By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On MJF: “I’ve been saying this for a long time, man. I’ve gotten to know Maxwell over the last two years. Every time he comes to LA, we make it a point to go to dinner, and I try to take him to like a different sushi spot every time, right? And this kid is 26 years old, so I can say kid, and he has the single most brilliant mind in the wrestling business. Every storyline that he’s come up with, man, I shouldn’t even say that. Well, I said it. Listen, the ideas in this kid’s head at getting multiple people over, not just himself, but focusing on what’s best for the business, not what’s best for MJF, is second to none. And I’m not the most experienced and educated wrestling cat in the world, but I did work for the WWE.
“And I did ask a million questions to the Pat Patterson’s of the world, to The Freebirds’ of the world, to the Arn Anderson’s, the Dean Malenko’s, all these old school people. And everything they taught me this dude has in spades; it is unreal how his mind works. He does not go into business for himself. That’s like such a cliche thing to say now ever since that CM Punk explosion at AEW. But for real, like, that’s the best way to say it, I love this kid, I texted him the night he won. Don’t get mad at me for saying this. He wrote back ‘We did it.’ Not meaning he and I, meaning him and everyone, all I wrote back was ‘Damn right you did.’ Because I wanted him to know like, brother, this was you and it’s awesome that you’re trying to get as many people over, as many people over as humanly possible. But you did this, like otherwise at 26, it does not happen. And so, I just hate complimenting a heel. But man he’s just, he’s so great at it. I love this guy so much. He’s so good for the business on both sides. Like not even working for WWE, I feel he helps WWE as well.”
Why he’s not a Logan Paul fan: “Look, I get why they’re doing it, I wasn’t a big fan of it. I will say this. He did his thing like the dude can wrestle. He’s done I think three matches now, and I finally watched the Crown Jewel match, I was so proud of the fact that I didn’t watch it because I hate Crown Jewel. It’s just the goofiest. Um, so yeah, so it’s a tricky thing. I get why they did it, right. I get why they brought Mr. T to WrestleMania. But I’m not a fan of it. Like I would rather see wrestlers wrestle. I didn’t like that he videoed himself doing a Frog Splash. How serious are you, this is the old school mentality, how serious are you about winning the WWE Championship if you’re going to hold a phone and video yourself doing a Frog Splash? It should be a singular [focus]. Again. It’s an old school mentality, and I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying it’s mine. How serious are you about winning, if you don’t have a singular focus on winning. [Chris mentions Hulk Hogan flexing]. It’s not, the flex was to power him up. And you know, like, show you how into it he is. Whereas this is like, I’m gonna bring everyone into my social media page and get even more followers while I do this.”
Will we see MJF in Freddie Prinze Jr’s new promotion? “Mine’s too weird for someone like him. Mine is much different. And I haven’t been completely honest with everyone about what it is because I don’t want it getting out there. But he’s so different than what I’m going to do. He would look out of place, and it wouldn’t be the right thing for him. Although he’s read the script, I’ve pitched the entire thing to him, he’s given me notes. Because I value that young generation’s opinion, I don’t want to do stuff that’s too old man-ish and he’s been straightforward. He’s like, only old guys are going to connect to that, I think you focus more on this. And I’m looking at it like, Damn, he’s dead on, dead on. And I’ve applied those notes. So yeah, it’s different.”
On CM Punk returning to wrestling: “I don’t know. I don’t know if he wrestles again. I don’t. I mean, his body wasn’t able to hold up. You know, he was getting hurt a lot, as we all do when we get older. His patience wasn’t able to hold up in dealing with a younger generation. I mean, look, for millennials and Gen Z, my generation and up. It’s not an illusion, they hate you, because they don’t want to understand you. The things that my generation and older say about them are the same things my mom’s generation said about me. You’re softer, you don’t work as hard on this. Yeah, you’re right, you made it easier for me to live. So, thank you to your generation, but now we have a remote control and I don’t have to get up and change the channel because you’re old and arthritic, and can’t do it anymore.
“I get that they hate the fact that kids can make millions on YouTube or Twitch and they don’t have a boss telling them they suck every day. But here’s the flip side to that. Yeah, they may not have a boss, but they have dozens, hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people that not only say they suck, but demand to have say in what they do. That’s what the life of a streamer is. I’ve seen people sacrifice their dignity and their soul, I’ll put on a banana suit if I get 50 followers today. You can’t take that back; you know what I mean? If you start living by people who are giving you $5 a month and all of a sudden you want some of that dignity back, so goes their $5 too. So, they have to deal with much different pressures than these older generations had to deal with.
“Yeah, I had a director who was on my case every day on I Know What You Did Last Summer, every single day. It sucked. That’s one son of a bitch. All right, that’s one guy. The streamers out there YouTuber all these, everyone in the world that has access to the internet can say horrible things about you. And these are young kids that are not prepared for that type of fame. That’s why I took my channel off Twitch because they don’t care, they don’t care about these young kids. They don’t put any measures in to protect them until four or five years later after, you know, these kids have been complaining and begging and asking for it. And it’s not like once they were bought by Amazon, they couldn’t afford to put measures in place. They simply chose not to because it wasn’t cost effective.
“So, screw Twitch, screw those companies, man. I hope all of you go to YouTube or somewhere else where you’re in control and you’re not having to pay for their service in order for you to get paid. Like, I got love for y’all, I really do. And I understand the pressures that they have to go through. I’ve seen it affects so many young people, I’ve seen it. The first person that called me uncle Freddy, or I think it was she said he’s my twitch uncle, was this girl I found randomly on Stream and I was reading the comments and I was just like, oh my God, is this what streamers have to go through? And for a female streamer it’s different right? Because these guys were letting her know exactly why they were watching her and saying shit that you’re just like Jesus Christ, like Michelle Pfeiffer never had to hear that in her Catwoman suit looking fine as hell.
“Like she didn’t have to hear just non-stop and there’s no accountability. And there’s no one there to smack them and be like show some respect, because it’s all digital. And they’re just enduring that at an age where you’re not equipped to deal with that yet. And I just remember going like this is a bad, bad place and so I get it and I have a lot of empathy, sympathy as I would have gone through it, and I haven’t. So, I empathize with what they have to go through. And I respect the ones that are able to come out on the other side and still have their dignity intact. Because it’s soul selling, and soul stealing. And those are hard things to deal with in your early 20s. So, I don’t know how CM Punk moves forward. He’s of that older generation.”