MJF Reveals Why WWE Once Painted Him as Finn Balor’s Demon
Maxwell Jacob Friedman has cemented himself as one of the top stars in the professional wrestling world, yet just like many of today’s biggest grapplers, he began his excursion in the shadows of the big shows. Before she was D.M.D., Britt Baker was getting squashed by Nia Jax on an episode of Monday Night Raw. Before he was a dynamite Champion, Scorpio Sky appeared in Daniel Bryan and Kane’s anger management session as “Harold.” Before he was the Salt of the Earth, MJF was a bodyguard escorting Samoa Joe to the ring ahead of a NXT Title defense.
While Joe shoving a youthful Friedman has gone down as his most infamous early cameo, MJF had more unaired backstage work in WWE.
“In the words of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time – John Cena – never surrender. I met him one time. It was back in the day I was 18. I was doing extra work for WWE and they wanted to paint me up like a Finn Balor cause they were trying to sort out what paint should look like for the show,” MJF told Barstool Rasslin’ (h/t Ringside News). “So they painted me up. They took a photo of me. Finn Balor comes into the room, he was like, ‘Yeah, this is good.’ And I was like, ‘This is wild.’ Like what a wild contempt interaction. Like, wouldn’t you be able to guys just like, did like a false training, similar to a cartoon?”
Balor has had various “demons” in his alter self image entrance before, however that was not the situation with this particular MJF moment, as he was strictly there to display the war paint.
“I was straightforwardly the paint faker for Finn Balor. So I leave the room and I wash off as quite a bit of it as I can. In any case, obviously I’m doing extra work, so I showed up in a suit,” MJF continued. “So the only thing I was wearing was dress pants and dress shoes. Basically I looked like Darby Allin. And you never wanna look like Darby Allin.”
It was here when MJF experienced Cena for the first time.
“So obviously Cena looked at me and he was like, ‘Interesting, interesting decision of clothes,'” MJF revealed. “And I said, ‘Thank you John.’ and I walked away. And that was our interaction.”
Despite not having an announced segment, MJF is expected to appear at AEW Dynamite: Grand Slam tonight.