Last year at AEW All Out, mere hours before CM Punk delivered his infamous media scrum, MJF returned to the AEW fold underneath the guise of a devil mask. Surrounded by an army of masked men, Friedman, as the devil, won the Casino Ladder Match, guaranteeing a shot at the AEW World Championship. He cashed in that opportunity shortly after at Full Gear, defeating Jon Moxley to become AEW World Champion, a title he still holds.
Flash forward more than a year, and, in storyline, someone has stolen Friedman’s devil mask and, along with their own group of masked assailants, is laying waste to various members of the AEW roster. It began in September when a video randomly aired on AEW Dynamite of a group of masked individuals attacking Bullet Club Gold leader Jay White. The camera then panned to show someone in Friedman’s devil mask before the feed cut out. The “devil” and his minions returned this past Wednesday on Dynamite, laying waste to The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn, who has been working with Friedman as of late.
When the latest video aired, Friedman stood in the ring staring down a retreating White, seeming to confirm that whoever is under the devil mask is not the AEW World Champion. As rumors have swirled about who may be under that mask, some fans have speculated it is Punk, who is swerving everyone and returning to the promotion to go after Friedman. Punk has leaned into the rampant speculation, posting a clip to his Instagram Stories last night featuring himself as, you guessed it, the devil.
Fightful reports that despite Punk’s teases, The Second City Savior is not the man behind the devil mask and recent attacks. Haus of Wrestling can also confirm that and have been told by those close to Punk’s camp that he is just having fun playing into the perceived teases that he is returning to WWE or AEW. We’re told that he’s well aware of the speculation since he is regularly asked on the street daily about the devil angle and potential return at Survivor Series, which is not happening. Currently, he focuses on minding his own business and caring for his dog, Larry.
It was also noted that whoever is under the mask is the one who will actually be revealed to be the attacker. In the past, for storylines like this, like the Retribution angle in WWE, the masked assailant turned out to be someone other than who played the character executing the initial attacks. Another name that does not appear to be behind the mask is Dr. Britt Baker DMD, who some have been speculating is the attacker based on comments she’s made in recent interviews.