AEW World champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman entered Arthur Ashe Stadium on his own for the main event of AEW Dynamite Grand Slam in New York City.
That’s because his brochacho Adam Cole was off visiting his other friend with an injured neck, Roderick Strong. After Cole left the “hospital” where Strong was receiving treatment, Roddy called and guilted him into coming back just as Adam & Max arrived for Sept. 20’s show.
An 8-year grudge comes to an end TONIGHT as the #ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe challenges MJF for the #AEW World Championship!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 21, 2023
Watch #AEWDynamite #AEWGrandSlam LIVE ON TBS!@The_MJF | @AdamColePro pic.twitter.com/1C349HB5Pm
MJF headed into his showdown with Samoa Joe nursing a neck injury of his own. Joe was more than happy to use that to his advantage, along with whatever else he could do to get into Friedman and the New York crowd’s head — including ripping off Max’s New York-sports team-themed t-shirt and rubbing his crotch with it.
Joe was also willing to bend the rules, setting up a table while referee Paul Turner wasn’t looking. Max went through that, and then took a piledriver onto the exposed floor.
That wasn’t enough to put the champ away, but it did set off a series of big spots, low blows and nearfalls from both men.
The Long Islander kicked out of a Muscle Buster, but found himself locked in a choke. Just then, his Better Than You Bay Bay partner arrived.
Cole (who seemed to legitimately hurt his foot or ankle jumping off the ramp... more on that here) was on the apron for a ref bump, which gave Friedman enough time to unwind some tape. He used that to fulfull his promise to choke out the Samoan Submission Machine just as the ref recovered to call the match.
Cole hid the evidence while MJF hugged Turner. Joe wasn’t happy when he recovered, and went to take it out on the Panama City Playboy. Max got between them, then accepted a handshake from the defeated legend before celebrating with his best friend.
Get complete results and coverage of everything on tonight’s Grand Slam edition of Dynamite here.