MJF has been one of the featured heel on AEW since the promotion was formed. He made his debut on the first AEW pay per view, Double or Nothing, as part of the Casino Battle Royale. MJF was the clear star of the match, being the focal point of the match and finishing second behind the eventual winner, AEW Champion Adam Page.
Wardlow, however, took a few more months to make his debut in AEW. A vignette hyping his arrival was played at All Out in August 2019. He was made to look like a monster who would destroy anyone who crossed his path. A handful of similar videos would be shown up until his eventual debut, with took place on the 13th of November 2019.
MJF was in the ring on AEW Dynamite, explain his actions at Full Gear 2019. He had thrown in the towel for Cody during his title match with Chris Jericho, costing the former Stardust the chance to ever challenge for the AEW Championship again. However, Cody then entered the fray to attack his former friend, but was greeted by the hulking behemoth that was AEW’s newest monster, Wardlow.
MJF and Wardlow aligned as business partners. Wardlow was not employed by Tony Khan. MJF paid his salary to protect MJF, and he was booked into matches in AEW for unexplained reasons that you don’t need to think about.
Since that day, the pair have been joined at the hip. Wardlow has been MJF’s bodyguard and attack dog, doing the Long Island native’s bidding when he needs someone beaten down or someone to protect him whilst he runs his mouth.
However, the duo have not been without their arguments. Tension has been mounting over the last two years between the two, with Wardlow becoming visibly more angry about being ordered around by MJF. MJF has never been kind toward Wardlow in their relationship, and fans are starting to look forward to the day when Wardlow turns on his boss and becomes a huge face in AEW.
Wardlow vs MJF
A wrestler turning on his partner has been used to start a main event push since wrestling began. Whether it be Shawn Michaels throwing Marty Jannetty through the barbershop window, or Seth Rollins turning on the Shield on his journey to become WWE Champion, many top stars have started out by betraying those closest to them.
However, much more infrequently has been a wrestler turning on their partner and come out as the good guy. Of course it can happen. The most recent and effective was the Miz finally getting his comeuppance after months abuse to Damian Mizdow.
The act of turning on the person who is making your life miserable is a sure fire way to get the crowd on your side. People everywhere can empathise with a person being held down by their boss, and wanting to break free from their power. It’s how Stone Cold Steve Austin became the biggest wrestler on the planet, and without fail it just works.
That’s exactly what’s going to happen with Wardlow. He has already shown signs of defiance toward MJF, but ultimately always follows his bosses orders. When he finally tells MJF “no” and turns on him, laying him out with kicks and punches, fans will rejoice and Wardlow will immediately become a huge face in AEW.
The pair will then have a match set. Ideally, at a major pay-per-view. AEW Revolution may be too early for Wardlow to turn on MJF, but Double or Nothing 2022 could be the field of battle for the long awaited MJF vs Wardlow match. While Wardlow still has some way to go in the ring, not impressing during the brilliant Blood & Guts match, he has what it takes to have a good match with a top in-ring talent like MJF.
This match between the two – which any of the pair can win – could turn both men into huge stars. MJF is already on that cusp, and could even be the top heel in AEW if he defeats CM Punk in their upcoming match. However, a feud with MJF could help Wardlow immensely and help push the War Dog from intimidating muscle to a top face in the vein of Bill Goldberg.
Wardlow as AEW’s Goldberg is a vast possibility and in my view the best use for him. He could be a massive star and future AEW Champion should they book him properly, and I have faith in Tony Khan that Wardlow can be huge. However, MJF vs Wardlow is the hinge that it sits on, and only time will tell if he has what it takes to be the man who is better than you and he knows it.