It was relatively quiet double or nothing/Memorial Day Weekend…until reports from Maxwell Jacob Friedman not showing a scheduled AEW FanFest appearance on Saturday night (May 28).
From that point on, it was all on deck for wrestling world scoopsters as fans refreshed their Twitter feeds looking for updates on the status of MJF’s highly anticipated match with Wardlow on this week’s PPV. evening – and his future in the world of wrestling.
Here’s a rundown of the highlights from Fightful, PWInsider & Wrestling Observer Radio:
- One thing that everyone agrees on and states categorically: this is not a job, at least not an agreement between the two parties (there is a lot of speculation that Max got into the business for himself and as The Observer’s David Meltzer says, “seems to be Brian Pillman.”) .
- Everything in wrestling can be turned into one, of course, because we might see this turn into one very soon. But nothing that happened yesterday was coordinated by AEW and MJF to advance a storyline.
- Insider heard from fans at FanFest that they saw Friedman playing slots at Mandalay Bay (where FanFest was being held) when he was supposed to have his scheduled encounters.
- Tickets for MJF’s session at FanFest were $100. Fans who purchased them were told they could get a refund or meet another wrestler. An AEW official told Fightful that the company was “very unhappy with the way things turned out.”
- As has already been pointed out, the problem would be money. There’s a lot of talk that Tony Khan is ready to make Friedman one of his highest-paid entertainers, but wants to extend his contract beyond its current January 1, 2024 expiration in the process. MJF basically thinks he deserves a merit increase on his existing contract without adding time to it. David Bixenspan points out that this account of the negotiations has, however, been debunked – so it seems like an old rumor resurfacing in light of everything else.
- AEW talent has been instructed not to publicly comment on yesterday’s incident. Fighter Sean Ross SappMJF’s sources in the locker room have been “undaunted in saying Tony Khan won’t be working on his roster and spoke to a few of them about MJF’s frustrations over the past few months.
- Sapp reported (and Insider confirmed) that a Sunday morning flight from Las Vegas to Newark was booked for Friedman “before the high-priced meet and greet,” but doesn’t know who bought the ticket. The Observer’s Bryan Alvarez disputed this, but Sapp said he saw physical evidence of it.
- Regardless, sources told Fightful and Insider that MJF was not on the plane when the flight departed for New Jersey early this morning.
- AEW continues to actively promote the Wardlow match for double or nothing tonight. Alvarez says he’s still on the card internally.
So I guess we’ll know more in a few hours.
Will we ever know everything? Professional wrestling, everyone!