MJF being world champion has forced AEW to shift gears.
Since the very first episode of AEW Dynamite, MJF had an ongoing story of being a potential world champion. It was a central part of AEW programming where MJF consistently found himself in rivalries with future hall of farmers and other strong contenders.
When there were injuries, controversies, releases, or major signings, one thing fans could count on was MJF being in the loop in some shape or form. Whether it was a steak dinner with Chris Jericho or using his sharp tongue to pierce the ego of any rival, it was something that was guaranteed on a weekly basis on Dynamite.
It was an integral part of AEW programming the whole time, and since MJF won the world title, it added the much-needed accolade to MJF, but it took something away and now the company has to turn away and find answers heading into 2023.
The shift in AEW programming with MJF as champion.
AEW has felt a little different and it almost felt like a chapter closing when MJF won the world championship. Even though it was the right move and fans can debate if it was truly the right time, it will be something that will test every person in AEW.
MJF was the guy who fans knew could eventually be at the top, but now that it’s here, there is a power vacuum for just about any potential star to fill, but it will be up to them if they can take full advantage of it.
It won’t be an easy thing since MJF took the company by the horns with his unique personality. Of course, MJF’s star power was apparent before there was an AEW, and it was the company realizing the star power that existed in the heart of the independent wrestling circuit.
It made it easier when AEW was in the process of picking stars up as opposed to developing people into superstars. This came on top of depending on other stars to carry the main event scene while MJF had his own unique spot.
It was truly a lifeline as the company works on the development issues creatively and other ongoing issues that plagued the roster. It was one thing that kept things together, but hopefully, AEW is in the process of addressing those developmental gaps creatively.
He went from being part of a faction with Chris Jericho to leading his own faction known as the Pinnacle. He was also the guy who seemed to be overshadowed one way or another by stars who came into the company later like CM Punk, Malakai Black, and Bryan Danielson.
It truly brought the story to life as MJF continued to be a strong secondary, but it really brought the story to life. Fans really got behind MJF by this time and his popularity among AEW fans only continued to grow with so many questions about what new signings would mean for stars who have been there from the very beginning.
AEW should start figuring out the star-building process internally, it will be a major test as they look to fill that vacuum since a good portion of it was heavily dependent on MJF through the good, bad, and controversial times that have gone on for the young company.
The reason this is so significant is that MJF is on top of the game, and there is already a shift where the superstar is now holding all the cards as opposed to just playing the hand dealt to him. This shift will continue heading into 2023 and will only continue as MJF finds new ways to assert power at the top.
It will be an adjustment for fans and the company, but MJF was made for this moment and will continue to find different ways to add to the program as the top guy. Fans will have to continue to tune in to AEW Dynamite as MJF continues his first AEW world title reign and see who else will step up to the plate.