When MJF ripped into AEW President Tony Khan with a live microphone on Wednesday, his colleagues backstage were more convinced than ever that his pipe bomb was part of an elaborate storyline, according to Fightful Select.
The report noted that the promo was designed to elicit a polarizing reaction, and it did just that. Of the countless AEW talents Fightful spoke to, reactions to the promo ranged from “it’s always been a job on the MJF side” to “well, it’s definitely a job now.”
One particular talent said that if they found out the situation had been a job further than this weekend, they would be “particularly frustrated for a lot of reasons.” The talent in question reportedly spoke to both MJF and Khan in confidence to find out more about the perceived issues, which everyone agreed were legitimate.
The report added that Khan has told several talents over the years that “working talent” is not something the locker room should expect in AEW. Additionally, there were talents at MJF’s scheduled Las Vegas meet who ended up having to stay and do extra work in order to make up for The Salt of the Earth not showing the event. Those specific talents who filled in were unaware of a potential job — and were rightly ticked off.
Another talent told Fightful that they generally try to avoid any kind of story involving MJF from interviews or social media because it’s rather “hard to decipher MJF’s motivations.” This specific talent would rather just talk to MJF backstage.
However, the notion that “MJF still works” has been repeatedly debunked by several AEW talents. One particular talent was quoted as saying, “If he acted like MJF all the time, he probably wouldn’t work here anymore,” but said they noticed he was more frustrated this spring than in the past.
Meanwhile, a longtime friend of MJF claimed that MJF was adamant behind the scenes that the situation was not a job. However, this talent also noted that the pipebomb “reeked of on-screen desperation to shake things up”, and they don’t believe Khan would have allowed the promo to air on live TV without a reward or plan. .
There were another half-dozen AEW wrestlers who felt MJF “seemed frustrated” when bringing up the subject with him, but for several weeks before Double or Nothing, none of them knew the source of MJF’s frustrations. .
Of the talents Fightful spoke to, several also sympathized with MJF’s initial point of frustration regarding the scale of contracts for original talent versus incoming ex-WWE talent.
For what it’s worth, none of the talents could or wanted to verify that “Khan had [been] or is at work,” even though most believe MJF and Khan found a way to turn their issues into an on-screen storyline during their reported meeting on Monday.
As previously reported, all traces of MJF have been wiped from AEW’s website and merchandise store. Additionally, none of the official YouTube videos and photos posted on Wednesday’s “Dynamite” include MJF.
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