MJF lost to Wardlow at AEW Double or Nothing 2022 after a hectic day in which nobody knew where he was or if he’d even turn up. Reports of MJF missing a meet and greet shot round the wrestling community and with reports of him booking a flight out of Las Vegas, everyone was on edge.
MJF has previously been unhappy in AEW due to his current contract. MJF’s contract runs through until 2024 and he reportedly wants to sign a new deal for a higher salary, but is reluctant to tack more years onto his deal.
With a potential bidding war with WWE on the horizon, MJF could be looking to maximise his money by playing AEW and WWE against each other, something he has mentioned in interviews and even on AEW Dynamite multiple times in recent memory.
MJF did turn up to AEW Double or Nothing 2022 very late and had his match with Wardlow. He lost to Wardlow after 10 powerbombs, with Wardlow unleashing 3 years worth of resentment towards MJF in dominating fashion.
After the match, MJF was wheeled out of the arena in a neck brace and reportedly went straight home. He reportedly told Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp “I showed up last minute. I left after the match. I have a lot to think about. I’m going dark on social media.”, indicating that the drama surrounding MJF and AEW is far from over.
MJF did not look his usual self when walking down the ring at Double or Nothing. He was notably less tan and his usual arrogant demeanour was not as pronounced as usual. There was clearly something on his mind, although he could have just been masterfully playing to the storying and inhabiting the character of “MJF” on screen.
MJF Last Match
Whether MJF vs Wardlow will be his last match in AEW remains to be seen. Fans and wrestlers alike are split into two distinct camps – one that thinks the whole thing is a work and one that believes everything that has happened as been a shoot.
Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez discussed the situation both before and after AEW Double or Nothing. Both of them admitted on Wrestling Observer Radio that they believe the situation started off as a shoot and, for whatever reason, MJF missed his meet-and-greet.
However, they later went on to say that everything after that was a shoot. They theorised that MJF turning up right before his match confirmed it was a work, and Tony Khan and AEW wouldn’t have taken the risk on MJF turning up if they didn’t know where he was. They would have cancelled the match and informed the fans before betting on the wantaway-MJF to turn up right on time.
Although in the AEW Double or Nothing post show media scrum, Tony Khan refused to talk about the MJF situation and wouldn’t answer any questions regarding the whole situation. This could signify that he does not want to talk about a potentially precarious situation or that he does not want to speak about a storyline in the making.
Whether not not he wants to leave AEW is currently unknown and could be the start of a top storyline in the making. However, it could well be just MJF being disgruntled and wanting his way out of the company for a move to WWE in the near future.
MJF to WWE
If MJF leaves AEW he is most likely going to move to WWE in the near future. He is known to be a good friend of former AEW star Cody Rhodes, who was the first big name to jump ship from AEW to WWE when he made his Wrestlemania return in April this year.
MJF has been accused of being a “less famous Miz” by CM Punk, although that is an unfair comparison from the star. While he has the microphone skills of Miz (or has even surpassed him), his in-ring skills are lightyears ahead of the former WWE Champion.
MJF has shown to have an incredible grasp of in-ring psychology in AEW. For me, his best match was his bout with Darby Allin at Full Gear 2021 but you could argue that his matches against CM Punk or Jon Moxley surpassed those.
While he may oversell occasionally and make his fake-selling too obvious, for someone who is 26 and already wrestling on a reduced schedule for AEW, he is one of the best workers in the company. If he were to go to WWE, MJF would slot in as the top heel and one of the top workers in the company.
It wouldn’t all be sunshine and rainbows, though. He would never have the freedom to be in character all the time and treat the fans like garbage. WWE cares about their fans (allegedly) and doesn’t like the heels being “on” all the time (their work with the make-a-wish foundation is testament to that)
If he were to leave AEW now, MJF would be a huge loss for the company, and he should be a top star for WWE if he goes. However, the key is if Vince McMahon lets him be the MJF we know he can be, and in all likelihood he’ll never get that freedom again.
MJF in AEW will be remembered as one of the biggest regrets if MJF’s last match was indeed at Double or Nothing.
For three years he went from the top prospect to being the top heel, a master on the microphone and a ring general between the ropes. He can do any match type, any style, he can make you laugh, scream or cry with his words and he helped numerous other stars, most recently Wardlow, get over in the biggest way possible.
He will be remembered as the AEW original who should have won the AEW Championship. If CM Punk hadn’t of signed for AEW last year, he would likely be the man to dethrone Adam Page. That could be why the tension between him and Tony Khan has become so palpable and why he could be leaving AEW for WWE.
I hope we haven’t seen MJF’s last AEW match. I hope he does not sign for WWE and chase the money when he can become one of the greatest of all time by staying in AEW and being himself.
But, who knows with MJF. This whole thing could be a work and he could have re-signed already.
We won’t know until we know.
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