MJF received a pay raise from AEW in January but is still making a lot less money than ex-WWE talents such as CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Christian Cage, Mark Henry, Malakai Black and Adam Cole, according to Wade Keller of PWTorch.
Besides the aforementioned wrestlers who signed lucrative deals with AEW in 2021, there are others such as Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega who continue to make a lot more money than MJF.
On his latest PWTorch audio show, Keller disclosed that MJF started with AEW in 2019 on a starter deal, which ranges from $40,000 to $70,000, but is now making “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” which is still modest compared to the salaries of other top AEW talents. Keller noted that the disparity in the pay structure has contributed greatly to MJF’s ongoing issues with AEW.
“In many cases, those wrestlers are getting paid four or five times more than him,” Keller said. “So, you know, MJF is by all accounts is kind of fuming over this. He felt that his work, his professionalism, his rapport and friendship with Tony Khan would have led to Tony renegotiating his deal when there was about two years left [on MJF’s contract].
“And by the time January 1 2022 came around, yes, he got a new contract and a raise…But MJF was thinking, ‘Hey, come on, Tony, approach me, get me on the level of some of these people that you keep bringing in. I’m doing great work, and I’m drawing great ratings.’ And when Tony didn’t do that…MJF the way he handled it was to get very angry privately and then it kind of exploded. And I think Tony was caught off guard by how angry MJF was getting…”
Keller then pointed out how MJF’s segments do better viewership than most AEW wrestlers but his pay doesn’t reflect his value to the company.
“There’s probably a dozen people making more than him and maybe more than that and some are making way more than him who are pushed less than him,” Keller informed.
Keller then provided some insight into the reportedly strained relationship between AEW President Tony Khan and MJF.
“MJF and Tony Khan were really close as recently as late last year,” Keller said. “MJF was one of those wrestlers Khan would have long phone conversations with about ideas for storylines and matches. At some point, that relationship fractured and the real reason might be as simple as MJF feeling disrespected that Tony didn’t approach him with the new contract offer sooner. It’s possible something else triggered or amplified this the situation but that hasn’t been even hinted at in reports elsewhere or from our sources, but some people are wondering that – is there something else we don’t know about?”
While he spoke to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select earlier this week, MJF has yet to make any public comments since no-showing the Double or Nothing Fan Fest on Saturday. His last tweet was of him touting his recent quarter-hour segment on “Dynamite” that drew 1,126,000 viewers and 515,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo.
As reported earlier by PWInsider, MJF and Khan will meet Wednesday ahead of the company’s debut show in Los Angeles. The special episode of “Dynamite” will emanate from the Kia Forum, with executives from Warner Bros. Discovery in attendance.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription
Wade Keller on the MJF/Tony Khan situation.
Thanks to u/elegantSolomons62 for the transcript. pic.twitter.com/h1uLb0sIue
— Macho Beard™ (@Machobeard4life) May 31, 2022
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