Home AEW world champ MJF insists he will test the free-agent waters in 2024

AEW world champ MJF insists he will test the free-agent waters in 2024

Chris Graham
mjf aew
Photo: All Elite Wrestling

There’s no way AEW hasn’t already signed its world champ, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, as he’s known to fans, MJF, to a multi-year contract extension, right?

“I’ve never lied. January 1, 2024,” Friedman said on this week’s “SI Media with Jimmy Traina,” rehashing the bit from his heel days about the pending “Bidding War of 2024,” his homage to Rob Van Dam’s “Mr. Monday Night” storyline from ECW.

Friedman told Traina that he hasn’t re-signed with AEW, and intends to test the free-agent waters come Jan. 1.

Credit to the guy for living the gimmick, I guess.

It had been leaked a few weeks ago that Friedman had secretly re-upped with AEW, but he shrugged that off in the podcast interview.

“When stuff like that gets leaked out, it makes me laugh, because I remember something got leaked out about Cody (Rhodes) having secretly re-signed, and then he showed up, something got leaked out about, you know, CM Punk and Tony Khan, you know, actually fine, everything, you know. I think fans leak out things that they want to be true. I love AEW. I want to stay in AEW. After this pay-per-view, it’s time to assess the situation from a professional setting,” Friedman said.

If true, which it’s not, but if it is, this would be more bad news for AEW and for Tony Khan, who has had the “I feared for my life” firing of CM Punk blow up in his face with Punk’s triumphant return to WWE last month.

Friedman, meanwhile, just to play his kayfabe tale out to a possible conclusion, is scheduled to defend his AEW world title against Samoa Joe at the Dec. 30 “World’s End” pay-per-view.

He could drop the belt there on his way out, if he is indeed on his way out.

That doesn’t seem likely; Friedman is by far Tony Khan’s most marketable performer, and losing him to WWE on the heels of the Punk debacle would sound a death-knell for the promotion.

So, gotta love ol’ Max, who has been badly misused by Khan as a babyface since the summer, for going back to his greatest hits from his heel days in the podcast interview.

He’s a free agent, he insists, and he doesn’t buy the idea that he’d have to tone down his act to get over in WWE.

“I just don’t know how the f— you put a leash on me. And I swear to God that’s my honest opinion. I don’t know, I don’t think anybody can hold me back from being the monster that I am. I think my career trajectory in any company is going to be exactly the same,” Friedman said.

“Do I think in some aspects AEW fits me more like a glove than anywhere else? Yeah, I do,” Friedman said. “Could an argument be made the other way around? Yeah, sure. These are all things that I have to think about. But I do know whatever company I pick, it will be because it feels right, and it means the most to me.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].