When you see MJF perform on AEW TV, it’s hard to keep in mind that he’s only 23 years old. As he told local Florida paper News Chief, MJF’s talent on the mic is grown from studying the tapes of all the legendary heels throughout pro wrestling’s history. “The people wrestling fans didn’t like, I loved. Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Buddy Landel, and especially Roddy Piper. My biggest inspiration would be the Hot Rod.”
With those inspirations, it’s no wonder that he draws the type of heat that wrestling hasn’t seen in ages. MJF has suffered for it as well, but he seemingly wears it as a mark of pride. “If there’s a line that people make, I hop over it as far as I can. No one can tell me how to do my job. I’ve had people jump guardrails, try to stab me, throw (urine) on me, throw batteries. All that means is I’m being myself. The issue isn’t me, it’s everybody else.”
Of course, he’s not upset when people boo him, but he is upset at why they do so. “I want them to boo me for the right reasons. Cody is a sociopathic monster. He’s been on a blood rage since AEW started by trying to make himself the face of AEW. I saved them from a Ghengis Khan, and I gave them a face everybody could love.”
One other legend that’s MJF is easy to compare to is the former Bubba Ray Dudley, who was famous for his ability to rile up the ECW faithful in their heyday. MJF says he stays in contact with the now-Bully Ray, as he wants to learn from someone who’s done it all before. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s relying on advice from old-timers.
There are some vets out there, that are like old dogs. They want to be fed treats to feel important. Then there are vets that are out there that can benefit you. I want to use them, and then when they die I will not care, and I’m going to make sure the business is in good hands.