WOW on AXS review: Season finale with Tessa Blanchard vs. Havok for the WOW Championship, Khloe Hurtz vs. Kobra Moon, Princess Aussie and Azteca vs. The Voodoo Doll and Holidead, The Disciplinarian vs. Stephy Slays

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

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

A video package opened the show and focused on the WOW wrestlers… The broadcast team was Stephen Dickey, David McLane, and EZ Rider, and the ring announcer was Shaul Guerrero…

McLane was shown walking backstage where he encountered Abilene Maverick, who was on crutches. She informed him that she was injured and could not wrestle. McLane was upset and asked who would wrestle Stephy Slays. Samantha Smart was shown eavesdropping and texting on her phone…

A video package focused on Voodoo Doll’s recent antics and her apparent alliance with Holidead. McLane set up the upcoming tag match…

1. Princess Aussie and Azteca vs. Siren the Voodoo Doll and Holidead. Aussie and Azteca jumped out to a quick start. The heel duo came back and isolated Aussie and took turns chopping her chest in the corner. Azteca took a hot tag and had Voodoo Doll pinned, but Holidead pulled the referee out of the ring to break up the count. Voodoo Doll took advantage of the commotion that followed and performed what McLane labeled the Downward Spiral for the win…

Siren the Voodoo Doll and Holidead defeated Princess Aussie and Azteca.

Powell’s POV: A well worked tag match. In case you missed it, it was announced during a conference that WOW has been renewed for a second season. During the conference call, McLane said the WOW Tag Titles will be returning, so look for that when season two starts airing sometime this fall.

A Tessa Blanchard video aired. She boasted about running Santana Garrett out of WOW and being the first person to beat Jungle Grrrl. She took issue with (Jessicka) Havok getting in her face and said if that was her way of issuing a challenge then she has her title match. McLane confirmed the match would be tonight’s main event… [C]

McLane noted that Abilene Maverick was scheduled to face Stephy Slays and he showed that their issues started when Maverick poured tea onto the chest of Slays. Yes, really. A video package aired on Samantha Smart. She said she left Indiana because she was too smart to live somewhere so simple. She noted that she received a full ride to college for academics and athletics. She said her hobbies are science, art, business, and technology. She said her need for a stimulating environment led her straight to WOW. She said she has been working alongside matchmaker David McLane and Jeanie Buss to manage the roster. She said that taking care of your body is simple science, studying opponents is psychology, assisting McLane is business, and taking over WOW is diabolical… [C]

Powell’s POV: Call me crazy, but if I had a diabolical plan to take over a company, I wouldn’t talk about it on said company’s television show. That said, this was another solid introductory video package. WOW really excelled when it came to this type of production in season one.

2. Stephy Slays vs. The Disciplinarian (w/Samantha Smart). McLane noted that Maverick was unable to wrestle Slays as scheduled due to injury. Maverick sat in on commentary. McLane accused her of being a bully and questioned whether she’s afraid to wrestle Slays. Maverick said her knee was in so much pain that she shouldn’t even be on commentary. Disciplinarian dominated the match, but Slays rolled her up from an Electric Chair position and scored the pin. Slays celebrated while McLane noted that it was her first win in WOW. After the match, Disciplinarian attacked Slays from behind, then Smart slammed a long ruler over her back… [C]

Stephy Slays defeated The Disciplinarian.

Powell’s POV: I’m lost when it comes to what they are going for with Smart. She assists McLane and Buss, yet she openly talks about taking over the company and also manages a wrestler. For a promotion that likes to keep things simple this is all a bit much. The match was fine. I wish they would have gotten more out of Slays getting her first win. It was easy to see that they were building toward her getting her first win throughout this season, but at the same time it didn’t feel like the story really clicked as much as hit should have.

Slays was congratulated on her first win backstage and had flowers and a cupcake. Maverick showed up in her dressing room and she dropped one crutch. Slays asked if her leg was better. Maverick slammed the second crutch into the gut of Slays and then hit her with a comedically awful shot to the back. Maverick threw her flowers at her and, of course, shoved the cupcake into her face. Maverick told Slays that she’s pathetic…

Powell’s POV: You didn’t actually think that someone was going to

3. Khloe Hurtz (w/The Rats) vs. Kobra Moon (w/Sophia Lopez). The Rats are a group of shirtless males who accompany Hurtz to the ring. Hurtz hoisted up Moon and squatted her four times while turning to face each side of the building. Moon came back with a senton onto the back of Hurtz for a two count. Moon applied a swinging surfboard. Lopez was shown bickering with a ringside fan. Hurtz applied an Indian death lock. McLane said she’s a big star in India and “was over there touring.” Hurtz went to the middle rope. One of the Rats gave her some water and she shoved him to ringside and barked at him. When Hurtz turned around, Moon caught her with a kick and rolled her into a pin…

Kobra Moon defeated Khloe Hurtz.

Powell’s POV: I still have no idea whether they want viewers to like or dislike Hurtz. The finish was clunky and it’s hard to imagine it going somewhere since McLane appears to be the only male who gets any meaningful camera time on the show.

A Havok promo aired. She said Tessa Blanchard has held titles all over the world, but the WOW Championship is the one she is focused on. Havok said that Blanchard may be one of the best, but she hasn’t been in the ring with someone like her. Havok said she would show why she is called the Monster of Madness… [C]

A brief teaser aired on the Dixie Darlings. They were dubbed as being from the hills of Virginia and coming to the big city of Los Angeles… A Tessa Blanchard video package aired. She recapped her family history again. Blanchard said she worked in a nightclub in Charlotte and would be up all night and sleep her days away. She said she woke up one day and decided to contact a wrestling school. She said the training hurt, but she loved it and figured out that pro wrestling his what she was supposed to do. She said she told her stepfather Magnum TA that she was training and asked him to check out her training. Magnum watched and told her that she’s not good, but she has it. He told her that she has to go out there and become undeniable. Blanchard said no girl on the independent scene can compare to her. She said she was born into the business and this was always supposed to happen. She said she is a born legend and that’s why she’s the WOW Champion…

Powell’s POV: Tessa is terrific and gives any women’s division she works in a feeling of legitimacy.

4. Tessa Blanchard vs. Havok for the WOW Championship. Guerrero delivered the introduction and then streamers shot off just prior to the title match. Havok shoved Blanchard, who responded with a big slap. Havok threw Blanchard into the corner and then across the ring a couple times. Blanchard made a few unsuccessful attempts to take Havok down. Havok caught Blanchard with a kick and then applied a Full Nelson. Blanchard powered out of the hold and dropkicked Havoc into the ropes. Blanchard went to the apron and kicked Havok off the ropes, then went up top for a senton, but Havok rolled out of the way.

Havok tied up Blanchard in a tree of woe and then dropped an elbow on her. Havok performed a running kick in the corner. She went for another kick, but Blanchard rolled to ringside and then tripped up Havok on the apron. Blanchard performed a suicide dive and then rolled Havok back inside the ring. Blanchard leapt off the top rope and performed a Codebreaker on the way down. Blanchard followed up with her Hammerlock DDT and had the pin, but The Beast pulled the referee from the ring (Beast was actually late and the ref had to stop his count to wait) to apparently end the match.

Tessa Blanchard fought Havok to an apparent no-contest.

Afterward, The Beast and Blanchard squared off. Jungle Grrrl entered the ring, and Havok also stood up. Four referees entered the ring and kept the women apart while McLane wrapped up the show…

Powell’s POV: So a four-way next week? Actually, no, as this was the season finale. And it was disappointing to see the season finale end with a cheap finish. Blanchard vs. Havok was fine while it lasted, but I wish they would give the better workers more ring time. For what it’s worth, the WOW conference call this week focused heavily on Blanchard and The Beast, who both took part. So I assume that’s the match they will be building to next season. As an episode, the show was fine. As a season finale it left a lot to be desired in that Slays getting her first win was the only thing that felt like a payoff for fans who watched all eight shows.

That’s a wrap for season one of WOW on AXS TV. The next season will be taped in May at the same venue and will air sometime in the fall. There was more to like than dislike in season one. The production is strong and I can’t say enough good things about the introductory vignettes. My hope for season two continues to be that they eliminate some of the cornier elements and add a little more realism. WOW has a good roster of talent to work with and I would love to see them make some tweaks to the presentation and tighten things up creatively (that mess of a storyline that resulted in Tessa Blanchard winning the WOW Championship was dreadful). WOW has a chance to be something special as an all women’s promotion. One dimensional gimmicks makes WOW an easy watch for a casual viewer, but it also makes the show feel a bit trivial and missable. A few simple changes would go a long way, but I don’t know if David McLane is willing to stray from the formula he’s been using since the GLOW days.

Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Ian Riccaboni discussing his decision to re-sign with Ring of Honor, getting emotionally invested in matches, the March 15 ROH 17th Anniversary show, the G1 Supercard at MSG, and much more.



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