Dancing with the Stars is no stranger to the men and women of the squared circle. Stacy Keibler, Chris Jericho, and Nikki Bella have all competed on the ABC dance competition, with The Miz being the latest grappler to take it to the ballroom floor. None have been able to claim the mirror bar trophy, but that winless streak may end, courtesy of one Maxwell Jacob Friedman, aka MJF. “I definitely think I would absolutely tear it up on Dancing with the Stars,” he tells HollywoodLife while discussing his upcoming match at All Elite Wrestling‘s Full Gear PPV.
When asked to compare his dance skills to the past competitors – including his current fellow AEW star, Chris Jericho – MJF flips the script, asking. ‘Do I think I would be better than them? I am better than everybody at everything, so that is kind of a dumb question. But also, to be fair, I have dipped my toes outside the wrestling bubble as of late. I have my hands in a lot of different pots. Some things are going to be coming up that people are going to be shocked about that I am involved in or have already finished. Exciting times in the world of MJF.”
MJF has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor. In an October 2020 episode of AEW’s Dynamite, he and Chris Jericho performed a full-fledged dance number set to “Me and My Shadow,” with dancing women and live singing. MJF’s part in the performance received rave reviews in The New York Times – really! – and was listed as one of the “Best Performances of 2020.” So, it seems that it’s not a question of if MJF will take the entertainment world by storm but a question of when.
Maybe MJF will step in for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the tenth Fast & Furious movie? MJF – who battles Darby Allin at Full Gear – weighed in on The Rock’s beef with Vin Diesel and how Vin seemingly offered an olive branch by asking The Rock to return to the franchise. “Was it an apology? Was it actually an apology? Because he calls him little, so I don’t know…” ponders MJF. “Look, I don’t know Vinny D personally. I am sure he is a nice guy, but I don’t know how sincere that apology was if I could offer my two cents.”
In our EXCLUSIVE interview, MJF offers his two cents on his match with Darby Allin, how he’s “changed professional wrestling” – personally – and what might happen when his contract with AEW is up in 2024.
HollywoodLife: What do you think people like about Darby Allin? And at Full Gear, do you think you are doing him a favor by getting in the ring with him?
MJF: Well, I am the bigger star, so I can answer that question right off the bat. When I get in the ring with anybody in my company, I do them a huge favor. There are so many people that we just brought in and spent a lot of money on — if you check the stats, I do bigger numbers than them too, and I never worked for the other company.
As far as why I think people like Darby, well, I have talked about that this week. I think fans see themselves in Darby. A lot of fans – and when I say a lot, I mean all of them — are outcasts. They are not capable of being functioning members of society. So, that is why I think they have a soft spot for Darby Allin and a not so soft spot for MJF.
Then how does it benefit you to be in the ring with him?
Well, it benefits me in the sense that a lot of people have a very skewed opinion of me, and as far as what I am able to do from bell to bell inside a professional wrestling ring — which is laughable considering the fact that I have never been beaten clean in AEW. And I know they look at Darby, and they think he is this incredibly proficient professional wrestler. It is going to benefit me because I am not only going to beat Darby, but I am going to embarrass him.
I am going to beat him strategically. I will be playing chess, he will be playing checkers, and all the fans are going to become very, very aware of the fact — whether they want to be or not — that I am the best literally at everything at this game, and I am absolutely unstoppable.
Hypothetically speaking — if MJF gets a chance at the World Title but never wins it, how do you think that will affect your legacy? Because one of your inspirations, Rowdy Roddy Piper, never won the big one but is easily known as one of the best to do it and still beloved.
I am in this business to fix that wild injustice that occurred. The fact that Roddy Piper was never a world champion goes to show you how sick and twisted in the head that everybody he worked with or associated with was. I felt that Roddy Piper was held down, and he was not allowed to be in the position he should have been in.
I am not going to allow that to happen to me. I feel that if my company is not giving me the matches that I deserve and not giving me the proper spot, there are always other places for me to go. My contract is coming up in 2024.
You are well versed in the ring, but you also are a great singer and dancer. You have clearly shown that you have talents outside of the ring. Would you ever want to do Dancing with the Stars, and how much better do you think you’d do than Chris Jericho and The Miz?
I definitely think I would absolutely tear it up on Dancing with the Stars or a Masked Singer. Do I think I would be better than them? I am better than everybody at everything, so that is kind of a dumb question. But, to be fair, I have dipped my toes outside the wrestling bubble as of late. I have my hands in a lot of different pots. Some things are going to be coming up that people are going to be shocked about that I am involved in or have already finished. Exciting times in the world of MJF.
Well, on that note, I think we need more MJF on TV and in the movies, so are you saying that is something you are pursuing more of?
It’s something I am very interested in, and perhaps, just perhaps, that might have been one of the things I was saying. I was just recently involved with a few things.
Well, a movie you could be a part of is the next one in the Fast series. Just recently, Vin Diesel apologized to The Rock and asked him back to the franchise. If The Rock doesn’t accept the apology, do you think you could fill in for The Rock, or would you want to be a part of the franchise since he and another wrestler in John Cena have thrived in the series?
A) I would love to be a part of the franchise or any movie. I think any movie could use me. That’s A. And B) Was it an apology? Was it actually an apology? Because he calls him little, so I don’t know. Look, I don’t know Vinny D personally, I am sure he is a nice guy, but I don’t know how sincere that apology was if I could offer my two cents.
If MJF is indeed better than all of us, what does one have to do or should do to be a good and or great second place?
A good question! To be as good as me, you have to pray that you pass away tomorrow and get reincarnated as me — which isn’t going to happen. Second place, what you can do is put down the potato chips, hit the gym, and talk to some women or men — whatever your sexual preference is — and get out of your house and get out of your apartment or whatever cardboard box you live in and just try to be more than just a typical 9 to 5 lifer or humanoid who honestly does not contribute at all to society.
You mentioned that in 2024 your contract comes up. You still have a lot of wrestling in your future. When we lean into those years ahead, how will MJF change professional wrestling as the years continue?
I think it is very clear that I have changed professional wrestling because before I got involved in professional wrestling, there was only one show in town. And now, due to my talents and me being an incredibly intriguing attribute, my company –look, people are tuning into AEW not to see some of these ex-WWE talents, as great as they are. People are tuning in for MJF, a guy who has only been on worldwide TV for two, two and a half years? And if that doesn’t scream change, I don’t know what does? And what people should be screaming is ‘thank you’ to me.
Well, you say that people should be reincarnated as you to be as good as you–
Well, they would hope to be.
–If you were forced to live another wrestler’s life for a day, who would that be and why?
I would choose to be Darby, and I would jump off of the highest building I could find onto concrete.
You could provide that at Full Gear.
Granted, the sad thing is that’s something Darby would want to do on a typical Saturday, so I probably would be doing him a favor, to be honest.
Is there anything about MJF that we don’t know or that we need to know more about?
I would say that I am very so much interested in the acting thing and if there is anyone in Hollywood reading this who watches me on TV on a week-to-week basis, you understand that I am the best thing going in any capacity of entertainment or sport and stop being a moron and put me on one of your projects!
Watch MJF take on Darby at AEW’s Full Gear on Saturday, Nov. 13, on PPV. Click here for details.