MLW is returning with its first television tapings since March.
It was announced via Sports Illustrated today that, for the first time since pausing events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLW will return this fall. The promotion’s restart will begin with a set of television tapings taking place at “an undisclosed East Coast venue” this October. The tapings will then begin airing in early November.
“The hibernation is over,” MLW CEO Court Bauer told Sports Illustrated. “We’ll air in November on a weeknight in primetime on Fubo Sports Network, and our content will also be available on DAZN, which includes exclusive content, and Saturday nights on beIN. As for the filming, we’re not going to publicly announce our location. If fans were to show up, it would just cause a wave of complications with the COVID protocol, but we are very excited to return for our fans.”
“We hired a COVID Compliance Officer, Mike Kitlas, and there will be frequent testing,” Bauer said. “We’re going to test before everyone gets on a plane, when they land, and then again during the tapings. We’ll be cleaning the trucks and the set every day. We have a protocol to follow, and we will ensure that guidelines will be met to keep everyone safe. That will include scheduling, transportation, locker room social distancing, and wearing masks, which will apply for talent, staff, and production.”
MLW’s last tapings before pausing events was its Super Series with Lucha Libre AAA in Mexico this March. When content from that set of tapings finished airing, MLW began airing an Anthology series with episodes focusing on current and past talent. MLW then started airing content from their Underground series that was part of the promotion’s original run from 2003-2004.
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Bauer told Sports Illustrated that MLW will either continue using MLW Fusion as the name for its TV series or will go back to using the Underground name.
MLW World Heavyweight Champion Jacob Fatu, Tom Lawlor, National Openweight Champion Alex Hammerstone, Middleweight Champion Myron Reed, Salina de la Renta, Richard Holliday, Brian Pillman Jr., and Calvin Tankman were listed as wrestlers who will be featured on the tapings.
“We’re going to have more of a Raging Bull setting,” Bauer said. “We’ve had the luxury to see what works in this era. Our competitors have been forced due to contractual obligations to put programming on the air every night of the week. For us, from a creative perspective, we have been able to recharge, assess and determine the best way to move forward. That is really going to enhance our viewing experience.”