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The Case For The Devil Jack Perry

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Jack Perry

After a wishy washy AEW Dynamite episode that didn’t do much to help quell any of the negative discourse I discussed yesterday, I instead had something else on mind. Who is the Devil?

And could it be Jack Perry?

Ever since Jay White was attacked by shadow figures to end AEW Dynamite with someone dressed in MJF’s Devil Mask, AEW has tried to keep the question on your mind. Almost every week a Maxwell Jacob Friedman promo has ended with a shot of The Devil. Fans have been speculated who it could be. Everyone from Britt Baker to Adam Cole to even Jay White having Bullet Club Gold members fake the attack.

I’m not going to discuss the Britt Baker theory. It goes nowhere. Don’t bother.

Adam Cole is probably the most popular theory. A lot of people want this friendship between Adam Cole and MJF to end in Adam Cole being an evil mastermind trying to build this big conspiracy to eventually take the title from MJF. The draw and losing at All In he decided to concoct a giant plan to swerve MJF into thinking he’s his friend. All of the promos between Cole and the Kingdom are a ruse, as is the injury. Adam Cole is just waiting for the right time to strike. The problem is that at All In, MJF literally threw the AEW World Championship at Adam Cole and told him if he wanted the belt so bad he could have it. The friendship mattered more to MJF than the title. So why would Cole have to go to all these lengths? It doesn’t make much sense. I have long been a supporter of the idea to keep MJF and Adam Cole together, and that their true calling is to be AEW World Tag Team Champions in a title reign that elevates the Tag Team Championship to pay per view main events. So I’m sorry, I don’t care for this.

I did support the Jay White theory. The idea that Jay White is going to get himself beat up by his own guys to frame MJF and prove he’s a scumbag. Jay White would then pivot into blaming Adam Cole to create doubt in MJF’s mind about his friend and leave him more isolated than ever. MJF finally made some friends last night on Dynamite but still lost the match. Jay White has the upperhand going into Full Gear. It would make sense to eventually reveal it was an inside job just to cast doubt in MJF’s mind. It would be, however, an unsatisfying conclusion. People want the mystery. They want the surprise.

Cry Me A River.

Jack Perry has been gone from AEW since All In, where he was suspended after an altercation with CM Punk which subsequently led to the firing of CM Punk. Oh, yeah, some people think it’s CM Punk. Got a few words for everyone who believes that one: Fingerpoke of Doom.

Perry was feuding with Hook for the FTW Championship, far away from the AEW World Championship. But his heel turn was all about Perry’s failure to gain the AEW World Championship at Double or Nothing. He tried to then win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Forbidden Door and lost to Sanada. Hook tried to be a friend to Jack and instead ate a clothesline for it. Perry did win the FTW Championship from Hook, only for Hook to get it back from him. He got his belt, but it wasn’t even the belt he wanted.

The former Jungle Boy used to be a plucky young blue chipper slowly improving to one day go for the World Championship. The Double or Nothing four corners match was billed as the battle of the Pillars, the four young wrestlers anointed as pillars to AEW’s future: MJF, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, and Jungle Boy Jack Perry. MJF made it to the top of the mountain. Darby Allin is close to the peak. Sammy can never seem to get up the mountain and keeps turning around and falling (I’m trying to make a metaphor here I’m sorry if it sucks) but Jack Perry feels like he’s just slowly but surely climbing. And MJF saw that.

This promo between MJF and Jack Perry has been lodged in my brain for months now. I know for some the program of the four pillars was disappointing. But this promo? It got the gears moving:

“You told me if I ever wanted to be as big and successful as you what did I need to do? I needed to ditch all my friends and not care about anybody about myself.”

MJF responded by reminding Jack of all of his friends who held him back: Luchasaurus, Marko Stunt, Christian Cage, and eventually Hook.

“You could have listened to me,” started MJF. “You could have followed me to the top of the mountain. We could have ran this place. You could have been a World Champion. This place could have been not just the MJF Show but the Jack Perry Show. But nah, you just had to be the good guy for these people? Really? These people? They might chant your name Jack but let me ask you this question. Where has it gotten you? Where has being a good guy gotten you?”

Jack Perry: The New Devil

I want you to now think about Jack Perry saying this same promo back to MJF now.

Jack Perry, removing a Devil mask, becoming the Jack Perry that MJF said he could become. And Maxwell Jacob Friedman, AEW World Champion, watching it all slip away as he becomes broken and beaten down, because he has tried to become the good guy Jungle Boy used to be.

“I’ll be honest,” Jack Perry later replied. “I wish I was more like you. I wish I didn’t care about anybody but myself.”

Perry later said he wished he didn’t have to be a piece of shit but if the road to the top has to harder because he’s not than so be it. That all went out the window at Forbidden Door. Or All In, if you want to be that way.

The point I’m trying to wrap up from that promo is if Jack Perry is The Devil, the man who attacked Jay White, and the man who has been haunting MJF promos? It’s because Jack Perry is going to return as The Devil. He’s going to return as the old MJF. He’s going to return as the man MJF is no longer trying to be. MJF has tried hard to make friends and be liked by the fans. Jack Perry is going to be the shadow he tried to escape. He’s going to take MJF’s advice from earlier in the year and apply it to beating Maxwell Jacob Friedman for the AEW World Championship at World’s End. In front of MJF’s home crowd in Long Island, the people who always accepted the MJF of old.

And when MJF loses the AEW World Championship to Jack Perry at the end of 2023, he’s going to watch as Jack did it by being everything MJF tried to leave behind. What did it cost him? Everything. And now he’s (allegedly) a free agent in 2024 and can leave All Elite Wrestling to be the Devil somewhere else. Or he can return and beat the Devil he created. And finally give AEW fans the chase they never got to see because MJF didn’t win the title as a babyface.

I know Jack Perry isn’t the most popular candidate to become the next World Champion. If it was up to me either Jay White or Swerve Strickland would become the next champion. Honestly I wanted Christian Cage to win the title at All In back before he took AR Fox’s spot so MJF and Adam Cole could focus on the Tag Championship. But if AEW wanted to tell the best story? The best story is Jack Perry becoming The Devil. The man who ran CM Punk out of AEW. The man who became everything MJF tried to let go of. MJF isn’t losing to Jungle Boy. He’s losing to The Devil. The Devil he used to be.

There’s no better opponent for MJF to have to defeat to win back the AEW World Championship than himself.

Photo courtesy of AEW. 

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