MJF, aka Maxwell Jacob Friedman, is the biggest heel in Tony Khan's AEW.
Since signing with AEW in January 2019, MJF has gone from strength to strength not only with his in-ring ability but also with his promo-cutting finesse.
The leader of The Pinnacle usually leaves fans talking with excellent mic skills. The 25-year-old will certainly be a future world champion in AEW, given his meteoric rise in such a short time.
MJF has recently been in a storyline feud with another rising AEW star, Darby Allin.
On the September 29 episode of AEW Dynamite, MJF had a showdown with Allin when the latter interrupted his promo.
This past week on Dynamite, MJF challenged Darby Allin to a match on the next episode before beating him down in the parking lot with help from The Pinnacle. That being said, the rivalry between the two stars has certainly gathered heat.
Having seen so much of MJF in the ring, through this article we look into some of the things that fans might not know about this AEW Star.
#5 MJF appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show as a kid
When MJF was 5 years old, he appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show and said he wants to be an opera singer when he grows up. Young MJF also sang the song You're My Sunshine much to the delight of the viewers watching the show.
The moment was certainly cute, and little did MJF and his fans know that in a matter of 20 odd years he'd become a big name in pro-wrestling.
#4 MJF could have had a career in football
MJF was a footballer in high school and, at one point, wanted to pursue his career in the sport. While he didn't end up playing football (NFL) professionally, he was considered a good footballer during that time.
Much of his in-ring athleticism is attributed to the passion he had for the game.
In an October 2nd, 2019 edition of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast, MJF revealed:
"You know it's so funny. I wanted to play in the NFL just so I would be more appealing to WWE because there was no AEW at that point. So, in my head I was, like, “OK, I'm going to be the best middle linebacker in college sports, then I'm going to go play in the NFL for like a year or two and I'll be famous. I'll call Vince McMahon on his cell phone and say, ‘Hey, book me.’ So that was my game plan," said MJF.
"But once I got to that college, I immediately felt it in my bones… I've always had like the sixth sense. I'm very good at reading people, I'm very good at reading situations, and I just knew I wasn't supposed to be there. I remember calling my parents being, like, “Hey I'm going to come home.” And them laughing at me, like, “No, you're not going anywhere.” So when I did come home, it was definitely not easy, but they understood the sincerity in my voice and my face that I knew what I wanted to do. I didn't want to waste away four years playing college football at the prospect of playing in the NFL so I can get noticed for wrestling when I could just literally start doing professional wrestling. And that's what I did for four years until I got signed to AEW," added MJF.
#3 Roddy 'Rowdy' Piper has been MJF's inspiration
MJF is not only a gifted in-ring competitor but also great with his heel-cutting promos that suit his kayfabe character. Any promo that he does guarantees an audience response, hence, it's no surprise that the man he idealized was none other than the late Roddy 'Rowdy' Piper.
Hot Rod was himself one of the best promo cutters in WWE with his talk show The Pipers Pit. The reaction he got from fans was always second to none.
MJF was inspired by Hot Rod's antics while speaking, which is one of the reasons that promos have become such a big part of the 25-year-old's career.
#2 MJF was used as a stand-in to test Finn Balor's Demon King bodypaint in WWE
At WWE SummerSlam 2016, MJF was backstage where he stood as a body double to test the bodypaint of the Demon King Finn Balor.
It was a momentous occasion for Balor as he went on to beat Seth Rollins to be anointed the first Universal Champion.
#1 The legendary 1998 Hell in a Cell match held much importance in MJF's life to become a wrestler
While Hot Rod was the guy who inspired MJF with his promo cutting skills, when it came to in-ring competition, the 1998 King of the Ring – Hell in a Cell match holds a lot of importance.
The Undertaker vs. Mankind bout was a stepping stone for MJF's journey into pro-wrestling. The AEW Star, during his younger days, had gone into a video store and saw the cover of this pay-per-view and found it interesting as he thought Undertaker was an actual zombie.
Having said this, the match itself became so iconic for MJF that he ended up becoming a pro-wrestler.