Dave Meltzer Reflects on 2018 Talk with Cody Rhodes About AEW MJF Before All In

Highlighting MJF's early dominance in global wrestling circuits.

by Atia Mukhtar
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Dave Meltzer Reflects on 2018 Talk with Cody Rhodes About AEW MJF Before All In

On a recent broadcast of "Wrestling Observer Radio", the revered wrestling aficionado Dave Meltzer delved into a captivating revelation regarding a chat he shared with the wrestling maestro, Cody Rhodes, concerning Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF), now reigning as the AEW World Champion.

This discussion occurred well before the groundbreaking 'All In' independent wrestling event in 2018. Diving into the depths of his memory, Meltzer vividly recalled, “In the early stages of 2018, Cody and I found ourselves deep in discussion about the wrestling realm.

He eagerly queried, ‘What would be an innovative move for this year? Any intriguing concepts up your sleeve?’ I advised, ‘Why not delve into a significant singles feud with a fresh face from Ring of Honor?’ Surprisingly, Cody quickly retorted, ‘Are you hinting at Max [MJF]?’ I was taken aback, clarifying that MJF wasn't my initial thought.

Yet, it was evident, even before 'All In' took the wrestling world by storm, Cody had already visualized MJF's meteoric rise”.

MJF's Rise in Independent Wrestling

MJF, branded as "The Salt of the Earth," had already carved a niche for himself in the independent wrestling circuit back in 2018.

Garnering accolades and turning heads, he showcased his prowess across a multitude of global promotions. Prominent names included Major League Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, and the ferocious Combat Zone Wrestling. When 'All In' finally took center stage, an event passionately helmed by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks, MJF delivered a memorable performance.

Despite facing defeat at the hands of the formidable Matt Cross, he ensured his presence was felt. And as fate would have it, the very next year, in January 2019, MJF's stars aligned perfectly. Merely days after All Elite Wrestling (AEW) made its grand entrance into the wrestling cosmos, it was announced with much fanfare that MJF was officially on board, sealing his fate with a promotion where Cody Rhodes held significant influence as an EVP.

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