Chicago (CBS) — Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) is one of All Elite Wrestling’s leading bad guys with a reputation for being a jerk and never breaking character. That reputation was reinforced this past weekend, when the pro wrestler flipped off a seven-year-old boy at C2E2 in Chicago.
Tom Gilmartin took his kid to a paid AEW autograph session that was part of the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place. The wrestlers on hand to interact with attendees included Jon Moxley, Britt Baker, The Young Bucks, Dustin Rhodes, and, of course, MJF.READ MORE: Colin Powell, First Black Secretary Of State, Dies At 84 Of Complications From COVID-19
In the brief exchange, MJF is seen glaring at the child as the father and son arrange themselves for a group picture. The wrestling heel then puts his hand right in the child’s face and extends his middle finger. While the father barely takes notice, the child seems taken aback.READ MORE: Jubilant And Inspired Fans, Booming Businesses Near Wintrust Arena As Chicago Sky Win WNBA Championship
As Gilmartin told TMZ, “I tried to laugh it off knowing he’s just in character,” Gilmartin said (via TMZ). “But it really upset him. I know that’s his gimmick but he’s only 7 and doesn’t understand.”
Cody Rhodes, AEW vice president and longtime pro wrestler, explained that MJF was essentially just being MJF. And anyone who’s ever seen AEW Dynamite on TV or a show in person would know that to be the case. Still, to make amends, Rhodes offered up free tickets to a future event.MORE NEWS: CBS 2's Ryan Baker Celebrates Chicago Sky Win With His Family At Wintrust Arena
MJF’s reaction should come as no surprise. The unrepentant heel is playing up the incident on Twitter, responding to one recent Tweet with, “Cry about it.”