On May 28th, MJF did not make his scheduled appearance at the AEW Double Or Nothing Fan Fest event. Many people have speculated that his no-show was a work, but is this the case?
News broke on May 28th that MJF didn’t appear as advertised at an AEW Double or Nothing Fan Fest. The star had been scheduled to appear at the event to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.
This was followed by a report which claimed that MJF had booked a flight out of Las Vegas where Double or Nothing is scheduled to take place, although it seems the Salt of the Earth didn’t get on the plane in the end. The report also detailed how AEW has recently made attempts to discuss a new contract with MJF, even offering “top performer money” to get him to sign an extension, but the 26-year-old has purportedly ignored those efforts and has kept to himself since his tensions with Tony Khan began a few weeks ago.
Since word of MJF’s no-show began to circulate, many fans have been wondering about the reality of the situation and questioning if the whole thing was a work, in other words, planned in advance by AEW.
Several journalists covering the story have been sceptical of the idea, with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com taking to Twitter to explain that, while MJF is one of the best workers in wrestling, he doesn’t believe this scenario is a work, or at least it didn’t start off as one.
MJF is a worker and one of the best ones. If he's "working" it didn't start out that way. I'm sure in any situation and scenario there are elements of that he's weighed would utilize accordingly as it best suits him or whatever it is he may be doing.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) May 29, 2022
Additionally, he reported that, if it was pre-planned, very few people in the company had heard about it, with wrestlers being told not to comment and several who believed MJF could well have taken the flight.
NoDQ.com’s Aaron Rift also weighed in on the walkout, speculating that MJF has a legitimate reason not to be at the Fan Fest, but turned it into a publicity stunt.
My opinion: MJF had a legitimate reason for why he couldn't attend the Fan Fest. He decided to turn the situation into a publicity stunt by buying a plane ticket home that he wasn't going to use, knowing the internet would freak out. #AEWDON has a ton of buzz now. #AEW
— Aaron Rift of NoDQ.com (@aaronrift) May 29, 2022
Meanwhile, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer joked that MJF “appears to be wanting to be Brian Pillman”. He was referring to the Loose Cannon being “fired” from WCW by Eric Bischoff in the 1990’s, although in reality there was an understanding that he would compete in ECW, hone his new character, and then return to WCW. The firing was presented as legitimate, although Pillman was still under contract with WCW.
However, as Pillman’s WCW contract expired on April 17th (the ‘firing’ was in February) he began to negotiate with WWE. This led to a situation where Pillman created a bidding war around himself before he eventually signed with WWF. This was despite WCW President Eric Bischoff believing that Pillman was about to re-sign with the Atlanta based company.
Anyway, at this point nothing new since the radio show past MJF is in town and appears to be wanting to be Brian Pillman.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 29, 2022