Veteran wrestling personality Eric Bischoff has gone on record to sing high praises for AEW's standout talent, Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF), declaring his firm belief that MJF is one of the few wrestlers in All Elite Wrestling who could successfully pass the figurative "mall/airport test" — a metric coined to gauge the recognizability of a wrestling talent among the general public.
Bischoff speculates that if MJF were to saunter through a crowded public space, heads would swivel in his direction, a feat most of his AEW colleagues could not replicate.
Bischoff Urges Khan: Retain MJF
In a recent appearance on "The Ariel Helwani Show," Bischoff implored AEW CEO Tony Khan to pull out all the stops to ensure MJF remains a fixture of his promotion when his contract is up for renewal in 2024.
He suggests the consequence of inaction would be seeing MJF, arguably AEW's brightest star, lured into the rival brand of WWE as a free agent. "I have nothing but admiration for MJF," stated Bischoff. "I'm unsure of his ambitions, but if I were in Tony Khan's shoes, I'd be bending over backwards to keep him on the team.
With no offense to the talented AEW roster, very few come close to matching MJF's in-ring prowess, charisma, and resonance with the audience. Granted, we have gifted wrestlers like Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson, but they are approaching the twilight of their careers or aren't full-timers.
If you sift through the younger, regular talent, I'd wager that three-quarters of them wouldn't ring a bell for the average person walking through a mall." Elaborating on MJF's unique position in AEW, Bischoff added, "He has set himself apart.
He's made his mark." Bischoff also addressed speculation about how well MJF's talents would fare in WWE. He expressed confidence that the 27-year-old superstar is "extremely shrewd" and possesses the adaptability to excel in WWE's environment, despite potential obstacles.
This faith in MJF's ability, he notes, is rooted in "hours of conversations" they've shared, further solidifying his impression that MJF has a deep, nuanced understanding of the wrestling industry, setting him apart from many of his contemporaries.