Professional wrestling, like just about everything else in entertainment and sports, is a copycat world, and it brings up a great question — is AEW’s MJF a copycat or throwback?
The answer, as usual, depends on where we stand when looking at the question.
For many, including myself, we look at MJF (Michael Jacob Friedman) as a combination of both, though he does seem to step over the line on occasion.
EC3 calls out MJF
One of those was when he “borrowed” or “used” EC3’s presidential gimmick from 2005.
It was something EC3 didn’t hesitate to call him out for it, and shared his speech he gave that’s eerily similar to MJF’s.
— I|I essential character I|I (@therealec3) July 31, 2020
EC3 has used this to help his current Impact gimmick of “A past worth imitating is a past worth destroying.”
The debate rages on as fans have sent questions about this to podcasts, and it was also discussed by Konnan and Disco Inferno on Keepin’ it 100 OFFICAL.
There’s definitely plenty of room to judge MJF for stealing this idea and using it, assuming he saw it before.
It’s a safe bet he watched Impact, as we’ve seen wrestlers in general say they like watching other promotions. They like to be entertained that all of us, so that wouldn’t be surprising.
But is it really stealing or would it be more of an homage?
Channeling the greats
MJF has been touted as the best heel in the business currently, and he is when it comes to ring psychology and his promos.
He’s on the smallish side and rarely steps into the ring, so it’s hard to consider him a legitimate threat to anyone.
He is trying to be this generation’s Ric Flair, and while that’s a lofty goal, that’s all it is.
He may become one of the best despite his size, but we have to see him in the ring more. He has to establish a ring presence whether he wins through technical means or cheats.
We’re not getting that, so it’s hard to say he’s this generation’s anything without seeing him in action.
What’s really interesting about this is he is one of the best heels on the mic, as we mentioned above. His ring psychology is second to none.
But the thing is we don’t think he’d stand out like Ric Flair, the Rock, or anyone else he’s been compared to during their times.
He’s doing what every heel 20+ years ago did, and heels during that era took things to another level.
Comparing different generations is difficult because they are different eras, and often times we have to trust how they make us feel during their promos and matches.
AEW’s MJF has plenty of room and time to grow into yet, and it’s up to him. After all, Ric Flair took the moniker “Nature Boy” from Buddy Rogers and made it his, so anything’s possible.
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