Posts Tagged ‘Comparison’

Maxwell Jacob Friedman is currently on a salary around four to five times less than other top AEW talents.

This is according to PWTorch’s Wade Keller, who reports that the 26-year-old earns significantly more than the rough starter rate (approximately $40,000 to $70,000 annually) paid to several early AEW signings, having been given a raise at some stage. Despite this, MJF’s contact is still “modest” compared to at least a half-dozen free agents who have come into the promotion since MJF got his increase.

Keller named Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Adam Cole, Malakai Black, Mark Henry, and Christian Cage as examples of people who earn more money than MJF.

A pay dispute is understood to be at the heart of Friedman’s current backstage difficulties in AEW. Per Keller, by 1 January 2022, MJF was looking for a deal comparable to others in his card position, using the quality of his work and good ratings record as part of his justification. When AEW founder and president Tony Khan didn’t approach him for negotiations, MJF got upset in private, contributing to the much-publicised blow-up between the two.

MJF, who Keller states has a tendency to “get really worked up”, has become so upset with the situation that people around him claim he has become “withdrawn and bitter” backstage. The 26-year-old seeks a pay rise that would put him on a similar level to those in similar card positions.

Khan and MJF met to discuss the situation in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday. The rising star’s current AEW contract expires on 1 January 2024.

New Japan Pro Wrestling star Will Ospreay believes that what WWE performers do for a living is more akin to acting than professional wrestling.

The outspoken former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion made these comments during a recent appearance on Wresthings, stressing that while he wasn’t trying to take shots at WWE talent, there’s a big difference between their jobs and his own (h/t SEScoops):

“You guys aren’t wrestlers, you’re actors and you just do wrestling and I don’t think that’s a dig. You guys make way more money than me like, good on you, but I just feel like when I say proudly, ‘That’s a wrestler. I am a wrestler, I am not an actor.'”

Continuing, Ospreay stated that he knows WWE’s stars are capable of getting it done between the ropes – it’s the company that prevents them from showing this:

“But I know you guys can wrestle, you’re just not really allowed to show it, I guess. But other than you want to make a lot of money and retire, that’s what WWE is kind of for these days.”

Ospreay, 29, is currently signed to NJPW, his home of six years. The past couple of those have seen him rise to prominence as one of the company’s top heels, peaking with the formation of his United Empire stable and his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship triumph last year.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts has gotten an up-close look at MJF while both have been working at AEW. Roberts has been more than impressed, and not just with MJF’s in-ring ability. On the most recent episode of the “DDP Snake Pit” podcast, which focused on MJF, Roberts talked about his experiences working with the younger wrestler.

“I did an interview on his set,” Roberts recalled. “He showed me appreciation and respect when asked me afterward, ‘Was that what you wanted?’ See, he’s smart. If you ask people what they want and ‘Did you get your point across?’, chances are the next time I’m on his set, I’m going to give it a little bit more, you know what I’m saying? He greased my palms, man. He made me feel good. That’s smart.”

MJF has been compared to WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, a comparison Roberts whole-heartedly endorses. “Absolutely,” he said. “Because he rants on you, man. He gets in your face. He throws shit at you quick and fast.”

But Roberts also sees a bit of Piper in MJF’s palm-greasing behavior.

“Back in the day, we would work for WWF,” Roberts recalled. “On a TV day, the stars got 50 bucks for wrestling three times. And we paid for our own hotel and our own rental cars. So we lost money. But they would give us that 50 bucks at the beginning of the night … Piper would take that 50 bucks and go to his first match and slide it to that guy, who’s making $500, because the guys that got beat up made $500.

“What did that 50 bucks mean to Piper? Nothing. What did it mean to that guy? ‘Jesus Christ, this superstar gave me the only 50 bucks he’s making for the day. He gave it to me and told me to go out and buy some beer and have a good time.’ So what does that guy go out and do for you? He’ll fly! Now, here’s the one I learned from Piper. He tells the guy, ‘Whatever you do, don’t tell anybody else I gave you that $50. Cause I don’t have any more cash on me.’ Do you think that guy’s going to tell anybody? Of course he is! But they’re going to go out and fly too now, because they know next time, ‘Maybe Piper will give me that $50.’”

Get ready for what sounds like a major push for Theory in WWE.

Per WrestleVotes, big things are expected in the United States Champion’s future, with Vince McMahon reportedly seeing the 24-year-old as “a young John Cena.” Now, the WWE Chairman and CEO plans to “give the kid everything he needs to be successful.”

Theory scored the biggest win of his growing WWE career on last Monday’s episode of Raw, defeating Finn Balor to capture the United States Title – his first since signing with the promotion in 2019. The victory was accompanied by a post-match celebration, with several undercard heels hoisting Theory onto their shoulders before Vince himself joined his young charge on the ramp, posing for a selfie.

McMahon and Theory had been aligned in the building to WrestleMania 38. The storyline had Vince attempting to take Theory under his wing, coaching him for future success, and culminated at ‘Mania itself. There, Theory’s singles loss to announcer Pat McAfee was used to segue into Vince’s win over the former NFL punter.

A figure of controversy for his lengthy headlining run (and the wrestlers sacrificed in order to maintain it), Cena is one of the strongest pushed wrestlers in WWE history. This should, on paper, bode well for Theory.

Tony Ferguson got a lot off his chest ahead of his first UFC fight in almost a year.

The lightweight contender, who returns to action against Michael Chandler at UFC 274 on Saturday in Phoenix, said he believes fighters in the promotion are underpaid.

Ferguson also blasted UFC president Dana White for not allowing him to compete in boxing – or other professional sports – while under contract with the UFC.

“Dana said something the other day … talking about how boxers are overpaid,” Ferguson told reporters Wednesday, per MMA Fighting. “I asked Dana to box. He said, ‘Fuck no.’ I’m like, ‘Why?’

“I wanted to go play baseball. I wanted to go do other sports. I’m an athlete. … But then I have this guy right here acting like a fucking drug dealer telling me I can’t go and do this shit. I want to go make more money for my family.”

Regarding his frustration with the UFC, “El Cucuy” said he’s not alone.

“A lot of fighters have been keeping their mouths shut for a long time,” Ferguson said. “You should ask some of the other fighters that have been fucking treated like shit for a long time, too. Because I’m not the only one thinking it or fucking saying it or seeing it.”

Ferguson, a former interim champion, will look to snap his three-fight losing streak against Chandler.

Saturday’s event features a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje.

During the latest installment of the Hall Of Fame podcast, Booker T recalled how his career changed drastically at different points. He spoke specifically about his WCW tenure where he went from dominating the tag team division to portraying the GI Bro gimmick.

“Me personally, we are just talking about me, there have been times in my career where I wasn’t the focal point of the show,” he said. “I tell this story all the time. Being tag team champion with my brother so many times, and taking the tag team division to another level, then after that, I was GI Bro.

“I was in the locker room, actually in the bathroom putting paint on my face, and Dallas Page, he walks by, and he goes, ‘bro, what are you doing?’ Almost like, you’re wasting your time here man, what the hell are you doing? I looked at him, and I go, ‘man, I am just having some fun,’ and he goes, ‘alright, bro.’”

Booker T reflected on how it used to be refreshing to not always be the main part of the show when referencing Alexa Bliss’ current situation and her reported frustration with WWE creative.

The former Raw Women’s Champion hasn’t been used by WWE since the Elimination Chamber premium event. He pointed out that you still got to make money, and didn’t have the pressure of being a champion, which is the hardest job.

“I was making a lot of money, and I am sure Alexa Bliss, she’s not hurting. She’s doing okay as far as that goes. Sometimes, to be able to take a step back, to not be the focal point of everything, is refreshing, it feels good,” he said. “You’re still making money, you’re still part of the show. You’re just not the main focus of it, you’re not in the main event. There again, being in the main event, being the champion, it’s the hardest job you’re ever going to have in the business.”

The two-time Hall Of Famer then admitted that he always believed he was talented enough for his position to change. Right now, Booker T thinks that is the case with Alexa Bliss, but he also pointed out that he was sometimes glad to be in the background.

“If she’s anything like me, I always thought, ‘man, my time is going to come back around. I am talented, I am too talented to just be doing this forever, so my time is going to come back around.’ I think the same thing about Alexa Bliss,” he said. “It seems like a long time ago when Alexa Bliss was the champ, and the only person that we were talking about was Alexa Bliss.

“I am sure that time was hectic, I am sure being in that position for her was hectic. I don’t know how she feels, but for me, I was always kind of glad when I was in the background watching everything go on. There again, she could have a different take on it, but that’s the way I felt about it.”

In some extremely high praise, Jim Cornette has compared MJF to the legendary ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper.

Cornette made this comparison during the latest episode of his Jim Cornette Experience podcast, stating how Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s post-match Full Gear promo reminded him of the iconic Piper.

As Corny detailed (via Inside the Ropes):

“I don’t know if it was two minutes, three minutes or whatever, but it was a Roddy Piper promo. It was flawless. The emotion, the venom dripping from the words he said about people he don’t like and that he has proved everyone wrong, he beat Darby with a headlock takeover, blah, blah, blah. What a fucking heel!

This was just, I’m surprised he didn’t have a brain aneurysm during this promo, but it was fucking great. When you are in a situation like that, the blood is pumping and you have that adrenaline and you have that advantage, but it’s just a different way rather than MJF Coming out and always being composed and snotty with people, but being in control. Here, he is in control but he is triumphant, and it was an extra gear.”

A modern-day heel receiving praise from one of the all-time great managers comparing him to arguably the greatest heel to ever lace up a pair of boots? That’s quite the compliment.

While he may take umbrage with certain elements of AEW, Cornette has long been a major fan of MJF dating back to the pair’s time working in MLW together. Since Friedman signed with AEW, James E. has regularly sung the praises of the nowadays Pinnacle leader.

As alluded to, MJF was victorious over Darby Allin at this month’s Full Gear PPV, hitting his rival with the Dynamite Diamond Ring before pinning him with a headlock takeover – delivering exactly what he’d promised prior to the event.

AEW President Tony Khan recently made an appearance on Wrestling Observer Live. It was recently reported that the “Forbidden Door” between AEW and Impact has been closed. Khan commented on what the current status of their relationship with Impact is.

“It’s still open to do stuff. I like those guys a lot, and we’ve done a lot of great stuff. We don’t have anything booked right now, and that’s different than how it had been for the last year or so because for most of 2021, we had stuff on paper planned, and we don’t really have anything locked in now, but that’s no reason we couldn’t come up with something. Don [Callis] and I talk pretty regularly, and I’ve enjoyed going to Nashville and working with those guys. My post production office is literally upstairs from where they tape.”

A polarizing figure in AEW right now has been AEW EVP Cody Rhodes. Rhodes has been the subject of mixed reactions at AEW shows with fans booing him at one point in a match to then cheering for him later on. Khan discussed the crowd reaction Rhodes has received and how he deals with it as a booker.

“It’s been a long time since it was the opposite of the intended reaction. I’ve known what the reaction is for a long time, and I think it’s very polarizing,” Khan stated. “It’s not all one side. I think it’s a mix of the crowd, and it’s very similar to John in terms of how you hear a split, and there’s a ton of women and kids that are huge fans and some of the guys booing, but people are still really buying Cody. And in the right moments, they do cheer him. And we saw that when he saved PAC from Malakai and Andrade.

“There was a huge Cody chant, and in that context, people were really excited to see him, and the truth is I do really think the people really like Cody. When John Cena was a full-time wrestler, he’s one of the all time great wrestling stars and people really liked to see him too. And, of course, that reaction, in time, became more generally positive, but still, obviously, people only have grown to care more and more about John Cena. So I do think people are very emotionally invested in Cody one way or another, which is a very good thing.”

Bret Hart has trashed the current WWE Championship design in a new video featuring him unwrapping a replica of the classic winged eagle belt he once wore proudly.

Calling the winged eagle the “most beautiful belt ever made,” Bret, in the most Bret way imaginable, slammed WWE’s decision to switch to the current “piece of crap,” saying that many people still consider the classic design “the real belt.”

Here’s the full quote from the video:

“I’ve got something really cool here. I always thought this was the most beautiful belt ever made, ever in wrestling, god knows why they changed it to that piece of crap that they got. This is the winged eagle belt. It’s the pride and joy of any wrestler that appreciates championships and to much fans, this is considered the real belt. The belt with real history.”

The version of the strap unwrapped by Hart was in operation from 1988 to 1998, when it was replaced with the more circular big eagle design. Today’s WWE Title has been around since 2013, though the strap has undergone several alterations since then, most notably the change of WWE logo.

Bret held that winged eagle strap on five occasions from his first win in October 1992 all the way up to his infamous November 1997 departure.

Click here for the full video.

Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ agent, Pat Brisson, hasn’t been a fan of John Tortorella’s recent comments regarding his client.

“From Day 1 of camp, John Tortorella wanted to expose Pierre-Luc Dubois,” Brisson said, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger on Thursday’s edition of “Insider Trading.” “This included going on (the) radio the second week, which made it more difficult for (general manager Jarmo Kekalainen) to do his job. Now, he continues to use different media platforms trying to justify his position.”

Tortorella has repeatedly spoken about Dubois’ trade request in late December. In early January, prior to Dubois’ trade to the Winnipeg Jets, the Columbus Blue Jackets head coach said on the radio that Dubois “hasn’t given a reason why he wants to leave.” In an interview that aired Wednesday, Tortorella acknowledged that he and the 22-year-old had conflict while calling today’s athletes “softer.”

After being dealt to Winnipeg last week, Dubois said he didn’t demand a trade due to his relationship with Tortorella.

Additionally, Brisson pointed to Jets head coach Paul Maurice as an example of how he would’ve liked Tortorella to handle the situation.

“I have not heard Paul Maurice once say anything about a trade request from both (Patrik) Laine and (Jack) Roslovic,” Brisson said. “This could’ve been Operation Submarine, but ah well, Torts wasn’t able to help himself.”

Dubois has yet to make his Jets debut due to his mandatory quarantine upon entering Canada.