AEW’s Paul Wight is so high on his colleague, AEW World Champion MJF, that he thinks the man also known as Maxwell Jacob Friedman is the modern-day version of wrestling legend Ric Flair. Last week, all-time wrestling great Ric Flair signed with AEW after working with WWE from about 2012 to 2021. He was not part of weekly TV for much of the time and most of his appearances were related to his daughter, Charlotte Flair.
Last week Ric became All Elite, signing with the promotion. The recent signing sees another living legend join AEW. It also opens up a lot of possibilities for interesting interactions with some of the best wrestlers in the world. Some of which Ric has never interacted with previously.
One of those wrestlers fans are interested in seeing Ric interact with is someone who is often compared to Ric, MJF. MJF has been showing the world why he is the AEW World champion and continues to get better every time he steps into the ring. During a recent interview with T95 The Rock Station, Wight reveals what he likes about MJF and why he thinks he is the modern-day version of Ric Flair. The former WWE Champion said the following:
“When I look at MJF, because MJF is naturally cocky, you know he’s a hard worker, he’s got that swag to him, he understands performing, he was a child star on Broadway, so he’s got some chops, got some talent, but he understands who he is, he understands what works.
To me, there’s only one Ric Flair, but I look at MJF, he’s the most modern-day Ric Flair that I’ve seen. There’s heels that get heat and then there are guys like Ric Flair that you hate him, but then at the same time, you can’t wait to see what they say next … like Ric Flair, Roddy Piper. They had that innate factor to made you want to watch them”H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
MJF Sitting on Top of AEW
MJF is currently the longest reigning AEW World champion of all time after surpassing Kenny Omega. While MJF was previously the top heel in AEW, he recently had a character shift while teaming with Adam Cole. While they began their relationship as rivals, Cole brought out the babyface side to Friedman. It didn’t hurt his character at all and showed another facet of the wrestler’s character.
Most recently MJF had a pay-per-view quality level match with former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega on the Oct. 28 edition of AEW Collision. During the match, Friedman put in an exceptional performance against another talent who is widely regarded as one of the best wrestlers in the world.
Host of the radio show, Johnny Maze, talked about one of the things he likes most about Friedman is something few wrestlers do nowadays, living the gimmick. Wight agreed and talked about why more young wrestlers should live the gimmick as well. The former WWE Superstar known as The Big Show continued:
“When you used to see Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage out they always had on all that spandex, hot skin tights. They were their character 24/7. A lot of times I think, this is my hiccup, I try to express to some of the younger talent. A lot of people worry too much about likes on Instagram, everybody wants to be liked nowadays.
“What you don’t grasp when you’re younger is if you’re authentic and yourself. Those who are going to like you, are going to love you, and those who don’t like it aren’t going to like you no matter what you do. So you might as well be authentic and be yourself”H/T To Wrestling Inc. For Transcription
Flair is notorious for living his gimmick and has caused a lot of controversy for doing so. It is just one more thing that makes him and MJF similar. On last week’s AEW Dynamite, MJF joined current AEW World Trios Champions The Acclaimed to take on Jay White and Bullet Club Gold. The tensions between MJF escalated when White hit Max Caster with the AEW Championship belt. The inevitable showdown gets closer as the feud continues to grow.
Do you think MJF is the modern-day Ric Flair? If not, who do you think is? Do you think MJF living his gimmick is a good thing or a bad thing? Would you like to see Flair and MJF cut a promo on each other or should they be partnered up? Let us know if you think MJF can reach the same heights as Flair did.