The unspoken tension between MJF and William Regal came to a head on AEW’s ‘Title Tuesday’ edition of Dynamite.
MJF wasted no time interrupting Regal’s interview with Tony Schiavone and ensured the Blackpool resident he didn’t come to fight but to tell a story.
The 26-year-old number one contender for the AEW World Title aired his grievances about a WWE tryout he had when he was 19 years old and helmed by Regal.
The emotion was tangible as MJF blistered the elder statesman for not turning him down but recanting on promised stewardship. The mental anguish of a dream twice removed almost led him to self-destruction.
MJF’s pain-riddled words turned to the harsh sting of reality. MJF is now the most prominent star in AEW, while the company that once charged Regal with preparing its future terminated his employment. Now, the tables are turned, and MJF couldn’t be happier to spell it out for Regal.
Ten minutes of MJF tearing down Regal ended with thunderous applause. It generally doesn’t occur when a heel addresses a babyface.
The hard-nosed leader of the Blackpool Combat Club was painted as a cooperate puppet from the big firm who foolishly passed on a generational talent.
Regal calmly picked up the microphone and spouted “Job well done” to a course boos from the audience. It seemed like a sign of things to come. Then, Regal said hold my tea and flipped the script.
Instead of a rote retort of promised beatings, Regal did something even more damaging. He told the truth. Regal compared his first few years in the industry to MJF’s, revealing his rival had it much easier.
According to cagemtch.com, it took Regal at least five years to get his first look from a major company, while MJF did it within one year.
It wasn’t sour grapes from Regal, but a staunch reminder that times have changed, which opened and accelerated avenues that didn’t exist in his day.
Regal also mentioned how MJF breaks the rules while hiring saboteurs to find success. Sure, MJF has made more money in wrestling than most in a short time, but Regal wasn’t impressed and claimed MJF’s hadn’t earned any of it, yet.
The segment ended with Regal daring MJF to prove he’s really the devil. However, a distraught MJF feigned an attack before storming out of the ring.
William Regal got in MJF’s head. Not because he psyched him out. Not because he got MJF to cash in his title shot casino chip with four weeks’ notice. He got in his head because Regal out-heeled MJF.
Sir William Regal used his well-earned reputation as an exceptional trainer and a wrestlers wrestler to gloss over the fact that he was also a cheater’s cheater.
Does anyone remember Lord Steven Regal? He used the ropes for leverage as often as he used brass knux to get the win. No one used the 15-minute time limit escape with the WCW TV Title more than his lordship.
Remember the corrupt commissioner and general manager of Monday Night Raw. Regal was also the inaugural member of the kiss my ass club. The man literally kissed Vince McMahon’s ass to keep his job and parlayed it into an IC Title run.
On the surface, a respected veteran put the brash young upstart in his place. In reality, William Regal was The Emperor of MJF’s Darth Vader. It was a masterclass of verbal jousting between the past and the present.
Why have William Regal out-heel MJF? Because MJF is slowly turning babyface, which has been hinted at in recent weeks?
Regal is turning heel and will cost Jon Moxley the AEW Title at Full Gear on November 19. MJF and Regal will join forces to create the ultimate 1-2 punch of chaos atop the mountain.
Why would Regal want to join up with MJF or vice versa for that matter? Simple. Game recognizes game.
In the end, even if my hypothesis is proven wrong, the MJF/Regal promo was a great piece of business. It was engaging in a manner that doesn’t often occur in wrestling.
Their dialogue hit that Goldilocks level where it was just right for everyone. It was inside baseball for diehard fans while easy to follow for casual viewing. I don’t know if wrestling qualifies for Emmy consideration but if it does, give MJF and William Regal a damn statue.
You can check out the promo below in it’s entirety.