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MJF’s Spot On Double Or Nothing And His Entire AEW Future Are Now In Doubt After Allegedly Bailing On An Event

MJF on the mic
(Image credit: AEW)

Ahead of the Double Or Nothing pay per view, AEW held a fan event that offered meet and greets with various wrestlers. One of those wrestlers was supposed to be rising star MJF, or Maxwell Jacob Friedman, but when it came time for the event, he was allegedly nowhere to be found. Now in the time since, writers covering the industry and fans have started speculating on what’s going on, and there is a lot of concern about what the no-show could mean for his AEW future, as well as the PPV itself.

Let’s back up a little bit. MJF is a star in the making. His heel work is top notch, and he seems to have really good mic instincts. He’s also a capable worker in the ring and has quickly risen to be one of AEW’s biggest draws. Unfortunately for him, his more entry level contract allegedly doesn’t match the star power he’s now wielding. He’s been very open about pursuing a lot more money when his contract comes to an end at the beginning of 2024, but it now seems he may not be content to wait another year and a half. 

He’s given a lot of recent interviews in which he’s almost openly courted WWE and said really positive things about the product, as well as head writer Bruce Prichard. That sort of gamesmanship has always seemed pretty in character for his work in AEW; so, he’s been able to get away with it in a way others may not have. But that openness and apparent willingness to bash AEW increased sharply when he allegedly responded to a quote from AEW owner Tony Khan by saying “fuck this place.” That supposed tweet was apparently deleted, but screenshots of it quickly made the rounds last week.

That brings us to this weekend. MJF was scheduled to be at AEW’s fan fest and reportedly no showed the event. Word quickly leaked out from some confused fans on Twitter, and once wrestling writers started digging, a whole lot of smoke emerged. Sean Ross Sapp tweeted that a ticket was purchased for MJF to leave Las Vegas but he never got on the flight. Denise Salcedo tweeted that she does not believe the situation is a work, and that viewpoint was backed up by Dave Meltzer who compared the situation to Jeff Jarrett

At this point, it’s unclear how any of this is going to resolve. MJF is scheduled to face Wardlow in one of the key match-ups tonight on AEW’s Double Or Nothing PPV. Whether or not he actually makes that appearance is anyone’s guess. Potential replacements including Bill Goldberg have been floating around Twitter, but given this is a culmination of a long storyline and MJF is an absolute star, the best possible outcome for fans is he makes the appearance as scheduled. But whether he does or not, it’s fair to wonder whether this situation is salvageable long-term.

Of course walkouts and threatened walkouts are nothing new in the wrestling business. Fans are still wondering what the heck is going on with Sasha Banks and Naomi who walked out on rival promotion WWE just a few weeks ago. In the time since, WWE has absolutely blasted the two women on air, and it’s unclear when, if ever, they might return to finish their contracts. But WWE has a long track record of going scorched earth on people over these types of situations. Then again, Vince McMahon also has a long history of circling back and working with people he had major issues with after some time has passed.

AEW is a far newer promotion, and your guess is as good as mine as to how Tony Khan might handle this. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see. The good news is, given the pay per view is tonight, we should have some answers very quickly.

Mack Rawden
Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.