MJF Reveals He’s On Painkillers In Emotional And Candid Editorial

We’re just a little over a day away from the inaugural AEW Worlds End where MJF will defend his AEW World Championship against Samoa Joe in the main event. The champion is undoubtedly heading into Nassau Coliseum on the back foot: On Dynamite this week, MJF lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship thanks in part to Joe who cut a deal with The Devil to act as if he’d been attacked backstage, leaving Friedman to defend the tag titles alone.

Ahead of his 12th AEW World Championship defence, MJF followed in the footsteps of Eddie Kingston, Sting and Saraya by publishing an editorial in The Players’ Tribune. In the lengthy article, the AEW World Champion touches on AEW turning five years old, pays tribute to various figures who helped build the promotion, his favourite title defences thus far and more. Towards the end, however, the 27-year-old unveils a more candid perspective of his own title reign, admitting that he’s tired and in so much pain that he’s having to rely on painkillers.

“I’m tired,” MJF revealed. “I know that’s not what you’re supposed to say as a professional wrestler — especially not before a big world title defense in your hometown. I know I should take my vitamins, brother, order up an expensive coffee to the five-star hotel room I’m staying in (thanks, Tony), and end this article by cutting an ’80s good guy promo about the evil Samoa Joe. Let’s sell some Pay-Per-Views!!!!!!! But I don’t know, man. I’m just so, so, so tired. That’s the God’s honest truth. My hip is a mess. My arm won’t lift above my head. I’m on painkillers, which are not my thing. I can’t sleep.”

Friedman goes on to acknowledge that it isn’t just him that’s tired as there’s some “MJF fatigue” among fans. He even questions if that fatigue is linked to him being Jewish, particularly amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and wonders if his firm stance against antisemitism has made him less popular as a face and wrestler overall.