1/25 WOW on AXS review: “Beverly Hills Babe” Amber O’Neal vs Tessa Blanchard, Jessie Jones vs. Azteca, The Voodoo Doll vs. Princess Aussie

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WOW (Women Of Wrestling)
Taped in October 10-11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California at Belasco Theater
Aired January 25, 2019 on on AXS-TV

WOW opened with a recap of last week’s premiere edition on AXS TV… A Tessa Blanchard video package aired and she spoke about her family’s history in the business… The broadcast team is Stephen Dickey, McLane, and EZ Rider…

David McLane introduced WOW Champion Santana Garrett and apologized on behalf of the promotion for Blanchard harassing her father last week. Garrett said she’s never asked McLane for anything, but she was asking for a match with Blanchard.

Tessa Blanchard headed to the ring and fought with Garrett, who took her down and threw punches. Blanchard rolled her over and threw punches, and Garrett reversed it as four referees pulled them apart. “Pull Tessa away, stop this, stop this,” McLane yelled. The pull apart brawl continued while McLane called for someone to ring the bell.

McLane’s voice cracked several times as he spoke about how Blanchard needed to earn a title shot. McLane booked her in a match against The Beverly Hills Babe. McLane said he knows the feud is personal, but told Garrett that Blanchard must earn her way up the ladder to get the title match…

Powell’s POV: Garrett came off better here than she did last week, as she asked for the match and came off like a fighting champion. The Garrett and Blanchard segments were the highlights of last week’s show because they were the least campy.

A Princess Aussie vignette aired. She said she grew up in Australia and her mom was raising two children on her own and went back to Indonesia to teach. She said she has an Aboriginal family and an Indonesian family. She said the big badass of her school hit her. She said she stood up for herself and she always has since then. As she spoke, footage aired of a young girl (portraying a young Princess Aussie) training and dancing with tribesman on a beach…

McLane introduced ring announcer Shaul Guerrero. McLane then left the broadcast table and pointed out Jackie Stallone, who was in the crowd. McLane hugged her and raised her hand…

Powell’s POV: Regardless of the content, the production work on the vignettes are off the charts good.

1. The Voodoo Doll vs. Princess Aussie. Aussie made her entrance with a group of tribesmen who danced around her. McLane said the bamboo sticks that Aussie carried to the ring represents the idea that you can break one stick, but you can’t break a group when they are tied together. McLane spoke about Aussie being raised by the tribesmen when her mom had to leave for work.

Voodoo controlled the early offense, but Aussie came back with a tornado DDT from the middle rope. Aussie ran the ropes and dropped an elbow, then performed a top rope frogsplash and scored the pin. McLane said Shaul Guerrero smiled because the finishing move reminded her of her late father…

Princess Aussie defeated Voodoo Doll.

Powell’s POV: A decent match. It was encouraging that we didn’t get any ridiculously over the top voodoo silliness from the Voodoo Doll character. For that matter, Aussie came off well, so it was the right move to have her go over, unlike last week when Fire had the best vignette to air thus far and lost for some odd reason.

Tessa Blanchard spoke from a gym and said she will do whatever it takes to take the WOW Championship. Blanchard said that just because the Beverly Hills Babe shops in Beverly Hills and hangs out with Lana Star, it doesn’t mean she’s not the same sloppy Amber O’Neal…

Jessie Jones was featured in a video package. It noted that the country girl traveled by bus at the request of former WOW trainer Salina Majors. The narrator noted that the women enjoyed the finer things of Southern pride (they were shown shooting a can in the woods) and their goal was to teach respect to the women who don’t honor the tradition of the sport. Frustrated with their results, Salina walked away from wrestling for a while. Salina was shown getting emotional as she spoke about how some of the women were out for themselves while adding that she doesn’t know if she can do it anymore.

The narrator noted that Majors returned with prospect Jessie Lee Lynn with the hope of reforming Southern Pride. However, Jones showed no mercy for training no mercy. Phone camera footage showed Lynn being stretchered out of a training session. Majors was shown talking about how Jones dislocated the arm of Lynn. Jones was defensive as she spoke about how that’s how they were trained. Jones stormed out of the training center. The narrator said Jones would return to WOW to teach respect to Mexico’s Azteca…

Powell’s POV: Another strong piece of production. WOW is really fun when they stick to realism and avoid the campiness.

Jessie Jones made her entrance. Jones came out and stuck her chewing gum on McLane, who said it was because he told her no more chewing gum. McLane said it was for her safety and she took offense (huh?). Jones took the mic and said she was there to make wrestling great again. They kept cutting to shots of McLane on commentary. Jones said the hypocrites who don’t want a border wall live behind walls in their gated communities. The masked Azteca made her entrance wearing a headdress while receiving a passionate introduction from Guerrero…

2. Jessie Jones vs. Azteca. Azteca worked at a quick pace and had the live crowd behind her. She crashed into the corner shoulder first when Jones moved. Jones targeted the bad shoulder. Azteca performed a nice corkscrew dive over the ropes and splashed Jones in the ring. Jones came back and applied a submission hold on the bad arm of Azteca, who tapped out…

Jessie Jones defeated Azteca.

Powell’s POV: So Jones is essentially a pro-Trump redneck heel. The similarities between her heel act and Impact Wrestling at one point having multiple authority figures with Southern accents talking about how they were going to make Impact great again is unintentional comedy gold. Jones plays her part well and delivered a good promo. I like that Guerrero showed that she was taking offense by delivering the passionate introduction for Azteca. And the match was well worked. While some of the campiness of the old GLOW is prevalent in WOW, the wrestling is a million times better. By the way, why do we see so much of McLane yet the only times we’ve seen the other broadcast team members is if they happen to appear in a shot with McLane? Give viewers a chance to put some faces with the voices.

Footage aired of Beverly Hills Babe putting champagne on ice for Lana Star, who said they would be back on top after Babe beats Blanchard. An attorney named Sophia Lopez blew past Babe and was labeled the world’s greatest attorney by star…

A teaser for Havok (Jessicka Havoc) appearing in future weeks… Footage aired of the Tessa Blanchard vs. Jungle Grrrl match from last week and the altercation between Grrrl and The Beast that followed. The Beast was hyped as returning next week to face Faith the Lioness…

“Field reporter” Brigiite Valdez set up a video package of Amber O’Neal being transformed into the Beverly Hills Babe by Lana Star. The footage focused on O’Neal and Santana Garrett teaming as the All American Girls and winning the WOW Tag Titles. They were forced to vacate the titles by something done by attorney Sophia Lopez. O’Neal was then tempted by the glamorous lifestyle by Lana Star, who renamed her the Beverly Hills Babe…

3. Tessa Blanchard vs. “Beverly Hills Babe” Amber O’Neal (w/Lana Star). Star joined the broadcast team and acted like she didn’t know who Blanchard was. Babe performed a superkick and avoided Blanchard’s hammerlock DDT. Babe got a two count and barked at the referee about his count. Blanchard came right back with the hammerlock DDT and scored the pin…

Tessa Blanchard defeated Beverly Hills Babe.

After the match, Blanchard told McLane that she beat one of the top women in WOW and questioned when she will get her title match with Garrett. Blanchard said she’s a better wrestler than Garrett. McLane was standing up with his arms out. Garrett hit the ring and took Blanchard down. McLane said this had not been permitted. Referees pulled Garrett off and they had a brief pull apart brawl to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A well worked match. It was an odd choice to have heel Blanchard work against another heel. Granted, O’Neal comes off as subservient to Star, so perhaps the idea is that she’ll be turning babyface again? Either way, the post match angle was brief, but they are doing a very good job of building to a showdown match between Garrett and Blanchard.

Overall, this week’s episode was much better than last week’s premiere on AXS. The over the top characters weren’t featured as prominently this week and they didn’t try to cram as much into the hour. The introductory vignettes are extremely well done and the more they focus on the more realistic characters the more I will enjoy the series. Yes, that’s a personal taste, but I also believe that today’s fan wants more realism and less of the zaniness that McLane is known for.

WOW has a eight episode run on AXS to start so whatever is in the can obviously won’t change, but I really hope they focus on the more reality based characters and make some tweaks to some of the cornier wrestler names and personas if they are renewed. This has the potential to be a good women’s promotion if they are willing to move away from the McLane formula. Speaking of McLane, he needs to show more discipline by reducing his on-air presence if the show moves forward. He has a hammy charm, but it’s works better and the show would be better if it came in small doses.

Correction: This story originally stated that WOW has a six-episode run on AXS when the network has actually committed to eight episodes. I corrected the number above to avoid further confusion.

Check below for a recent Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and WOW head writer and lead voice Stephen Dickey discussing his career and the launch of the weekly WOW television series.




The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast features Shane Taylor returning to discuss ROH Wrestling, his friendship with WWE's Erik (Ray Rowe) and attending his viking wedding, his relationship with the SOS tag team, his feud with EC3 and their history, the Cleveland pro wrestler connection, and much more...


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