AEW landing a television deal with TNT doesn't just affect AEW, it affects the entire wrestling industry. Both the top dog in WWE and smaller promotions like MLW should benefit from it and MLW producer Konnan spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast about the reverberations of AEW's TV deal.
"This is something I talked with Paul Heyman about when I was in ECW. At the end of the day, you've got these two big companies with big pockets and you've almost become a farm system for the Big Two," said Konnan referencing AEW and WWE.
Konnan then talked about what a smaller company like MLW has to do in order to keep talent with the big boys out there.
"Identifying talent isn't enough. You also have to cultivate them. You've got to motivate them and show them what's right vs. what's wrong. It's kind of sad sometimes when you've done all of the heavy lifting and somebody comes up and offers them more money. But that's the marketplace," stated Konnan.
Speaking of MLW talent, Konnan talked about if the Lucha Bros' time in MLW is coming to an end.
"I don't know. I think they might be," admitted Konnan. "I'm pretty sure they'll probably be wrestling full-time with AEW in the U.S. and I don't know how exclusive they'll be. They may not let their talent wrestle anywhere else which is there prerogative. But they'll definitely be working for me in AAA.
"I told them that maybe they should ask AEW to give them a couple of wildcard dates so if there's anything they might wanna do in MLW like an anniversary show. But that's one of the problems I see in wrestling that's very disheartening. It's all ego that companies don't wanna work with other companies. I don't see the business sense of it as you get fresh matches and give the boys another place to make money so they don't get stale."
Konnan then talked about how MLW and AAA have had to make alliances, even though they didn't really want to. But the main benefactors in these types of working relationships are the wrestlers and the fans.
"Everybody should be working with everybody in some form or fashion just for the freshness of it, for the fans and for the boys," Konnan said before comparing the situation to rappers who collaborate to make great music.
With yet another option out there in AEW, Konnan discussed future of pro wrestling and what he would like to see.
"It's a great time to be in the business and who knows what the future holds? My biggest hope is that more companies will work together for the betterment of the industry, for the pleasure of the fans and so the boys have other places to work," stated Konnan.
"I work with different companies and I try to be a liaison, but everyone is so paranoid of everyone else just because they don't talk to each other and know each other. If they knew that this guy is cool and this guy is cool, they'd probably work together. That paranoia has been fostered in the wrestling industry. It's really been paramount to business not being done and I hope that ends one day."
MLW's current champion is former UFC fighter "Filthy" Tom Lawlor and Konnan discussed why he's a worthy champion.
"Given his background in MMA and that he's a hard worker, quick learner and has really improved on the mic, he's a great guy to have that championship right now. He deserves it and has worked hard," said Konnan.
Given that MLW often caters to a Hispanic demographic, Konnan talked about the importance of there being a Hispanic world champion one day.
"I don't really look at it as why isn't there a Hispanic champion. Sooner or later there will be," Konnan said before mentioning that Eric Bischoff said in a recent interview that WCW didn't realize how important it's Lucha Libre division and Hispanic wrestlers were to their audience.
"I don't really worry about if there's a Hispanic champion. I'm sure when the time is right there will be. Tom Lawlor's a very good choice and there's some interesting matchups…Harry Smith's a good guy he could go up against or even Fatu who has looked incredible. There's a plethora of guys out there who he could have some really good matches with. I think he's a good choice."
Konnan can be seen every Saturday night on MLW Fusion. It airs on BeIn Sports at 9 pm EST and is available shortly after on MLW's YouTube channel.
Konnan's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired on today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded player at the bottom of this post. In it Konnan discusses the future of the Lucha Bros in MLW, how AEW's TNT deal affects MLW, Austin Aries signing with MLW, Austin Aries controversial exit from Impact Wrestling, WWE's booking of Rey Mysterio the passing of Silver King and more.