For someone who hates CM Punk, MJF sure knows the playbook

Work? Worked shoot? You tell us.

Work? Worked shoot? You tell us.
Screenshot: AEW/TBS

It doesn’t matter if you think it’s a work, or a shoot, or some combination of those words that tend to send wrestling fans into hysterics. What matters is MJF and AEW are the talk of the wrestling world. The business is about buzz, and well, a mile long swarm of bees wouldn’t produce this kind.

Only MJF and Tony Khan will know, and debating the various facets and clues and coming up with our own theories and storylines is part of being a fan. It definitely feels like this all started in the spring as a genuine complaint from MJF about his contract, but has morphed and mushroomed into an intricate, while cacophonous, storyline with MJF not just blurring the lines between what’s real and what’s in story, what’s in and out of the ring, and what is actual news and what isn’t, but basically pissing all over them. And pissing all over them with a mischievous grin.

Here’s the thing, for me: Given all that had happened the previous weekend in Vegas around Double Or Nothing – all the rumors and reports that hinted at MJF no-showing the whole show but still doing his job, the actual no-showing of a meet and greet with fans, the “flight booking heard around the world” — it’s hard to fathom that Khan and AEW would hand MJF a mic on Wednesday night, send him out to the ring, and not know what was coming. Much like in the years since CM Punk’s famous “pipe bomb” promo, we know that the higher-ups knew what he was going to do, even if they might not have known all the details or the voractiy.

Sure, they painted it like they didn’t, going to black right afterwards, not having the commentary mention it again for the rest of the show. Or having Punk chase MJF off afterwards, only seen by those in the arena but surely known that it would quickly spread on Twitter. Sure, maybe it was more vulgar than anticipated, but if MJF has truly gone off the reservation, wouldn’t his mic have been cut? Maybe that’s too far for a wrestling show, but again, it’s far fetched that Khan would have been caught so off-guard.

And well, the theme of it hewed just a little too closely to Punk’s career-altering and landscape-altering promo to not think there’s a plan. Here was MJF blowing up how AEW was run, who gets favored, who gets the money, who gets the biggest slots, and there’s nothing someone like MJF can do to change that. All he’s done is provide two or three of the best storylines the still very young company has produced (which is true) and yet he’s never gotten to wrestle for a title. And the money that MJF wants and deserves (and he really does) is earmarked for those with a bigger name who have barely been around, compared to MJF’s tenure which started the same day as AEW did.

See for yourself. Replace the names and then ask if MJF didn’t hit every single note:

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