Whether Grayson Waller wrestles one more match or 1,000 in the WWE Universe, he will forever get to tell his friends and family that his first match on the main roster came against Edge, the “Rated-R Superstar,” in the main event of SmackDown at Maddison Square Garden.
Working a program that was short but sweet, Edge made it a point to single out Waller as a performer who needed to prove whether or not he could “sink or swim” against one of the best performers in the history of WWE, with the “Rated-R Superstar” ultimately giving the “Aussie Icon” his seal of approval at the match's end.
While this doesn't feel like a huge deal now, as Waller is very over at this stage of the game to the point where WWE is actually attempting to use his rub to get Austin Theory over, at the time, the host of The Grayson Waller Effect wasn't particularly popular and hadn't even wrestled a match due to a broken leg. Giving Waller a solid showing against Edge, in turn, informed fans who don't watch NXT who the “Aussie Icon” is and why he was worth their time.
So naturally, with Edge making his debut in AEW, Waller decided to acknowledge the move in the most Grayson Waller way possible: By putting himself over.
“You’re welcome for the rub on the way out kid,” Grayson Waller said on social media.
Would Edge be in AEW right now if it wasn't for his appearance on The Grayson Waller Effect? Yes, something tells me Tony Khan would have still backed up the Brinks truck regardless of the appearance, but according to Waller, it was all him, which is as on-brand as it is entertaining.
You’re welcome for the rub on the way out kid
— Grayson Waller (@GraysonWWE) October 2, 2023
MJF feels sorry for WWE's Grayson Waller for a very specific reason.
Speaking of the “Aussie Icon,” it's become hard for some fans to watch the Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, native do his schtick on SmackDown without thinking about MJF, the current AEW World Championship.
Now sure, the comparision isn't perfect, as MJF doesn't have a talk show, Waller has never won a championship in his current promotion, and they don't wrestle in a similar way, like, at all, but when a cocky heel enjoys putting others down while putting himself over, aka just generally acting like a scumbag, they're going to turn to “The People's Scumbag” until he lands in WWE should the promotion win the bidding war in 2024.
Speaking with WrestlePurist about all things wrestling, MJF was asked about the comparison some fans like to draw and immediately dismissed it, suggesting that he actually feels sorry for Waller, as getting compared to him prevents fans from appreciating their own unique styles.
“Certain wrestlers get compared to other wrestlers, and the comparisons are flawed, and I feel the time. This is a great example, and this is not a shot at EC3 at all. When I first came out to the scene, the first week of AEW Dynamite, I went out there, I cut a great promo, had a match with Brandon Cutler, and then, my friends hit me up, and they go, ‘Yo, people are calling you EC3 Jr. and Alberto Del Rio Jr.' I'm like, ‘Holy s**t. That's insane, because I'm in shape, and I can talk?'” MJF said via Fightful.
“It's just odd, but I feel like the fans are creating it in their own f**king headcanon, you know what I mean? Like, you know who I feel bad for? I feel bad for Grayson Waller. Because I get f**king tagged daily, ‘Grayson Waller is just trying to be MJF,' like f**king h*ll he is! Do you see me wrestling in fucking basketball shorts? Do I have a fucking accent? Am I 6'2? No… Again, it's it's not the fans' fault, right? There's a wrestler that makes you feel something throughout the avenue of talking. Right? ‘Oh, f**k, who else makes me feel something throughout the avenue of talking? MJF. Oh, dude, he's just copying MJF?' No, he's not, you f**king idiot. We're just both good at talking! Wrestling fans are definitely funny. At the same time, who am I kidding? I'm the biggest wrestling fan of them all. I'm willing to get dumped on my head just to leave a legacy for a sport that I care deeply about.”
Do wrestlers take influence from those who came before them? Yes, there isn't a performer in the game who isn't being influenced by or attempting to subvert the influence of the performers who came before them, but if Waller is clearly influenced by anyone, it's probably The Miz, whom he has put over on multiple occasions in the past. If anything, Waller and MJF could actually work fairly well together, which, if Nick Khan comes correct, could come to pass as soon as 2024.