Last week Adam Cole went off on Pat McAfee on the latter’s own show after Cole was called small by the host. Cole ended up issuing a public apology on social media yesterday addressing the incident.
MLW’s Tom Lawlor weighed in on the outburst when he joined Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman onThe Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
“I saw the remnants of that. I don’t pay too much attention to the peripheral horseplay in the media when it comes to the WWE. In some way or another, it’s co-opted. I have a hard time believing that it’s legitimate on a lot of levels. I kinda just stay away,” Lawlor said.
“Maybe it is [legitimate] but I have no knowledge. If you work for MLW then you have to take what I say with a grain of salt during an interview if you’re an outsider. I think it’s kind of the same deal there.”
Along the line of wrestling conspiracies, Lawlor says he enjoys watching old Japanese shoot matches and debating how much is a work versus a shoot.
Lawlor’s interview was conducted this past Friday and he had a match scheduled for that night. He was asked about performing during the pandemic with either a smaller crowd or no crowd at all.
“I’m in the good situation where I was able to wrestle for New Japan in the Lion’s Break Shows so I’ve been able to wrestle in the past month,” revealed Lawlor. “A lot of people haven’t wrestled since February or March. It was different because with those New Japan shows there was no crowd. So, it wasn’t even the same environment I was walking into and it was entirely different.
“Tonight will not be a full crowd as it will be at one-third capacity I believe. Again, I’m gonna walk into a situation that’s foreign to me. In UFC I fought in front of empty crowds before with prelims but when a place is set up or is supposed to have a 500-person capacity, you’re still gonna have fans in there but it’s gonna be a third of them. It’s gonna be a completely new situation for me.
“I’m not worried about getting into the ring, it’s more of the feel of the show. Luckily this Heavy Hitters Tournament is based on the holds of pro wrestling that were minted and coined by the UWFI in the 90s. That includes no pinfalls, KOs, submissions and there’s a 15-point tally that each fighter has. If you lose points via knockdown (3 point loss), being suplexed (1 point loss) and rope break (1 point loss). You can have your tally go from 15 all the way down to 0 and lose the match. But without a crowd there, these kinds of styles of fights work out better rather than acrobatic-style wrestling or lucha libre with a lot of high spots that require a big crowd reaction. I think this hard-hitting, more realistic style is easier to do with less fans.”
Lawlor bout this past Friday night featured him taking on MLW’s newest signee Calvin Tankman, a former football player who has worked the indies for a few years. Lawlor is impressed what he’s seen thus far from Tankman.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see him live a few times but we had not faced off against one another. I keep my ears and eyes to the grindstone and try to listen to what the other wrestlers have to say. Calvin Tankman is a guy that a lot of wrestlers have to say great things of that have been in there with him and have been on shows with him over the past few years,” said Tankman. “I see a guy who has the size, skill level and athleticism to hang with the bigger names on the wrestling scene. I’m gonna find out tonight if he has the other stuff ? the cardio and the intangibles. We’ll find out what the future holds for him. It should be bright but I think the lights are gonna go out tonight.”
Lawlor was a middleweight and light heavyweight in his MMA days so he’s giving up a lot of size to Tankman who is well over 300 pounds. He talked about the size discrepancy and why he doesn’t think it will matter much.
“I wanna say he’s billed at like 350. I’m not really sure as a lot of people like to lie about their height and weight. Me, I’m not even 6 feet. I’m 5-11 and three-quarters, 205 pounds maybe,” stated Lawlor. “But in a fistfight, we’ve seen big 350-pound guys fight in martial arts and they’re not the champion for a reason. So, in a setting like this, I don’t think it really plays to his strengths.”
Tom Lawlor can be seen every week as part of MLW Fusion on BeIN Sports and DAZN. For more information please visit www.MLW.com. Tom’s full interview aired as part of today’s episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.