Here’s What’s Next for MJF’s AEW World Championship Reign

MJF has been AEW World Champion for 250 consecutive days with five successful title defenses, the latest being a match against Ethan Page on AEW Collision late last month. It looked like “The Devil” was going to be locked in a feud with Adam Cole throughout the summer after their eliminator match ended in a 30-minute time limit draw back on June 14, but the rivalry between the pair took a sudden sharp turn when they were announced as partners for AEW World Tag Team Championship Blind Eliminator Tournament. Throughout the tournament (and in a series of pre-taped vignettes) the pair legitimately became friends and will now challenge FTR for the tag titles on this week’s Collision. 

However, in a surprise move, Friedman told Cole in a backstage segment that he’ll give Cole a shot at the world title regardless of what happens in their title match with Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler. Whether or not he’ll stick to that promise is highly suspect, but for now it looks like Cole might get the chance to dethrone “The Salt of the Earth” heading into next month’s All In pay-per-view in London. 

AEW Collision Card (July 29, 2023)

  • AEW World Tag Team Championships: FTR vs. MJF & Adam Cole
  • Andrade El Idolo vs. Buddy Matthews (Ladder Match)
  • El Hijo Del Vikingo, Action Andretti & Darius Martin vs. Bullet Club Gold (Juice Robinson & The Gunns)

Why Did Adam Cole Turn Babyface?

When Adam Cole returned from a pair of severe concussions in early 2023, his character took a sharp turn. Instead of being the same cocky heel that first arrived in AEW at All Out 2021, Cole immediately started wrestling as a babyface. He explained why in an interview with the Wrestling Observer. 

“In this particular situation, if I would have come through with a different approach of cutting a heel promo or acting like a heel right from the return, we would have been fighting upstream. It was one of those things where, of course, the fans were going to be excited and be behind you, especially when they hear the story. In that sense, that process has been easier,” Cole explained. “In general, I have been a heel for 95% of my entire career. I’ve talked like a heel and wrestled like a heel for a really long time. To even step outside of that comfort zone and talk, like I feel, as a babyface would, was very mentally intimidating for me. Fortunately, the process of the real journey and real story makes it easy because it’s all real. It’s all things that I actually feel. The entire recovery process was all real. At this point, whether it’s heel or babyface, I’m just worried about telling my story and I’m glad the fans have my back on this one.”

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