MLW and IWA Puerto Rico Join Forces

Furthering the Era of Networking and Cooperation

As we move ever nearer to their big relaunch, Major League Wrestling (MLW) have revealed some more exciting news: they have formed a strategic partnership with the Puerto Rican promotion IWA.

The relationship furthers MLW’s goal of creating an international network of promotions so as to allow companies to enter new markets, exchange and pool talent and create more opportunities for both wrestlers and fans alike.

MLW has already established a working relationship with Mexico’s AAA and held a ‘Super Series’ tournament in Mexico between the two companies that aired on TV in April of this year.

MLW CEO Court Bauer certainly seems excited by the partnership. He has said on the matter:

We will share resources with the aim of helping each other on the fight and business sides of our two leagues…our goal is to promote the sport and help athletes and fans live their dreams with big fights in both organizations and collectively grow the global awareness of MLW and AAA.

IWA Puerto Rico has a twenty-one-year history, having formed in 1999, and has the likes of Savio Vega, Manny Ferno, Los Fujitivos appearing in its rings. Indeed, Savio Vega has already been appearing for MLW in the last twelve months also, teaming successfully with Mance Warner, so the first fruits of this relationship have already been seen on TV. Juan M. Rivera, the President of the IWA Puerto Rico, had the following to say:

This partnership includes the celebration of inter-promotional events, direct support to the events of each of the companies and collaboration in other types of promotions. This decision will be beneficial for both organizations and for everyone involved.

I can certainly see how this is a beneficial move for both companies. There were stirrings of this kind before the pandemic, of course, but COVID has seen many companies form new relationships to survive and hopefully thrive moving forward. In particular, AEW has had independent talent appear on Dynamite over the summer as part of Cody’s TNT title open challenges, as well as working with the NWA to have their women’s champion, Thunder Rosa, work with the AEW women’s champion and actually elevate AEW’s talent in the ring. Meanwhile, the United Wrestling Network have worked with the NWA to host the weekly pay-per-view series Prime Time Live, which has seen many big matches take place that might not have otherwise. Not only that, MLW’s Alexander Hammerstone has wrestled on the show twice, and Davey Boy Smith Jr, another MLW mainstay, is set to appear on the show as part of the tournament to crown the first UWN World Heavyweight Champion.

Such cooperation would have been unfeasible just a few years ago but has given wrestlers more places to work and get paid, and more opportunities for big matches. It’s helped companies that might have had depleted rosters due to the pandemic and allowed them to promote genuinely exciting and unique matchups, which in turn allows the fans to benefit as there is suddenly new, fresh, exciting matches for them to get behind and more opportunities to see new talent.

MLW’s partnerships with the likes of AAA and IWA Puerto Rico seems to be looking to work in the same way; fresh exposure for talent and their companies, new places to wrestle and new fans to wrestle in front of. This isn’t the territory era reborn, no, but this era of networking and cooperation between promotions runs along the same lines. Let’s face it: the territories were doing well, with work for everyone, until a certain East Coaster had ideas of going national.

I’m excited about this partnership and hope further relationships follow. It’s healthy for the business and it’s healthy for the fans. Everybody wins!

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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