After nine months of not producing live shows or holding new tapings because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Wrestling is kicking off their return with ‘The Restart’ that begins on November 18th. Their return show is airing at 7 PM EST on fubo Sports and on the MLW YouTube channel.
During the pandemic, MLW CEO Court Bauer made announcement after announcement that had to do with the growth of the organization such as re-signing with beIN Sports and signing a deal with DAZN to bring MLW content over to the service. Competing on night one of The Restart is MLW’s reigning Middleweight Champion Myron Reed who is officially the longest reigning Middleweight Champion of all-time. I had the opportunity to catch up with Myron ahead of his title defense against Brian Pillman Jr. and asked him for his thoughts on setting a record in MLW but doing so by way of the pandemic.
“Right now, where I’m at in the situation is like, I’m happy. I said what I was gonna do and I [did] it. But like, of course it’s due to the pandemic so it’s still that, it still counts but at the end of the day, I wasn’t able to whoop people up like I wanted to throughout those months. So now, [Brian] Pillman [Jr. has] pretty much gotta take how I feel about this sh*t. He gotta take it all. He’s gonna have to take all the heat. I’m beating his ass, period. I’m whooping that man.”
MLW has announced Lio Rush, Calvin Tankman, ACH, Jordan Oliver, Savio Vega, Konnan, Salina de la Renta and tons more for their Restart. With the mix of MLW long-timers and the talent that were new to the roster, Myron shared that there was a positive atmosphere at the tapings and mostly everyone he interacted with was excited to be there. Specifically on the in-ring front, Reed is excited for everyone to see the final product of what occurred at the tapings.
“Honestly bro, it was like a little family reunion because for real, we’ve been apart. With the pandemic and everything, we really don’t see each other like we used to. Before the sh*t hit, we were seeing each other almost every weekend. I mean besides Lio [Rush], he was in the E [WWE]. But like, ACH, we were seeing each other all the time. All of us, we were seeing each other all the time, wrestling and then you go six, seven months without seeing your friends and now it’s like once a month I see them or every now and then, every blue moon. So, it’s crazy bro. The locker room was awesome. It was just a lot of catching up, a lot of, ‘What are you doing?’ So those are my bros. I feel like it was love. I love a locker room like that. I don’t want to be in a locker room where I’m with people that I gotta think, ‘Oh man, I don’t want to see this [dude]. You know how he be acting. I don’t even want to go to this show.’ You know how they be acting, but yeah, it was love bro. I’m really excited for people to see The Restart. We worked our ass off that week of [the] tapings.”
As mentioned, MLW is officially returning on 11/18 at 7 PM EST which is one hour before NXT and AEW go live on their respective networks. There has been mixed feedback as far as MLW’s time and day slot goes. As discussed with Myron during the interview, the idea is there that the news coming out of MLW could be swallowed up by the news coming out of NXT and AEW’s programming.
Prior to the response below, Myron agreed that people can watch The Restart at any time and day that they choose because of the many platforms MLW is on and here is his full response to MLW joining the Wednesday night lineup:
“Aye man, I’m gonna be real with you, I grew up on RAW Monday, SmackDown Thursday. I mean so when you think about the Wednesday, it’s like damn, everybody’s working on a Wednesday now. I guess that’s just the day of the week — I feel like that’s just the day of the week that ain’t really got a lot of shows or pretty much, that’s what everybody was thinking. I guess everybody was saying the same f*cking thing. But I feel like, like you said, it’s an hour. What time do they [AEW & NXT] run? Hey, we’re what? 7 to 8 so, come on through and watch this real quick before you go and get — you feel me? Go ahead and watch The Restart real quick. But I feel like they’re gonna watch The Restart and be like, ‘I don’t even wanna watch the rest of this tonight. I’ve seen Myron already.’”
The main concern of Reed when it comes to wrestling again is the COVID-19 pandemic. Reed has a family at home and once the pandemic began, he didn’t return to wrestling until June. Since then, he has worked a handful of independent shows and continues to do so. As far as MLW goes, the Middleweight Champion praised the organization for the protocols they had in place and the precautions they took to keep the performers and staff safe.
“When we were down there, everybody had to [test negative] before they pulled up and then as we were leaving, everybody had to test negative before they went back home. So, everybody was negative while we were there. So, that foremost I feel is — because some shows, they don’t make you test so [you’ll] be like, ‘Uhh, I don’t know about bro I’m wrestling.’ But I mean, I do I feel like I respect the shows that make you test because this virus sh*t ain’t no joke. It’s a serious thing and people gotta go back home to their families and when motherf*ckers are catching the virus, they’re going home to their families where they got kids, girlfriend, mom. They’re risking other people’s life, not just their own and the people they work with. But they definitely did a good job of protocol, with making us wear masks. We couldn’t really leave the hotel. That was kind of one of the rules like, ‘Alright, y’all can kick it but y’all can’t go nowhere. We’re making sure y’all stay safe.’”
Transitioning over the topic of how independent promotions have handled the pandemic, he thinks things have gone well, minus the positive testing that came out of The Collective weekend in Indiana. Myron feels that all performers should be COVID tested before competing at an independent show to ensure the safety of other performers and staff.
Reed feels that is the biggest step to keep everyone safe and while he stated that things have been managed decently, he also feels that things could be better.
“When I came back, they already had fans back. But, they did a really good job. Every show I’ve been at has made everybody spread out, wear masks. Before you come in, I mean a lot of the shows were taking wrestlers’ temperatures at least but I do feel like, as far as doing better on it and I feel like now, people are because of that whole scare that happened at The Collective. Just make sure motherf*ckers got a negative test before they wrestle. It’s really not that hard. If you’re gonna book somebody, book them a month in advance. When you book ‘em, ‘Hey, I need a COVID test. I need you to test negative for me before everybody wrestles’ and that’s pretty much the biggest step you gotta do pretty much to keep everybody safe, as far as the wrestlers go and making sure the fans — I feel like they’ve been doing a decent job with the fans. Making sure they’re wearing their masks, making sure, ‘Hey, who [did you come] with? Make sure you sit with them. Everybody else, they gotta be six feet away from you.’ I mean, other than that — and it is scary because right now, I’m just wrestling right now. I don’t work a job, I’m wrestling. So, if they’re not taking these precautions seriously, some sh*t happens, I’m f*cking losing out on my money, paying my family and stuff so it’s a big deal. I feel like they’re doing a good job but you know…”
It is well known that Myron is a former member of The Rascalz. The duo, now consisting of Dezmond Xavier, Zachary Wentz and Trey Miguel have been a part of IMPACT Wrestling for the past two years and they are now departing the company as they finished up at the last set of tapings. Dez, Zach and Trey are having their farewell match on the 11/17 episode of IMPACT as Dez and Zach are taking on Trey and IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann.
Reed heaped praise onto all three members of the group and feels that they can go anywhere wrestling-wise. Reed shared that he spoke to Dez some time ago about the forthcoming decision that was in front of them and The Rascalz not being sure what they were going to do next.
“Anywhere they want, literally. That’s what is gonna be the special thing about it. This whole thing, I knew that it was coming up this year. Dez [Xavier] had told me. He was like, ‘I don’t know what we’re gonna do.’ But I feel like they’re top [talents]. It’s gonna be fun. When you think about it, it’s gonna be like, ‘Damn, I’m sad I’m leaving’ but like, my bros, they get the opportunity for people to actually really see how talented they are. There’s so much IMPACT could’ve done with them that I feel like they didn’t do, and I feel like wherever they go, they’re gonna be taken care of because they’re a talented team. In-ring, I don’t really think there’s a trios better than them in-ring. They all can talk, they all got character, charisma. They have the whole f*cking nine yards. They’re all talented, every last one of ‘em. Not just, ‘This guy can do that, that guy can do this.’ No, they all can do it all, and people would be stupid to not pick them up off the bat. I feel like they’re gonna be signed — motherf*ckers [will] probably get signed before the end of this year.”
Information about episode one of MLW’s ‘Restart’ can be found on all MLW social media channels and on the organization’s YouTube channel. Myron Reed is set to defend his Middleweight Title against Brian Pillman Jr. on the opening show and Reed can be found on Twitter @TheBadReed and on Instagram @reeds.world.