A few weeks ago, Major League Wrestling taped their first-ever two-hour special, Battle Riot, which aired on beIN SPORTS on July 27. During the show, Filthy Tom Lawlor won the main event 40-man Battle Riot and its prize of getting a future shot at the MLW World Heavyweight Championship, currently held by Low Ki. But, before the Battle Riot took place, another prize was won as the 22-year-old fast rising indy star Maxwell Jacob Friedman, better known as MJF, defeated “famous dick wrestler” Joey Ryan to be crowned MLW’s first-ever middleweight champion.
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) July 28, 2018
With Ryan’s lollipop in his mouth and the referee temporarily distracted, MJF poked his opponent in the eyes before hitting his package shoulder breaker for the win. The match itself featured the typical Ryan antics including a spot where MJF fell head-first into Ryan’s crotch, thus hurting himself in the process, and MJF refusing to grab said crotch unless Ryan shook his hand. Neither of which happened, much to the chagrin of the fans.
After the match, MJF took to the mic to remind everyone watching just how much “better than you” he really is.
“In this business, its old man talking, young man dying, well not anymore when you’re this damn good. You get to cut the line. So to all those veterans that would pull me to the side after my matches and give me advice and tell me someday, I’d be a star. Newsflash, I always was a star. And now I’m a supernova…I’m your MLW World Middleweight Champion because its talent over tenure.”
Talent Over Tenure
The so-called supernova, MJF has certainly proved “talent over tenure” as in less than three years as a professional wrestler, the 22-year-old has already broken out as a bonafide star. Since debuting in February 2015, MJF has won 10 championships, including two of which, the MLW World Middleweight Championship and Combat Zone Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, he still holds.
It didn’t take long for MJF to get on the radar for pro wrestling fans. Trained by Brian Myers (WWE‘s Curt Hawkins) and Pat Buck, MJF made his in-ring debut just a month shy of his 19th birthday for Create A Pro Wrestling Academy. Shortly after that, he began working for Five Borough Wrestling and CZW, where thanks to his superb swagger, arrogance and willingness to mix it up in the ring with just about anybody, he became a focal point for the company.
By 2016, MJF took to the circuit, wrestling in promotions including WrestlePro, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, Global Force Wrestling and Beyond Wrestling. Originally from New York, MJF’s home base continued to be in Philadelphia/New Jersey however as CZW became his main promotion, with 27 of his 74 matches that year. In 2017, MJF continued to establish himself as a rising and up-and-coming star. He worked 100 matches, the highest number in his career, with his time spread out in CZW, Beyond, WrestlePro, Chaotic Wrestling, Absolute Intense Wrestling, WrestleCircus, IWA-Mid South, Alpha-1 and more. In fact, it was at Alpha-1, where MJF won his first title, becoming the promotion’s A1 Outer Limits Champion.
The following year, MJF won four singles titles and a tag team championship. Among those was the CZW Wired Championship, which he won at CZW Sacrifices by defeating Johnny Yuma. While not the company’s top title, the decision to put the belt on MJF was no doubt a sign of CZW’s faith in the just two-year pro. And theirs was a faith that was not misplaced as MJF truly became one of the company’s top guys and emerged as one of the best arrogant, cocky heels in the industry. His reign with the title lasted 154 days, which is the sixth longest in history. He lost the title to longtime rival, Joey Janela, only to regain it 56 days later. MJF held the Wired Championship until April 14, 2018, vacating it only after becoming a dual champion, which he accomplished by defeating Rickey Shane Page at Best of the Best 17 for the CZW World Heavyweight Championship. He is currently in the midst of a 108-day reign with the title.
For all those asking “who is this guy” you don’t even have to watch a match to know he deserves to be All In, just with one random promo and you’ll know he’s gold… oh yeah, and #betterthanyou https://t.co/FeD8ndmKTc
— Rogelio Martinez Jr. (@LuchaBeliever) June 9, 2018
MJF added AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined, House of Hardcore, Fight Club: PRO, PROGRESS, Smash and IPW to his resume in 2018, while also continuing to work for CZW, Beyond, AIW and the newly-televised MLW as a regular. MJF also took part in Amazon Prime’s Dojo Pro, where he was ranked #3 and lost to eventual champion, Aaron Solow. Also to come for the one who proclaims himself as the youngest and fastest rising star in the business, is his All In opportunity, which he won alongside Madison Rayne after the duo defeated Brandi Rhodes and Flip Gordon.
Better Than You
First, there were “Hard Times”
Then, it was “3:16”
Along came a “Pipebomb”
— Maxwell Jacob Friedman (@The_MJF) July 31, 2018
In 2017, Malay Boy described MJF as such, in his rating on cagematch.net, “This man is the future of professional wrestling.” A few months later, Deadlymatch echoed a similar sentiment, writing, “MJF is an amazing wrestler and has mastered his character at the age of 21, he is also very technically sound. He has of late made a splash in the indies and has become CZW’s top man, its only up from here and I truly believe he is the future of Wrestling.”
At just 22, MJF, having grown up idolizing guys like Roddy Piper and Ric Flair, has become a heel very akin to those two Hall of Famers. Just three years into his career, MJF’s ability to work the crowd is that of a seasoned pro. His arrogance and cockiness makes him an easy character to hate and like others in this current generation of wrestling, his Twitter use only further fuels that fire. He’s the entitled prick of wrestling, never shying away from, as it says in his Twitter bio, the idea of being”better than you and you know it.”
Young benevolent King. pic.twitter.com/szdyuTccBX
— Maxwell Jacob Friedman (@The_MJF) July 30, 2018
With two titles currently to his name and an appearance scheduled for the largest independent show of all-time, MJF’s star is only going to get brighter. If he’s not on your radar yet, he will be, as 2018 is proving to be the year of MJF.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.