Ricky Starks Offers Daniel Garcia Encouragement Ahead Of Match With AEW Champ MJF

Maxwell Jacob Friedman has held the AEW World Championship for almost a year now, with MJF having defeated Jon Moxley at last year's AEW Full Gear to win the title. Weeks before that pay-per-view rolls around again, MJF is scheduled to defend his championship tonight against former Jericho Appreciation Society member Daniel Garcia. Ahead of the bout, the man whom MJF first defended the title against — Ricky Starks — has spoken up in encouragement of Garcia (via X).


"Be a different outcome than me, DG," Starks wrote. "Go above and beyond and soar as high as possible and land way beyond the stars, my dude. Follow through and follow up."

Starks challenged MJF for the title at AEW Winter Is Coming, which took place last December, with MJF's "Dynamite Diamond Ring" also on the line. The challenger fell short, and Starks would go on to feud against the likes of Chris Jericho, "Switchblade" Jay White, CM Punk, and Bryan Danielson in the months since.

As for MJF, the champion has defended the title just eight times since winning it last year. Still, recent months have seen MJF become a more sympathetic character while retaining some of his "scumbag" characteristics. Most recently, MJF successfully defended the championship against Kenny Omega on the October 28 edition of "AEW Collision."


Though he is one of the promotion's most promising young wrestlers, and his in-ring dancing has been popular lately, it can be argued that Garcia's character has been directionless for some time now. With the spotlight back on the 25-year-old tonight, Garcia has an opportunity to show what he can do and further endear himself to the AEW audience.