Before AEW World champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman even made his way to the ring for his Eliminator match against Adam Cole on the June 14 Dynamite, the announce team was wondering how he might cheat to win.
With a title shot on the line for Cole, MJF wasn’t above using legal tactics early on. He stalled by heading out into the Washington, D.C. crowd, including getting into it with a fan (at least it wasn’t a child this time)...
That helped Friedman cool Cole’s momentum, and get to work on his opponent’s left arm, softening him up for his Salt of the Earth arm bar. The Panama City Playboy got back into the match in a big way with a superkick that bloodied the champ’s mouth. A tombstone piledriver sent us to break, and put MJF back in the driver’s seat.
A defiant Cole fired back, and the two men traded big shots and submission attempts. When a heatseeker couldn’t get three, Max went high risk. He laid a groggy Cole across a table on the floor, then climbed to drop an elbow that seemed to connect with his rival’s injured arm.
MJF rolled back in the ring, seemingly confident he’d win by countout. Cole barely made it back before referee Bryce Remsburg’s reached ten. Remsburg took a bump in the ensuing exchange, which Friedman saw as an opening to use his belt to win the match. When he saw the ref rousing, he tossed the championship to Cole for a little Eddie Guerrero action, but Bryce took another fall. That allowed Britt Baker’s man to use it as a weapon, but that and the BOOM knee weren’t enough to get three by the time Remsburg recovered.
The champ’s comeback involved a low blow and an attempt to use his Dynamite Diamond Ring, but Remsburg recovered to stop that. That allowed Cole to hit another superkick and a Panama Sunrise, but before the ref slapped the mat a third time, the bell rang.
After some moments of confusion, Justin Roberts announced that we’d reached the match’s thirty minute time limit. Cole asked for five more minutes, but MJF of course said, “no.”
If Adam Cole is going to challenge for the World title, he’ll have to find another way.
Get complete results and coverage of everything from tonight’s episode of Dynamite here.