Backstage News On MJF's AEW Absence And Return

At this point, it's safe to say that Maxwell Jacob Friedman is one of AEW's top attractions, and now that he's back on weekly programming, the intriguing details behind his absence this summer are beginning to come to light.

According to the latest from Fightful, statements Friedman has made about never leaving his house during his three months away are almost entirely true. Following his infamous promo in Los Angeles where he called Tony Khan a "f***ing Mark" and begged to be fired, Friedman stayed in town to attend some meetings for Hollywood-related projects. He was also seen at Disney World over the summer and worked with Impractical Jokers to create some crossover content with AEW. 

"The Salt of the Earth" reportedly refrained from contacting most people in his life, including close friends that he didn't reach out to until shortly before his return at All Out. Furthermore, MJF avoided social media and going out in public during his time away, showing just how committed he was to keeping the mystery alive. The report also notes that several AEW roster members became aware that MJF would return as the Joker in the Casino Ladder Match as All Out was approaching.

It remains unclear whether Friedman was legitimately granted a new contract, a lucrative extension, or some sort of amendment to his deal, but sources close to the situation claim "he's in a much more favorable situation financially." Whether it's legitimate or not, MJF continues telling people that he hasn't signed an extension, and he still expects a bidding war between AEW and WWE for his contract in 2024.

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