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Update: As of 7:00 PM ET, MJF vs. Wardlow is scheduled to open Double or Nothing, according to Sports Illustrated.
MJF vs. Wardlow is in question ahead of Sunday’s AEW pay-per-view Double or Nothing.
Saturday, MJF skipped his scheduled appearance for a meet-and-greet with fans and reportedly scheduled a flight to leave Las Vegas, the site of Double or Nothing.
It’s unclear if MJF is still in Vegas or will appear on the card tonight.
The official AEW Twitter account has since deleted a tweet advertising the match. That said, wrestling writer Bryan Alvarez reports that the match was still in the line-up as of noon Sunday.
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) May 29, 2022
By all accounts, MJF is threatening to skip the marquee event and disrupt his match with Wardlow, an anticipated program over two years in the making.
For background, MJF is upset with his current contract with the company. As the top heel in pro wrestling, including those in WWE and New Japan, MJF demands that AEW pays him like a top star.
Fair. However, MJF’s contract does not expire until 2024. Presumably, AEW is reluctant to set the precedent that a performer can strongarm the company into ripping up a contract on cue.
As someone who often sides with the individual over the machine, I won’t here. MJF — and we do not believe this stunt is part of a script — looks like a brat.
Whatever issues he has with AEW over his contract do not excuse him no-showing for the fans who paid to meet him yesterday.
Moreover, AEW has planned for Double or Nothing to be the site of Wardlow’s coronation. No one is more “over” than Wardlow is. To complete his character arc, Wardlow needs to beat MJF, his former “boss.”
So MJF skipping the event would hurt Wardlow more than AEW, the target of his stunt. MJF looks juvenile, not strategic.
It’s not even certain that MJF would agree to a new contract with AEW CEO Tony Khan should Khan meet his demands. MJF has teased wanting to let his contract expire and explore moving to WWE in 2024.
It’s as if MJF wants a raise but not an extension.
If the match is off tonight, AEW ought to make sure Wardlow still has a featured role on the card. Whether it’s a surprise match with Bill Goldberg, a free agent, or a segment afterward with the winner of the CM Punk-Adam Page title match, the fans want to see Wardlow have a moment.
MJF the Character is elite. MJF the Businessman is loathsome.
*OutKick will update this story when AEW makes an announcement on the MJF vs. Wardlow match.