For the man known as “The Devil”, MJF‘s best matches have brought so much joy to millions of AEW fans over the years.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman, better known as MJF, has been one of the most polarizing figures in professional wrestling in recent years.
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that the young star has a gift for both in-ring action and microphone work.
While he may have only been in the business for a few years, MJF has already amassed an impressive resume of matches that showcase his talents and solidify his place among the top performers in the industry.
As the standout wrestler in the “Four Pillars“, he has shown that he is among the finest wrestlers in the world, with his matches being the most must-see in all of AEW.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of MJF’s best matches, breaking down what makes them stand out and why they’re a must-watch for any wrestling fan.
10. The Pinnacle vs The Inner Circle (Blood & Guts) – AEW Blood & Guts
The first match on the list of MJF best matches is the first ever Blood & Guts match in AEW history. With their own version of the famous War Games match, Tony Khan pitted Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle against MJF’s new stable, The Pinnacle.
The ten men battled it out inside two rings encompassed by a giant steel cage. MJF, FTR, Wardlow and Shawn Spears battled hard against Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz, Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara, in one of the most violent encounters in AEW history.
MJF won the match for his team, when he forced the Inner Circle to submit with the threat of tossing Jericho off the top of the cage to the stage below.
Being the ultimate heel that he is, he threw Jericho anyway. The ending looked a bit goofy, which brought this down to only the 10th best MJF match of all time
9. MJF vs Jon Moxley – AEW All Out 2020
MJF’s first foray into a main-event feud saw him take on Jon Moxley at the second All Out event.
Prior to the match, he campaigned in presidential-style for the match against the AEW Champion, petitioning for “Dictator Jon” to face him for the title at the pay per view.
The match turned out to be his best match up until that point, and really showcased how good the young star was in the ring.
Despite failing to win the AEW Championship from Jon Moxley (this time), this was one of MJF’s best matches in AEW.
He was believable in the ring, and at times you really believed he could walk out of Chicago with the AEW Championship.
8. MJF & Wardlow vs Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus AEW Dynamite 1/7/21
The match that setup to the number one match on the list of Jungle Boy best matches. The tag match between the future Pinnacle pair and Jurassic Express was one that came in with little build. but wowed the audience anyhow.
This fast paced encounter featured power and work rate. The monsters Luchasaurus and Wardlow provided the big man spots, while MJF and Jungle Boy worked the matt and provided the moments that made the crowd gasp.
MJF and Wardlow ran out the winners, and set up the singles match between MJF and Jungle Boy at the next pay per view, AEW Double or Nothing.
7. MJF vs Jungle Boy – AEW Double or Nothing 2020
This match gave us a glimpse of the future of AEW main events.
One of MJF’s best matches ever came against his fellow “Four Pillar” member, “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry.
The pair had not been feuding for long, and a sole tag team match between Jurassic Express and MJF/Wardlow was used as a setup for the match.
Both men were looking to climb up the rankings for this match, with MJF actually facing the AEW Champion Jon Moxley at the next big Pay Per View, All Out.
This match was a proper old school match. The pair traded holds, worked body parts and worked a match with an expert grasp of psychology.
Both men showed experience beyond their years and pulled out what I consider to be the match of the night at the show. It is certainly number of MJF’s best matches in AEW and beyond.
6. MJF, Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood vs CM Punk, Darby Allin & Sting – AEW Dynamite 22/12/21
This match is not just number 5 on the list of MJF’s best matches in AEW – it’s one of the most fun bouts the company has ever put on.
Amidst the CM Punk vs MJF feud came an all-star, six-man tag team match that boasted more star power than some WrestleMania main events.
CM Punk teamed with Sting for the first time (as well as Darby Allin) to take on The Pinnacle – MJF and FTR. Punk entered wearing Surfer Sting-inspired face paint, while Sting modified his own to pay tribute to Punk.
The bout featured some great action, but more importantly, some fantastic character work. MJF ran from Punk as much as he could, and was chased around the arena until the former AEW Champion could get his hands on him.
CM Punk, Sting and Darby Allin picked up the win in the match, in what turned out to be one of the best things MJF had done in AEW.
5. MJF, Santana & Ortiz vs Adam Page, John Silver & Alex Reynolds
This match from the Brodie Lee Celebration of Life AEW Dynamite episode was one of MJF’s best matches, despite the incredibly sad emotions surrounding the match.
The matches for the night was made by Brodie Lee Jr, who booked Adam Page to finally team with the Dark Order for the first time. Meanwhile, MJF teamed with Santana and Ortiz.
The wrestlers in the match, sans that awful human being MJF, were visibly upset prior to the match. Page and the Dark Order were crying as they made their entrance, but continued the show honouring their friend Mr Brodie Lee.
The match featured many tributes to Brodie Lee. John Silver wore the ring gear that Brodie had given him on “Being the Elite”, mimicking Lee’s own gear.
He then hit Brodie Lee’s signature discus lariat to pin Ortiz for the victory. It even featured interference from Lee’s former tag team partner, Erick Redbeard (formerly Erick Rowan in the WWE).
The match would be a good one even without the circumstances surrounding it. However, with the emotions the six men must have felt and the atmosphere surround it, it turned from good to great.
4. MJF vs CM Punk – AEW Dynamite 2/2/22
The first match between MJF and CM Punk was a 40+ minute classic that cemented MJF as not a top heel in AEW, but the top heel in all of wrestling.
After weeks of blistering arguments on the microphone, MJF and CM Punk finally had their long-awaited match on AEW Dynamite. The match took place in Chicago, with CM Punk having the home town crowd which were rabid and wanted nothing more than to see CM Punk put away MJF once and for all.
The match was a fun one to start with, with MJF trying to run away from Punk, to no avail. CM Punk, like the hometown hero in a match out of the 1970s, beat MJF from pillar to post to the delight of the Chicago fans.
MJF seemed to have won the match early on, but he secured the victory by chocking CM Punk with some tape, which Bryce Remsburg spotted after the fact. The match was restarted, and the pair wrestled for another 25 minutes in one of the best matches in AEW Dynamite history.
In a match filled with callbacks, including the first Pepsi Plunge in about 17 years, MJF used the Dynamite Diamond Ring to knock out CM Punk and be the first man to beat CM Punk in AEW. In his home town of Chicago, CM Punk fell to one of his greatest rivals in one of MJF’s best matches ever.
3. MJF vs CM Punk – AEW Revolution 2022
The Dog Collar Match at AEW Revolution 2022 was the polar opposite to their encounter on Dynamite, but CM Punk and MJF pulled off a match both men can call one of their best matches.
The match was arguably the best match on a show that featured 4 matches that could be argued to be five star classics. This bout was a brutal and bloody dog collar match which took both men to depths of depravity which we have not seen for a long time.
Both men used weapons, strangled each other with the chain and threw each other on thumbtacks as they tried to kill each other inside the ring. The canvas was stained with blood by the end of the match with CM Punk looking like he might pass out from the blood loss.
The match was an incredible story-driven affair despite the barbaric nature of it. Wardlow finally turned on MJF when he handed CM Punk the Dynamite Diamond Ring to seal the Chicago-born wrestlers victory and hand MJF the defeat.
2. MJF vs Darby Allin – AEW Full Gear 2021
If MJF wasn’t a star before Full Gear, then he certainly was after it.
He took on Darby Allin in the opener of the pay per view, claiming that he could beat Allin with a simple side headlock.
Of course, this was simply an allusion to Darby Allin’s perceived lack of technical wrestling ability, given the fact that he is known for sacrificing his body with dangerous moves to win matches, rather than classical wrestling techniques.
The match, like any great story, came in three acts.
The first act was each man testing the other. They both tried to “out-wrestle” each other, trading holds and pinfalls trying to outmanoeuvre the other. It was a brilliant demonstration of something we’d never really seen either man do before in an AEW ring.
The second was the fight. This technical nonsense went out the window. Both men tried to inflict pain in a way only they know how.
Allin performed dives and stunts, putting his body on the line. He pulled no punches, and made sure everything he did to MJF hurt MJF more than it hurt him.
MJF focused on power moves, targeted to the back of Darby Allin. He knew that Allin’s main offence is based on attacks by his back, like his finishing move the Coffin Drop. Injure the back and you nullify his offence.
Ironically, MJF targeting the back of Allin ended up almost costing him. After a number of back breaker-style moves, he went down clutching his knee. The continued weight of Darby Allin on his knee caught his knee to lock up, and he was forced to nurse it throughout the remainder of the match.
Then they got to the third act, the end of the match. Darby got the upper hand, hitting a brutal Coffin Drop to the outside. However, he tried another on the inside, but MJF got his knees up and blocked the move.
A tombstone piledriver on the ring apron incapacitated Darby Allin, who was almost counted out of the match. After some tussling, the pair traded pin falls in the ring, with the crowd cheering every time a different shoulder hit the mat.
MJF then began the mind games. He brought Allin’s skateboard into the ring, but instead of hitting Darby, he begged him to turn the skateboard on MJF instead.
Darby Allin, trying to prove himself as a wrestler, not a stuntman, refused. He turned the skateboard in to the referee, distracting him for the split second MJF needed.
He hit Darby Allin with his Dynamite Diamond ring, before locking in the headlock he claimed he would win with, and pinned the unconscious Darby Allin for the victory.
The match told a story of two men, both trying to prove themselves to each other and everybody watching. One showed everybody that they were more than anybody though they could be, and the other showed them they were exactly what they expected.
For me, this is a five-star match.
The story told was perfect, and any wrestler would be proud to have such a match on their highlight reel. It showed me a new side of MJF, and makes me certain that he will win the AEW Championship sooner rather than later.
1. MJF vs Bryan Danielson – AEW Revolution 2023
The bout was the main event of the show and lasted an incredible 67 minutes. Both men showed an incredible amount of stamina during the match, going hard until the final seconds and keeping the fans on the edge of their seat.
MJF won the match 4 falls to 3 in overtime, forcing Bryan Danielson to tap out to the LaBelle Lock after 67 minutes.
Danielson won the first fall by pin fall and the second via DQ, when MJF hit his opponent in the testicles. However, that allowed MJF to pin The American Dragon twice in quick succession, levelling the scores 2-2.
MJF won the third with a Heatseeker Piledriver, before Danielson levelled again when he made the champion tap out to the Regal Stretch. He seemed to have the win when MJF tapped out with seconds to go, but the clock ran out before his hand hit the mat.
After much cheating attempts, MJF hit Danielson in the head with an oxygen tank, before locking in the LaBelle lock and forcing him to tap out in overtime. MJF won the match and retained the AEW Championship in the longest match in AEW history, lasting 67 minutes.
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.