wrestling / News

Josef Samael on MLW’s New Deal With DAZN & Potential Deal With ESPN, The Prospect of Having CONTRA Unit On ESPN

July 2, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
MLW Josef Samael

Speaking with Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Interviews Podcast, MLW’s Josef Samael discussed MLW’s new deal with DAZN and the possibility of a deal with ESPN. MLW announced the new streaming deal with DAZN early last month, a deal that allows fans to stream MLW Fusion TV and the complete MLW Opera Cup on the service, as well as MLW reportedly being added to DAZN’s linear program schedule.

Also reported at the time was the fact that MLW was in talks with ESPN about bringing some content to that networks platforms. That deal has not yet been confirmed, but would add another platform for fans to see MLW content. You can see highlights from the discussion and the full podcast below:

On MLW’s new deal with DAZN, what it means for MLW and CONTRA Unit: “Well, I think it’s a wonderful deal. You know, Court Bauer’s brilliant as far as getting clearances for us, and getting more eyes on the product. Any time wher eyou can have more people seeing what you’re doing, it’s better for your business, for the business of MLW, the business of all the wrestlers. Anybody that’s involved with us, be it sponsors, everything like that. So it’s a great, it’s a great ship to be on, the MLW ship. So I’m really proud of it, and I’m looking forward to seeing what this does. I believe it’s in more homes than the WWE Network. It’s a really, really big deal. I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but when it was explained to me, it’s a very big deal so yeah, I’m just looking forward to what’s going to happen, and what happens, and all the eyes that are gonna be on us. And hopefully business picks up soon with the virus and everything, we get back out there and then we can really experience what this does.”

On the possibility of an MLW/ESPN deal: “That wouldn’t surprise me. Especially with the way, like I said earlier, Court Bauer is always getting us TV clearances in so many different places with so many different companies. A real master in how he is able to work with so many different companies. Usually, people are signing exclusive deals, and he’s able to move in a way where we keep getting more and more eyes on us. And we’re definitely not limited to one company. ESPN would be fantastic. To be on that station, you know, being an older guy I grew up watching ESPN. When I was a young kid, I used to watch World Class [Championship] Wrestling on ESPN at 4 PM. And just to be on that channel would be really incredible.”

On the prospect of bringing CONTRA to ESPN: “As far as what it’ll do for us, and what it’ll do for CONTRA. I mean, when we show our brand of violence on any sort of TV, we always have a reaction. Whether it’s positive or negative. We’re a polarizing group of — a polarizing stable, if you will. And anywhere we go, we’re going to make a statement, and anywhere we go we’re going to get a reaction. So if we’re able to do it at ESPN in addition to what we’re doing now, I welcome it.”

In the full interview, Samael talks about MLW’s new deal with DAZN and a possible MLW/ESPN deal, CONTRA Unit’s goals in MLW, working with Jacob Fatu and his rise to the top of MLW, Court Bauer expanding MLW’s distribution during the pandemic, the possibility of new members in the stable, the secret to generating heel heat and more.

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0:00: Intro
1:35: On MLW’s new deal with DAZN, what it means for MLW and CONTRA Unit
3:05: On Court Bauer expanding MLW’s distribution during the pandemic
4:16: On the pandemic resulting in MLW’s shutdown, feeling better than he has in some time and being ready for MLW’s return
7:02: On CONTRA Unit holding the MLW World Title via Jacob Fatu, what statement it makes for the group
9:04: On if CONTRA Unit will be targeting the Von Erichs and MLW Tag Team Titles
9:45: On his combat style, CONTRA having more yet to reveal
10:52: On Jacob Fatu’s growth and rise to the top of the MLW roster
11:48: On the possibility of an MLW/ESPN deal and the prospect of bringing CONTRA to ESPN
13:34: On if he’s considering adding some new members to CONTRA, the possibility of an alliance with someone like Tom Lawlor or Dominic Garrini
14:36: On if he feels the need for CONTRA to get more revenge on Los Parks
15:12: On the group’s ability to draw heel heat, the importance of making the fans believe in heels, true heels being a lost art
17:16: On Court Bauer refusing to bring MLW back until crowds can safely be in attendance
19:38: On CONTA Unit’s goal once everything is back up and running of a complete MLW takeover
22:20: On where to find him online
23:13: Outro

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