In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that WWE is in talks with MLW about a partnership designed to get some of their lesser-used NXT talents some work.
Fueled by WWE not being happy with the reputation they don’t work with other wrestling promotions, the talks are centering around “the lines of the old EVOLVE deal or, to a degree, the 90s ECW deal” where some of the NXT developmental talent who can’t get TV time would get reps in Court Bauer’s promotion instead.
Meltzer said the idea of WWE/NXT creating their own EVOLVE-like group is still a possibility, allowing their own talent work on Peacock. A pilot for such a show was filmed earlier this year, but there has been no further announcements on moving forward.
“The idea is also to alleviate the frustration of so many guys on the roster who sign and then basically are never used, especially now with no NXT house shows (although that will likely be changing soon). The idea is people see AEW having partnerships with New Japan, Impact and AAA and they want to make it look like WWE is not set in its old ways and uncooperative in the real world. Whether this comes to fruition is a different story, but the mentality right now is there to work with other people. Then again, that was also the mentality in the U.K. and Germany and that didn’t turn out well. But this is a totally new WWE under Nick Khan,” Meltzer wrote.
Along with existing partnerships with BeIn Sports and DAZN, MLW recently announced a deal with Vice TV to begin airing Fusion and will resume their TV tapings in front of live crowds July. A second show has been rumored as has been a Lucha Underground revival as Azteca Underground has become part of storylines in recent weeks.
Bauer was a writer with WWE for several years and founded MLW in 2002. After a two-year run, MLW shuttered but later rebranded as a podcast network. They restarted in 2017.