Backstage AEW News On MJF Following Worlds End Loss

Last night, Samoa Joe defeated MJF in the main event of AEW Worlds End to become the new AEW World Heavyweight Champion. Friedman dropping the title did not come as a huge surprise, as the young star penned an emotional editorial on Friday that heavily hinted he will be taking time off to heel. Following the loss, The Devil and his masked men encircled the ring, where Friedman was being tended to by his friend, Adam Cole. The masked group hit the ring, and just as they were taking control, the lights in the arena went out. When they came back up, Cole was sitting across from Friedman, revealing himself as The Devil who has been making Friedman’s life hell.

Fightful reports that immediately after the show, those they spoke with in AEW confirmed what was heavily alluded to in Friedman’s editorial: he is expected to take time off “immediately, if not almost immediately.” Friedman’s backstage influence was also brought up, and how much say he has over his creative direction. If he chooses to, he could call off his hiatus and continue to work on the road with AEW in some capacity. It is worth mentioning that he has sustained multiple injuries during his more than one-year reign as AEW World Champion, and time off does seem to be in order.

In his editorial, Friedman also continued to tease that there will be speculation around his AEW contract status in 2024. Haus of Wrestling exclusively reported that Friedman is not in talks with WWE, and those internally at the sports entertainment juggernaut believe he has already re-signed with AEW. Fightful confirmed our report, stating they have heard the same thing and adding that many in AEW also believe Friedman has already re-signed with Tony Khan.

When Friedman does return to AEW action, he will not just be at odds with his former best friend, Cole, but also his band of now unmasked men: Wardlow, Roderick Strong, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett. This past Wednesday night, Taven and Bennett, then under hoods, successfully defeated Friedman for the ROH Worlds Tag Team Championships.