MJF AEW Contract Rumors; Matt Hardy’s Mt. Rushmore; Malakai Black Talks Vince McMahon

MJF AEW Contract Rumors; Matt Hardy’s Mt. Rushmore; Malakai Black Talks Vince McMahon

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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW. 

Latest on MJF-AEW Contract Talks

Contracts are increasingly becoming the biggest story in wrestling. Details of Roman Reigns’ new deal with WWE made waves as he steps away from being a full-time performer, while MJF’s ongoing public flirtation with free agency is likely working nerves in AEW.

Fightful Select reported MJF is currently leaning toward leaving AEW for WWE when his current contract expires in 2024 over frustrations with negotiations. 

MJF has been the crown jewel among the younger AEW talent, putting on some of the best feuds in the company’s history and establishing himself as the sport’s best promo. He reportedly wants to be compensated as one of the company’s top stars, something Tony Khan is willing to do, per Fightful Select.

However, no actual formal talks between the two sides have taken place. Khan reportedly wants a long-term commitment from MJF in order to rip up his current contract; MJF is reportedly understanding that any new deal would have to come as part of an extension.

The two sides have plenty of time to work things out, with MJF still under contract until 2024. That said, AEW can’t afford to miss out on keeping its most promising young star.

Matt Hardy Names Tag Team Mount Rushmore

No surprise here: Matt Hardy believes he and his brother Jeff are among the greatest tag teams in history.

The AEW star named his tag team Mount Rushmore on the latest episode of his podcast, including the Hardys, The Road Warriors, The Dudley Boyz and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard of the Four Horsemen.

“I think the first tag team, known as the most dominant tag team ever would have to be The Road Warriors,” Hardy said. “I would put them on there. I have a lot of love for Tully and Arn, I think they were very special.

“Here’s who I’m going to go with: The Road Warriors who are often looked at as the greatest tag team of all time, Tully and Arn because I just thought they were so dominant throughout their period with the Four Horsemen and they brought a very special technical style for heels that was unmatched. I feel like I have to go with The Dudleys as well because they’re so decorated and then just considering what we’re doing now here in AEW, I’m going to have to be biased and go with The Hardys.”

It’s hard to find much to quibble with on Hardy’s list. Edge & Christian, The Hart Foundation and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express are among the teams that could feel a little left out, but you can see why Hardy would lean more toward his choices. Edge and Christian are better known for their singles runs at this point in their career; same goes for Bret Hart as part of the Hart Foundation. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express did most of their legacy-defining work in the territory days. 

While the territory point could be made when discussing the Horsemen, you’re not going to find many in the wrestling business who weren’t massive Horsemen marks. 

Malakai Black Discusses WWE Creative Frustrations

When it comes to departing WWE talent, there tends to be a pattern in their comments about their time with the company:

1. loving NXT

2. difficulties adjusting to main roster

3. creative disillusionment and departure 

While there are some exceptions to that rule, it does not appear Malakai is one of them. The AEW star heaped effusive praise on Triple H for his handling of his NXT character but admitted he was sometimes stuck in a creative rut after moving up to Raw and SmackDown. 

“The one thing I will say, I’ve always had this in my head where I felt that the room promos eventually ran it’s course, even [Paul] Heyman said that,” Black said on the Universal Wrestling Podcast. “But Vince [McMahon] liked them very much and he never really wanted him to change very often and we were like ‘OK’ but we felt like we needed to…everything needs to evolve, ya know? I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ‘pick a fight’ line but again, I didn’t wanna be that guy, I was given something, so I tried to make it work but eventually when me and Heyman both felt like, OK it’s running it’s course and these promos are not completely connecting, it was intriguing but it never went anywhere. I felt like we were never able to like, see the evolved version, we would never see what was going to happen next because the whole world changed and what we were filming changed and the narrative changed and where I was placed in the program changed and all these things were happening.”

Black wrestled in WWE from 2016 until his surprising departure in 2021; he seems more creatively fulfilled since joining AEW. 

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