WOW on AXS review: Santana Garrett vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Jungle Grrrl for the WOW Championship, Jessie Jones vs. Stephy Slays, Azteca vs. Holidead, “Beverly Hills Babe” Amber O’Neal vs. Eye Candy


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WOW (Women Of Wrestling)
Taped in October 10-11, 2018 in Los Angeles, California at Belasco Theater
Aired February 8, 2019 on on AXS-TV

David McLane stood in the ring and welcomed viewers to the show… The broadcast team was McLane, Stephen Dickey, and EZ Rider… A video package recapped the Santana Garrett and Tessa Blanchard feud…

Garrett stood in the ring with McLane and said she’s waited three weeks and she wants to face Blanchard tonight. Jungle Grrrl made her entrance and entered the ring. Grrrl said Garrett has a responsibility to defend the title. She pointed out that her shoulder have never been pinned to the mat.

Blanchard made her entrance and entered the ring. McLane said Blanchard wasn’t supposed to be out there and she would be fined if she touched Garrett. McLane said she doesn’t make the matches. Blanchard said she always gets what she wants. Blanchard rolled to ringside. McLane asked the fans if they wanted to see Blanchard in the ring. The fans cheered. McLane booked Garrett vs. Blanchard vs. Jungle Grrrl in a triple threat… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good opening segment to set up the show’s main event. WOW has done a nice job of building up to the first interaction between Garrett and Blanchard. In fact, it actually would have made more sense to set up the match at the end of last week’s show to use it as a hook for this week.

“Beverly Hills Babe” Amber O’Neal and Lana Star were shown at an undisclosed location. O’Neal was mugging for a phone camera photo and boasting about how quickly it would trend. Star pulled O’Neal’s arm down and said she is the star and the executive producer. She said O’Neal has been loving the lifestyle and the VIP treatment. Star said there are a lot of new women in WOW and they need to know just who they are. Star told O’Neal that she needs her to be focused. “I’ve got this,” O’Neal said. Star walked away and then O’Neal picked up her phone and began posing again…

1. Eye Candy vs. “Beverly Hills Babe” Amber O’Neal (w/Lana Star). The broadcast team noted O’Neal’s history as the Bullet Babe in Bullet Club. Candy performed a neckbreaker and a senton and then covered O’Neal and hooked her leg. The referee never counted because O’Neal’s shoulder wasn’t down. O’Neal was slow to get up. Star grabbed Candy in the corner and then O’Neal went on the offensive.

Later, Candy performed a Russian leg sweep. Babe got up first, but Candy knocked her down with a couple of double ax handles. Candy went to the middle rope for a move, but Star grabbed her foot in front of the referee. Candy performed a bad missile dropkick for a two count.

Candy performed the Sweet Treat (Death Valley Driver) and covered O’Neal. Star entered the ring and never broke it up, but the referee stopped counting. Candy covered O’Neal again and the ref counted, then Candy gave up the pin for no reason. Candy went after Star on the apron. O’Neal kicked Candy and performed a nice backslide into a bridge for the win.

Beverly Hills Babe defeated Eye Candy.

After the match, Star boasted that “we just won.” Star said she is WOW’s greatest champion and the belt will be hers again through the Babe. Star said there is only one star in WOW. Babe thought she was talking about her, but Star was talking about herself. They added some canned heat… [C]

Powell’s POV: A rough match with all sorts of confusion at the end between Star and Candy. Ouch.

A Stephy Slays video package aired. She spoke from a bedroom and had a lot of pictures from her life on the wall. She spoke about growing up without a father. She got emotional as she spoke about how kids can be cruel. She said she hit rock bottom and had no confidence or motivation to live. She said Sophia Lopez was a good friend of her mom’s and she came into her life and recommended WOW to her. Slays said getting into the ring was a life changing moment. She said WOW became a beautiful family that supported her in so many ways. She praised trainer Selina Majors. She said it’s incredible to feel whole. She said it doesn’t matter how many times she falls down, she will always get back up, and one day she will be champion…

Brigiite Valdez interviewed Jessie Jones in a stairwell. She said she beat “Speedy Gonzalez” two weeks ago. Valdez pointed out that she beat Azteca. Jones said she would do the same to Slays…

Powell’s POV: A top notch video package that made Slays very likable. She came off as a real person rather than someone playing a character. On the flip side, Jones is very much a character and she plays her part well.

2. Jessie Jones vs. Stephy Slays. McLane noted on commentary that has additional WOW action. Jones applied an armbar and got the submission win. After the match, Jones said she’s forgotten more about the business than most of the WOW women will ever know. She said the women will respect her or she will beat it into them…

Jessie Jones defeated Stephy Slays.

Teasers aired for Jessicka Havoc and Holidead… [C]

Powell’s POV: I like that they are putting heat on Jones, who is good in the ring and on the mic. The Slays video package established that she’ll keep getting up no matter how many times she falls, so the loss plays into that.

An emotional Slays was crying as she iced her arm backstage. Abilene Maverick walked into the room and asked when she’s going to learn that she’s running with the big girls now…

Powell’s POV: Ugh. Slays didn’t pull off the emotional part of this and thus it felt hokey, which was disappointing given how real she came off in the earlier video package. They seem to be using a more canned heat on this show than I’ve noticed on the previous episodes. I’m not sure if I just didn’t notice or if they are perhaps making up for the crowd tiring out. I don’t mind a little crowd sweetening when it doesn’t stand out as obvious, but unfortunately this does.

3. Azteca vs. Holidead. McLane said he was at a restaurant recently and he ran into Sophia Lopez, who told him she will be returning to WOW with a big announcement in the coming weeks. He said it “possibly involves lucha wrestling.” Holidead applied a submission hold, but Azteca reached the ropes. Later, Azteca performed a hurcanrana from the ropes. Both women remained down for a moment and the fans chanted. Azteca threw a series of nice strikes that concluded with a kick for a nice near fall. She played to the crowd and they responded with cheers. Holidead came back with a fireman’s carry into dumping Azteca face first onto the mat and then covering her for two. Azteca performed a Canadian Destroyer and scored the pin.

Azteca defeated Holidead.

After the match, the lights went out for a moment and then the Voodoo Doll appeared in the ring. She looked at Holidead, then turned and kicked Azteca. The lights went out again and Voodoo Doll was gone…

Powell’s POV: A good match. The live crowd was back up for this match and for good reason. Both women did a nice job. The post match angle seemed to set up an alliance between Voodoo Doll and Holidead. Here’s hoping it doesn’t become Papa Shango silly.

A video package recapped past footage to tell the backstory of the main event… [C]

Ring announcer Shaul Guerrero delivered introductions for the main event. The referee held up the WOW title belt and then streamers fell from the ceiling…

4. Santana Garrett vs. Tessa Blanchard vs. Jungle Grrrl in a Triple Threat for the WOW Championship. Garrett and Blanchard walked toward one another only for Grrrl to stand between them. Blanchard and Grrrl jawed at one another. They teamed up for a move on Garrett, who came back with a move on both of them that cleared Blanchard from the ring. Blanchard tripped Garrett from the floor and ran her into the post. Blanchard and Grrrl fought inside the ring while Garrett was down. Blanchard performed a lung blower on Grrrl for a two count.

Garrett returned to the ring and worked over both opponents. Garrett threw both women into the same corner and then performed a handspring elbow. She performed a double bulldog out of the corner and then put both women in what the broadcast team called a double deathlock. Grrrl reached the ropes to break it.

Garrett caught Blanchard with a superkick, then slapped Grrrl, who was on the ropes. Blanchard performed a cutter on Garrett. Grrrl performed a nice German suplex on Blanchard. Garrett superkicked Grrrl. Garrett caught Blanchard with Eat Defeat and then did a handspring into the ropes into a moonsault. Grrrl performed a top rope splash on Blanchard. Garrett and Grrrl both covered Blanchard and got a simultaneous three count. Several referees entered the ring. McLane said they were out of time and they went off the air without announcing a winner.

Santana Garrett and Jungle Grrrl both pinned Tessa Blanchard in a Triple Threat match for the WOW Championship.

Powell’s POV: An unsatisfying finish in the moment, but a nice hook for next week’s show. The angle would infuriate fans if it happened on Raw or Smackdown these days. Perhaps it’s because WOW has a fun and lower stakes vibe compared to WWE, but I didn’t mind the cliffhanger. I assume Garrett retains since she has the champion’s advantage and that this leads to Garrett vs. Grrrl in a singles match. I actually thought Grrrl would end up taking the loss here to move closer to Garrett vs. Blanchard. Tessa took some questionable early losses in Impact Wrestling too and she’s doing just fine in that company, so she can absorb this loss in WOW. Overall, a good episode aside from the rough opening match.

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.


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