First Challenger For New AEW World Champion MJF Is Set

New AEW World Champion MJF's first title defense is set.

Ricky Starks won the third annual AEW World Title Eliminator tourney Wednesday, setting up a clash against MJF at the "AEW Dynamite: Winter is Coming" special episode on December 14. Starks defeated Ethan Page in the final of the tourney on the 11/23 episode of AEW Dynamite to emerge as the top contender for MJF's title. 

Starks hit as many as three spears to put away Page, as he continued to sell injuries from his World Title Eliminator tourney bouts against Lance Archer (on last Friday's "AEW Rampage") and Brian Cage (on last Saturday's Full Gear pre-show). As a result, Starks' upper body was taped up during the match against Page. 

Fans on social media are particularly excited about the potential promo battles between MJF and Starks, seeing as both men are renowned for their skills with the microphone. The first such exchange could take place on next week's "AEW Dynamite" in Indianapolis, IN, where MJF will speak for the first time since capturing the richest prize in the promotion – from Jon Moxley – at last Saturday's Full Gear pay-per-view. 

MJF did not appear on this week's "AEW Dynamite" as he was reportedly on set for the production of "The Iron Claw" film. William Regal, MJF's new manager, explained his client's absence during the opening segment of the show, noting that MJF "doesn't have time to come to places like Chicago" as he's "on the set of a major motion picture." Shortly before he was interrupted by Moxley, Regal assured fans that he and MJF will explain their alliance on next week's show.