Filthy Tom Lawlor recently re-signed with MLW not only to compete within the promotion, but also because it allows him to pursue outside interests. He talked more about those interests when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"Signing with the PFL to compete in MMA again," Lawlor said of his top goal. "Essentially MLW is allowing me to be myself still. That, quite frankly, means a lot to me. I don't have to move anywhere or change my style. I don't have to come up with a different character or try to convince a new audience that I'm worthwhile. I get to continue to wrestle with MLW and I get to compete in MMA which I am going to this year for the final time to get it out of my system. Basically, they allow me to do other things that a lot of other places wouldn't."
People may see UFC still holding events during the coronavirus pandemic but that isn't representative of MMA as a whole. Lawlor discussesd how this pandemic has affected MMA and its fighters.
"MMA has been affected by this too despite what Dana White has said. UFC has had maybe three shows cancelled and each of the shows on ESPN+ is $10 million in the UFC's pocket. The UFC is trying to push forward in order to meet certain monetary guidelines and it seems that's the biggest factor for UFC pushing forward," stated Lawlor.
He then noted that K1 in Japan ran a show recently with 7,000 people and now the government of Japan decided to shut down future events.
"It has been affected as much if not more than pro wrestling. Think about all of the gyms and gym owners now shut down. A lot of people think that if you're an MMA fighter and are on TV, then you're making a lot of money. But it's much like wrestling in that the big stars make the big bucks but everyone else is at a lower level," said Lawlor. "The people at that lower level in MMA have had their fights taken away and to compound that, most of the gyms have been shut down. So, their second source of income, or perhaps even their first source of income, is no longer there. So, I'd say it's as bad if not worst."
There's no union in pro wrestling or in mixed martial arts, and as someone who competes in both, Lawlor was asked if now if the time for them to unionize.
""Of course, it would be great but let's take a look at the rest of the world. We have workers being taken advantage of in the US on virtually every single level. They can't come to agreements in their own businesses to take a stand and work against corporations," said Lawlor. "So, to expect wrestlers and MMA fighters to do that – when a large majority of workers in other businesses that have smarter people involved aren't able to do it – I don't know how you can push upon wrestlers and MMA fighters too much. It sucks."
When Lawlor was last in Dallas with MLW, he nearly started a riot by disrespecting the Texas flag. He recalled that experience and the aftermath of it.
"I'm not sure if it's Dallas fans or Von Erich fans but since I've been feuding with the Von Erichs, I've been messaged from people I've never spoken to before or heard of. Honestly, most of the people on this planet have probably never heard of them unless it's their family. These people badmouth me and call me names with derogatory remarks. So, I don't feel bad for a thing I did to that state flag," admitted Lawlor.
"For a group of people to be incited by something as insignificant as a piece of cloth like that, it's pathetic. What are the people of Texas holding onto? What are they still fighting for – to be their own republic? Texas blows.
"The best thing that it's put out is Whataburger and that's a subpar product as far as I'm concerned. The Dallas Cowboys – they suck. What else do you want?"
During the near-riot, one fan picked up an entire trash can and threw it into the ring which is something Lawlor remembers vividly.
"This guy must have been a gigantic human being to pick up a Rubbermade trash can, filled with trash, and heave it from the crowd into the ring. It's beyond impressive. The Von Erichs should get this guy on their side and sign him up," said Lawlor. "MLW should put him under contract and I'm even advocating for it. Who is this guy – the World's Strongest Man?"
"Some a*****e threw a D-Cell battery at us from the crowd. Not even like a Double A," stated Lawlor who then hypothesized at what the guy who threw the trash can had to help him reach the ring.
"Maybe he had one of those things that they used to shoot Sin Cara into the ring. I don't know. I can't imagine what else he used."
"Filthy" Tom Lawlor can be seen every Saturday night as part of MLW Fusion on BeIn Sports. For more information visit www.MLW.com. Lawlor's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.