Up-and-coming indie star MJF recently Ubered to 317 Gimmick Street for a kayfabe conversation with WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin on The Steve Austin Show podcast. Among many other things, MJF talked about trying to stay out of trouble on the road and his goals for his pro wrestling odyssey.
According to MJF, also known as Maxwell Jacob Friedman, he stays out of trouble on the road.
"Man, I'm a good boy. Alright? I don't do drugs. I rarely go out. I honestly keep to myself often and I keep my circle small." MJF added, "I don't really get in trouble on the road."
With that said, MJF shared a funny road story about working a House Of Hardcore show with a biker gang in attendance.
"It is the only bad road story I have. I was at House Of Hardcore for Tommy Dreamer. Good guy, great guy, great eye for talent - that's why he booked me. I'm at the show, right, and I get there, and we are in Upstate New York. And God, bumble crap, 100 people population. People have less braincells than they do teeth. It's bad. It's real bad, Steve. And, out of nowhere, there's this huge biker gang and they're just hanging around. Some of them are in the locker room. Some of them are out of the locker room. And I go up and I go, 'hey, Tommy! What's going on? Why are these guys here.' [Dreamer responds] 'Oh, they're cool. They're chill. They're just doing security.' And I go, 'okay.' The night proceeds. I have an amazing match, obviously."
MJF continued, "I get to the back. We're done. We all go to this bar and I went out just because it was the respectful thing to do. There were a lot of great guys there. And it was guys the likes of me, Pepper Parks, Alex Reynolds… I'm trying to think who else was there… The Spirit Squad was there, Mike Mondo and Kenny [Dykstra], and then, Robbie E. Now, Robbie buddied-up with one of the guys in the biker gang and they were really getting along. They were having a great time. And I was like, 'oh, I guess these bikers aren't so bad.' We go back to the hotel. It's me and all these guys and we're all shooting the s--t. We're all hanging out. And then, Robbie goes, 'do you know what? Let's go to the biker gang's clubhouse.' And I guess I'm the only one who's sane, I go, 'I don't think that's a good idea at all! I'm not trying to die!' And everyone else in the room, because they're all crazy professional wrestlers, go, 'yeah, that's cool. That sounds like a great idea.' Wisely, the two other guys who knew it wasn't a good idea, Pepper Parks and Alex Reynolds, they tiptoed out of the room. Just as I was about to tiptoe out of the room, one-half of The Spirit Squad, Kenny Dykstra, he looks at me and he goes, 'hey kid, where are you going?' [MJF replied] 'Well, you know, it [has] been a long night. I think I'm just going to hit the hay.' [Dykstra responded] 'Uh uh.' He throws the keys at me, [and he said] 'you're driving.' [MJF sighed] 'Great.'"
Apparently, MJF and the other pro wrestlers were having a good time at the biker clubhouse until he noticed a swastika on the wall.
"We drive to this secluded area at this biker clubhouse." MJF recalled, "we pulled up. I'm not going to lie to you, Steve. As you can see, I'm jacked. I'm a very large individual, but a biker gang's a biker gang, okay? I pull up. Oh yeah! I mean, I can probably beat up most of them, but not all of them. We open the door and we're greeted by two gigantic guys with huge straggly beards and they're patting us all down. I'm having a panic attack and they stop and they go, 'the wrestlers are here!' They give us big hugs, bring us upstairs. We're having a good time. We're having a blast. We're drinking. We're talking. We're having a great time. Me and Willie [Mack] are in the corner talking to the barkeep of the clubhouse. We're shooting the s--t, and, honestly, I'm starting to calm down. I'm, like, fine. I look over to my left and there is a gigantic Nazi symbol. At that point, I cover my right arm because there is a Star Of David on it and I just pretend just have my arms crossed - I've got to look tough. I realize, it takes me a couple of seconds, all the information that's going on and I go, 'they may not know I'm Jewish, but they definitely know that Willie Mack is black.' I'd imagine they know. So now I'm freaking out and I start jabbing Willie, 'Willie, Willie'. I'm Jerry Lawlering it. I'm trying to talk through my teeth. Willie turns around [and asks], 'what do you want, fool? Like, stop touching me! What do you want?' And I'm like, 'look over there,' the old head nod, trying to point to the [swastika]. And Willie's like, 'leave me alone! I'm having fun!' And I was like, 'Oh, great! Awesome!'"
As the story goes, MJF then tried to herd his crew of indie pro wrestlers and return to their hotel. Fortunately for MJF, Mikey of The Spirit Squad wanted to leave the warehouse as well.
"And, the best part, out of the corner of my right eye, there is a large individual behind Willie Mack." MJF remembered, "he points at the barkeep and mouths, 'what the eff is he doing here?' Now there is poop dripping down my leg. I'm having a full-blown panic attack. This is it. This is the end. And the barkeep looks at him and goes, 'don't worry about it.' Like, give him the old, 'it's cool. Don't worry about it.' At this point, I get up from my chair, I excuse myself from the conversation with the barkeep, I walk right up to Kenny Dykstra, [and say] 'hey, Kenny! I had a great time, bud. Thanks for making me come out here. Maybe we should go back to the hotel!' [Dykstra replies] 'Man, stop being such a party-pooper! What are you talking about, MJF? We're going to chill right here!' [MJF says] 'Hahaha! Kenny, we should go right now.' Mike Mondo then goes, 'yeah, I'm pretty tired. Let's go to the hotel.' My inner monologue, 'thank God!'"
Before the group could take their leave, one of the bikers had a parting message for them.
"We start leaving and we get into the car." MJF said, "I turn the car on. [Sighs]. We're out of here. [Knocks] One of the fine Nazi bikers knocks on my window. More s--t dribbles down my leg. I roll the window down. He grabs my leg and gets very close to me, and he goes, 'drive safe. Don't text and drive. The last time somebody did that, they got pulled over by a cop, and they found our warehouse, and we had to change locations.' [MJF replies] 'Hahaha! You've got it, man! Absolutely! Love you, buddy. You're the best!'"
Apparently, Willie Mack was no selling the swastika at the clubhouse, but he was just as relieved as MJF to make it back to the hotel.
"I start the car up, get the hell out of there, get to the hotel, kick the door in, fall to the ground, [cries] 'yes!'" MJF exclaimed, "I'm kissing the ground, 'thank God!' I look over to my right. Willie, Willie's doing the same thing. I go, 'Willie! What's wrong with you?' He goes, 'man, did you see that Nazi symbol?' And that was my night. He was trying to play it cool, which is not something a Jewish kid from Long Island [New York]'s very good at doing!"
MJF claimed that he wants to be remembered as being good at making people mad. Moreover, MJF indicated that he wants to do right by the people who trained him by being the best.
"I want to be remembered as a guy that everyone would go home after a show, and be in bed after watching me on TV, and they lay their head on the pillow, and all they can think to themselves is, 'goddammit, I hate that piece of s--t!' That's all I want. I don't want anything more than that. I don't want anything less than that. I want to be remembered as someone who was goddamn really good at making people mad. Real mad. Do you want to know why? Because I love making people mad. It is my favorite pastime. And back to the guys that really took the time to mentor me like [Curt] Hawkins, Pat [Buck], Sami Callihan, he took a lot of time with me, I just want to be able to take all these dudes who invested time and effort put into me and give it back 10-fold just by being the goddamn best."
On the subject of whether WWE is in MJF's future, the current MLW Middleweight Champion admitted that working for WWE is his "ultimate goal". MJF stated that he wants to be the best version of himself before he goes to WWE though, which will require the Create-A-Pro grad to travel the world and work for many different promotions.
"[WWE] is absolutely the ultimate goal. Right now, at the age of 22, I'm making a living off of this and I'm building, not only just my brand, but I'm also building myself bell-to-bell. I'm building myself when that red light's on and I want to keep doing it. I want to make sure that when I go there, it is the best version… and it's hard to believe that it's going to get better, but it is… but it's the best version of MJF possible, so right now, I'm going to keep doing these top tier indies and I'm going to keep making my rounds, and keep doing these loops. And yeah, the end goal, the ultimate goal is to work there, but I still want to see these other places. I want to check out the ROHs, the Impacts, the New Japans, the PWGs. I want to be able to say, 'I've done it all' because I look up to guys like [Chris] Jericho and Eddie [Guerrero] and [Chris] Benoit. I want to be able to say, 'I did it all before I went to my dream job' because I want to be able to be the most polished guy possible, so when I do come in, I'm not coming in knocking. I'm coming in breaking the goddamn door down and letting everyone know who the hell Maxwell Jacob Friedman is."
MJF is better than you and you know it - listen to The Steve Austin Show to find out why. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show