When Maxwell Jacob Friedman returned to AEW earlier this month after a three-month absence from the company, it followed an extraordinary period of silence and near-invisibility from the generational talent.
It turns out that this was part of a concerted effort on MJF's part.
Fightful Select reports that Maxwell has said in media interviews that he almost never left his home during those three months from his last AEW appearance on the 1 June episode of Dynamite. During that time, MJF did not have contact with most people, including close friends, until shortly before his surprise return at All Out as the joker in the Casino Ladder Match. As the PPV drew near, more members of the roster learned of his impending return.
MJF did attend some meetings in Hollywood after his June Dynamite appearance, but he mostly kept a low profile, going dark on social media and even avoiding going out in public for the most part. That's some serious dedication to vanishing from the public.
Fightful has not been able to determine whether MJF signed a new contract, an extension or an amendment to his existing deal, but AEW sources have "heavily implied" that he's in a more favorable situation now.
One entity that's very happy to have Maxwell back in the fold is Warner Bros. Discovery, who reportedly was very pleased to have the ratings draw back on television.