By Anish Vishwakoti, ProWrestling.net Staffer, (@AVX_9001)
The following is a recap of the WOW conference call that was hosted by WOW founder David McLane, LA Lakers Owner and WOW investor Jeanie Buss, AXS TV Representative Sean Grabin, and AXS CEO Andrew Simon on Thursday. The weekly WOW show will premiere Friday, January 18 on AXS TV.
-Buss and McLane started the conference call off by talking about how they both became wrestling fans. Buss talked about getting into comic books because of her father and then being introduced to wrestling by David McLane.
-McLane then went on to talk about how he saw that women weren’t treated well in wrestling when he watched as a kid and he wanted to change that, and this led him to creating GLOW and now WOW.
-McLane said that he and Buss wanted to make WOW something that you can watch with your families.
-Simon spoke about wanting to get an only women’s wrestling show on national television. He said that they wanted to add to their NJPW content and support it with more wrestling and WOW was the right choice given the rise of women in sports.
-Buss was asked about working with Mark Cuban, who owns both AXS TV and a rival NBA team (The Dallas Mavericks). Buss said she appreciates the work ethic of Cuban, and appreciates his willingness to put an hour of women’s wrestling on AXS TV.
-Buss was then asked about involvement by the LA Lakers roster getting involvement with WOW, Buss stated that there were no plans for that as of right now.
-Simon was asked what it would take for more episodes to be produced. He said that based on the reaction, AXS TV would formulate a plan going forward. McLane said their methodical nature of bringing out WOW was based on the strategy that AXS has taken with introducing NJPW on their programming.
-McLane said that the difference maker for WOW is that they are targeting a global fan base of wrestling fans who are looking for women’s wrestling. He said that the focus will be on the storylines of the women’s wrestlers rather than anything else.
-Buss said that she’s a super fan of all the women on her roster. She named Tessa Blanchard as a new addition in particular. Buss said that there are a lot of female athletes out there that don’t have a place to perform and she wanted to give that to them on WOW.
-McLane was asked about the approach that they would be taking with WOW, and said that it would be a serious approach, as opposed to the more camp style of GLOW. McLane hyped up WOW wrestler The Beast by saying that she’s a star the moment she jumps over the rope.
-McLane said that WOW is special as fans have the investment to get up out of their seats to boo and cheer their wrestlers.
-McLane said that the appetite for women’s wrestling has increased heftily since the days of the original GLOW. He cited Ronda Rousey as being part of that increased exposure to female athletes.
-Buss reiterated her desire for female athletes to have a place to perform. She talked about the large arena of female athletes playing college sports that could possibly have a place to work with WOW in the future.
-McLane said that one of WOW’s goals is to pass the passion of Professional Wrestling to their female fans so that they can cultivate more talent in the future. He also talked about wanting to incorporate the wrestlers into the business of the company to give them management experience as well.
-McLane said that WOW would not be targeted to a male audience, and that they were blown away by the analytics that told them that they have a large family audience. He also said that their goal is to get more women watching to watch wrestling. Buss added that they want all people to watch their show, but they are simply doing this through promoting women’s sports.
-McLane was asked about involvement with other promotions such a Shimmer, and he named a few wrestlers on the WOW roster that wrestle elsewhere (Kiera Hogan, Amber O’Neal, Jessika Havoc.) He stated that they are looking to have several independent wrestlers as well as homegrown talent from their wrestling school in Long Beach.
-McLane was asked about more championships for the 35 women roster, and he said that tag team championships would be coming soon. He said he wanted to let this come up organically, rather than force a new championship.
-Simon was asked about AEW. He said that with the involvement of so many different people in wrestling, this will be a great thing for the industry.
-McLane said that right not the focus for WOW would be to make sure that their programming is as suitable as possible for AXS TV and then look at expanding their presence on social media and other platforms
-McLane was asked about health insurance and said that unlike many wrestling promotions, WOW’s talent already has health insurance since Jeanie Buss became involved with WOW.
-Simon was asked about whether AEW would be added to the AXS lineup. He said that they are not one of the places that are negotiating a TV deal with AEW.
-Buss was asked about the influence that Cindi Lauper had on her when it came to becoming a wrestling fan. She said that the colorfulness of wrestling has always had a place in her heart and said that her goal was for WOW to inspire more girls to be wrestling fans.
-Simon said that WOW would focus on being a good TV show for AXS, and would look at increasing their presence as a wrestling entity in the future, but not right now.
-McLane was asked to name a dark horse wrestler in WOW. He named The Beast and Princess Aussie as two wrestlers to watch. He also named Shaul Guerrero, who is WOW’s ring announcer, as one of the people to watch in WOW, saying she has the best voice in wrestling. Andrew Simon also named Jessie Jones.
Anish’s Thoughts: There were a few interesting pieces of information that came out of this call, especially when it comes to the behind the scenes of WOW. It was interesting to hear that WOW talent already have health insurance, while all this talk of health insurance come up with AEW. I was not surprised to hear about McLane being a huge wrestling fan, but it’s interesting to see all these influential people who are wrestling fans getting increasingly involved in the industry, from Mark Cuban and Jeanie Buss to the Khan family. We didn’t hear much about the future of WOW beyond this eight episode run, but it seems like AXS is willing to invest in more episodes given a good reaction to this initial run. Clearly, with investment in a wrestling school as well, McLane and Buss are looking for WOW to last for a while. With the backing and the television deal that they do have, I could see WOW being featured on AXS’s lineup of Wrestling for a while to come.
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