Last night, WOW Women of Wrestling made its debut on AXS TV. The promotion had actually been around off and on since 2000, but with the success of GLOW on Netflix and a shift in how women’s wrestling is portrayed in WWE, the times have probably finally caught up to the idea of a women’s only wrestling show in the United States.
The show started with WOW co-owner David McLane in the ring as he introduced WOW Champion Santana Garrett. Santana Garrett’s dad, Kenny G was in the crowd. He had a breathing tube in and got emotional seeing his daughter in the ring.
This lead to Tessa Blanchard coming out and cutting a promo talking about her family’s wrestling lineage, and how Garrett’s dad couldn’t lace her father’s boots. Blanchard said she’s in WOW for “one thing only,” Garrett’s title.
McLane told Tessa in WOW she has to earn her way up the ladder to get a championship match. McLane then asked her to leave. Garrett told her “If you want a shot at my championship, get to the back of the line, girlfriend.”
I thought this segment did a good job of introducing Garrett and making it known she is the champion while at the same time introducing Blanchard to set up what is sure to be the show’s main rivalry at the start. I didn’t like that Garrett told Blanchard to get to the back of the line since Garrett was portrayed as the face here. She shouldn’t be avoiding someone who just disrespected her father in that way.
A video package was next showing how in the last season of the show (which only aired online) Abeline Maverick had tricked Stephy Slays into a match with The Beast (much like Mr. Glass gets David Dunn to fight The Beast in Glass!). The Beast had destroyed her so Slays wants a rematch.
The Beast vs. Stephy Slays
The Beast dominated early but Stephy Slays had a little bit of a comeback. The Beast cut it off though but then ended up posing while going for the pin allowing Slays to kick out at two. The Beast finished off Slays with a powerbomb. After the match, The Beast got on the mike and said: “I’m the biggest, I’m the baddest, I’m The Beast.”
This did a good job establishing The Beast as… well, a beast. She has a really good look and a good presence. I can see The Beast really becoming one of the breakout stars from this show.
A vignette on Fire (Kiera Hogan) aired next. This was really well done. The vignettes WOW is doing is a great way to introduce the wrestlers.
Abilene Maverick vs. Fire
Abeilene Maverick is Barbi Hayden on the indies. Both Maverick and Fire are good wrestlers, so it was no surprise this was a really solid match. They traded control early in the match, but Maverick won with a hanging DDT.
A preview for next week’s episode aired and Princess Aussie, who is Simone Sherie from Santino Bros., was shown.
Backstage a doctor was tending to Slays and Maverick was talking trash to her. Khloe Hurtz (Katie Forbes on the indies) walked between them and pushed Maverick up against the wall. Hurtz looked at the camera and said: “It’s Khloe time.”
Khloe Hurtz vs. Eye Candy
Eye Candy wrestles on the indies as Willow Nightengale and is pretty good. She was one of the stars of an AWS/Rise double shot weekend in South Gate last year. Candy controlled the early part of the match but Hurtz hit a backstabber to gain control. This didn’t last long and Candy retook control of the match and finished Hurtz off with a moonsault.
A segment was shown with Siren The Voodoo Doll. She was in a room with all sorts of occult items. She said she has been to hell and back and has been transformed. This came off hokey.
Another great video package highlighting a wrestler’s background was shown, this time for Santana Garrett. These are really good.
A video package for Jungle Grrrl was next. They mentioned she has never been pinned in WOW. She’s been in WOW since the beginning. It wasn’t mentioned but after WOW went on hiatus in 2001, Jungle Grrrl began training at UPW’s Ultimate University and eventually won the UPW Women’s Championship. If there would have had a Southern California Women’s Wrestler of the Year award in 2003, she probably would have won it.
Santana Garrett vs. Jungle Grrrl for the WOW Championship
Jungle Grrrl had the upper hand pretty much from the start. She hit a Jungle Driver on Garrett and barely missed hitting Garrett with her finishing move, a Superfly splash. Tessa Blanchard came out and twisted Garrett’s father’s breathing tubes, causing him to start choking, and Garrett to leave the ring after her. Whoa, Blanchard is willing to actually murder someone to get a title shot. This lead to Garrett losing by count-out.
Blanchard got in the ring, and an upset Jungle Grrrl hit her with a Jungle Driver. This was followed by The Beast getting in the ring and into Jungle Grrrl’s face. David McLane was screaming on commentary they were running out of airtime and the show went off the air with The Beast and Jungle Grrrl still in mid staredown.
I thought this was really well done and was a good way to set up several different feuds. They really established Tessa Blanchard as a heel with the assault on Garrett’s dad (who really had medical issues and sadly passed away in December after these shows were filmed).
I’ll get the bad out of the way first. I didn’t care for David McLane on commentary. He was way over the top and took away from the matches more than he added to it. There were also times when fake crowd noise was used, and I’ll never be a fan of that.
The production quality was top notch and better than any other wrestling shows outside of what WWE is doing. The focus on adding more quality wrestlers has also greatly improved the match quality over previous seasons. They did an excellent job of introducing the wrestlers and the important parts of what happened pre-AXS, which allows new viewers to jump right in.
Overall I thought WOW Women of Wrestling was really well done and was a fun hour of wrestling.