MLW suspended live event operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and there is no return date in sight. Despite not running live events, MLW has continued to work on deals elsewhere, striking an agreement with DAZN and signing talents such as Alexander Hammerstone and Richard Holliday.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Bauer discussed MLW's dealings during the pandemic.
“I will wait until we are sure it’s safe to return,” said Bauer when asked about MLW's return to live action. “We’re doing that for our fans, our athletes, and our crew, and all of their families. We do not want to put anyone at harm. We’ll see what the NBA looks like once they go live with their season, and we’re seeing what is happening with WWE. This [battle with COVID] is far from the rearview mirror. Our decision to proceed will be dictated by science and experts in the medical world. Until we know it’s safe, we’re going to be as judicious as possible.”
MLW has continued to air content on YouTube with MLW Anthology and Pulp Fusion.
When asked about MLW's deal with DAZN, Bauer said, “MLW has always been positioned as a combat sport, so it is a perfect fit for DAZN. They have over eight million subscribers globally. That’s a partner that fits us like a glove. And we’re just about to close another domestic media rights deal that should hit before or right after the Fourth of July. That is our strategy for the rest of 2020–build out more media rights deals, domestically and abroad, and emerge from this pandemic in another 15-20 international markets by the end of the year.”
MLW will come to New Japan on July 3 when Tom Lawlor makes a special appearance for NJPW Lion's Break Collision.
"All I can say is that the arrangement was worked out office-to-office as opposed to independently,” said Bauer. “I’m a big fan of what New Japan is doing, and we’ll see where this relationship can take us. Tom had a talk with New Japan and they explained the process of sterilizing the rings and testing, and I left it up to Tom whether he wanted to pursue this. There was no pressure, and we let him know that. A lot of our talent have been performing elsewhere during this pandemic. I always caution them to take all the safety measures possible for themselves and their families.”
It is unknown when MLW will return to live events.
Fightful will have results from NJPW Lion's Break Collision following the conclusion of the event.