot of work. This week that involved, among other things, “cucking” the crowd (and calling Blackpool Combat Club the “Blackpool Cuckold Club”), bringing up Bryan Danielson’s brain injury & William Regal’s addiction, and attacking Tony Schiavone.
That last bit is really the only thing that got the Arthur Ashe crowd to really boo MJF. And if he’d followed it up by vowing to become the next AEW World champ, I bet we would have heard a pop.
(Credit to Wheeler Yuta for doing pretty well in a tough spot here. His delivery is still too “I’m do-ing a wrestle-ing pro-mo” for my tastes, but he didn’t get flustered against one of the most confident & talented talkers in the game with a crowd that wasn’t behind him despite his babyface character.)
Is there anything wrong with MJF continuing to play the heel when fans want to cheer him? Not really. The “last honest man in wrestling” approach he’s taken since his return leaves them out should it completely fail to work in the months ahead. New World champ Jon Moxley, who he’ll challenge at some point soon thanks to his Casino Ladder Match chip, makes a great foil for him. Their dynamic works better with Friedman as the villain.
Brace yourself for shots at Mox’s troubled upbringing, his trip to rehab last year, and probably even a few strays sent in Renee & Nora’s direction. Because Tony Khan, Chris Jericho & MJF himself aren’t wrong — people are excited to see the Salt of the Earth back atop Dynamite, and they’re gonna cheer about it.
Let us know what you think, and check out the rest of the highlights from last night’s Dynamite. AEW actually has videos from all of last night’s in-arena segments online already (yay, Grand Slam!). But we’ve still a Twitter clips of the backstage and pre-tape moments below that playlist.
- A New ROH World Champion is Crowned As Jericho Celebrates OCHO
- Scissor Me Timbers! The Acclaimed are New AEW Tag Team Champions
- Pac Retains the All-Atlantic Championship Over Orange Cassidy
- Toni Storm Retains the Interim AEW Women’s World Championship
- Saraya Has Arrived in AEW & New York Goes Crazy!
- Jon Moxley Becomes the Most Decorated Champion in AEW History
#FTR's @CashWheelerFTR/@DaxFTR have a message for the NEW #AEW World Tag Team Champions, #TheAcclaimed... but #TheGunns (@theaustingunn/@coltengunn) have their own words for FTR.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 22, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite Grand Slam LIVE on TBS pic.twitter.com/Xwa7JBRei8
This FRIDAY on #AEWRampage Grand Slam, TBS Champion @Jade_Cargill defends the title against @DiamanteLAX! But— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 22, 2022
who is the OG Baddie Diamante promises to bring? @TRINArockstarr!
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS pic.twitter.com/jIeQ3GoL4e
.@DarbyAllin is headed to a funeral at Arthur Ashe this FRIDAY at #AEWRampage Grand Slam - It’s Darby Allin/@Sting vs #HouseOfBlack’s @Brodyxking /@SNM_Buddy!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 22, 2022
Tune in NOW to #AEWDynamite Grand Slam LIVE on TBS pic.twitter.com/D5KePUEuCj