WOW is back. Well, it’s been back, but now it’s back in Southern California. This time instead of being broadcast on TV, they’re doing the online approach. Season 4 dropped this week, so I took a look at the first two episodes. I’m not gonna lie to you, it is different from what wrestling fans are used to.
For those unfamiliar with WOW (Women Of Wrestling), here’s a quick history lesson: WOW was founded and owned by David McLane (who was the founder of G.L.O.W.) and Los Angeles Lakers owner and president Jeanie Buss. The all women’s promotion that had a syndicated TV show between 2000-2001 and would run events at the Great Western Forum (now The Forum) in Inglewood, CA. Their show aired here in LA on KCOP 13 when it was UPN on Saturday nights at 11PM, the same time XPW TV would air on KJLA. Most of the women on that show were fitness models, stunt women, actresses, and martial artists. There were a couple trained wrestlers, such as current champion Jungle Grrrl, who competed in the Southern California area as Erica Porter. WOW also had a PPV event in 2001 with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan on commentary.
The promotion would fold in 2001 after airing 24 episodes of their TV show and holding their only Pay Per View event. In 2013, the promotion relaunched in Las Vegas, NV and produced episodes for an online web series with several new faces. Last year, WOW returned to Southern California with a series of shows in Long Beach called the “Friday Night Fights” series. On September 29th, 2016, the promotion held a TV taping at the Belasco Theatre in Los Angeles, CA for Season 4 of WOW.
The first two episodes dropped this week, along with bonus clips that add to the angles and story lines.
Season 4 Episode 1: A Date With Destiny Click here to watch
The show opens with WOW President David McLane on the street outside of the Belasco Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. He interviewed a fan while waiting for who he assumed were All American Girls, Amber O’Neal and Santana Garrett, inside a limo. instead it was Lana Star that came out. McLane told Lana she’s not wrestling tonight, and Lana claims that he went behind her back to illegally get her medical records. McLane claimed he didn’t give her a title shot against Jungle Grrrl because he’s protecting her and looking out for her safety, to which Lana replies by saying he’s going to be the one who needs protecting and that WOW will be her’s, and that it will be once again, “be the Lana Star show.” Sophia Lopez, comes out and says she’s there for justice and calls McLane the devil. Lana called her the “Greatest Attorney In The World” before heading inside.
McLane then sends it to ringside where Stephen Dickey and for WOW performer EZ Rider talk about Khloe Hurtz (Katie Forbes) challenging Jungle Grrrl for the WOW Championship .They show highlights of how Khloe became the #1 contender at the Friday Night Fights series that took place in Long Beach, CA. A video package highlighting Jungle Grrrl’s rise to the championship is played after, and featured a clip of her toddler son, “Jungle Boy,” reacting to his mom’s win on TV. The kid looks like a 4-year-old version of Nate Coy. Gimmick infringement?
A clip from the red carpet is played where Matilda The Hun from G.L.O.W. was messing with McLane before the narrator went backstage to Dan Masters who was interviewing Selina Majors, who is sporting a mighty 80’s mullet. They segue into a promo for Holidead who is in a dark spot somewhere in the building. This was an amazingly well done promo. The production values were on par with a WWE produced promo.
After the promo, the narrator says the match is about to get underway, and shows Jeanie Buss and Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell) in the audience. Backstage, Jungle Grrrl cuts a promo on Khloe Hurtz. Inside the ring, David McLane welcomes the crowd to WOW at the Belasco Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. Both performers had entrance videos playing. Hurtz was accompanied to the ring with a bunch of guys in black boxer briefs that she called her “ring rats.” Ed Alexander wasn’t one of them though.
WOW World Championship Match: Jungle Grrrl (c) vs. Khloe Hurtz
This was a very basic match. Khloe was the heel, and Jungle Grrrl was the babyface. Khloe hit some decent looking spots such as a counter sunset flip after being sent into the corner, and did a few nice looking handspring spots. Khloe was in control until Jungle Grrrl countered a quesadora attempt by Khloe. Jungle Grrrl got the win after hitting a top rope splash and pinned Khloe Hurtz to retain the title. This was a decent match with a very basic story and some good spots.
Backstage after the show, David McLane is walking backstage when Stephy Slays runs up to him. She’s got a very important phone call. She was looking for the All American Girls and found Amber, but there’s a “small problem” with Santana. McLane gets on the phone with Santana, and he just tells her to get an Uber and get there quickly. He simply says “wow, I can’t that” before walking off while Stephy Slays looked upset. As the episode comes to an end, the narrator announces that on the next episode Stephy Slays (who is fighting for her family according to an on-screen graphic) against “The Governor’s Daughter” Abilene Maverick.
Bonus Clips: LANA EXPLODES AND SLAPS MCLANE AT FNF
This clip features an angle at one of the WOW Friday Night Fights shows in Long Beach, CA where McLane told Lana she wouldn’t be facing Jungle Grrrl because he learned she has an injury. Lana ends up slapping McLane and he takes a bump. The fans were chanting “WE WANT LANA” during the angle.
Season 4 Episode 2: Not My Cup Of Tea Click here to watch
Somewhere in some undisclosed location, “The Southern Pride’s Finest” Jessie Jones gets a phone call from Selina Majors. She says she needs help with some girls Riot brought in. Jessie says she’ll be on the next bus out-of-town.
Meanwhile in some big ass mansion, “The Governor’s Daughter” Abilene Maverick is hosting a tea party with David McLane, Selina Majors, Stephy Slays and Keta Rush by her pool. She proceeded to insult her guests in a subtle way by giving them “a taste of how the other side lives.” Selina Majors talks about Jessie coming to town, and Stephy Slays says something that offended Abilene, leading her to pour tea on Stephy’s white outfit. What a bitch! Abilene pretends to be remorseful and claimed it was an accident. She offers Stephy something to wear from the pile of clothes she’s donating to charity, and that it would be more expensive than what she was wearing. Seriously, what a bitch! Stephy takes off and Selina goes to check on her, while Keta and McLane are just chilling. She said “her aim is just fine,” pretty much implying she did what she did intentionally.
Stephy is in a bathroom with Selina who tells her to give her the benefit of the doubt. Stephy talks about how hard her life is, and talks about how hard she worked just to have a nice shirt. Selina suggests she have a match with Abilene, and that she’ll talk to McLane about booking one. Later that night, Lana Star visits Abilene at her home after everyone left. Abilene makes fun of McLane, Majors, and Stephy. This was a fun way to add heat to a match.
Stephy Slays vs. “The Governor’s Daughter” Abilene Maverick
The story of the match was mostly about how Abilene is a rich girl from Texas, and Stephy is a poor girl from Texas who is wrestling just to help support her mother and brother. Stephy’s offense was pretty limited to wrist locks, some pinning attempts, and a monkey flip. She seemed really inexperienced. Abilene (who wrestlers on the independent circuit and made appearances in TNA as Barbi Hayden) seemed very solid and did a good job at being a heel in the ring. Stephy hit a nice crucifix pin attempt, but eventually lost the match when Abilene defeated her after hitting a Tilt-A-Whirl Slam to get the pin. Very basic match. Abilene Maverick looked very solid in this.
After the match, the show’s narrator sends it backstage where Amber O’Neal is in her dressing room. Santana Garrett shows up and is upset that Amber left her at the airport all night. She says it’s not her problem because the limo driver took off. Both women were visibly annoyed by each other. The narrator then announces that the O’Neal and Garrett will be facing Caged Heat (Loca and Delta Lotta Pain) on the next episode in a tournament match for the recently vacated WOW Tag Team Championship.
Bonus Clips: SOCIAL GRACES
Dan Masters interviews Abilene after her win. He talked about how her mom is in attendance, and Abilene says she fights in honor of her late father. She then brings up Stephy Slays, saying she won her respect. Stephy comes in, and Abilene talks about how she had a moth and dad who raised her right, and that Stephy’s dad would be proud of her had he not abandoned her. What a bitch! Stephy leaves and gets tripped by Abilene. Abilene Maverick might be my new favorite heel in wrestling.
I’m sure most people were expecting me to shit all over this, but I’m going to be honest with you people, I appreciated this for what it was. It’s not a traditional pro wrestling show, nor is it a modern pro wrestling show. It’s simply a show about pro wrestling. There are so many approaches I take when judging certain types of wrestling shows, because they’re all different. Its like music. There’s rock, hip-hop, pop, country, classical, EDM, and so much more. Just like music, pro wrestling has many different styles, and what WOW is doing is their own brand and style, and they’re doing very well.
The post-production values are amazing. The way the the segments are produced aren’t like your traditional pro wrestling shows. There’s lots of slick editing and colorful graphics make the vignettes look and feel as if I’m watching a Buzzfeed video, giving the show a modernized look. The Holidead promo was also really well produced and felt like it could’ve been something that aired on WWE TV. The storytelling was very simple, and things were very well explained making it easy to know what the stories were. Obviously the wrestling wasn’t great, but it doesn’t have to be on this show. Still, Erica Porter and Barbi Hayden both had solid performances, and Katie Forbes wasn’t bad either. The matches were okay for the most part, but the overall vibe and production of the shows were entertaining, and that is what seems to be what WOW is trying to accomplish.
If you’re someone who can enjoy campy, cheesy, fun, goofy, and corny entertainment, you’ll love this show. The next episodes premier on March 14th and March 16th on www.wowe.com.