In an interview with Wrestling Inc.’s own Raj Giri, MLW owner Court Bauer talked about his relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He also revealed some interesting info about New Japan’s own quest for a TV deal.
“New Japan’s had conversations with a lot of people we’ve had conversations with,” Bauer said. “I’ve had conversations with New Japan, because they have a great product. Tom Lawlor has gone over to their New Japan US shows. We’ve had Rocky Romero come over to our shows. There’s been discussions about even expanding what we can do on that. We’ve had conversations with them because they were looking for a home, so they went to us to ask ‘is there a scenario where we can work with you and your partners?’ And I said ‘I’m open to anything, if it works and makes sense on my end and from a business point of view and a strategic point of view I’m always open to something. Let’s have a conversation.’
“The challenge I think and why these deals, like I think they turned down down AXS, they turned down a deal with Vice and I think another party or two. And they’re good deals and I think there’s probably people within New Japan who want to do these deals. But it’s not just New Japan who’s making these decisions. They own that footage with the network in Japan. So who runs on the international, which would include US and anything non Japanese, is the network. And New Japan can kind of connect people with other people to make those other conversations more meaningful to kind of build out a deal. But at the end of the day, the network has to have a lot of say and think complete sign off on it.
“So you can have a great deal that everyone in New Japan loves, but their partner at the network maybe feels the numbers aren’t right or something isn’t right with it. And so they have to be a good partner to their network. So it’s never as easy as it seems or as the headline reads. It’s a lot more nuanced than people think.
On the subject of TV deals, Bauer believes it’s the perfect time to get one.
“I think it’s a great time for wrestling because it’s in a boom. I wrote an article about it recently. It’s true; there’s an appetite for it and the timing’s perfect because there’s this big explosion in all these streaming services. There’s way too many probably. But at the same time it’s like a gold rush. And wrestling’s always been riding the crest of that wave. Whether it was black and white with Gorgeous George of the golden era of the 1950’s, the advent of cable, the advent of pay per view and now streaming.
“It’s always been there and it’s always done well because it has a huge fanbase, a passionate fanbase. And they will find their way to watch their wrestling, each and every week. And now every night of every week at this point.”
You can find the full audio from Court’s conversation with Raj via the embedded The Wrestling Inc. Daily player below: