Court Bauer’s MLW is having a tough time getting WWE to stop negotiating with their talent. Bauer recently appeared on Wrestling Observer radio and discussed what appears to be a widespread issue in 2018 for wrestling promotions.
“I had guys at WaleMania approached by WWE people backstage in the green room about signing,” Bauer said. “I’m like ‘you can’t do that, I’ll give you a freebie, don’t do it again’. Boom, they do it again. I had to send a cease and desist to WWE, that’s called tortious interference.”
Bauer also recently mentioned on Twitter that luchadors Garza Jr. and Ultimo Ninja were supposed to be brought into MLW but ended up ditching his company to negotiate a deal with WWE.
We brought in Garza along with Ultimo Ninja this past spring. They vanished, blowing off pre tapes to meet across town with @WWE Talent Relations and negotiate deals. Super talented guys but that was unprofessional and puts you on my do not disturb list. Sketchy move by WWE too. https://t.co/ghwbXCFHKi
— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) December 10, 2018
Former MLW Champion, Shane Strickland, is expected to sign with WWE. The terms of his Lucha Underground contract will likely dictate when he signs with the promotion, however. Recent ROH signees, PCO and Brody King, were not under MLW contracts when they signed deals. King was upfront with MLW about wanting to go to ROH because of their relationship with NJPW when asked as well.
WWE Allegedly Negotiating With Wrestlers Contracted To Other Organizations
There have also been reports from various outlets stating WWE has contacted wrestlers contract to NJPW about signing. Tetsuya Naito told Tokyo Sports he rebuffed a deal from WWE this summer. This week, a report from the Wrestling Observer indicated WWE has interest in Kushida, who is also under contract with NJPW until 2019.
MLW To Air Live On Fusion This Friday
MLW will air live this week on BeIN Sports. The move to airing live specials is something which could up the value of Bauer’s company. Live programming is as valuable as it ever has been to advertisers and networks at the moment.
“There is an energy and sense of expectation to live TV, and with only one or two other companies on live, it puts us in rarified air,” said Bauer to SI.com. “We have now exceeded every milestone we had mapped out in our business plan within our first 13 months of operation. Once again, we now find ourselves in unchartered territory, but it’s very exciting.”