On a recent installment of DDP Snake Pit with Diamond Dallas Page and Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, the two legendary wrestlers focused their discussions on AEW’s MJF. Maxwell Jacob Friedman has been a staple of All Elite Wrestling since its inception, first aligning with Cody Rhodes and then becoming one of the most hated heels in the company by betraying his mentor.
DDP reflected on his first interactions with MJF, which Cody actually facilitated at a time before AEW began. He says that similar to how he saw promising things in Bill Goldberg before he became a WCW star, Cody saw big things in Friedman.
“Personally, Cody told me about him. When they were putting that crew together that was, you know, going to be the future of AEW, there were certain guys that Cody put his name on,” Page recalled. “I remember him telling me about him, and I was just listening in the beginning, you know? ‘Cause, there’s certain guys — Jake has it, I have it, Cody has it, we see certain people with talent maybe even before they do.
“Goldberg, I met Goldberg in a strip joint 5 years before he was ever ‘Goldberg’. Back when he was just Bill Goldberg playing for The Falcons, I introduced him to Eric Bischoff. I was having such a good time with him, drinking and having a good time, I was like, ‘This guy’s one of us. He needs to be one of us.’ There are just certain times you see someone like that, and Cody, that’s how he explained it. You know, ‘This kid, he’s got heat. He knows how to use it, he knows how to turn it on.’
“And the thing that I loved about him, he was super respectful to me, but at the same time, he threw a little dig every once and a while just to f**k with you. But if you got in his face, he got real respectful. Yeah, to watch his embryonic stages of what he’s been doing in the business, it’s — I always talk about his commitment. It’s his commitment,” DDP emphasized. “Like, I heard Denzel Washington say this because I’m always on Instagram looking for inspirational stuff. But he says, ‘Without commitment, there is no start. Without consistency, there is no finish.’ It’s so powerful, and that’s what MJF has.”
Page is impressed at how quickly MJF has risen in popularity since making his way to national television. He hopes that with the upward momentum, Friedman can stay grounded and maintain his success.
“I can see the kid is going to be — you know what I mean? I see where he’s going now, and I saw him come out on AEW a few weeks ago and they had him in a throne chair. I literally thought to myself, and this is something and I’m calling you out right now, Friedman, because I had called him to touch base with him and he always calls me back. Well, it took a while but he did call me back. He said, ‘I’m sorry, sir. I’m jammed up right now but let’s talk a little bit later.’ And then he didn’t call me back, so, Superstar, you owe me a phone call.
“But when I saw the throne, I thought, oh boy, it’s going to be hard when everybody’s telling you how great you are. It’s really hard to hold it down,” Diamond Dallas Page said.
Jake Roberts is also entertained by MJF, but he points out that if this was an earlier era of professional wrestling, he thinks MJF would “have been killed” for the things he says.
“I think if he would have been around 20 years ago, he would have been killed,” Roberts stated. “Nobody would have put up with any of that s**t, but he’s found a fine line. And I’m going to throw this out here and he’ll tell you real quick, ‘I hate when you do that.’ It’s like me doing Comic Cons now, I flip people off when they take the picture. Now they’re coming up and asking me to flip them off, and the only reason I did it was because I wanted them, at the end of the day, to say, ‘Oh, what a great job I have because I made X amount of dollars flipping people off today.'”
MJF is set to take on Wardlow at AEW’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view on May 29. If MJF wins, Wardlow can ‘never sign a contract’ with All Elite Wrestling and if Wardlow wins, MJF must release Wardlow from his contract.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit DDP Snake Pit with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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