Within a few days, what started out as an interesting example of the dramatic use of leverage by an employee has been completely transformed into another pro wrestling story. And that’s not a particularly good one.
At its center is AEW star Maxwell Jacob Friedman or MJF. He has been with the Upstart Company since his first PPV in 2019 and even at just 26 years old he has established himself as the best and most single wrestler in the world. With his fat-duche gimmick that goes beyond AEW programming, his fat promo, his piercing face, and his desire to be humiliated on TV, he’s the only villain in the business who is still popular enough to be a major-event guy, wherever he goes (his own Long Island Except in the area) is resistant enough to drown there. He was a throwback to the days when heels didn’t try to cool down and a new kind of magnetic, border-pushing TV performer that was hard to imagine without breaking the monopoly of AEW PG, Formulac WWE.
MJF has remained a cornerstone of the company and even its founder and leader, Tony Khan, has signed more former WWE names to the roster and this year has seen his conflict with CM Punk explore his character deeper and more diverse. – More oriented than before. But in the last few months, after Cody Rhodes successfully returned to the WWE to help launch AEW, there have been rumors that MJF is disappointed with his deal, which expires in late 2023. The spark of pro wrestling in 2024 and a bidding war between the two companies is something that MJF has mentioned both on and off screen.)
The roar was followed by thunder on Saturday, the day before the AEW Twice or nothing PPV in Las Vegas. MJF showed the AEW Fan Fest no-show that day, forcing the company to offer fans who paid for a meet-and-greet refund and exchange. Before the end of the day, Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp— pro wrestling business has a kind of Woj or Shams-esque figure—News break That MJF had booked a flight to leave town before pay-per-view, where he was scheduled to lose a match that would leave his very popular ex-chicken-rival, Wardlock, a newly merged star.
Clearly, in Pro Wrestling, it makes sense to assume that any behind-the-scenes dramatic story could be fake, but this would require AEW’s deliberate inconvenience and lying to its most devoted fans and many more to believe it was there. One chance it won’t reach the conclusion of his most popular story on PPV. If it really was a job from the start, it was both out of character and extraordinarily stupid for the company, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.
But after a very strange and frustrating day of complete silence from AEW over whether the previously announced match would take place, Twice or nothing MJF made its entrance and opened with its work to perfection in a very, very fun squash match with Wardlo. Within eight minutes, the protagonist appears completely unprotected when the MJF desperately tries several dirty tricks before committing suicide with 10 power bombs and being thrown out of the building on a stretcher. It was the cathartic ending to a long story that the company said, and the crowd went wild for Wardlo. Adding to the speculation, however, such weak damage is traditionally done by a wrestling company with a performer when they turn him off the TV.
This possibility lasted for two days, at least in the short term, before any doubts about the future of the MJF with AEW were dispelled. On Wednesday, a comprehensive follow-up ahead Dynamite The show, which debuted at a sold-out forum in Los Angeles as the AEW, debuted Announcement That MJF, surprisingly enough, will be on the show. And in the second segment of the episode he went out to talk into the microphone.
The idea behind this segment is that the show has important TV execs trying to influence AEW, and MJF is trying to bolster things by broadcasting its alleged real allegations live on TV, blaspheming, acknowledging the nature of the script, and claiming that Tony Khan dismiss him. While this is certainly a memorable promotion, MJF’s signature has been distributed with intensity, and it has spoken to a lot and a lot of people and even encouraged him as a hero, I really did not like it. You can check it out before I go any further:
As for “pro wrestling”, the way I judge my pro wrestling show, it’s a clear failure from the start. MJF indirectly looks like a negligible champ by refusing to sell any damage to its storyline from that match to Worldlook and then he goes on to reduce the impact of everything else. Dynamite How it all points to fake nonsense. While this is a clear tribute to Punk (the new champion) and his “pipebomb” segment during his time with the WWE, it could mean an exciting development for their rivalry – adding that the MJF’s attack on the spread of the former WWE boys in AEW is the biggest. The response from the crowd has been overwhelming কঠিন it’s very difficult for some to suspend wrestling rules and then try to restart for the rest. It is Oz who voluntarily comes out from behind the scenes, explaining how his instrument works, and then retreats to try and still trembles in fear of Dorothy and her friends as if nothing had happened. I I know Hot boys are flipping fiction. Just let me enjoy them. (Incidentally, I missed the main-event match finishing in my DVR recording because three years later, AEW still can’t figure out the exact time of his show.)
It was taken on its own terms, trying to imitate it as a fake reality TV, the segment was not very good. It is unbelievable that AEW will give a live mic to its most restless and unhappy superstar only at a crucial moment, but it lacks new or compelling concepts throughout. MJF’s mic cuts, obscenely blanketing him with blankets, and pretending to run out of commercials when he’s out of control all seemed stale, conceivable trops used better at this year’s Oscars. And the reasons MJF gives it for being so valuable — that it doesn’t throw people over its head at work যে that it’s “the company’s second best minute-by-minute draw” কঠিনboth were difficult to unravel and ultimately uncomfortable. Its only real dramatic thrust is “What the MJF is saying True? “And while he’s obviously collaborating with the company, it’s not a very compelling question Death well The film proves that simply mentioning that the fourth wall exists is not a substitute for good or interesting writing.
Whether you like or dislike the segment, though, I can’t help but feel a little sad that MJF’s rebellion has been swallowed up so quickly, repackaged and resold as entertainment by the machine it was rebelling against. In an industry with no labor protection, whose revenue share is dwarfed by Pro Sports, last month was a buzz for labor rights across the world’s three largest wrestling companies. In WWE, Sasha Banks and Naomi came out of a live RaThe W shows are dissatisfied with their character’s direction, and both have since been suspended indefinitely and have been explicitly ridiculed by their employer. In New Japan Pro Wrestling, top star Kota Ibushi has been agitating for his release via Twitter, revealing his problems with the company. And at AEW, Max Friedman poses a challenge to a campaign that has always created a dedicated fanbase of himself portraying fans, forcing Khan to be either silent or public in the face of the fiercely competitive Vince McMahon character he has always tried. Intense rebuke.
If Friedman’s seemingly brief holdout was a little annoying for fans weighing in on the purchase of a PPV, it was a stimulus to the threat of overturning the wrestling stalemate, which has all the power of management. Here was a performer who worked his ass to create the most memorable moments in the history of AEW, who was built as a future franchise player and world champion, apparently using all his hard-earned leverage before building a brand. -A new star to try and get better from an NFL owner’s rich son.
We still don’t know what happened between Friedman’s no-show and his explicit agreement to continue working for AEW — maybe he got a better deal! But because of the similarities between Wednesday’s promo and what Punk and WWE saw a decade ago, it’s impossible to say that the situation has changed. It’s almost unheard of, in fact, how efficiently the company has restored this PR hiccup to a potentially lucrative new story, absorbing the whole controversy into its own fictional universe, while keeping its lips tight about the real situation that inspired Khan. Now, if you’re like those LA fans who have won by MJF and are rooting for Tony Khan to do an over, you’re doing it because Khan wants you. An impressive ability to control that narrative.
But Max, if you really want to quit your job that you are dissatisfied with, and do it in a way that makes your employer’s face rub, then contact me. I may have some helpful experiences to share with you.