If anyone watched AEW Revolution, they might have witnessed one of the most anticipated matches on the card in Cody Rhodes vs. MJF. The bout was well received as it devolved into a brawl with a bloody MJF scoring the win unexpectedly, albeit via heel tactics.
But it's quite clear that MJF is one of the 'rising' stars in AEW, if he isn't already there. His ability in the ring as well as his clear character work and cutting promos are the sign of someone who's possibly one of the best heels in the business right now.
But how did he get here? Newsday caught up with The Salt of The Earth to discuss his love of wrestling, his adolescence, and his inspiration for getting into the business. MJF revealed to Josh Stewart that when he was young, the first full WWE match he ever saw was the famous Hell in a Cell match between Undertaker and Mankind (Mick Foley).
That lit the spark as he started doing more research on YouTube where he found an old clip of Rowdy Roddy Piper talking trash and it was here that he found his muse. He said:
"Once I saw Roddy Piper I knew exactly what I was going to be doing when I grew up,” explains Friedman, adding that while the Burberry plaid is part homage to the kilt Piper wore to the ring, it’s also because “it looks ridiculously good on me."
This revelation is in line with what others have said of MJF that he comes across as a classic heel who happens to be alive in 2020. It's also interesting that he got his idea for the scarf from Piper. MJF is only 23 and has so much more to offer the business.
Where does he go from here? At this point, it just looks like that the only direction for him is a rocket ship to superstardom.