MJF returned at AEW All Out to the surprise of many, and he believes he’s responsible for the recent spike in interest in Wednesday Night Dynamite. The Salt Of The Earth unveiled himself following the pay-per-view’s main event and seems to be building toward a feud with Jon Moxley. Moxley, of course, is set to wrestle Bryan Danielson on September 21 for the AEW World Championship that CM Punk vacated due to another injury.
Tony Khan could book the finish to that championship match in any number of ways, but it’s worth keeping in mind that MJF holds a chip that gives him a shot at the AEW title whenever and where ever he wants. It wouldn’t be shocking for Moxley to win on Wednesday, only for MJF and The Firm to attack him before pinning him for the belt. Or perhaps Khan fancies something a bit more drawn out than that. Regardless, Grand Slam will shape the next several months of AEW television.
The September 14 episode of Dynamite did a massive ratings number, averaging 1.2 million viewers and landing the top spot on cable for the evening. MJF thinks he knows why, too. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour show, the ratings came up early in their conversation. “I don’t watch anything on the show besides my own shit. If I am being honest. I’d imagine that’s most people that watch AEW. You kinda’ just tune out after I’m on,” MJF remarked. Helwani then said he saw the 1.2 million number, which Friendman immediately honed in on. “Yeah, you’re welcome. Isn’t it interesting how, throughout the summer when I was gone, there was kind of a struggle? And then MJF is back, and then all of a sudden BOOM. Funny how that works, huh?“
Numbers Don’t Lie, And MJF Could Be Right
Last week’s episode of Dynamite featured two huge matches and MJF’s promo, so there’s an argument for and against his comments. Moxley wrestled Sammy Guevara in the opening bout, while Danielson and Chris Jericho worked in the main event. Those are quality attractions, but Moxley, Jericho, and Danielson have been wrestling all summer while AEW’s ratings struggle continued.
The element that changed was the addition of MJF, and it’s tough to ignore a 1.2 million number with no CM Punk, Young Bucks, or Kenny Omega. Fans knew those performers wouldn’t be on Dynamite following the post-All Out media scrum and subsequent fight and still tuned in in droves. During the interview, MJF also stated that he’d received a raise while dancing around the question about whether or not he’d signed an extension with AEW. His contract is set to expire in 2024.
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