When MJF was ripping into AEW President Tony Khan with a live microphone Wednesday, his colleagues backstage were more convinced than ever that his pipebomb is part of an elaborate storyline, according to Fightful Select.
The report noted that the promo was designed to gain a polarizing reaction, and it did exactly that. Among the countless AEW talent that Fightful spoke to, the reactions to the promo ranged from “it’s always been a work on MJF’s side” to “well, it’s definitely a work now.”
One particular talent stated that if they found out the situation had been a work any further than this weekend, they’d be “particularly frustrated for many reasons.” The talent in question had reportedly spoken to both MJF and Khan in confidence to learn more about the perceived issues, which, by all accounts, were legitimate.
The report added that Khan had indicated to several talents over the years that “working talent” isn’t something the locker room should expect in AEW. Furthermore, there were talents at MJF’s scheduled meet-and-greet in Las Vegas who ended up having to stay and do additional work in order to make up for The Salt of the Earth no-showing the event. These specific talents who filled in weren’t clued in on a potential work – and were justifiably ticked off.
Another talent indicated to Fightful that they generally try and steer clear of any kind of story involving MJF from interviews or social media because it’s rather “difficult to decipher MJF’s motivations.” This specific talent would rather just talk to MJF backstage.
However, the idea that “MJF is always working” was repeatedly debunked by several AEW talents. One particular talent was quoted as saying, “If he acted like MJF all the time, he probably wouldn’t still be working here,” but did indicate they’ve noticed him being more frustrated this Spring than in the past.
Meanwhile, a longtime friend of MJF claimed that MJF was adamant to them backstage that the situation wasn’t a work. However, that talent also noted that the pipebomb “reeked of desperation on screen to make something happen,” and they don’t believe Khan would have allowed the promo to air on live TV without a payoff or a plan.
There were another half a dozen AEW wrestlers who felt MJF “seemed frustrated” when they broached the subject with him, but as of several weeks before Double or Nothing, none of them knew the source of MJF’s frustrations.
Among the talents Fightful spoke to, there were several who also sympathized with MJF’s initial point of frustration regarding the contract scale for original talent compared to incoming ex-WWE talents.
For what it’s worth, none of the talents could or would verify that “Khan had [been] or is on the work,” even though most of them do believe that MJF and Khan found a way to turn their issues into an on-screen storyline during their reported meeting Monday.
As reported earlier, all traces of MJF have been erased from AEW’s website and merchandise store. Also, none of the official YouTube videos and photos released from Wednesday’s “Dynamite” include MJF.
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