Have you ever looked at someone and thought maybe they were just misunderstood? That's probably not MJF.
Either way, Maxwell Jacob Friedman's reputation preceded him upon joining All Elite Wrestling last year. He was known as a dastardly, cutthroat competitor, and an even more devious person. Surely, there has to be some good there, right?
This weekend, MJF takes on a childhood inspiration in Chris Jericho. During our conversation with the former, he had no shortage of kind words for the legendary "Demo God." In an effort to better relate to MJF, we asked him to share nice words about a host of familiar names and faces.
The first up, was Sue, the now-famous mother of Trent. Seen driving her son and Chuck Taylor away from a highly acclaimed Parking Lot Brawl, she also made headlines by bringing the AEW roster cookies.
She's a wonderful woman. This was a slam dunk.
"Is it though?," MJF asked. "I feel she tried to poison our locker room with those cookies. Because I have serious, serious, serious food poisoning from those cookies. I don’t know what she made them with, but not only did they taste like chalk, but they made me terrible sick. So, I’m not a fan of Sue. I’m sorry."
Perhaps a bad first impression. Miscommunications happen.
MJF is hoping to earn a victory over Jericho as to land in the Inner Circle. Already in the group is Sammy Guevara. It would appear on AEW Dynamite each week that MJF and Guevara aren't that fond of one another, but MJF says that isn't the case. Beyond that, he has words for some of Guevara's detractors.
"I love Sammy. Sammy’s my little buddy," MJF reiterated to Fightful, wearing his signature Burberry scarf. "How can you not love Sammy? You know some people might say he’s talentless. Some people might say he’s wildly short and scrawny. Some people might say he looks like he sells Adderall to middle schoolers. I wouldn’t say that. I think Sammy Guevara is wildly talented. I think Sammy Guevara is great on the microphone. I think Sammy Guevara is great in the ring. I think Sammy Guevara is a future AEW World Champion. I love Sammy Guevara. To all those people who say he’s a creepy little trollish looking Justin Bieber Dollar Store wanna be, I say to you—How dare you? ‘Cause Sammy’s my friend."
Okay. Well, I guess he's standing up for Sammy Guevara there.
How about Joey Janela? The two have met in the ring for AEW, CZW, MLW, GCW, A1, WrestlePro -- they've battled all over the continent. You'd think there's some professional respect there by now.
"Pass," he said.
Understandable. He was put on the spot.
You could say much of the same for Mance Warner. Another name that has battled Friedman over the course of the last couple of years. Warner actually sent MJF packing from MLW earlier this year.
"Ha-ha-ha. Pass. Pass. Hard pass," MJF hysterically giggled.
Let's turn the page, let's switch things up. The next name came from one of the most polarizing figures in All Elite Wrestling. One that has made waves over the past year. Dr. Britt Baker DMD.
"She’s definitely a dentist," he retorted.
Okay. Fair, and true. Becoming a dentist takes years of hard work, dedication, and education. Confirming the factual nature that someone with "DMD" at the end of her name could be construed as a compliment in some walks of life.
Admittedly, the next effort was to test Maxwell. Conrad Thompson and MJF have traded incendiary jabs for years. Thompson banned MJF from Starrcast. The purpose of the exercise was to conjure positive words about those even that MJF had jousted with in the past.
"Fat. Very fat," MJF said.
That's not nice. At all.
"In a sense it is," MJF argued. "Because he has enough money to be as fat as he is. He can afford these large, luxurious meals."
Conrad Thompson is loaded. It's well documented(*) that Conrad owns multiple private jets, as well as three solid platinum toilets. Still, the original comments weren't nice.
The project wasn't really going the way it was intended. Alas, there was a breakthrough.
Jake Hager. Former World Heavyweight Champion. ECW Champion. United States Champion. Lucha Underground Champion Money in the Bank winner. NCAA Division-I All-American. Undefeated MMA fighter. Inner Circle member, and Chris Jericho's right hand man. A man who actually himself pinned Jericho for that aforementioned World Heavyweight Title.
"Oh, my God? We’re going to talk about Jake right quick?," MJF said in an excited tone.
"Homie just got another W in Bellator. He’s gone undefeated in MMA, okay? He is, bar-none, one of the greatest athletes in professional wrestling today. He reminds me so much of a younger me. He just has to much talent, so much potential, so much to offer and he’s a very good looking man. Beautiful wife, too."
That counts! Making progress, this is the MJF we want to see. Sincere, genuine, humble. I was assured ahead of time that MJF was misunderstood, and that he was more than happy to participate in this effort to change that perception.
Let's try the toughest one yet. At AEW All Out, Jon Moxley retained his AEW World Heavyweight Championship en route to handing MJF his first loss in AEW competition. During the match, Moxley was prohibited from using his patented Paradigm Shift DDT. He did it anyway. Surely after this breakthrough we just experienced, MJF could conjure up some kind words.
"He’s really good at cheating. How about that? He’s the best. He’s the best at cheating in the world. Congrats, Jon. Congrats. You crushed a young man’s dreams. Good job," MJF said, in a frustrated ton.
Well, we did our best.
"See ya later asshole," MJF closed.
You can see our full interview with MJF at the top of the page. He'll be taking on Chris Jericho this Saturday.
*This is not well documented, or even true whatsoever.