by Justin Barrasso
MLW president Court Bauer is using his PhD in professional wrestling to build the card for One-Shot on October 5 at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. One-Shot is headlined by Ricochet vs. Shane Strickland, but also includes MVP vs. Sami Callihan and UFC fighter Tom Lawlor vs. Olympian Jeff Cobb.
“I’m a firm believer in having a balanced card,” said Bauer, who worked closely under Vince McMahon on the creative team in WWE. “We have a little bit of everything for everyone: the strong man, the high-flyers, the technically proficient talent, the big heels, the big mouths, and superheavyweights. We want variety, and that’s what I have missed in wrestling. We’re going to give the fans a card that is not monotonous, and will have a show that keeps flying and has great life.”
Bauer has produced the compelling MLW 360 videos that have effectively built interest in the Ricochet-Strickland affair with an authentic look at both competitors.
“It was an experience from my time doing UFC Fight Pass,” said Bauer. “We shot talent a certain way when it was fighters training for a big fight, and this allows people the chance to get to know them. When you start entering their world, you find so many interesting parts about the wrestlers that you otherwise wouldn’t have known, and you wouldn’t learn from a match. It’s an interesting part of their journey on this collision course, and it adds a sense of reality and something you can relate to at home.”
Bauer also announced on Steve Austin’s Unleashed podcast that Santana Garrett, who just competed in WWE’s Mae Young Classic, will have her one-shot at MLW opportunity against another MYC competitor in Mia Yim.
“One-Shot stands for opportunity, and it was definitely important to showcase today and tomorrow’s best women,” said Bauer. “Santana Garrett is a role model to a lot of young girls. Wrestling has come so far in properly representing women, and now it’s going to be even better. When you have the ‘Modern Day Wonder Woman’ in Santana Garrett, we have the best role model possible, and she delivers when the bell rings. I was very happy to make that announcement on Steve Austin’s show because Santana deserved the platform to be announced that way.”
The show, which will be available to stream online 72 hours after the event, will also showcase one of the best prospects to ever come out of Japan in the 20-year-old Jimmy Yuta, as well as another top prospect Maxwell Jacob Friedman.
“I see qualities in Jimmy Yuta that remind me of Ricky Steamboat,” said Bauer. “Mark my words, this kid is going to be a breakout star. He’s not currently on a lot of people’s radar, but he will be after October 5.”
One-Shot was designed to showcase today and tomorrow’s best, and provide fans with the opportunity to watch a diverse array of in-ring styles.
“We want this to be a show that celebrates where wrestling has gone and where it is going,” said Bauer. “Wrestling is in such a healthy place right now, all over the world, and it is amazing to see wrestling revive itself on a regional level. We’re thrilled to bring these talents to Orlando.”
So far, Bauer has delivered on his goal of creating a card worth watching. With an amplified interest in One-Shot, the question was raised if he would ever consider bringing MLW back full-time.
“Never say never,” said Bauer. “Never say never.”
Buy tickets to MLW: One-Shot.
Read the entire article in today’s Sports Illustrated column.