According to a new report, MJF did everything in his power to not be seen by the general public during his hiatus from AEW.
In the days of kayfabe, every wrestler from Ric Flair to The Undertaker to Stone Cold Steve Austin lived their gimmick, but nowadays with the cat out of the bag, very few still do it. However, MJF is one of the few who blurs the line. A three-time Diamond Ring winner, “The Salt of The Earth” makes it difficult to know the difference between his character and the person Maxwell Friedman.
A prime example of this was during the summer when MJF appeared on AEW Dynamite and dropped his “pipe bomb,” which saw the heel disappear from both TV and the public eye for months. Then, in classic heel fashion amidst reports of him falling off the radar, he shows up at AEW All Out to a massive pop from the crowd.
According to Fightful Select, MJF ended all contact with his close friends, relationships within AEW and the entire professional wrestling industry during his hiatus, only picking back up the communications right before the All Out pay-per-view. This also confirms some of what he has been claiming in recent interviews.
MJF was seen over his hiatus at Disney and while filming for the “Impractical Jokers” television show, but other than that, there hasn’t been any other sightings of the “Devil.” He wasn’t even active on social media during his time away from AEW, not tweeting from May 27 to September 5.
MJF has claimed in interviews that he landed a new contract with AEW for more money, and that the length of the contract didn’t change and he’s still a free agent in 2024, saying a bidding war is on the horizon for his services when his contract runs out.
After looking into it, Fightful was unable to give any confirmation on a new MJF deal, however, some in AEW have suggested that Tony Khan has put more money in his pocket. It also appears to be true from the voicemail recording heard from Khan at All Out before MJF made his return.
Also, the bosses over at Warner Bros. Discovery are happy to have the “Devil” back on television, as the ratings always do well when he’s on the screen.
After MJF went on his AEW hiatus back in June, he decided to stay in Los Angeles where he’d start getting involved with Hollywood and other non-wrestling gigs. He recently stated that he wanted to model his career after The Rock, John Cena and Batista.