It’s trending. And it was very enjoyable. MJF, the next big thing in AEW, was having words with Lord Regal – William or Steven, whichever you prefer.
And he was good. Regal, that is. MJF? I’ve got some issues…
MJF needs it. Or else why put him with the popular, freewheeling fantastic, Mr Regal? Why not have him produce his promo on his own, after all, if MJF is the Next Big Thing in AEW, he’ll need to be a fantastic promo – take a look, if you will, at promo highlight reel Dusty Rhodes, his ‘I have wined and dined with Kings and Queens and slept in an alley eating pork and beans’ promo is a good place to start.
Or take one of many Ric Flair pieces, the one at the end of his Royal Rumble 1992 win will be a good place to visit. They did this alone. People were around them, but they didn’t help. This is what standout wrestlers do, the Next Big Thing in AEW should be able to do.
Even Mox does it alone. Same thing every time, but on his own.
Maxwell needed help. And not just that, he needed Regal. There is no animosity between them in storyline, is there? Something was dredged up, but it seemed like a special event and it reminded me of something recent.
Jericho getting the rub from Eddie Kingston. Remember when Eddie was really over a while ago? Suddenly Jericho had a programme with him; funny that. And now Max is getting a promo with Regal, just when the Lord is being called the best talker in AEW.
All over again, as wrestling commentators say. As for the story of MJF being told by Regal at a WWF/E tryout that he had something special but he was too young and advised to keep sending in promo tapes every month only to be blown off by nasty Lord Regal in an email, I thought I’d heard something similar.
I had. With CM Punk. Remember the stupendous promo which Max cut (and it was something special) only to have AEW/him/Punk ruin it with a ‘suckered you in, you mark’ wrestling trope. That bore an amazing resemblance:
Wanted to be a wrestling star – check
Met my hero – check
Was hurt by my hero – check check
Now, this seemed to be a somewhat true series of events, even if the email that MJF said Regal sent, which he saved to his phone and read out, didn’t sound like Regal’s idiom at all.
But MJF’s way of presenting it? Well, it’s been seen before. The poor me part, the build-up, the anger, the telling us that this is real, dammit! All this was done with CM Punk and in his blow-off speech to Tony Khan, which not many really bought. It follows a pattern, as all speeches do, they’re particular to the deliverer, but when you’ve done something similar less than a year ago, maybe think of different delivery.
Or don’t do it at all.
Because it can only mean one thing;
And the Next Big Thing in AEW doesn’t need that.
You Picked On The Wrong Man MJF
This was supposed to be MJF’s moment. So how did it end up being Regal’s? Because he has nothing to prove, more experience and more talking talent. This isn’t hard for Regal, not for a man who breaks the wrestling tropes, who compares Excalibur to a caramel seed cake, a man who makes people laugh through the bountiful nature of his personality.
You picked the wrong man to promo with, MJF…
Even before Max started, Regal was slipping brass knucks on – MJF brought them to our attention, yes, but what a good sight.
And Regal smirked so much, MJF had to comment on it, even when he raised the stakes by mentioning suicidal thoughts – not the sort of thing to use lightly at all. That smirk looked like he found the whole thing rather ridiculous, which I know I did.
And when he finally, after seemingly half an hour, got a chance to speak, there were some perhaps knee jerk boos after MJF’s pity party speech, but they soon turned after he spoke.
Because Regal is time served. His meeting with MJF happened when Max was 19; Regal was fighting men in a carnival at 16 and called himself an ODV – an Ordinary Decent Villain – and upbraided Max for putting his hands on Tony Schiavone. Real wrestling villains don’t do that, but it raises another point – MJF has to get extreme to get booed.
Is that the look of the Next Big Thing in AEW?
Regal told MJF that he hoped the email galvanised him because he…
Had had it easy. And why did that work? There’s a feeling that MJF didn’t have the experience, didn’t really deserve it, wouldn’t be able to handle it.
And after Regal had offered his back to MJF, after the wonderful line about him wanting to be the Devil and so needing to announce himself and after leaving unscathed, MJF was in the ring on his own.
And crowds seemed to not know what to think. I don’t blame them them.
What Did We Learn?
MJF isn’t a patch on Lord Regal. Whilst Max got overwrought, William remained calm. That’s the way to do it.
MJF is a fabulous wrestler. A great character. But is he the Next Big Thing in AEW?
Not on this showing.