Maybe that Daniel Bryan is on to something...
The latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter has the following item:
We’ll see if this goes somewhere, but WWE doesn’t like the rep that it doesn’t work with anyone in the modern wrestling world. They are in talks with MLW and it’s along the lines of the old Evolve deal or to a degree the 90s ECW deal. The idea is to get some of the developmental guys who aren’t working on NXT television some work.
Dave Meltzer goes on to write that this is an alternative plan to NXT creating its own “Evolve-like” weekly show for Peacock, which is an idea we’ve heard about before. Back in February, it was even reported WWE filmed material for something tentatively called “NXT Evolve”.
Fusion is headed to Vice as part of a wrestling block with Dark Side of the Ring, which makes this even more interesting for a couple reasons. One, there’s now an argument to be made MLW would give the talent WWE hasn’t been able to fit on NXT a higher profile outlet than another streaming show only diehard fans will seek out (a la 205 Live). Two, just the possibility of a WWE partnership being covered in one of the industry’s most prominent publications is very good publicity for MLW... which just so happens to run their first show of archive content on Vice tomorrow (May 1).
Meltzer seems to believe an arrangement with MLW or any inter-company partnership happens will come down to how worried WWE is about being seen as being left behind by all the “Forbidden Door” hype AEW, New Japan & Impact are generating. And how committed WWE President Nick Khan is to really changing things up:
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 he 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.
For me, I’ll believe it when I see it. NXT’s deal with Evolve, or any collaboration they did in England and Europe, always came down to their talent not appearing on camera in other companies’ rings. Agreeing to put WWE Superstars on an MLW branded television show would be a radical change in policy.
But we will see. Triple H has always responded to questions about these sorts of things by saying WWE is open for business, and all wrestling fans know to never say never.