By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Major League Wrestling CEO Court Bauer is featured in an interview on the MLW website discussing the effects that the coronavirus has had on the company. The following are highlights of the interview, which can be read in full at MLW.com.
On how MLW has been impacted by the pandemic: “As we all sit at home doing our part to not spread this virus, we need distractions. We need to escape. I hope MLW can play a part in that with what we offer our fans during these hard times. On the business end, it’s fluid. I mean, I’d imagine almost every business is experiencing some form of disruption. Even if it is business as normal here, the company you’re engaging may have a different situation. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some unexpected opportunities.
“Beyond the disruption to live events, we had a few athletes slated to compete in Japan, Europe and Mexico, which is now delayed. Some of that complicates programming strategies, but it’s more of a postponement than anything. For some in our locker room, it was their first tour and that is heartbreaking, but I expect everything will continue as planned upon a return to normalcy. Operationally having to hit pause on temporarily promoting live events was inevitable. The question was just when with that question shifting to: for how long? Promoting events takes up operational bandwidth which we now have redirected towards other priorities and opportunities.”
Bauer on producing MLW programming without new tapings: “As for strategy… we have a plan and it ties into something the fans have been demanding since we relaunched in 2017. We have at a minimum 50 episodes being mapped out. We could comfortably go into mid 2021 without promoting a live event… We are building business models for a return as early as June, one that anticipates a return in 15 months and a few in-between that range. We need to be ready for several scenarios. There’s no playbook for what we’re going through, so we just have to be nimble, prudent and realistic about this.”
Powell’s POV: Bauer also spoke about the possibility of holding an event with other promotions, which he described as being the spiritual successor to the 1995 World Wrestling Peace Festival. He said he has spoken with some competitors about the idea of “the wrestling world coming together to celebrate the return of the sport.” I love the idea and it would be great to see it happen when the time is right. The interview is a good and informative read and worth checking out.