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MJF: “Chris Jericho is amazing, you can’t argue with that, but he didn’t have to be in the ring with someone as talented with a mic in hand like me.”
MJF added another moment to its highlight reel when it shoved Chris Jericho off the top of a steel cage at AEW’s Blood & Guts match in May. As Jericho plummeted, MJF recovered and sat alone on top of the cage. With his face covered in blood, the 25-year-old phenomenon felt the sensation of knowing that he is one step closer to becoming the face of All Elite Wrestling.
“All my life I’ve had an overwhelming fear of heights, but that night I knew I had to take higher ground,” says MJF, whose name is Maxwell Friedman. “I really think that a lot of people go to this form of fish out of water when they are in front of thousands of people. They panic and just want it to end, and they go backstage and exhale. I do not. I am absorbing every moment. I know I’m supposed to be doing this.
“At that time, I was at the top of my profession. That proved, again, that I am the All Elite Wrestling type. “
A feud with Jericho is a great spotlight, but it’s the kind of place that leaves a talent exposed if he can’t keep up with the fast-talking, quick-witted wrestling legend. To his credit, MJF has excelled in the show, proving that he has all the tools necessary to be the top cap of a major company.
“I wasn’t going to let him get sucked into any of my moments with Chris Jericho,” says MJF. “Chris Jericho is amazing, you can’t argue with that, but he also hasn’t had to be in the ring with someone as talented with a microphone in hand as I am.”
Even with his improved post-Blood & Guts perspective, MJF knows he still has more ground to climb. To rise to the top of the industry, you will need to create a career that defines your career as AEW World Champion.
“I’m going to get to that world title,” says MJF. “I should be a world champion right now. Jon Moxley threw an illegal stunt at me [at last summer’s All Out]. And the reason I can’t focus on that is because of Chris Jericho. He’s the reason I’m not fighting for the world title. “
A world title race is certainly not out of the question in the near future, but before that happens, MJF must continue to show its value in the Pinnacle-Inner Circle dispute.
“I can’t get to that world title if Chris Jericho still exists in my company,” says MJF. “That is my goal once I finish showing the world that Sammy Guevara is not on my level.”
MJF meets Guevara in a pay-per-view caliber showdown Wednesday night on Dynamite, an encounter that he believes is necessary to dispel any belief that Guevara is at his level. Considering that these are two of AEW’s top rising stars, the way the match will be presented is an important indicator of their potential as main entrants.
“I’ve had opportunities for years to fight Sammy, both in the Indies and in AEW, but I decided not to,” says MJF. “It’s gotten to the point where I have to fight him just to show the world that this guy is not a professional and that he is not at my level.
“Comparing myself to Sammy Guevara is like comparing Ric Flair to one of the Mulkey brothers. It’s a dog shit comparison. Do you want to call Sammy the future? Okay, but I care what’s going on now, and I’ll show you that I’m present in Dynamite at TNT’s main event. “
Wednesday nights belong once again to AEW, and MJF plans to use Dynamite as your launch pad to the top of the industry.
“I don’t like Chris Jericho because he gets in my way, but I really don’t like Sammy Guevara as a human being,” says MJF. “I don’t respect him, I don’t think he’s talented and I don’t understand the hype surrounding him. He is a gymnast, not a professional wrestler. He’s self-centered, thinks he’s better than him, and has an attitude that wouldn’t have been allowed in the wrestling business 10 or 15 years ago.
“I’m going to slow him down and out-fight him, and I’m looking forward to seeing if the crowd still chants his name when they find out he’s a pirate. The idea of that really excites me. “
The (online) week of wrestling
• Edge returned to Slap on Friday, and will challenge Roman Reigns for the universal title at Money in the bank. Although Edge returned from a nearly nine-year hiatus in front of a hot crowd at the Royal rumble In 2020, most of his comeback has taken place in fanless settings within the WWE Performance Center and ThunderDome. It will be especially fun to watch him reconnect with a live audience.
• The world title must always mean something. That’s exactly what it feels like, extremely meaningful, on the Bobby Lashley – Kofi Kingston show.
• The triple threat tag match that opened Tuesday night’s edition of NXT it was outstanding.
• Bronson Reed, who would be a great addition to Raw, dropped the NXT North American title last night to the incredibly talented, and extremely deserving after his years in the indies, Isaiah “Sweve” Scott.
• Piper Niven is one of the main candidates to become a rising star in WWE. Immensely talented and charismatic, she is a rare talent. But, every week, I still can’t believe the creative team called her Doudrop.
• John Cena did not beat around the bush with Jimmy Kimmel, stating that he will return to WWE.
• Eddie Kingston gave a phenomenal farewell speech to the live audience after the Dynamite. There is absolutely no one with a more compelling 12-month past than Kingston, who went from promoting on indie shows last summer to now being an integral and beloved piece of AEW.
• Kenny Omega – Jungle Boy was an outstanding match with the correct ending. Omega once again elevates an opponent, Jungle Boy takes another step to stardom, and Christian Cage emerges as Omega’s next opponent. Will this lead to a Christian heel turning on Jungle Boy? Or is it too early to turn around?
• On the topic of featured promotions, Konnan’s microphone work at Dynamite It was a reminder of his brilliance.
• The recent round of WWE releases is another cold reminder of the nature of the business. I can’t wait to see what that collection of talent outside of WWE creates.
• Continues the outstanding work of Deonna Purrazzo in her reign of the Knockouts title. Now you need the right opponent for a great match and moment Slammiversary.
• Miro and Andrade are building their feud in AEW, but they will need to be careful how Andrade is presented. Triplemania (where Andrade challenges Kenny Omega for the AAA mega championship) just around the corner in August.
• Looking back at Steve Austin’s comments on the CM Punk tube bomb, which just turned 10 years old, is a reminder of the edge and excitement that Punk brought to Raw.
WWE plans to host Survivor Series in New York
WWE will return to live shows in July, featuring Summer festival in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium as the centerpiece of his return to the road. That will only be magnified in the coming months if the company finalizes an agreement to maintain Survival series In New York.
The agreement has not yet been signed, Illustrated Sports has learned, but the work plan within the walls of WWE is to keep Survival series at the Barclays Center. The news of Survival series at Barclays was first reported by The Mat Men Podcast. Although it would make sense to hold one of the company’s flagship events at famed Madison Square Garden, the two parties have yet to meet at a price that satisfies both parties for a pay-per-view. Even with WWE’s long history at MSG, the company’s new home in New York is Barclays, who have been a valued partner for WWE. (The Brooklyn site hosted Summer festival for four years in a row and was the site of WWE ancillary events around WrestleMania 35 in 2019.)
In a recent interview with Illustrated Sports, WWE Brand Director Stephanie McMahon hinted at the upcoming surprises and the company’s desire to live up to expectations. They’re poised to do just that with the energy injected into a show with a huge crowd, and there are plenty of returning stars, like John Cena and Sasha Banks, plus Edge, who already returned last week on Slap—That innately knows how to get people’s attention.
Currently, there are no plans for the return of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but it is worth noting that the next Survival series will mark the 25th anniversary of their debut, which took place at MSG. Any specific information on the possible return of Brock Lesnar is more difficult to obtain, as those negotiations are conducted directly through Lesnar and Vince McMahon.
Internally, optimism abounds regarding the return to the road. As innovative as the ThunderDome is, it has run its course. Stars like Banks, Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, The Usos, Drew McIntyre, Bayley, Kofi Kingston, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley and Big E deserve an immense amount of credit for keeping people interested in the product throughout the year. past. This is an extremely competitive industry, and the next streak is an opportunity for talent to show their value as giveaways.
Tweet of the week
Kenny Omega added a nice twist to the Jungle Boy photo with Anna Jay.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.