Maxwell Jacob Friedman got paid. The Salt of the Earth has made that abundantly clear on recent episodes of AEW Dynamite, and it looks like he's not kidding. As reported on the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, MJF's new deal is worth over $1 million per year. A specific dollar amount was not revealed, but this jump into the seven figures is a significant raise from what Friedman was making before.
When he first signed with the company ahead of AEW Double or Nothing 2019, MJF reportedly inked a five-year deal that was worth between $40,000 and $60,000 annually. In the first few years of his contract, MJF excelled past his "pillar" peers, feuding with the likes of Cody Rhodes, Jon Moxley, and Chris Jericho. These high-profile feuds earned MJF a raise in January 2022, but he remained lower on the payroll than some of his peers. It was noted that stars like Christian Cage, Malakai Black, and Mark Henry were making "four or five times" what MJF's deal was worth.
Regardless of the raise, MJF has made it clear that he has still not signed an extension with All Elite Wrestling. His contract is reportedly set to expire in early 2024, which will then kick off the "bidding war" that he has teased on television for months. The three-time Dynamite Diamond Ring winner has shown admiration for World Wrestling Entertainment, complimenting WWE co-CEO Nick Khan and WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque in his recent promos. He has also teased that he has WWE Executive Director Bruce Prichard "on speed dial" as the two developed a relationship when working together at Major League Wrestling in 2018.
"What happens happens," MJF said regarding his upcoming free agency. "Here's the deal. A lot of people think I'm leaning towards one place or the other. Here's what I'm leaning towards: money. That's all I care about. That's what I live for. That's what I live and die by. So I go where the money's at. Whoever's gonna me the most amount of money is where I'm going to go. That could be anywhere. If there's some financial backer out there that wants to start his own wrestling company and use me as the figurehead, that's where I'll go. It's that simple. That's all I care about is money."