THE POWER OF THE PIN - March 5, 2023: Forged in Iron, Written in Blood
In the performance of a lifetime at Revolution, MJF continued to build on his superstar stature as the foundation of All Elite Wrestling
By Ryan K Boman - March 5, 2023
The greatest constructions of all time often take lifetimes to build. The Great Pyramids were completed by generations of ancient citizens that spent their entire existence working toward that goal. The struggle may have seemed great, but the satisfaction eventually gave us a lasting treasure.
Perhaps that's the best way to describe what we've seen so far with the AEW World Title reign of MJF. As the man who was chosen to stand at the top of the promotion's very own pyramid, it was going to be a long build and a steady climb to truly reach that pinnacle. Simply winning the championship wasn't enough. As one of the original pillars of the company, his first chance to be the champ needed to be built for success.
So with the foundation already laid, his eventual rise to the throne had been in the works for a long time. But in the beginning, it looked like the blueprints might be turned upside down or something. MJF had all the tools to be the franchise player that Tony Khan has been planning for him to be.
But someone threw a bit of a monkey wrench in the process.
That started with confusion over the title long before Max Friedman was even involved. All the mess involving an interim championship and the drama surrounding CM Punk had the company going haywire. So making the move to The Salt of the Earth was an easy decision. It was time to move forward and expand.
Unfortunately, the foreman on this job, Khan, didn't really have a lot of intriguing storylines headed MJF's way out of the gate. And much of the television time was dedicated to names like Jon Moxley, The Acclaimed, and Orange Cassidy, as opposed to the man who was supposed to be the face of the future. It had several fans and observers asking if they had maybe thrown the switch too soon.
So while no one was doubting Maxwell Jacob Friedman as a bona fide star? They were starting to look warily at the timing and the subsequent booking.
Many were even suggesting that MJF might lose the belt now, and regain momentum in chasing for the championship later
The argument here was that he didn't really get a great storyline or follow-through in his first go-around, so how about a reboot? Maybe pull him back for a bit and see what someone else can do with the belt for a bit?
That's where we stood, heading into the main event, Iron Man Match at AEW Revolution. The San Francisco crowd must have been sensing that it might be Bryan Danielson's night, as they were going absolutely insane for the entire hour-plus. They were totally locked in. The audience truly believed, in a moment of destiny, The American Dragon would be the wrecking ball to MJF's castle.
But it didn't happen that way. The walls held strong. And the fortress did NOT fall.
In what can only be described as a career-defining moment, Max Friedman went out there and assembled an homage to his own excellence. Like a statue to his significance in sports entertainment - albeit stained in blood. AEW's brightest young star didn't just win an epic battle, he took a huge step forward in molding the company under his image.
If there were any doubters left as to whether or not this kid can be the edifice of the organization, it has been officially erased. While in the ring for over an hour with a mat master, he did more than hold his own. He didn't just tell a story, he was the story. And he made sure to fashion it in a way that took this bout to new heights.
In terms of championship reigns, this one started out as a work in progress. No matter how much hammering and nailing went into MJF's initial weeks with the AEW World Championship, the work always seemed a little bit spotty. It was like he was finally moved into the penthouse suite, but it had no doors or windows. And let's be honest... the place was a total mess.
But in one night, it's as if all the cracks have been painted over. The holes have been covered, and the leaks have been sealed. At AEW Revolution, the company's chosen Starchild finished off the night with his greatest performance ever, capping off a fantastic card.
You couldn't assemble a better outcome than Tony Khan got from this PPV, and his premier performer was that one who put a punctuation mark on the whole event. That's a huge win for his company - in a number of ways.
This thing is for real now. MJF has officially put the stakes down, in terms of being one of the top names in the industry. His NEXT title defense will feel more important now. Then, hopefully, the one after that will, too. And so and so on.
That's how you build momentum. And that's how you construct a great title reign.
With a mix of tremendous talent, an iron will, and some spilled blood.