Court Bauer On MLW Restart, Jacob Fatu And More


Credit: MLW

Court Bauer, the CEO of Major League Wrestling, recently spoke with Stephen Muehlhausen of DAZN. In the interview, he spoke about MLW’s restart and he praised Jacob Fatu. Here are some highlights:

On the MLW restart after its hiatus due to COVID-19:

Bauer: “First off, I’m thrilled that we are going to be back, holding tapings and providing exclusive content to DAZN. People kept asking when we were going to return. Our last show was in Mexico on March 13. Things happen so fast. I think that morning of our show, the NBA decided to temporarily go on hiatus. By that night and the final main event, we knew we were going to be going on hiatus. You don’t know for how long. There’s no way to really chart a course like this. But we knew would probably be shutting it down for some period of time until we got a sense of where everything was in the world.”

“We really wanted to operate with an abundance of caution for the health and wellness of our athletes, our crew and our staff. So we didn’t rev it right back up. We wanted to be careful and wanted to take into account the latest developments for treatment, PPE, vaccines and anything and everything that would give us a better sense of comfort for our fans, athletes, and everyone involved.”

“As time has progressed and checking in with our chief medical advisor, Dr. Schwegler, we started to see some encouraging steps on the treatment as well as the testing and a lot of breakthroughs in the last — including a total breakthrough this week with an instant five-minute test that the FDA approved. The saliva direct test is really a big move. You’re seeing treatment really get better. We have all these vaccines in the mix. We’ve talked with different organizations, our media team, our medical team, going down to Johns Hopkins Hospital to be part of a symposium on the virus and try to get as much information to see how other people have done it with the success they’ve had and things they would suggest, or doing differently.”

“Taking all that into account has been very helpful for us. That’s put us on a track to say, “Okay, I think we can start to enter the next phase of this.” Part of that for us was getting our staff certified training and preparation for that. In terms of the virus, while there’s a whole process you go through to get certified training, a lot of it really is common sense stuff, but you want everyone equipped with the knowledge. Then, of course, bringing in someone in that and oversee this in the trenches. It’s important to have that person really monitoring everything, and having everything set up and helping us prepare our crew or talent in advance of that with all the information, the guidelines, everything and then starting the testing process.”

On building around Jacob Fatu:

Bauer: “He’s a freak. I mean he’s a guy who could have been in the NFL and been a huge pro ball player. I’ve worked with his uncle Eddie Fatu, also known as Umaga or FP. They are very similar. Jacob’s just an incredible freak in terms of his versatility as an athlete. He has a vertical that’s ridiculous. He has natural raw power and you can see it in his wrestling. It’s so dynamic. It’s so different. He has all these things. It’s how I built MLW.”

“We approach it with a Moneyball type of philosophy. I try to identify undervalued or undiscovered talent, and then put them in our system, and, hopefully, they thrive. In fact, Jacob’s a guy that’s been around and just for whatever reason, went undiscovered, or undervalued. And we just gave him the opportunity and the platform to do what he does. And it’s a no brainer. The same with Alex Hammerstone. These are guys that have been long in the mix. He was on the west coast and we have incredible franchise players.”

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