MLW Inks TV Deal, First Episode Debuts on 4/20

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Photo: MLW

As reported today by Sports Illustrated, Major League Wrestling (MLW) has announced a television deal with sports network BeIN Sports, that will include a regular weekly slot on Friday nights at 8pm, with a replay at 11pm. MLW will tape a month’s worth of material at a time and edit the content into four weekly episodes.

Photo: MLW

Handling announcing duties will be one of pro wrestling’s most familiar voices, longtime WCW lead announcer Tony Schiavone, who will be joined by Rich Bocchini on play-by-play. While Rich Bocchini’s name may not be familiar to some of you (unless you watch WrestleCircus, FEST Wrestling or DEFY Wrestling, which he also does play-by-play for), you may recognize his former alias of Rich Brennan from his time with NXT.

Major League Wrestling (MLW) has only recently returned to the wrestling promotion game, after its initial run from 2002 through 2004. It’s owner, Court Bauer, is a former member of WWE Creative. One of the early game changers in the indie wrestling landscape alongside Impact Wrestling/TNA, Ring of Honor, PWG, and CHIKARA, MLW stopped being a wrestling promotion and pioneered the world of wrestling podcasts. But it returned last October and has been going strong ever since, as it looks to close in on the finals of it’s World Championship tournament on April 12, 2018, as “The King of Bros” Matt Riddle faces off against Shane Strickland. The April 12 event will also feature tapings for the upcoming TV show.

Back in December in another interview with Sports Illustrated, Bauer stressed the level of experience they had in its arsenal, featuring several former WWE production personnel.

“We’re not an indy. Look at who is involved. Connect the dots. It’s so much more. MLW has a pedigree production team featuring Nelson Sweglar (head of WWF TV from the early 1980s – mid 1990s; proceeded by Kevin Dunn). Joining Nelson is the former head of ECW Production, Charlie Bruzzese, who worked on the original MLW. Former WWE creative executive Alex Greenfield serves as a supervising producer, joined by another WWE alum in Robert Karpeles, who is a producer at MLW. MVP and Jimmy Havoc joined MLW behind the scenes as agents. MSL and I work as agents on matches as well.”

Bauer also informed Sports Illustrated that Bruce Prichard, Vince McMahon’s former right hand man for decades in the WWF, is also a part of the Major League Wrestling front office. Following the crowning of the first World Heavyweight Champion since 2004, MLW will then introduce it’s own Tag Team and Middleweight titles. With Major League Wrestling heading to cable television, many were wondering how either Penta El 0M or Rey Fenix (also known as Pentagon Jr and Fenix on Lucha Underground) would work out, given Lucha Underground’s past history of not allowing their talent on other programming. Bauer addressed that today as well, and it looks like they will have a similar alliance as Impact Wrestling when it comes to talent sharing. In today’s SI feature, Bauer stated:

“It’s a new age for wrestling. Part of that is to collaborate with other promotions and showcase talents. There is so much open space now, and the Lucha Underground arrangement is exhibit A of that. We worked something out with Lucha Underground and AAA to have Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix as regulars on the TV series. That’s such an appealing aspect to have those two features as part of our core roster.”

The first episode is slated to debut at 8pm on Friday April 20, 2018 on beIN Sports (check your local cable provider for channel).

 

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