In perhaps the most visceral, emotionally-charged angle that AEW has presented yet, Cody Rhodes submitted himself to ten painful lashes with a belt at the hands of MJF on Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite. Had Rhodes not taken all ten strikes, he’d have forfeited a match with MJF at the Revolution pay-per-view.
After Rhodes endured the ten lashes, a frustrated MJF punctuated the assault by kicking Rhodes in the groin, before he and bodyguard Wardlow quickly high-tailed it over the guardrail.
Once they reached the concourse level and looked back to the ring, MJF and Wardlow were apparently attacked by a fan, and subsequently beat the fan down in the seconds before the show faded to black.
According to Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Radio, that was no fan – that was Frankie Kazarian of SCU.
Alvarez said of the incident, “It was Kazarian. I do not know all of the details about what happened, but my understanding is it wasn’t even planned. And I guess Kazarian figured it makes no logical sense for nobody to be going after MJF, so I’m gonna go after him. And he went after him and that’s how the show went off the air. And I guess nobody recognized him because you only saw the back of his head, but that was Kazarian.”
MJF had previously been involved in an incident with somebody in the crowd at an AEW event. A planted fan launched a drink at his head at November’s Full Gear pay-per-view, shortly after MJF double-crossed Rhodes in the World title match.