MJF recently stopped by Busted Open to continue his "campaign" against AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. His recent promo, which caused some comparisons to past Impact angles, caused a stir for a plethora of reasons. This speech would continually be touched upon, as well as some potential talking points for his and Jon Moxley's upcoming clash at All Out.
This discussion brought up what differentiates MJF and his style, the ratings of the Wednesday night wars and who's to blame for their drop, and pleasing his boss, Tony Khan.
A large topic that always clouds over Wednesday night is, of course, the ratings. This is something MJF directly addressed, including who is influencing their fluctuation. Onne name that was brought up was Cody Rhodes.
"Look, I will not stand here and pretend that Cody Rhodes isn't somebody, at one point in my career," MJF alluded to their long history with each other in AEW, "I looked up to. And we are fully aware of our history and, unfortunately, I'm also fully aware that he's not a guy who's going to be leaving anytime soon. While I don't want to have to go toe to toe with him again because I do feel bad on how it went down, I didn't want to beat him that badly. It happened. It's not something I can erase. It did happen.
"I feel bad about it, but that's something I needed to do to springboard my career. Cody does great, Cody does his own rate numbers, but so does MJF. And, unfortunately, like I said, there's a hierarchy in my company that doesn't want to let go of their spot. But if you guys saw, I actually poke tweeted a guy who unfortunately does deal with a lot of propaganda."
Bringing it back to the discussion of ratings, MJF says that the numbers speak for themselves.
"I'm not a huge fan of him, but he got it right for once. His name is Wade Keller and he literally showed you minute for minute, number by number," MJF passionately delivered. "And the number don't lie, stats are stats, numbers are numbers. That minute for minute - I'm one of the biggest draws, not just on Wednesday nights but on professional wrestling television in general."
MJF has a lot of opinions of why he is so successful, but one key point he touched on was his in-ring style. This, in particular, is something MJF points to as a strength, especially in comparison to Moxley.
"Dictator Jon, he studied the A Rotten's of the world, the brain damages of the world. That's not who I studied. I studied the greats, I studied the Flair's, the Tullys," Friedman begun listing. "I studied the Ernie Ladds, Nick Bockwinkels. That's who I studied, because those guys' careers lasted a very long time because they wrestled intelligently. That's what they did.
"They didn't wrestle to garner a pop from the audience. I am wrestling to get the winner's purse, I'm wrestling to stay on top. I'm wrestling to be the top guy for the next 25 years, not for the next 2. That's the difference between my style and everyone else's. It's unfortunate that we have to see, every single Wednesday, a bunch of guys who are just clamoring for attention by either hopping over a top rope or jumping off of it. That's not my m.o. and it never will be."
Because of the success his career has brought thus far, MJF is closely associated with AEW and their rise. That is something he also draws a lot of pride and confidence from.
"Well it's something I'm incredibly proud of because I can genuinely say," he pridefully spoke, "I feel like I'm one of the guys at the forefront on it. And as someone who is so young, garnered so much attention, and got over so quickly, if anyone is going to be able and sit down with the rest of the talent and explain to them how to act, how to deal with all the success at such an incredibly fast rate, it's me! If anyone was ready for that, it's me!"
This preparedness is another of the many attributes MJF commends himself for throughout the interview. He also brings it back to the ratings and why the support around him helps so significantly.
"It's awesome to also see the amount of support we as a company get because we're now going out there to garner ratings," Maxwell reiterated. "We're going out there because all we want to do is put on the best professional wrestling show we possibly can. The issue at hand, though however, is we have been lead by a certain individual named Dictator Jon who looks at how to put on a good wrestling show an improper way, and that's all I'm trying to fix."
Circling back to his main point, MJF made sure to assert the ties between him and AEW's continued success.
"But back to AEW, I am so proud to be part of this big, glorious brand. It's tremendous, it's huge, it's fantastic," MJF posited. "I love it and it's a place that I can guarantee that I will not be leaving, and I'm super proud to be a part of it."
Something MJF believes to get in the way of this beneficial relationship, however, is owner Tony Khan. He believes that his ring style doesn't mesh with the rest of the company and, because of that, they share a differing vision of what AEW should look like. This friction makes his life more difficult, according to the young star.
"It makes my job a lot harder. The issue at hand that I would say is this: 'if you do that, eventually you're going to jump the shark', and what I mean by that is this, if we go out there every week and we bump in thumbtacks, if we go out there every week and we are chewing on pins of glass," MJF argued, "if we go out there every week and we get hit by cars, if we go out there every week and we're hitting each other over the heads with kendo sticks, for the first couple of times, it's great."
This type of wrestling won't last though, MJF would argue. And he had a very interesting analogy to describe the concept of the law of diminishing returns.
"Here's the great analogy: if an elephant takes a giant s--t on your neighbor's yard in the morning and you open the door, you see it and you go, 'Woah! That's crazy! An elephant just took a huge dump in my neighbor's yard!!' and then, the next day, the elephant shows up and does it again. 'Woah, that's pretty nuts!' then, the next day the elephant shows up, 'Woah okay, the elephant's here again'," MJF reasoned. "And the next day, and the next day, and the next day, eventually, you're going to go, 'uhh, here's this stupid freaking elephant again'. That's what's happening here; that's what I don't want to happen, and that's why it's so important to get our fans different flavors of ice cream. And that's all I'm offering. I'm the flavor maker, baby! That's it."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.