The 2024 kickoff of AEW Dynamite has fans excited. And it should. The show felt like a throwback to what made the promotion popular when it started in 2019. All without some of its biggest names as Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley were in Japan for Wrestle Kingdom 18. However, MJF was not in attendance, which is understandable after the end of Worlds End. However, fans should not fall for the storyline about MJF being done with AEW, as many are getting worked in the simplest of ways.
The “Bidding War of 2024” was one of the catchphrases frequently muttered in throughout 2022 and 2023. MJF put the idea out into the world that his quest would see him win the AEW World Championship and then walk away from the company – perhaps over to WWE of all places. Think back to what Medusa/Alundra Blayze did in 1995 when she appeared on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro and tossed the WWF Women’s Championship in the trash. Would MJF follow suit? Perhaps, but no one should expect that outcome at this point.
Yes, MJF has had quite a bit of turmoil in AEW. While he’s the company’s top “home-grown” talent. Yes, he did spend time in other companies, but it was AEW who was the first to give him the proverbial ball to run with on a national level. All while only 23 years old when he signed.
There are so many reasons why it would be wrong to anticipate his departure from the company during this storyline. Some of which come directly from his words in Player’s Tribune. Read those words and you’ll see that not only is MJF proud of what he’s achieved, he’s proud of what AEW as a whole has achieved. He speaks of the promotion as if he’s the coach in your favorite movie about a ragtag baseball team trying to overcome their rivals uptown. Like him or not, MJF loves AEW probably more than you do or ever will.
Even from a business standpoint, it wouldn’t make sense to put the AEW Championship on MJF for 400-plus days and not have him locked down to a major deal. Fightful Select reported that he hasn’t shared with anyone about his contract status and openly talks about his deal being up while many believe he’s already re-signed with the promotion.
AEW is doing the right thing with Adam Cole and the Undisputed Era. The focus is off MJF and onto Jay White. “Hangman” Adam Page will probably pop up in some battles with them as well. Those two alone can create six months’ worth of angles and big matches. Then, when the focus is off MJF, he returns to cause destruction. Think about a moment when Adam Cole gets a taste of his own medicine. Lights go down, come back up, and MJF is standing there to attack everyone in the kingdom. Those are the types of pops that professional wrestling and Tony Khan live to see. And this is the perfect opportunity to create one.
Yes, it is Royal Rumble season and there will be a lot of surprises at the big WWE event. But fans should not expect MJF to be one of them. Injuries aside, he’s too committed to AEW. His time and words show that. Can he show up in another company at some point? Sure, but now isn’t the time.