Growing up during the Attitude Era, wrestling was awesome. You hung on to every storyline, glued to your TV to see what would happen next. There were no tweets to tell you what the next match would be or who was returning at a PPV, everything was a surprise. I remember having to try my absolute hardest to stay awake til the end of RAW because 11:05 was way passed my bedtime, but I'd be dammed if I wasn't going to stick around to see what Stone Cold or The Rock or DX did in the main event.
But now with the creation of the internet, social media, and all that jazz, everything is different now. WWE barely lets anything be a surprise anymore- they know more eyeballs will watch the product if you know you're going to see a superstar returning than if it was a surprise. Sure, there are surprises here and there, but even some of those are ruined by insiders and wrestling journalists fighting to break news.
Back in the day though, I was legit terrified of Undertaker and Kane. And it pains me that Undertaker now does things out of character- he was the last of the old school guys who kept his real life so secretive, so private, and so under wraps that the general public knew next to nothing about him. Which is why I absolutely love this story about him that was tweeted today:
Fucking love that. Instead of breaking character and being like "Hey I'm Mark, nice to meet you young man" he instead saw a sobbing boy and tried to steal his soul. Unbelievable. That would never happen anymore. The second wrestlers get off TV now they get on their Twitters and Instagrams that they have their real names on and tweet...normal things. Which I think ruins wrestling. Like, how are you going to have some bad guy on TV and then 2 minutes later he's sharing a video of him playing with his dog in the back yard? I get that these guys are people and humans too, but man do I miss kayfabe.
But some good news, it appears this story originated because an AEW wrestler named "MJF", whose gimmick is to be a dick to kids...well...
TMZ - Here's the deal … Tom Gilmartin brought his son to meet AEW star MJF (AKA Maxwell Jacob Friedman) at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.
MJF is famous for being a heel (that's wrestling speak for "bad guy") and part of his gimmick is being a jerk to kids. It's no secret. Everyone knows.
So, when Tom and his son came face to face with MJF, the wrestler busted out the single barrel salute right in the little guy's face … par for the course for MJF.
You can see in the video the kid looks stunned -- and afterward, Tom raised the issue with AEW vice president Cody Rhodes.
Cody responded to Tom -- essentially saying he should have known what he was getting himself into.
"DISCLAIMER: If you have a meet/greet or inquire media wise for MJF, you'll get MJF," Rhodes said on Twitter.
"Talent have freedom of expression so please don't think anybody is going to act any different than they do on TV."
We reached out to MJF for comment and got back this 3-word statement -- "F**k them kids."
That is the best. Imagine going to a meet and greet and just giving a 7 year old the finger in front of his family? That's committing to the bit right there. And good on AEW for being like "yeah, that's what he does" when his father complained about it. That's the way it should always be in my opinion. Don't break kayfabe. Fuck them kids.