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Wrestler MJF Celebrates Re-Bar Mitzvah by Taunting Winnipeg Crowd

Friedman, otherwise known as MJF, opened Wednesday night’s television broadcast of “AEW Dynamite”on TBS by putting his Jewish roots front and center of the ring.
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March 16, 2023
Maxwell Jacob Friedman aka MJF makes a surprise appearance during the All Elite Wrestling panel during 2019 New York Comic Con at Jacob Javits Center on October 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for WarnerMedia Company)

The current champion of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Maxwell Jacob Friedman celebrated his 27th birthday today by having a “re-Bar Mitzvah” on live television.

Friedman, otherwise known as MJF, opened Wednesday night’s television broadcast of “AEW Dynamite”on TBS by putting his Jewish roots front and center of the ring.

He is not only one of the most talked-about wrestlers in the business today, he is also one of the most loathed heels (a wrestling term for “bad guy”). MJF relishes the role as a heel, with his brash berating of the crowd and making enemies with every other wrestler in the locker room. He’s also a proud Jew and grew up in Long Island, New York.

MJF’s re-Bar Mitzvah kicked off the night at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba with an introduction from ring announcer, Justin Roberts.

“Carrying on the tradition of his forefathers—but better—AEW World Champion, M-J-F,” said Roberts, who got in the Bar Mitzvah spirit this week by posting an old photo from his own Bar Mitzvah on social media.

MJF strutted to the ring wearing a blue kippah, a black lightning-emblazoned blazer, and a white and maroon tallit, in place of his trademark tan Burberry scarf.

As he entered the ring, blue and white streamers fell from the rafters amongst a bouquet of balloons.

“For those of you unfamiliar with Bar Mitzvahs, they typically don’t start like this,” said AEW on-air commentator Tony Schiavone.

After taunting the Canadian crowd, MJF went into re-Bar Mitzvah mode.

“Now let me remind you why we are here tonight, we are here to celebrate the most important day in recorded history—my Bar Mitzvah day,” MJF said. “And in my religion which is, let’s be honest, the only religion that matters—Judaism,” he stopped mid-sentence to recognize the jeering crowd.

He continued, “Boo all you want, we’re the chosen people and you’re not, it’s just a fact. And under the eyes of my Lord, Haschem, when a boy turns into a man, he hits 13 and that is when he is Bar Mitzvahed. Now I already had a Bar Mitzvah, the theme was Max-a-Mania. I lost my V-card, it was sick dude. But here’s why we’re having a re-Bar Mitzvah. It’s because after March 5th, when I tapped out your boy Bryan Danielson, to become the undisputed best professional wrestler in the world, to go on to retain the most important title in all of professional wrestling. I am no longer merely a man. No, no. Now I am Iron Man! So it’s time to celebrate my re-Bar Mitzvah, baby. Hit the music!”

At that moment, “Havah Nagila” played in the arena and nine people came rushing down the aisle to the ring, dressed in suits and carrying a felt-cushioned chair.

“Clap along or you’re antisemitic,” MJF warned the crowd, who seemed to oblige. The revelers joined MJF in the ring and did Hora around the chair, culminating with the AEW Champion being raised in jubilation.

And in typical professional wrestling fashion, MJF’s celebration was interrupted by the music of a rival wrestler—this time, Jungle Boy, who joined an enraged MJF in the ring. Soon after, wrestlers Sammy Guvera and Daby Allin joined the fracas, with all three of them issuing a challenge to MJF for a title shot.

After ten minutes of trying to intimidate each other, a fight broke out and MJF ended up face first in his multi-layered Bar MItzvah cake at ringside. The crowd in the arena went nuts.

“Dynamite” is one of AEW’s weekly professional wrestling shows, which began in 2019. In 2022, “Dynamite” averaged nearly 1 million weekly viewers. But over 50 years, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been the apex of the professional wrestling world. There are many other promotions, but not since World Championship Wrestling (WCW) was acquired by WWE in 2001, has WWE had a formidable competitor in the television and live show market as they do with AEW.

Founded in 2019 by businessman Tony Khan and several disgruntled former WWE talents, AEW has been a force in the wrestling world.

MJF has been in AEW since its first televised live event, “Double of Nothing” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 25, 2019.

There have been many notable Jewish professional wrestlers, including Randy “Macho Man” Savage (Randy Poffo), Lanny Poffo, Matt Bloom. Bill Goldberg, Dean Malenko, Raven (Scott Levy), Paul Heyman, and MJF’s fellow AEW star, Marina Shafir.

 

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