Are fans hours away from Maxwell Jacob Friedman becoming AEW World Champion? As of this writing, MJF has yet to be announced for a segment on AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam, leading many to believe that the Salt of the Earth will make his presence felt in the show's vacant title match between Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson. Following a three-month absence from the company, MJF made his surprise return at AEW All Out as the mystery entrant in the Casino Ladder Match, capturing the poker chip to earn him a championship bout at some point in the future. In the subsequent weeks, MJF has made it clear that he's working "smarter not harder," and has decided to bypass the AEW Tournament of Champions since he already has a guaranteed title shot whenever he pleases.
That said, it's been unclear as to how flexible that "whenever" truly is. Past Casino Ladder Match winners like Brian Cage and "Hangman" Adam Page have given weeks notice to the AEW World Champion, certifying that they wanted their championship matches at AEW Fight for the Fallen and AEW Full Gear, respectively. Does MJF have to given either Moxley or Danielson a time and place, or can he cash in on a weakened opponent, similar to WWE's Money in the Bank briefcase?
"I think any time, any sanctioned event we can certainly make it happen," AEW President Khan told Barstool Rasslin' (h/t Fightful). "In this day and age, with live television and pay-per-view events, and all [of these other] opportunities, it's exciting to have a contender out there looming and to have this big championship match tonight on Dynamite. Certainly, it's that much more interesting to have two of the best wrestlers in the world, Bryan Danielson versus Jon Moxley one on one for the world championship, and to have a great wrestler like MJF looming in the background as a top contender with the right to challenge for the title any time. It's a very interesting championship picture right now in AEW."
MJF revealed that unlike the Money in the Bank briefcase, he would need to communicate his intentions with "someone beforehand," but teased that that does not necessarily mean the champion.
"I do have to have a conversation with someone beforehand, but that does not mean all parties need to be in the know of said conversation," MJF said. "I can cash this chip in whenever I want. I'm going to be waiting in the wings. I will pick the bones of whoever wins this match," Am I going to do it at Grand Slam? I don't know. Maybe I'll do it the next week or the week after that. Who is to say?"
Moxley and Danielson do battle for the AEW World Title tonight on AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam.