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Report: Update On MJF's AEW Salary

Also more on MJF's unhappiness

MJF's frustrations with his All Elite Wrestling contract bubbled over at the weekend as the three-time Dynamite Diamond Ring didn't turn up for the Double Or Nothing Fan Fest. A flight was then booked for Friedman to head back to the East Coast out of Las Vegas which he didn't end up boarding.

Friedman did work AEW's Double Or Nothing pay-per-view on Sunday, losing to Wardlow, but he arrived at T-Mobile Arena at the last minute and then left immediately after the match with AEW producer Pat Buck. 

Friedman has been frustrated with his AEW contract's pay scale for some time and he and AEW President Tony Khan had a heated conversation a couple of months ago. Both men briefly resolved their issues but MJF remained unhappy and everything came to a head on Saturday. 

Speaking about the situation, PWTorch's Wade Keller reported that while MJF has a contract that earns him "hundreds of thousands of dollars", he is earning far less than AEW's other top stars. Friedman is also seemingly upset that Tony Khan did not approach him about a significant raise earlier. 

"MJF has since made it clear that he's unhappy that he wasn't given an early contract renegotiation offer. His current deal expires in just over 18 months at the very start of 2024, January 1, in fact. MJF signed an original starter contract with AEW that was in the range of probably dozens of other early signees who have been with AEW ever since. Some have been cut, some have stayed in the lower cards, some have moved to the mid-card, a couple maybe moved to the upper card," Keller began.

"Nobody's moved higher than MJF, among those on those starter deals. And by a starter deal, a very broad loose range is like $40,000 to $70,000. Like, you can make a living but you know, it's a starter deal. And some might not even be making $40,000. And I know there's some people who are just on a per date basis. But this was among the people who started signing starter contracts, people without a lot of leverage and any national TV exposure. And Tony was at a point where he's handing out a bunch of contracts and wanted to see who would be good and who wouldn't be, you know, who we wanted to stick with and who we wouldn't," he continued.

"And so a lot of money goes out to a lot of people when you get that starter contract. And the idea for Tony is, you know, when they come to the ones who deserve it, will get a raise. By the way, MJF was given a raise once since he signed with AEW. So he's making substantially more than the starter contract, like hundreds of thousands of dollars but it is modest compared to the contracts of more than a half a dozen free-agent signings AEW has made over the past year...Christian, Mark Henry, Malakai Black, Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, CM Punk. There's six right there. And I know I'm leaving off a few more...All of them are making more than MJF right now. Like I'm told that with confidence. So yes, he got a substantial raise percentage-wise, but it's modest compared to the contracts of more than half a dozen free agents just in the last year that AEW paid, including wrestlers nowhere near his stature as a top tier main event star and ratings draw...So, you know, MJF is by all accounts is kind of fuming over this. He felt that his work, his professionalism, his rapport and friendship with Tony Kahn would have led to Tony renegotiating his deal, when there was about two years left. And by the time January 1, 2022, came around, yes, he got a new contract and a raise...But MJF was thinking, 'Hey, come on, Tony, approach me, get me on the level of some of these people that you keep bringing in. I'm doing great work, and I'm drawing great ratings.' And when Tony didn't do that MJF the way he handled it was to get very angry privately and then it kind of exploded. And I think Tony was caught off guard by how angry MJF was getting," Keller added.

People backstage in AEW also noted MJF's demeanour had transitioned from passion and enthusiasm for his job and AEW to him becoming withdrawn and disgruntled.

AEW had made overtures to MJF in recent weeks about a contract extension but MJF blew them off. Tony Khan and Friedman were scheduled for a sit-down meeting earlier this week to resolve their issues. The results of that meeting are currently unknown.

H/T to WrestlingNews.co

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons