Image: JJ Williams
MLW (Major League Wrestling) is coming to national television next month.
MLW announced via Sports Illustrated today that their new one-hour weekly series will debut on beIN Sports USA at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, April 20th, with a replay set to air at 11 p.m. It was noted that MLW is getting a rights fee from beIN Sports as part of the deal.
“We’ve been in talks since the fall, and they were very impressed with our product,” MLW CEO Court Bauer told Sports Illustrated. “We offer a different presentation because we identify ourselves as a combat sport, but we have a lot more creative freedom than every other combat sport to give the most high-octane presentation.”
MLW, which also has a podcast network, returned as a wrestling promotion for the first time in over 13 years with an event called "One Shot" at GILT Nightclub in Orlando last October. They've run monthly shows at the venue since December and will be crowning a World Heavyweight Champion when Matt Riddle faces Shane Strickland on April 12th.
The TV episodes will be taped monthly and then edited for the weekly show.
Bauer said that MLW has worked out an agreement with Lucha Underground and AAA for Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix to be regulars on the TV series. Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini (formerly known as Rich Brennan in NXT) will be the announcers for it.
MLW will be part of a "Friday Night Fury" fight block on beIN Sports. Much of the channel's programming is focused on soccer, with them having the rights to the top leagues in Spain, Italy, and France in the United States.