Just 54 weeks ago, Cody Rhodes and Maxwell Jacob Friedman were the best of friends. Well, until MJF turned his back on Cody.
During Cody's AEW World Heavyweight Title match with Chris Jericho at 2019's Full Gear, MJF threw in the towel for Cody, costing him the match. Much more than that, it cost Cody a chance at ever competing for the title again. MJF explained to Fightful why he and so many others -- including Shawn Spears -- have done so well after splitting from Cody.
"Allow me to use some mythology here. So, there’s two different types of mermaids, right? There’s the ones you see in the movies—they’re beautiful, they’re elegant, right? But back, way back in olden times, in Greek mythology and I believe a couple different mythologies—regardless, people would see these sirens, or mermaids have you, while they’re on the board of a ship and these mermaids would be so beautiful and they would convince you to jump into the water with their beauty. Then, once you got under that water, they would grab you swim down to the depths of the sea and they would drown you until you were lifeless. That is what Cody Rhodes does. Cody Rhodes, in a sense, is a siren. He’s a mermaid. He convinces you he’s a good guy. He convinces you to jump on board with him, with what he’s doing. Then he drowns you until you die," said MJF.
A year later, MJF found himself ready to hitch to the wagon of Chris Jericho's Inner Circle. Jericho is no mermaid, according to MJF.
"What Cody Rhodes was trying to do wanted me to be in his shadow. That’s why I respect Chris Jericho. In the Inner Circle, I will not be in the shadow of Chris Jericho. I will be standing shoulder and shoulder, arm and arm with Chris Jericho and we will be getting a whole lot of gold and a whole lot of green. That’s why I (was) so excited for this opportunity at Full Gear. Because it’s nowhere near like the ‘opportunity’ I had with Cody Rhodes. That wasn’t an opportunity. All that was was his opportunity to keep me under his thumb and it just didn’t work out for him," MJF stated.
In a surprising moment, MJF showed at least some hypothetical regret as to how things went down with Cody. Beyond that, MJF actually....wished Cody well?
"I feel the Cody Rhodes story, looking back at it, I feel I could have done it a different way. Maybe I could have went at about it more diplomatically instead of physically. I do regret how some of it went down because I think deep down in that dark, twisted soul of Cody Rhodes is a good person. I felt sometimes it shone through. It wasn’t enough for me to fully believe that that friendship was anything more than a farce. But, I think the war behind me and Cody Rhodes is done. It’s settled. It’ll go down as one of the greatest rivalries in professional wrestling. I wish him the best of luck. But, it’s not something I’m all that interested in right now. What I’m interested in is joining the most incredible group that is the Inner Circle. I’m interested in getting myself back into the AEW World title hunt and I’m interested in learning from Chris Jericho, who has been in the industry, on top, for thirty years," MJF closed.
MJF has enacted at least part of that plan, joining Inner Circle after defeating Chris Jericho at Full Gear.
You can see our full interview with MJF at the top of the page, and check him out each week on AEW Dynamite, Wednesdays on TNT.