AEW World champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his first ever appearance on Rampage last night (June 23).
The booking came shortly after it was revealed that MJF’s partner in the upcoming Blind Eliminator Tournament for a Tag title shot would be Adam Cole, who’s been trying to get Friedman to give him a shot at the World title. On Wednesday’s Dynamite, Cole goaded MJF into accepting a match against New Japan’s forever ace Hiroshi Tanahashi at this weekend’s Forbidden Door PPV.
So Max showed up on Rampage to tell his “pad’nah” that he’d returned the favor and got Cole at match for Sunday night in Toronto: pro MMA fighter-turned-pro wrestler Filthy Tom Lawlor.
Lawlor, a former MLW World Heavyweight and NJPW Strong Openweight champ, jumped Cole with his New Japan running buddy Royce Isaacs. MJF was very MJF about making the save for his new teammate.
It’s also a very MJF angle, in that it’s not the first time he’s “hired” part-time help to mess with a rival or challenger (and prolong their feud in the process). But it does get us what should be a fun addition to Sunday’s card.
And with that addition, we now have the following line-up for tomorrow night at a sold out Scotiabank Arena:
• Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada
• Kenny Omega (c) vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States championship
• SANADA (c) vs. Jungle Jack Perry for the IWGP World Heavyweight title
• MJF (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW World championship
• Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Daniel Garcia vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. for the AEW International title
• Toni Storm (c) vs. WIllow Nightingale for the AEW Women’s World championship
• Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta), Konosuke Takeshita & Shota Umino vs. The Elite (Hangman Page & The Young Bucks), Eddie Kingston & Tomohiro Ishii
• Sting, Darby Allin & TBA (tonight on Collision) vs. Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara & Minoru Suzuki
• CM Punk vs. Satoshi Kojima in an Owen Hart Foundation Tournament first round match
• Adam Cole vs. Filthy Tom Lawlor
• Athena vs. Billie Starkz in an Owen Hart Foundation Tournament first round match (Zero Hour pre-show)