WOW - Women of Wrestling is returning to the airwaves this weekend, marking the first time that new episodes of the all-female wrestling promotion will be available to watch on television since 2020.
Created by GLOW - Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling founder David McLane in 2000, WOW was revived several years ago with the help of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, who is now part-owner of WOW as well.
Buss helped broker a deal in 2017 that saw new episodes of WOW air on AXS TV, and after that partnership ended in 2020, Buss struck a new one with ViacomCBS for WOW to begin airing in weekly syndication starting in September 2022.
Involvement of April Mendez
Aside from the television contract, Buss' biggest move was the addition of April Mendez as executive producer and a color commentator for the weekly show.
Mendez, who is best known by her ring name AJ Lee, was an eight-year veteran of pro wrestling from 2007 to 2015, including a stint with WWE from 2009 to 2015.
Lee became one of the most recognized and accomplished female stars in WWE history, holding the Divas Championship three times before retiring in 2015 due to injuries.
Earlier this year, Mendez explained on the WOW website why she decided to become so heavily involved with the promotion:
"What I so appreciate about [Buss'] vision is that she wants it to be a family-friendly show that everyone can sit down and watch on Saturday morning. And that is such an old-school vibe that I connected to. I just remember being really little, and the only posters they had of the female wrestlers were in bikinis in the magazines. So just the idea of like giving a younger generation this that sort of like wholesome superhero types lean."
While there has been no indication that Mendez intends to return to the ring, she brings instant credibility to WOW and will be a familiar face for fans tuning into the show for the first time.
WOW Television Schedule
Since WOW is now a syndicated show, the dates and times that it airs, as well as the channel that it airs on will vary depending on the market.
As reported by Deadline's Lynette Rice last month, WOW will be available in 100 percent of U.S. markets and can be seen on CBS-owned-and-operated stations, Sinclair Communications, Nexstar Broadcasting, Hearst Television, TEGNA Media, Weigel Broadcasting, Gray Media and Cox Television through Paramount Global Content Distribution.
Saturday, Sept. 17 is the first day that WOW will air in syndication, but those interested in watching will be best off checking the guide on their television to find the exact date, time and channel WOW will air in their market.
The distribution of WOW will be similar to that of Ring of Honor before it was purchased by AEW president Tony Khan earlier this year.
ROH showings varied depending on the market for the life of its existence, and that will be the case with WOW as well for the duration of its deal with ViacomCBS.
WOW refers to its female wrestlers as "Superheroes," and the company has a robust roster entering the 2022 season premier.
While the vast majority of the roster is made up of wrestlers with little-to-no mainstream exposure, that could change once new episodes begin airing.
Here is a full listing of the WOW roster, courtesy of the promotion's website:
- Adriana Gambino
- BK Rhythm
- Chantilly Chella
- Coach Campanelli
- Foxxy Fierce
- GI Jane
- Gigi Gianni
- Heavy Metal Sisters
- Ice Cold
- Jennifer "Jen Z" Florez
- Jessie Jones
- Kandi Krush
- Keta Rush
- Lana Star
- Laurie Carlson
- Leia Makoa
- Lindsey Carlson
- Malia Hosaka
- Miami Sweet Heat
- Penelope Pink
- Princess Aussie
- Randi Rah Rah
- Reina Del Rey
- Sahara Spars
- Samantha Smart
- Siren The Voodoo Doll
- Sophia Lopez
- Stephy Slays
- The Beast
- The Disciplinarian
- The Tonga Twins
- Tiki Chamorro
- Vivian Rivera
Entering the start of the new season, The Beast is the reigning WOW world champion, having held the title for over 1,200 days since beating Tessa Blanchard in May 2019.
While the 35-year-old figures to be the dominant force in WOW, the most recognizable name on the roster is veteran Malia Hosaka.
The 52-year-old native of Hawaii had stints with WWE and WCW in the 1990s, plus she spent time in ECW and TNA. Hosaka also held the NWA Women's World Championship for one day in 1996.
Hosaka figures to bring some much-needed experience to a young roster, making her a key cog on the show and behind the scenes.
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