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Court Bauer Comments On Dealing With ‘Operational Rust’ For TV Return

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Court Bauer Comments On Dealing With ‘Operational Rust’ For TV Return

During a recent interview with DAZN, MLW CEO Court Bauer commented on the promotion’s return, dealing with some operational rust, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On the MLW restart: “It’s good to be back! Seven months felt like forever. 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.”

On the plans for the restart: “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.”

On Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Jacob Fatu for the MLW Heavyweight title: “This title fight was set to headline our July PPV this past summer, which would’ve been in Philly. When the pandemic hit, all of our matchmaking went out the window, but what stayed was the appetite for this big fight. The fans wanted it. Fatu and DBS wanted it. I wanted to go big and conceptually deliver a premium level event for free for The Restart. This isn’t a match that’s ever been done before, so what bigger main event can you kick things off with than this?”