Article written by Dylan McGuire Devine (12/10/21)
We are five days away from the next AEW Dynamite special, Winter is Coming. The main event of this special is going to be newly crowned AEW World Champion, Hangman Adam Page having his first title defense against The American Dragon, Bryan Danielson. The outcome of this match is very predictable and I see no scenario where Hangman loses the title to Danielson. With that being said, I am going to be discussing who should be the guy to ultimately take the title off of Page whenever the time comes.
That guy is The Salt of the Earth, Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Since the beginning of his career, MJF has claimed that he is the fastest rising star in the history of professional wrestling. I don’t necessarily disagree. He is one of the four pillars of AEW and is one of their top homegrown talents. MJF was somewhat known during his time in the indies, but once he arrived in AEW he instantly became a star. What is crazy about him being a star, is he is a hated star. He is the best heel in wrestling and it’s not even really a character, it’s just who he is.
Since his debut in AEW, MJF has been apart of many key feuds with top name guys from the likes of Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Jon Moxley and Darby Allin. Each match he had with each of these guys respectively was great. Especially his most recent match against Darby Allin which kicked off AEW Full Gear. That honestly was one of the best matches I’ve seen from two guys under the age of just 25.
On that note, MJF is mainly known and credited for his mic work and promo skills. But man oh man, can he wrestle. It is not talked about and he is not praised enough for how good of a wrestler he is. He is a hell of a storyteller as well. Both through his promos and through his matches. With all of this being said, why should he be the guy to dethrone Hangman Adam Page?
Having MJF over the next few months slowly build his way up to feuding with Page would be essential for AEW. The top babyface in AEW against the top heel in AEW and quite frankly, all of wrestling. It just makes sense. MJF could play a similar roll that Kenny Omega did as AEW Champion and will be a heel champion that everyone loves to hate. He would be the PERFECT fit for that role. I believe AEW should let Hangman have his run through maybe around late February. Then come AEW Revolution in March, he should drop the title to MJF. A perfect scenario would be having MJF finish his current feud with CM Punk, then have another filler feud that will ultimately lead to him feuding with Page for the title.
MJF would be the first of the four pillars of AEW to become world champ and I believe that is fitting. He deserves it and 110% will have earned it when his time ultimately comes.