AEW has been going strong for just over a year now. We have just witnessed the second Double or Nothing PPV. The first was the official beginning of the company back in May 2019. And in the year since its inception, AEW has become somewhat of a big deal.
It has been in the conversation for the best wrestling company going today and has been successfully going head to head with NXT on Wednesday nights with their own show: Dynamite.
Already there has been many stars grace their ring and multiple champions crowned. However most of them have already been worldwide stars such as Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, and *spoiler alert* Cody Rhodes.
So who is going to be the first ‘homegrown’ megastar? Who will make their name in AEW?
On the media conference call just before Double or Nothing, I asked Cody himself who he thinks the next breakout star of AEW will be.
You could almost hear Cody’s pride trying to prevent the answer from escaping his mouth.
“The answer is not one I like giving, but I think everyone sees the same thing,” he begrudgingly told me. “MJF is destined for something incredibly great.”
Cody also went on to say that he would be remiss not to mention names such as Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara. He credited Darby’s mention to his adaptability in the ring and Sammy’s due to the fact that “every week he has people talking about what he is doing” and that he is all over social media.
MJF, however, has both working to his advantage.
An example of adaptability Cody gave is the feud ongoing with Jurassic Express and specifically Jungle Boy.
Jungle Boy’s style is very different from that of Maxwell Jacob Friedman, but MJF has the ability to adapt and put on a great match.
Their battle at Double or Nothing had a lot going for it and the finish was way innovative and really came out of nowhere.
“They’re both expanding their game and they’re not even near their prime,” Cody said of the two just days before their show-stealer.
Another thing that MJF uses to his advantage is social media. I spoke about this in a previous article: having a good Twitter game is invaluable in the modern day. He just gets how to be an effective heel on every platform.
That photo that leaked of him giving the little kid the finger was hilarious. He is always in character and on point. He creates buzz for himself in a way that not many people can.
So, what now? How does MJF go from love-to-hate personality and a mid-card win streak, to face of the company and one of the top guys in the industry?
He is certainly on his way there. Personally, I think, after Double or Nothing, the road is clear. And once again, Cody is the key.
He has now been crowned TNT champion and after defeating Lance Archer he needs a new (or rather, old) rivalry.
You don’t need to go straight into this, after all you can’t rush perfection. But despite everything that happened between those two, despite the bad blood, Cody Rhodes himself can’t deny MJF is “destined for greatness”
There’s plenty of storyline to be had with this one. The loss Cody took to MJF earlier this year still hanging over him, even as champion. The one blemish on his record is coming back to haunt him.
I think, if done right, MJF could be a legend of the industry one day. He is just one of those people that exudes talent. He understands how to be the most effective heel in this age of social media and sarcasm. I personally can’t wait to see what he does next.
After all, he is better than you. And you know it.
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