AEW's MJF On Being Sidelined: "Certain People In Our Company Don't Want To Give Up Their Spot"

Hot off a very well-received promo on last week's Dynamite, MJF joined Busted Open to touch on his future, as well as his long-term and short-term goals. This would also lead into a discussion about his confidence level, how he wants the fans to believe in him, and why he wanted to move from off the sidelines to become, in his eyes, the face of a company.

Confidence is an adjective synonymous with Maxwell Jacob Friedman. This is something that he attributes to his current success and is something that is only growing as time goes on. Ever the character, MJF, made sure to include his new focus (Jon Moxley) in the discussion as well.

"I'm more confident than ever, and I'm also confident in the people listening to this show that they're sick and tired of the same old same old. It's time for a change. It's time for a fresh face to lead. Look," MJF began. "Jon Moxley – great performer. I'm sure he's a nice guy. But at the end of the day, I think people are sick and tired of him, you know, being the captain of the ship.

"It's time for a new captain and I'm trying to assure people, 'look, I know we got off on the wrong foot but I'm no Captain Hook, okay?' I'm a good person and that's what I am at the end of the day. I'm a good person, and all I want to do is see some change. Am I in my prime right now? No, and that's the scary thing. Am I better than everyone else in our roster? Yes, and that's the even scarier thing."

This confidence is part of what brought him to want to move to the forefront. According to MJF, being on the sidelines was never a viable option.

"The one thing I don't agree with is – you know what? it might be okay for somebody else on the roster to sit on the sideline but it's not okay for me to be. I'm the franchise player, I'm the guy on both the microphone and in the ring," MJF confidently declared. "I'm a once in a lifetime professional wrestler. I'm something that people are never going to get to see again.

"So no, it wasn't okay. That what I wanted to make perfectly clear. The reason I was on that sideline was because certain people in our company don't want to give up their spot, and that's fine. 'You don't want to give up your spot? I'll take yours', and if that's what I have to do – and precisely what I did this week."

This is what brought MJF to addressing Jon Moxley in the speech on Dynamite.

"The Auditory Speech that I gave will go down in history as a career-defining moment and as a defining moment in the history of All Elite Wrestling, because what I did was a real paradigm shift. Not a fake one; I gave a real paradigm shift. I wasn't a guy who was a top guy elsewhere, I'm a guy who became a top guy inside of my company," MJF jabbed in Moxley's direction.

"That I'm so proud to be a part of. Like I said, I bleed black, white, and gold. I'm not leaving! This is a place I'm going to stay in and make better! And that's why it's so important to me to be in the spotlight front and center, because I know when I'm on the TV screen, we ain't losing viewers, and it's very important to me."

Those viewers are of course very important on Wednesday night, for many reasons. MJF explained that he has his own methods of attracting those viewers to Dynamite.

"Here's what I've noticed, okay? You can't catch bees with salt but you can sure as heck catch them with honey," MJF poetically phrased. "And all I'm trying to do is catch some bees. I'm trying to get your vote of confidence. That's all I want is your vote of confidence. No one sat me down. I'm not someone who you can really tell how to do anything and I'll never will be; I'm a maverick. I've always done things my way."

This is part of what he believes has lead to his early success, and there has been a lot of praise for the young performer. This fact is not lost on the young wrestler.

"There's a reason why at the tender age of 24, people who are already saying I'm one of the greatest performers in the history of this great sport – and again, that's not hyperbole," MJF emphatically explained. "That's not me making things up, google it. This is how people feel, and people feel this way because I present myself as me. I'm not presenting a character, I'm not coming out there trying to be something that I am not. My name is Maxwell Jacob Friedman and this is how I feel and that's how I go out there.

"That's how I always operate and that's why you should give me your vote of confidence, because when you vote for me to win that AEW World Championship, you know that you are voting for someone who is being their genuine, authentic self."

With MJF getting a chance to take the AEW World Championship at All Out, the future of AEW may be MJF. This is something he not only welcomes but expects to prove true.

"I said to grab a calculator because, in fact, right now," MJF posed, "who's one of the top stars in pro wrestling? The guy's name is Chris Jericho. My hat's off to him. The man's 49. In 25 years from now, I will be 49. So that is why I was so comfortable saying that."

This comparison is apt not only in attitude, but style, according to Friedman. MJF doesn't bump the same, work the same, or talk the same as those around him, in his mind. And he hopes because of this, he will be pushing on for decades at the top in a similar fashion to "Le Champion".

"To be honest, with the way I wrestle, my style, which is something I'd like to get into in the next couple of minutes, I'm probably going to be able to wrestle until 70 on top," he declared. "Because I'm not being an idiot, I'm not doing what everyone else in my generation is doing [which is] just succumbing to this hard, crash style that 'Dictator Jon [Moxley]' wants us to succumb to.

"I'm not going to jump into that style because I want to make sure that I'm helping our company go from being the alternative to – I'm not saying I want to monopolize professional wrestling. That didn't come out of my mouth. What I am saying, though, is I want us to be number one and there's nothing wrong with that."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.