New reports suggest that WWE is making plans to open a working relationship with Major League Wrestling, much like the one they had with ECW in the nineties.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer detailed the talks in the newest edition of his Newsletter. According to Meltzer Vince McMahon’s company does not want to appear unwilling to work with other companies in the modern climate.
Previously in the nineties at the height of the Monday Night Wars, Vince McMahon and WWE had a working relationship with Paul Heyman and ECW. Talent was traded between the two companies and it has long been reported that McMahon gave ECW regular payments. In 2001, weeks after McMahon had bought his main competition in WCW, ECW filed for bankruptcy closing its doors permanently.
“A Totally New WWE Under Nick Khan”
More recently, WWE had a working relationship with Gabe Sapolsky’s EVOLVE promotion in 2015. This allowed WWE access to scout potential new recruits for NXT through that company. In July 2020 it was then announced that WWE had officially bought EVOLVE and all its assets.
Meltzer noted that the relationship would allow wrestlers that aren’t used frequently on NXT to gain experience by working matches for MLW. He also states that frustration at not being used by talent has been exacerbated by NXT not running live events due to the pandemic. However, Meltzer says that situation is likely to change soon.
Dave Meltzer also brings up the fact that AEW is working with several companies including IMPACT, NJPW, and AAA. He says because of that WWE does not want to appear uncooperative and set in its old ways. Meltzer touts the influence of President Nick Khan, saying it’s a “totally new WWE” under him.
Major League Wrestling was founded by ex-WWE writer Court Bauer in 2002. The original promotion only lasted two years and was closed in 2004 before a 2017 revival. Their current MLW Champion is Jacob Fatu, part of the Anao’i wrestling dynasty and cousin of The Usos.