The year 2020 was rough on the sport of professional wrestling as the global COVID-19 pandemic forced many promotions to stay dormant for most of the year. On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, MLW will return with all new content for the first time in 7 months.
These shows, which have been dubbed “The Restart,” will also be the first time MLW is promoting content filmed in America since very early this year as the last in-ring tapings were done in Mexico.
Speaking with DAZN, Court Bauer discussed having to shake off “operational rust” and get back into the groove with Major League Wrestling and what loyal MLW fans can expect for the rest of 2020.
“It’s good to be back! Seven months felt like forever,” said Bauer. "The energy and excitement has been great. The fan support has exceeded my expectations. We’re returning with our biggest and best roster to date. There are going to be almost 40 athletes on the active roster. Guys like Lio Rush, who is a stud, instantly gives me several big matches I can do. You’ll also see New Japan and AAA have a presence as a part of The Restart. This is a new breed of fighting athletes in MLW.
“There’s ring rust and there’s operational rust. When we revved up the machine, we initially felt that rust but quickly were moving at 100 miles per hour. We have a damn good crew, so it was a relatively quick process. However, we never really were inactive. My goal was to take this downtime and shift my bandwidth to ensuring MLW came out of this roaring. That meant ensuring our core guys remained our core guys. We did new deals for Fatu, Hammerstone, Salina, Holliday, and a few others that haven’t been yet announced. It was a win/win as in this moment of uncertainty we were able to offer significant raises to these guys. We then closed licensing deals, like NERDS Clothing, expanded our international footprint with new rights deals and of course, partnered with DAZN, which is a game-changer for us.”
Bauer would go on to hype the Opera Cup. The tournament was a big part of the end of 2019 and Court Bauer says that this will be a tentpole event for the promotion moving forward.
“The Restart is we’re bringing wrestling back to that smoke-filled arena vibe. There’s a raw, primal feeling when you have that hazy look and two guys are going to war in the ring. It’s cinematic. It draws you into the action more. Visually it adds a layer of authenticity that a sterile, over-produced, over-lit arena that looks like a Times Square can’t touch.
“As for the remainder of 2020: it’s all about the Opera Cup. This will be a big tentpole annual event for us. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with hosting and promoting the grand tournament, which dates back over 100 years. There’s a lot of history in that cup. Literally. It was made in 1915. We had it restored last year by the same folks that handle the Stanley Cup. It’s a true piece of history in the making every year when we roll it out for the tournament.”
If you would like to read the full interview, click here.