MJF has been featured in the 2020 edition of The New York Times’ annual Best Performances list for his duet of Me and My Shadow alongside Chris Jericho in October!
The list, published by New York Times critic Wesley Morris, features performances ranging from Amanda Seyfried’s portrayal of Marion Davies in Netflix’s Mank, Pete Buttigieg’s role as host on Jimmy Kimmel Live back in March and Dionne Warwick’s witty Twitter account.
The most surprising entry on the list, however, is AEW’s Maxwell Jacob Friedman – who’s credited for his duet rendition of Me and My Shadow with Chris Jericho during the critically-acclaimed Dinner Debonair segment on the October 21st episode of Dynamite!
The segment is regarded by many as one of the best in recent memory, a sentiment shared by Morris who praised MJF’s “diction, intensity and cheesiness” and said the 2020 Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale winner was “smooth in a way that should worry Ric Flair”. Oddly, Chris Jericho was only mentioned in passing despite his co-starring role.
You can see the full justification for MJF’s appearance on the list below:
“Some weeks the athleticism at this professional wrestling start-up is more exciting than anything happening in Vince McMahon’s empire. And no one in the WWE has this kid’s combination of diction (Juilliard by way of Long Island), intensity or cheesiness, either. Even when Friedman’s lost his cool (his nom de ring is MJF), he still has astounding control. The character is part heel, part tool (hair gel, loafers, Burberry bling — tacky, tacky, tacky) and part goodfella wannabe; his mouth does more running than he does.
For reasons only the producers of this show can explain, a long segment in October between MJF and the veteran Chris Jericho culminated in a version of “Me and My Shadow” complete with dancing women and live singing. It was less than spectacular, though not for anything Friedman did. He wasn’t embarrassed at all. He was smooth in a way that should worry Ric Flair. This kid makes you wanna say, “Woo!””
MJF is set to battle Orange Cassidy on AEW Dynamite next week to determine who will hold the Dynamite Diamond Ring for the next year. You can keep up with everything that goes down on the show with our live AEW Dynamite results coverage right here at Inside The Ropes.