MJF became huge star in AEW very quickly, and he has far exceeded expectations. He competed for three years in the independent New Jersey-based Combat Zone Wrestling promotion prior to taking the AEW heel turn. However, MJF was forced to use a name that he had never liked during his first year in CZW.

MJF recently appeared for an interview with Vulture. He was asked about his CZW alias, “Pete Lightning.” MJF pointed out that he had already developed the persona and wrestling techniques during that time. MJF continued by saying that he was made to take on the name against his choice.

There was no difference. I used to wrestle five times a week when I was on the independent circuit — I would get in a car with some of the other guys at Create a Pro, and we would drive to Blackwood, New Jersey, for Dojo Wars to wrestle in front of five people with five teeth among all of them.

The promoter at the time told me that he wanted to change my name to Pete Lightning. I told him to blow me. He told me, ‘Do it, or I won’t consider you to be on the main CZW shows.’ I was like, ‘Whatever,’ so I did it.


MJF recalled that before being added to the CZW main roster while he was Pete Lightning, he “wrestled every single Wednesday for, I think, a full calendar year” at the New Jersey location. He also asserted that he was “better than all of them on day one, but unfortunately, I had to prove my stock by being Pete Lightning,” with typical MJF flair.

After his first year in CZW, MJF ditched the name Pete Lightning and started to make a reputation for himself in the company thanks to his rivalries for the CZW Wired Championship with Joey Janela and Trevor Lee. When he defeated Jon Moxley at Saturday’s AEW Full Gear to win the title as AEW’s new world champion, he once again put on display his penchant for feuding.

What did you think of MJF’s old moniker? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: MJF
Gunjan Nath

Gunjan is a jack of all trades and master of many. He's passionate about art, witty/dark humor, movies, anime, music, football, creative writing, photography, and videography. He's always looking to improve and master new skills.

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