Some weeks the athleticism at this professional wrestling start-up is more exciting than anything happening in Vince McMahon’s empire. And no one in the WWE has this kid’s combination of diction (Juilliard by way of Long Island), intensity or cheesiness, either. Even when Friedman’s lost his cool (his nom de ring is MJF), he still has astounding control. The character is part heel, part tool (hair gel, loafers, Burberry bling — tacky, tacky, tacky) and part goodfella wannabe; his mouth does more running than he does. For reasons only the producers of this show can explain, a long segment in October between MJF and the veteran Chris Jericho culminated in a version of “Me and My Shadow” complete with dancing women and live singing. It was less than spectacular, though not for anything Friedman did. He wasn’t embarrassed at all. He was smooth in a way that should worry Ric Flair. This kid makes you wanna say, “Woo!”
Since the story broke, Chris Jericho and MJF both gave their reaction on social media.
“HUGE props from @nytimes for @The_MJF & #DinnerDebonair!” Jericho wrote. “Once again proof that Pro Wrestling comes in many shapes & forms…but the most important thing is that it ENTERTAINS! In other news, the Louisville Dips— Times is still whining about it…”
For MJF — who reportedly came up with the idea for the segment — it was very personal to him as his Grandpa, who recently passed from cancer, was a big inspiration for the song and dance routine.
“My grandpa just died of cancer. His biggest love was music, and he led one of the best party bands of all-time,” MJF wrote. “I grew up going to his house every week. I practically lived there. It was always the same. The day would start off with him reading his daily New York Times paper in the morning as we’d eat my grandmother’s delicious challah French toast, and then we’d go downstairs and have a nice chat about current events. Later in the evening we’d get in his car, drop the top and he’d blast jazz. I’d listen to the Rat Pack era in awe with him.
He loved every second of mine and CJ’s redition of Me and My Shadow. And so did the New York Times! So basically what I’m getting at is Chris, Me, and the spirit of my Poppa would like to say…EAT S— TURDS!”
This week’s Dynamite will feature an Inner Circle ultimatum after Chris Jericho demanded the group either start working together, or disband completely.