MJF hasn’t even been the AEW World Champion for a month, and he’s already begun to elevate the title… just not in the ring. That’s right, unlike Jon Moxley, who was a certified fighting champion, or Kenny Omega, who took the show on the road to Impact and Lucha Libre AAA in addition to his duties in AEW in order to keep the title fresh in the minds of wrestling fans the world over, Maxwell Jacob Freedman hasn’t actually defended the title he won off of Mox just yet, letting his words and occasionally the Dynamite Diamond Ring do the talking instead of his fists.

That’s right, since his match with Mox and even in the lead-up to it, MJF was out talking on Pardon My Take, giving interviews with Vulture, and just generally doing everything in his power to get himself out there in the hopes of getting more eyes on the AEW World Championship… and mostly himself. Now granted, this strategy, though different from those deployed by Moxley, Omega, and even “Hangman” Adam Page, isn’t unprecedented, as both of MJF’s AEW mentors, Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes, never had any trouble stepping outside of the wrestling bubble for additional exposure, as their times on The Masked Singer and Go Big Show/Rhodes to the Top clearly proved.

So, you may wonder, what would happen when MJF was booked for an interview with TODAY.com, the digital wing of The Today Show? Would he peel back the curtain and show a glimpse at who the man born Maxwell T. Friedman – yes, curiously enough, the “Jacob” part of MJF is Kayfabe – really is? Or would he instead stick to the character he’s been cultivating for the better part of seven years as he’s risen up the professional wrestling ranks?

“I’m constantly exhausted by my own greatness,” MJF said to open up his interview. “This is me 100% of the time, 365 days a year. It doesn’t change. You can ask people in my industry — and people have — and then fans are like, ‘Oh, these other people are just keeping up the ruse.’ This is me.”

“However people view me — if I was an inherently good person or an inherently bad person — I can care less about. All I care about is that when the AEW faithful put their heads on their pillows, there’s only one person, one face, one name they’re thinking about. And it’s MJF.”

Wow, that’s MJF alright, but hey, what more did you expect from an article literally titled “He’s one of the great villains on TV. He insists it’s not an act?” Fortunately, Shane Lou, the journalist conducting the interview, did try to hit MJF with a serious question to gauge his sincerity, asking if he was happy, but even then, with nothing left to prove, Friedman couldn’t help but to deliver one final shot across the bow, forever locking the image of himself as a heel into the minds of first-time readers brought in by an interesting title.

“How couldn’t I be (happy)? I am in a spot that everyone is envious (of). I am the AEW World Champion and I’m a generational talent and I’m literally the most talked about name in professional wrestling today. And I’ve managed to do that in a company that’s only three years old.”

I’m feeling good, man. And the best thing is — is we’ll see how much longer I feel like being a part of this circus.”

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MJF did address a serious topic in his interview outside of AEW.

While MJF’s interview was mostly about how great he is or how great of a champion he already is, MJF did address the rise in antisemitism in the world today, which is an issue he also discussed in his interview with Vulture last month. Why, MJF was asked, did he think hatred toward his race of people was on the rise yet again?

“How much of that is deep-rooted in antisemitism and how much of that is deep-rooted in jealousy and wishing that these people were in the position I’m in? I don’t know. But what I do know is it doesn’t make it OK,” he says.

“It’s just very funny to me that now all of a sudden the conversations being started because Kanye West decided to speak out on the underbelly of society — antisemitism has always been there, always, always, always. The Holocaust was not a very long time ago. And I think that’s something that people just love to forget or love to not admit.’

Like it or not, MJF is not only a featured player on AEW but arguably the featured player on AEW and if doing that as an out and proud Jewish wrestler inspired others, then so be it.

“I’m not afraid to be a flag bearer as a Jewish athlete.”