MLW & WWE Have Had Talks About A Talent Sharing Partnership

Throughout the history of the wrestling industry, it has always been practice for a large promotion (WWE, WCW, AEW) to have an arrangement with a smaller promotion where they can share talent and do some cross-promoting.  It works for the larger promotion to get a look at some potential new stars they might want to sign and it helps the smaller promotion with getting some financial assistance and having a big star who's on national TV every week come to their local show and sell more tickets.  So it should come as no surprise when we hear that former WWE writer Court Bauer (who worked for Vince McMahon's company from 1999 to 2008) and the promotion he founded, MLW, have had discussions with WWE about a possible partnership.

MLW And WWE Have Had Talks About A Talent Sharing Partnership
It has been confirmed that MLW has had discussions with WWE about a potential partnership. Official logos courtesy of WWE and MLW respectively.

MLW was viewed by a much larger audience than usual this past Thursday night when MLW Fightland aired on VICE TV following a new episode of the network's very popular Dark Side of the Ring.  It was a very fun event that featured National Openweight Champion Alexander Hammerstone defeating World Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu in a Title vs Title Match in the main event, ending Fatu's two-year reign with the title.

After the event, MLW Founder and President Court Bauer held a media call where he confirmed that not only is the company looking to partner with other promotions but that they have indeed had discussions with his former employer WWE earlier this year.

"We're talking with different offices about bringing their talent in and doing some international title matches. As for domestic partnerships, that's where it gets a little tricky. We've had talks, people are probably aware, we talked with WWE earlier this year. You have these conversations, try to see how it would work, and the biggest concern you have, at least for me, is you're kind of inviting tortious interference and allowing it to happen if you go down that road and if you don't feel like you're getting enough in return to even take that risk, what are you doing? What's the strategy there? It can be very complicated, whether it's WWE or another company. It can be risky because often the talent, when they come through, you're not going to now be able to control the creative for. These guys you spent a lot of time building up are now not in your system and now they are main event stars in MLW, but they go over there for a cameo and they're not treated like top guys, you're doing a disservice to them and your fans that have invested in their journey. It's a really delicate thing and every conversation with every company is different. It's a bit of a dance and sometimes it's the forbidden dance."

So even though it has been rumored throughout the past few months, this is the first time we've had actual confirmation from Bauer or anyone at WWE or MLW that these talks have happened.  While that's interesting enough, it is worth noting that if you read Bauer's comments here, it seems that maybe he wasn't so comfortable (at least at this point) with how his talent that he's heavily invested in would be handled by WWE management on their product.

Time will tell and if WWE and MLW can come to a mutually beneficial agreement where maybe both promotions have an equal creative say in how things go down on TV, then this could work out.  Obviously, both companies have wrestlers that would help elevate their respective products, so here's hoping something can be worked out here.

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About Ryan Fassett

As a lifelong fan of movies, comics, wrestling, and collectibles, Ryan is excited to share his thoughts on all of it with you. He is also an active filmmaker and published comic book writer, along with being a connoisseur of soda.
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