MJF as AEW World Champion sets the tone for the company’s future

MJF kisses his pinky ring (photo courtesy of AEW)
MJF kisses his pinky ring (photo courtesy of AEW) /

Wrestling fans will argue whether the situation with MJF before AEW Double or Nothing was a work until the end of time. Regardless of the facts around the situation, it was an important moment in AEW history that created the space for his big return as the Joker at AEW All Out four months later. Now, fans wait for MJF’s first match back in an AEW ring and that moment will be a massive kick start in the company’s immediate future.

Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley are set to face off at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam with the vacant AEW World Championship on the line. Many expect Moxley to pick up his third championship, especially with the focus centering on him and MJF. But regardless of who comes out on top, MJF should walk down the ramp and finish off the victor to close the show with the belt around his waist.

Wrestling fans have seen this repeatedly with the WWE Money in the Bank briefcase. Edge started that trend when he defeated John Cena in 2006 at the end of the Elimination Chamber match. From there, multiple other men and women have secured their title run by defeating the champion when they are beaten and battered. MJF would be the perfect AEW name to follow in that practice, leveraging the Poker chip in the same fashion. Other winners have declared their title shot in formal matches to come later. But the way that MJF has hinted at using the chip could result in him taking the lower road to becoming champion.

Even with all the backstage politics running amok in AEW, MJF in the main event picture is the catalyst that can see AEW seize this moment. AEW Dynamite did exceptionally strong rankings at a time when critics continue to point to stalled growth. This is an opportunity to set the tone of AEW’s future, one that may not include CM Punk and The Elite. That is a hard thought to even put together, seeing how the promotion is named after the group and Punk created mainstream momentum with his return in 2021. Yet, the media scrum from Hell has created a scenario where AEW without some of its biggest personalities is more reality than fiction.

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AEW is at a crossroads. Three years into its lifespan the company is facing a situation where some of its biggest stars may be out the door or headed that way. If the company is going to respond in the right fashion, they must lean on MJF and the moment to not only build his legacy, but some of those younger talents on the roster ready for their breakout moment. AEW has the roster, the question is whether the company will seize this opportunity as it stares them in the face.