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MJF's Reaction to Tama Tonga's Strikingly Similar T-Shirt Design


Recent events in the wrestling world have sparked a heated conversation surrounding the striking resemblance between a new merchandise item released by Tama Tonga of New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and the iconic ring attire worn by Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) of All Elite Wrestling (AEW).

Tonga's t-shirt, bearing the inscription "MFT" (Menace For Today), has drawn significant attention due to its uncanny similarity to MJF's signature "Salt of the Earth" shirt, which has become synonymous with the charismatic AEW star.

The Design Comparison

Both garments feature a bold, graphic rendition of the wearer's initials, prominently displayed in the center of the chest. The resemblance extends not only to the overall design concept but also to specific stylistic elements.

MJF's shirt, known for its vibrant scarlet hue, employs a stylized font that lends itself to a sense of authority and individuality. Notably, the "F" in "MFJ" is rendered as a mirror image, adding a distinctive touch to the design.

Tonga's "MFT" shirt, while sharing the same color scheme, exhibits slight variations. The font utilizes thicker, blockier characters, and the "F" is presented in a conventional orientation. However, the overall impression created by both shirts remains strikingly similar.

MJF's Response

MJF, known for his outspoken personality, has not shied away from addressing the similarities between his AEW gear and Tonga's NJPW merchandise. In a recent social media post, he shared a photograph of both shirts, accompanied by a caption that read, "Hmm, interesting..."

This cryptic response has fueled speculation among wrestling fans, with many interpreting it as a hint of potential legal action or at the very least, a strong disapproval of the design overlap.

Wrestling Community Reaction

The incident has sparked a lively debate within the wrestling community, with fans and industry insiders alike expressing their opinions on the matter. Some have condemned the perceived lack of originality in Tonga's design, while others have defended the NJPW star's right to create merchandise that resonates with his character.

The situation has also raised questions about the importance of protecting intellectual property in the world of professional wrestling. While the wrestling industry has a long history of paying homage to iconic figures and moments, there is a fine line between inspiration and outright duplication.

Legacy of Iconic Wrestling Gear

Iconic wrestling gear has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry's history and defining its most memorable characters. From Hulk Hogan's red and yellow tights to Bret Hart's pink and black sunglasses, signature attire has become an integral part of the sport's storytelling and fan experience.

In the modern era, wrestlers like MJF have taken the concept of merchandise to new heights, utilizing their ring gear as a means of expressing their individuality and connecting with their fans. The controversy surrounding Tonga's "MFT" shirt serves as a reminder of the importance of originality and respect for the legacy of wrestling gear.


The striking resemblance between Tama Tonga's "MFT" t-shirt and MJF's AEW gear has ignited a heated debate within the wrestling community. While some have voiced concerns about alleged intellectual property infringement, others have defended the NJPW star's creative freedom.

The incident has highlighted the significance of protecting intellectual property in the world of professional wrestling and has raised questions about the boundaries between inspiration and duplication. As the wrestling industry continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how this controversy will play out and what its lasting impact will be on the sport's creative landscape.

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