Almost sensationally, MJF, in the latest AEW PPV or Full Gear, managed to win the AEW World Championship, also thanks to William Regal’s intervention against Jon Moxley. For many, his victory didn't seem in the least possible way but MJF, in recent months, has proved to be a big star of Tony Khan's federation, thanks to his charisma and his skills on the microphone.
However, before becoming what he is now in AEW, MJF fought for three years in CZW, acronym for Combat Zone Wrestling, however, answering another ring name and not the one we all know.
In a recent interview with Vulture, MJF was asked about his past and his CZW alias, or "Pete Lightning", a name that he has always despised and that had absolutely nothing to do with him.
Additionally, The Salt of The Easth pointed out that he had already developed the character and wrestling techniques during that time, even though he was eventually forced to accept that name: “There was no difference with my current schedule.
I was wrestling five times a week when I was on the independent circuit: I got in the car with some of the other guys from Create a Pro, and we drove to Blackwood, New Jersey, for Dojo Wars to fight in front of five people with five teeth of all.
The promoter at the time told me that he wanted to change my name to Pete Lightning. I told him to stop making fun of me. He said to me: 'Do it or I won't consider you for the main CZW shows anymore.' I was like, 'Whatever' and so I did it." MJF then concluded: “I fought every single Wednesday for, at least I think, an entire calendar year.
On Wednesday you were always in a ring ready to fight at the New Jersey headquarters. From day one I considered myself the best in the federation but, unfortunately, I had to prove myself with that hideous name of Pete Lightning." Cody Rhodes left AEW for a triumphant WWE return at WrestleMania earlier this year, but that doesn't mean MJF will follow the same path.
"No... The only thing I care about at this point at 26 years of age is where will I make the most amount of money?... I think if AEW is willing to pay me enough to put the company on my back and build it up so that one day we have a hundred thousand people at an event I don't see what the difference is," MJF said.