Earlier this month, Jim Cornette was revealed as the new color commentator for Major League Wrestling when he debuted at the MLW Fusion TV tapings in Chicago.
MLW CEO Court Bauer was a guest on Wrestling Inc.’s own WINCLY Podcast recently, and during the discussion, he went into detail about Cornette’s new role within the company. Bauer also addressed the fact that, despite their attempts to add extra seats for the shows, MLW tapings continue selling out in Chicago.
“Yeah we typically sold out twice on Saturday, we sold out in the morning and then we sold out – we made some room, production kind of squeezed a little bit more so we can add some chairs in, and then we sold out a second time,” Bauer explained. “So, really had a great Saturday in Chicago, Cicero Stadium is awesome. We wanted back-to-back sellouts, sold out in November, sold out in March, and we’re going to go for the three-peat, July sixth when we return to Cicero Stadium.”
MLW has been praised by fans and employees of the company for their proud display of lucha libre wrestling during each of their shows. Bauer revealed that there are no imminent plans of this slowing down, and they’re currently looking for the next luchadors to take the spotlight.
“One hundred percent, we look for – you know, we were just talking to a company out of Mexico, called Generation that LA Park works with,” Bauer said. “And we’re always looking for the next wave of luchadors, the top luchadors, the legends, like LA Park, the up-and-coming guys.”
Bauer believes that representing different cultures and the various types of fighting styles is important to add a greater depth to the overall product. He find satisfaction knowing that MMA, lucha libre, and the more ‘traditional’ version of pro wrestling (by American standards) is at the forefront of MLW.
“50-60% of our audience, in most markets, not all markets but most markets, it’s Mexican-American, Spanish-speaking, bilingual sometimes, fans. So, you know, you’ve got to represent that in the product. And then you also have to balance it with different things,” Bauer mentioned. “We have a ten-year UFC veteran in Tom Lawlor, we have guys like the Hart foundation, we have guys like MJF, so we just have a little bit of everything and I think that’s always important to have a little bit of everything so everyone’s got something. Variety is important to me, whether it’s super heavyweights like Ace Romero and Barrington Hughes, or guys like Fenix and Penta that can just go [in the ring].”
On the subject of Cornette joining MLW, Bauer is looking forward to seeing the continuing success that Jim can bring to the company as this will fulfill his idea to have a consistent, three-man commentary team for MLW shows. He explained that coming to terms on a deal was an easy process with Cornette, and he has since fit in to his new position rather nicely.
“I always wanted to add depth, whether it’s expanding our programming or expanding our content,” Bauer stated. “So it’s important that we have enough guys in the mix to do that, and Jim Cornette just brings so much credibility, so witty, and I really wanted a traditional play-by-play, straight man do a color analyst with a heel lean…You never know what’s going to work out with the schedule, but I always like to, you know, bulk up my bullpen, and with Jim added there, it was great. It was a very easy conversation with Jim, it was maybe two phone calls and it was a done deal. But I go way back with Jim and it was great having him there, it was great having his presence backstage, giving input, advice, suggestions, and just kind of freestyling and collaborating.”
Cornette has made some wonderful first impressions, bringing his team along for the pre-tapes last Sunday and conducting promo classes for the developing stars. Bauer hopes that this investment in the young MLW talent will have similar results as it did when Cornette was working with some of WWE’s biggest stars in the early 2000’s.
“He was a part of production meetings, he had his own team for pre-tapes on Sunday, he had an open invitation for a promo class which ended up being a sold out class and it wasn’t mandatory. Hey, if you want to come by on Sunday morning and pick up a few things, Jim Cornette was happy to sit down and have that conversation,” Bauer said. “And it was a passed sold out room, we probably should have charge admission. And it was great to see him, he really worked well with a lot of young talent. This is the guy that really developed and furthered some key guys that, to this day, are drawing some of the biggest money in the business, whether it’s John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, the list goes on and on. And he’s done this for decades.”
MLW Fusion airs every Saturday at 9/8 CST on BeIn Sports. MLW will present their Rise Of The Renegades TV tapings on April 4th from the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, NY. Tickets can be purchased at MLWTickets.com.