AEW Champion MJF has made another dig at New Japan Pro Wrestling, this during his entrance at Forbidden Door 2023.
The young star has not been shy about his dislike of the Japanese promotion. MJF has spoken numerous times about how he doesn’t watch NJPW, and doesn’t consider it “real wrestling”.
When his title match against Hiroshi Tanahashi was announced for Forbidden Door 2023, MJF was less than enthusiastic about the encounter.
At first, he rejected the match and called NJPW a “rinky-dink indie in Japan”. However, he was forced into the match with Tanahashi at Forbidden Door, much to the chagrin of the AEW Champion.
However, this did not stop him riling up the fans of NJPW. On his walk into the ring, MJF wore a robe with the words “New Japan Is An Indie” embroidered into the back.
This was meant to enrage his opponent, who managed to keep his head and fight a good fight in one of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s best AEW matches.
MJF has previously claimed the he doesn’t watch NJPW (something backed up by CM Punk), and has claimed in interviews that “New Japan Sucks”.
However, in the same post-show press conference following AEW Double or Nothing 2023, he claimed he did have one favorite wrestle over in Japan.
“Do I have to wrestle at Forbidden Door?” MJF said. “F–k that! Oh god, it’s a f–king indie fed. …
“With all due respect, their greatest legend probably couldn’t lace my boots. I think I would make anyone on that roster look silly, and I don’t want to waste my time.”
Though his disdain was apparent, MJF did name one, perhaps surprising, NJPW wrestler he enjoyed watching.
“I think New Japan Pro-Wrestling sucks, except that Great-O-Khan guy,” he said. “He pops me. I like him.”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.