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MJF had to beat up Tony Schiavone to get booed

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Everyone loves new AEW Tag Team champions The Acclaimed. You know who else many people love?

Maxwell Jacob Friedman.

That was on display last night (September 21) to Dynamite Grand Slam in Queens, New York. MJF was a major focus of the show, first with an interview in the arena and then as an interested spectator in the main event.

Of course we were in MJF territory. AEW has been in upstate New York since Friedman’s return to… Everything out, so being a regional favorite is definitely a factor here. And in Buffalo and Albany, like NYV, Max was able to generate some heat before his segments were over.

But it takes a lot of work. This week included “hijacking” the audience (and calling Blackpool Combat Club the “Blackpool Cuckold Club”), bringing up Bryan Danielson’s brain damage and William Regal’s addiction, and attacking Tony Schiavone.

That last one is really the only thing that got the Arthur Ashe crowd to really captivate MJF. And if he had followed it up by swearing he would become the next AEW World Champion, I bet we would have heard a bang.

(Thanks to Wheeler Yuta for doing a pretty good job here in a tough spot. His delivery is still too “I’m doing a wrestling pro-mo” for my taste, but he didn’t get confused against one of the most confident and talented talkers in the game with a crowd that didn’t get behind him despite his babyface nature.)

Is there something wrong with MJF continuing to play the heel when fans want to cheer him on? Not really. The “last honest man in wrestling” approach he’s taken since his return, disregard them if it doesn’t work at all in the coming months. New world champion Jon Moxley, whom he will soon be challenging thanks to his Casino Ladder Match chip, makes a great foil for him. Their dynamics work better with Friedman as the villain.

Also read  AEW Rampage Recap and Comments (September 16, 2022): Samoa Joe Retains Gold

Brace yourself for photos of Mox’s difficult upbringing, his trip to rehab last year, and probably even a few strays sent toward Renee & Nora. Because Tony Khan, Chris Jericho and MJF themselves are not wrong – people are excited to see the Salt of the Earth again on top of Dynamite, and they will be cheering for it.

Let us know what you think and check out the rest of last night’s highlights Dynamite. AEW actually already has videos of all of last night’s in-arena segments online (yay, Grand Slam!). But we still have Twitter clips from the backstage and pre-tape moments under that playlist.

  • A new ROH World Champion is crowned as Jericho celebrates OCHO
  • Scissors Me Timbers! The critically acclaimed are new AEW Tag Team Champions
  • Pac retains All-Atlantic Championship over Orange Cassidy
  • Toni Storm retains the Interim Women’s AEW World Championship
  • Saraya has arrived in AEW and New York is going crazy!
  • Jon Moxley becomes the most decorated champion in AEW history

For the full results and the live blog for Dynamite Grand Slam click here. To read a full summary and review of all the night’s events, click here.

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