Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: The situation involving MJF and AEW
POST IT NOTES
**Wai Ting and I will be LIVE minutes after the pay-per-view with our AEW Double or Nothing POST Show. You can tune in on the POST YouTube channel or download the show early Monday morning by searching for POST Wrestling on your podcast app.
**Friday’s edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown is available for POST Wrestling Café members with Wai Ting and I reviewing Friday Night SmackDown, AEW Rampage, and a preview of Double or Nothing.
**There will be no POST Daily News Show on Monday, the show returns on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.
THE STATUS OF MJF
AEW’s return to pay-per-view tonight has been overshadowed by the developing story involving the company and one of its top performers.
On Saturday, MJF skipped a scheduled meet-and-greet at the promotion’s Fan Fest in Las Vegas with the performer reportedly unreachable. Later that evening, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful reported that a flight was booked for MJF, although it was unknown who booked the flight. Sapp posted a follow-up and said MJF was not on the plane.
AEW has not made any public comment regarding MJF with the belief that the match with Wardlow is still scheduled for tonight’s show.
MJF has not been shy with broadcasting his contract status with the company, which he has revealed comes due in early 2024, and telling reporter Ariel Helwani he will be a free agent on January 1, 2024. That interview – was a source of tension as it was reported that MJF did not clear the interview through the proper AEW public relations channels.
Wade Keller at the PW Torch has additional insight into the strained relations between the parties. Keller stated that some sources said Khan wasn’t upset at all about the interview clearance issue but addressed it with MJF while others informed Keller that the conversation over the clearance issues did not go well and led to frustrations by MJF over his contract.
Keller added that MJF initially signed a starter contract with AEW in line with many others that started with AEW. He adds that MJF was given a raise at some point, which would have represented a substantial percentage increase but “modest compared to the contracts of more than a half dozen free-agent signings AEW has made over the past year”.
It is a very hard story to navigate without understanding MJF’s short and long-term goals and what he is seeking immediately. In the interview with Helwani, he effectively shut down any possibility of signing a new deal with AEW before testing free agency, although left the door open if an astronomical number was thrown his way. When asked by Helwani what number he was aiming for, he was not specific but alluded to the biggest salaries in the industry being his target.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 29, 2022
It’s a unique time for the industry where leverage on the talent’s behalf has been minuscule over the past two decades and now there is some to play with by having two strong competitors vying for talent. With a year-and-a-half left on his deal, this is a strong stance taken by MJF if he’s hoping to exploit the power he perceives to wield with the company. It isn’t lost on anyone that this move has put considerable attention onto the performer and his value to the company that has grabbed the news cycle by the throat. I don’t believe for a second that AEW is using this as a tactic when it comes to short-changing its fans at a live event that were scheduled to meet MJF. Only MJF can answer what his strategy is and again, what he wants in the short-term and how amicable the sides can be after this weekend, as they are bound to a contract and this weekend would represent one of the roughest and most public disputes between a talent and the company.
For tonight’s show, it undoubtedly enhances curiosity regarding the match and see what happens with all eyes on MJF.
He is a major star for the company and in theory, would be given further latitude than most. Until we hear his reasoning for skipping the Fan Fest, it is hard to cast definitive judgment despite endless theories and conclusions being made.
**AEW’s Double or Nothing show currently has 13 matches advertised beginning with the Buy-In at 7:30 p.m. ET. The pay-per-view airs against Game 7 between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics and will have a gigantic audience. Tony Khan has stated he has built in a contingency plan to ensure that the main event won’t go into the ring until the game is completed to avoid a conflict. Below is the full card for tonight:
*AEW Championship: Hangman Page (champion) vs. CM Punk
*AEW Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa (champion) vs. Serena Deeb
*AEW Tag Team Championships: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (champions) vs. Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee
*TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (champion) vs. Anna Jay
*Owen Hart Foundation Tournament: Samoa Joe vs. Adam Cole
*Owen Hart Foundation Tournament: Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho
*MJF vs. Wardlow
*The Young Bucks vs. The Hardys
*Anarchy in the Arena: Chris Jericho, Daniel Garcia, Matt Menard, Ang Parker & Jake Hager vs. Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Santana & Ortiz
*Mixed Trios Match: Scorpio Sky, Ethan Page & Paige VanZant vs. Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti & Frankie Kazarian
*Penta Oscuro, Rey Fenix & PAC vs. Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews & Brody King
*Darby Allin vs. Kyle O’Reilly
*Buy-In: Danhausen & Hook vs. Tony Nese & Mark Sterling
**Matt Cardona stated he suffered an arm injury during his match with Blake Christian on Saturday night at GCW’s Downward Spiral event. Cardona tweeted that he may have torn his biceps but has not confirmed if that is the official injury. Cardona wrestled twice on Saturday, losing the IMPACT Digital Media Championship to Rich Swann on the Wrestling Revolver ‘Vegas Vacation’ event prior to the GCW show. Cardona is scheduled to defend the NWA Worlds Heavyweight title against Nick Aldis at the ‘Alwayz Ready’ pay-per-view in two weeks. Cardona skipped an afterparty appearance on Saturday night, stating that he needed to fly to Orlando to have his arm checked out.
**IMPACT Wrestling averaged 125,000 viewers and approximately 39,000 (0.03) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston and Showbuzz Daily. The show finished #130 among cable originals for Thursday.
**The key news from IMPACT included Trey Miguel qualifying for the Ultimate X match at Slammiversary after beating Alex Shelley. They had the best match on the show and presented as Miguel looking at Shelley as a mentor and has sought out advice from him over the years. Frankie Kazarian was featured in a match with Chris Sabin that had no finish after Honor No More attacked both with the idea they are messing with the program until they receive a tag title match. They are going very strong with Masha Slamovich, who has been winning in quick matches and beat Havok on the show in 90-seconds and presented as a stunning loss.
**One of the best promos this year, courtesy of Eddie Kingston:
#AEW EXCLUSIVE: An emotional @MadKing1981 #EddieKingston vows to make @IAmJericho pay for dragging the demons back into his life, ahead of #AnarchyInTheArena THIS SUNDAY at #AEWDoN LIVE on PPV 8pm ET / 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ 5pm PT – Available on @BleacherReport & major cable providers pic.twitter.com/iHGVyXZgSP
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 28, 2022
**A special Saturday night edition of AEW Dark was released featuring five matches taped in Las Vegas on Friday night:
AEW Double or Nothing 2021
Sunday, May 30, 2021, at Daily’s Place
*Stadium Stampede: Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz & Sammy Guevara over MJF, FTR, Shawn Spears & Wardlow
*AEW Championship: Kenny Omega (champion) over Orange Cassidy and PAC
*Sting & Darby Allin over Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page
*AEW Women’s Championship: Dr. Britt Baker over Hikaru Shida (champion)
*TNT Championship: Miro (champion) over Lance Archer
*Cody Rhodes over Anthony Ogogo
*Casino Battle Royale: Jungle Boy wins
*AEW Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks (champions) over Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
*Hangman Page over Brian Cage
*NWA Women’s Championship: Serena Deeb (champion) over Riho (Buy-In)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Rampage and WWE SmackDown featuring the go-home show to Double or Nothing and The Bloodline welcoming a new (associate) member.
POST DAILY NEWS SHOW
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss WWE moving Money in the Bank, New Japan’s press conference regarding Kota Ibushi, Tony Khan’s Double or Nothing media call, and more.
BTWA #20: RevPro/NJPW Global Wars Night Two (2016)
Martin Bushby is joined by Rich Fann of the PWTorch to journey back to 2016 and RevPro/NJPW Global Wars 2016.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: Double or Nothing go-home episode
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite: 3 Year Anniversary as Double or Nothing week begins from Las Vegas, NV.
SHOT IN THE DARK: Mercedes defends ROH Women’s Title
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, IMPACT Wrestling, NXT Level Up, NJPW Strong, NWA USA, NWA Powerrr, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
upNXT: Control Your Impulse
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the May 24th, 2022 episode of NXT 2.0 headlined by Bron Breakker vs Duke Hudson!
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (May 2022)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions about anything and everything in the May 2022 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
Browse the POST Wrestling Store
Subscribe to POST Wrestling
POST Wrestling Forum
Support our Patreon – The POST Wrestling Café