MJF is gone from AEW’s roster page to start 2024.
Before the event, there were questions about MJF’s future with the company. In November, rumors suggested that the 27-year-old star had “quietly re-signed” with the company, resulting in “zero talks” between MJF and WWE. Weeks later, Cody Rhodes, a friend and mentor to MJF, raised some eyebrows when he said, “I think one day you will see MJF in WWE.”
However, when MJF appeared as Jimmy Traina’s guest on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, he said:
“I’ve been saying the same thing. I never lied. January 1st, 2024.
“When stuff like that gets leaked out, it makes me laugh because I remember something leaked out about Cody [Rhodes] having secretly re-signed and then he showed up (in WWE). Something got leaked out about, you know, CM Punk and Tony Khan or you know… I think fans leak out things that they want to be true. I love AEW, I wanna stay in AEW. After this pay-per-view (Worlds End), it’s time to assess the situation for a professional setting.”
For most of his time in All Elite Wrestling, MJF was an abrasive heel character who once verbally slammed his boss, Tony Khan, on Dynamite and demanded he be fired. As its World Champion in 2023, MJF became a beloved babyface who embraced his role as the face of the promotion. Recently, he penned an article for The Player’s Tribune defending AEW from detractors who want to see the company fail. While he welcomed criticism of the brand and admitted to being critical himself, MJF expressed appreciation for the existence of a second major wrestling promotion, writing:
“Competition = bad for management, good for labor. There used to be one major American wrestling company, now there’s two. That f*cking matters. It matters for the wrestlers who work here, since we all have jobs that literally didn’t exist five years ago. But it also matters for the wrestlers who don’t work here. For everyone in WWE, AEW means not having to work in monopoly conditions. It means more options, which means more leverage, which means more money. (And I’ll take a wild guess and say better treatment.) And for wrestlers outside those two companies, AEW matters not just because it exists, but because of how it exists. Listen … if you google me, I think it says I’m 5’11” — but we all know that’s horsesh*t. I’m like 5’8”, guys. And this is a place where, simply put, a 5’8” Jew can be world champ. If you know wrestling history then you know that’s a big deal and why.”
Following his defeat at Worlds End, MJF was betrayed by his friend Adam Cole, who revealed himself as AEW’s mysterious Devil. Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, and Wardlow aligned with Cole and proceeded to assault the former champion to end the show. While the post-match beatdown seemed to set the stage for a future showdown between Cole and MJF, it’s possible that this was AEW writing off one of its most iconic characters as he explores those other options he wrote about.
For most of 2022 and into early 2023, MJF openly flaunted what he called the “Bidding War of 2024,” indicating there would be a fierce battle then for his services between AEW and WWE.
It’s now 2024, and if MJF is contractually finished with AEW, the mad scrap to sign what would be wrestling’s biggest free agent may be just beginning.