In case you missed it on last night's episode of AEW on TNT, Chris Jericho and MJF (Maxwell Jacob Friedman) had their sit down dinner to discuss whether or not Max would be joining the Inner Circle faction. Of course, things didn't go exactly according to plan.
Before I dive in too deep, why don't you just take a look at what went down for yourself.
Now some "traditional" wrestling fans have found themselves in a bit of a fuss because a musical number simply isn't what they've signed up for. Unfortunately, that's an absurd complaint given just how weird pro wrestling (especially the "traditional" pro wrestling of yore) can be. But we're not here to focus on that. We're here to talk about why this is actually one of the best professional wrestling promos of all time. Really.
Before we even get into the musical number itself, we find the two heels sitting at the table waiting to hash out the details of their deal. In these opening moments, the promo immediately differentiates how these two are both baddies, but that their respective heel personas are lightyears apart. Max plays the traditional, deplorably unbearable villain. The "sweeties" and the "smile" and the intentional use of the wrong name for their patient server will immediately make your skin crawl. Meanwhile, Jericho is playing something more contemporary. Both of these boys go to battle over the temperature of their steaks, ignoring the struggle they're putting the poor staff through, but in completely different styles. Right off the bat, the promo has purpose.
In that conversation are timely subjects, with Max's version of villainy playing directly into how a number of men still treat women while still dripping with classic heel charisma. It's given the viewer something to connect with while adding some sympathy to Jericho's version of big-bad - even if he's ostensibly the more dangerous of the two.
And now onto the musical number itself. The stone cold fact is this: whether you loved it or hated it, you're still talking about it. Wrestling very much operates in the "any press is good press" sphere, and both sides of the spectrum have been anything but quiet about the little duet.
Attention spans are short, but even though it won't dominate the conversation for much longer than the rest of the day, it's the kind of promo that will stick with wrestling fans for a generation. Weird has always been what maintains wrestling fans' attention, and whether history decides it's good or bad, it'll still make lists for the next decade.
Outside of all that? These two hams are having the time of their lives. We all knew Chris Jericho is a literal rockstar, what we did not know was that little Maxwell Jacob Friedman was going to prove some pipes himself. It's delightfully absurd from start to finish, and I hope there are many more musical numbers in our future!
Survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling. Will probably sass you.
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