It was set-up by our latest appearance by the mysterious Devil who’s been causing havoc at AEW, and started with Maxwell Jacob Friedman finding a black ski mask outside Mogul Embassy’s locker room.
The World champ grabbed Prince Nana to demand answers about this possible tie-in to the men who’d just attacked him & Samoa Joe a few segments earlier on the Dec. 20 Dynamite. But business picked up when Swerve Strickland emerged to tell MJF to be careful handling his property.
As Max says, there’s levels to this shit. And this exchange was levels above The Devil.
Each man gets in a few lines so good the other has to acknowledge them. Swerve’s “you do tryouts, I sign contracts” was one. Then he had to smirk after MJF called out his “hand-me-down Flavor Flav grills”. My favorite comes after Friedman lays out his case for Strickland being The Devil (which includes a good one about how he’s the big bad wolf of professional wrestling who’ll blow Swerve’s house down). The former Killshot delivers one with, “I ain’t The Devil you’re looking for, brah. But you keep wavin’ that championship in front of my face, I’mma be the one to bring you hell.”
Joe shows up before the rest of Mogul Embassy can back up their leader, and to remind us he makes everything better with a simple, “Well, what is all good on this side of the hood my friends?” Now everyone will presumably go back to their respective stories for a while.
But it should hurry back to this in the new year. Just Swerve and Max sharing a backstage scene like this was electric. It far surpassed months of trying to prove to us that Jack Perry, Darby Allin & Sammy Guevara were MJF’s co-architects of AEW’s future. Our Scumbag and the Mogul could have a rivalry (along perhaps with Hangman Page, who just wrapped a chapter in what feels like it should be a career-spanning feud with Strickland, and who had an almost-as-great segment with Friedman a few weeks back) that defines the promotion’s next couple years.
The Devil mystery has been a wacky pro wrestling diversion, but it’s hard to imagine the payoff being as good as a proper, straight-forward Swerve/MJF program. That’s where the money is.
Let us know what you think in in the comments below. And on your way down there, check out the rest of the highlights from last night’s Dynamite in the following playlist:
- A must win for both men to continue to the Finals! Swerve vs Rush!
- After Kenny Omega’s shocking health news, what’s next for Chris Jericho?
- For HONOR! Long time rivals face off for Classic points! Briscoe vs Lethal!
- After weeks of terror, AEW & ROH Tag Champ MJF & Samoa Joe seek answers!
- Two former Women’s Champs face off to become #1 contender! Riho vs Saraya!
- Roderick Strong puts a target on the back of high-flying Komander!
- Could Jay White stay alive in the AEW Continental Classic? Moxley vs White!