AS I SEE IT - 12/15/2003:
The conclusion of the MLW saga in the northeast...for now
by: Bob Magee In a finale to the theme for the columns of the last few weeks...it was announced last Monday that Major League Wrestling has moved their January 9th event (originally scheduled for Philadelphia, PA) to Orlando, Florida at the Tabu Night Club, and their show originally scheduled for Elizabeth, NJ on Saturday, January 10, to a Florida venue to be announced.
MLW's TV will return to Sunshine Network beginning December 15th in the old 11:00 pm timeslot, with repeats of old episodes, followed by new material on Monday, January 5th. Tickets to the Orlando event are already on sale via this link at Ticketmaster.com. Sunshine Network is available on DirecTV's Channel 632 and Dish Network's Channel 199 or 422, as well as on most cable systems throughout Florida.
MLW ran regularly in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and the Miami areas earlier this year, while airing TV on The Sunshine Network before the promotion "went on hiatus" only days before a scheduled Jacksonville, FL date.
A great deal of controversy was created when MLW announced plans several weeks ago to run in Philadelphia's National Guard Armory, and Elizabeth, NJ's Rex Plex. A number of independent promotions based in the area, as well as their fans, criticized this move, feeling that this unfairly targeted markets built by Ring of Honor and other existing area promotions.
MLW owner Court Bauer had initially stated that he was "looking to create more dates for the wrestlers". However, a number of performers who worked for both ROH and MLW pulled out of MLW bookings when they learned the shows were in the Philadelphia and Elizabeth ROH venues; causing problems for the promotion.
Last week, Ring Of Honor announced a January 9th joint promotion with Jersey All Pro Wrestling in Woodbridge, NJ, that would have gone head to head with the MLW Philadelphia event.
Mike Johnson reported the following comments by MLW's Court Bauer on 1wrestling.com: "We came across several developments over the last ten days that made it more beneficial to return to the Florida market for the fans, the wrestlers and the promotion, such as being able to ink a deal with the Sunshine Network, which was a make or break situation for us...We had been swamped with requests for information on a return to Florida from the fans in that market, and these new developments made it more feasible to return to what truly is our home market."
In the article, Bauer maintains that MLW will "eventually run events in the Northeast" and said he wished Ring of Honor and all the other promotions well. "I always wanted to give the boys more dates. I never wanted to cause anyone to choose a team and hopefully this back move to Florida will make things better for everyone involved, especially the MLW fans. He further stated that he hopes to sit down I hope to sit down with Rob [Feinstein] and Gabe [Sapolsky, of ROH] and put this all behind us."
The January 9th MLW event in Orlando is scheduled to feature:
Global Tag Carnival:
Also scheduled to appear are MLW champion Steve Corino, Raven, Sabu, Teddy Hart, Vampiro, Persephonie, and Bryan Danielson.
The January 10 event is scheduled to be headlined by:
These matches are scheduled, along with much of the talent listed for January 9.
As I said in the previous columns, it was unfortunate that things went the way they did. So much ill will would have been prevented, had MLW's management at least attempted talking to Philadelphia-based promotions, worked with them, and provided fans in the Northeast the chance to see talent such as Bobby Quance, Puma (aka Pinoy Boy), Harry Smith and TJ Wilson (Stampede Bulldogs), the Havana Pitbulls, Pete Wilson and Chasyn Rance.
In any event, the promotion's fans in Florida can again enjoy the MLW product.
Unfortunately, some fans of MLW may have been confused by some dirty tricks and/or outright stupidity by parties unknown last week.
Last Wednesday morning, I received an e-mail from someone using an MLWrep@yahoo.com e-mail address claiming to be Court Bauer...saying that, despite what had been reported online, MLW "was again going on hiatus"...that "the January shows were cancelled", that "they didn't have the money to put on a show beyond a 'typical independent show'" and that they were "severing their relationship with Zero One".
The same item was sent to other wrestling websites, with at least 1 or 2 kiddie cut and paste sites posting the "news" as fact without bothering to check with MLW. One can safely assume that this wasn't done just by kids playing games, but by someone trying to screw with MLW directly. MLW was made aware that these e-mails were sent, and was able to get out online that the address and the news were both fake.
Nice to see people acting in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season.
Perhaps some of those belonging to the troll persuasion that ranted on certain websites and message boards about how PWBTS or individual column writers on PWBTS were "out to ruin MLW"... might take a little time and do some checking to find out who THIS person posing as Court Bauer, someone who clearly and obviously had an intent to screw with the promotion; instead of spending so much time going after people asking legitimate questions, or expressing legitimate opinions on one wrestling website.
Let them confine their comments to the person who decided to deliberately spread false information to a number of wrestling websites with the clear intent to harm the promotion that they're spending so much time and energy defending.
Until next time...
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com)