In Relation to My Work: Thoughts on Women of Wrestling

Women of Wrestling (WOW): Will its promised upcoming revival redeem its image in the eyes of jaded wrestling fans worldwide, or will it fall even harder in the 2010s than it did back in the spring of 2001? Only time will tell.

Welcome back, readers!

As promised, I’ve returned with a post that I hope hypes people up for my upcoming release, UWWX: The Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment. Specifically, this entry is dedicated to the last in a rather long line of women’s wrestling promotions created and operated by David B. McLane—a humble yet ambitious show known simply as Women of Wrestling (WOW). Though one can more or less consider WOW to be a novelty wrestling organization based on its parallel origin in comparison to Mr. McLane’s original ladies’ wrestling venture, the campy and much-criticized Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), I personally could look beyond all the fancy costumes, pun-based names, and unabashedly manufactured characters to see what WOW was trying to do: provide young women with live-action comic book superheroine role models to look up to while simultaneously offering men the kind of serious, intense pro wrestling action we were receiving at the time from the likes of World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation. Unfortunately, there were just too many obstacles standing in WOW’s way that prevented it from achieving the status that its fans still feel it truly deserved. These obstacles range from low-budget visual and audio production and being featured on syndicated television rather than having a major television deal with a long-standing cable company (e.g., WWF/WWE RAW on the USA Network) to the sloppy, haphazard booking style of head booker Steve Blance and little to no character development for many of the women outside of whatever gimmick they’d been suited with. Then again, their first—scratch that, only—pay-per-view event, WOW Unleashed from February 4, 2001, was a complete mess with more “lowlights” than highlights in terms of commentary goof-ups, technical difficulties, botched spots and promos, and horrendously booked matches and outcomes and as such didn’t do the company much justice in terms of making revenue. Worse yet was how the company, at least in my eyes, tried too hard to please every demographic in their audience with the way it presented its performers as being every bit as sexy as they were tough, particularly by means of a swimsuit competition that undermined the promotion’s original “girl power” message for the sole sake of appealing to the 18- to 49-year-old male demographic.

Jade of the Asian Invasion hitting a hurricanrana on Caged Heat’s Delta Lotta Pain: Proof that unlike certain other women’s wrestling venues, WOW wasn’t all about sex appeal and knew that at its core, it was indeed a WRESTLING show

Needless to say, WOW had faded into obscurity in the spring of 2001 right alongside the more readily recognized and celebrated World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling—both brands now being legal properties of WWE, for the record—and in my opinion, it was a sad turn of events. Granted, I’m probably among the minority in saying that, seeing as most Internet-frequenting wrestling fans see WOW as just another poorly contrived black eye on an already heavily ridiculed business, but I honestly believe even today that if McLane and company had taken more serious precautions in terms of forging their product’s identity in the first place and taking more concrete measures to appeal to a broad audience without alienating certain members of any particular demographic, then who knows? Maybe—just maybe—WOW never would have gone out of business in the first place. After all, despite all but two of the women on the roster being rookies to the business and receiving only a fraction of the training that they needed to truly prove their worth as athletes in such an oft-misunderstood sport, the gals truly worked hard to become students of the craft and put on the best shows they possibly could night after night in the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. I’m not alone in having seen that, either, as I’ve chanced to come across many a post on the Internet where certain people have praised the women of WOW for their talents, even in certain instances where the person in question still hated the show for its inexcusable booking.

Beckie the Farmer’s Daughter, Bronco Billie, and Terri Gold greeted by three young fans while doing publicity work on behalf of WOW for the T.J. Martell Foundation, an organization dedicated to researching and finding a cure for leukemia, cancer, and AIDS. For more information, please visit http://www.tjmartellfoundation.org.

Thankfully—at least for WOW’s fans—as early as the December of 2010, McLane’s dreams of reviving what was arguably his greatest creation are slowly but surely being realized as we speak, for Women of Wrestling is indeed making a comeback, as one can determine for oneself by visiting the organization’s homepage at wowe.com or by reading the following article that I chanced to find this past Sunday:

Jeanie Buss Executive Producer for Women’s Wrestling Reality Show

Personally, I hope that this promotion succeeds this time around, only because, as I’ve mentioned before on this blog, professional wrestling has been in the pits since the spring of ’01 and needs all the help it can get in order to once again reach the heights it once attained back in the late 1990s during the “Monday Night Wars.” The problem is, however, that WOW basically used the same formula that its predecessor GLOW had back in 1986 to 1990—albeit tweaked to be more of a sports entertainment comic book brought to life rather than a cheesy action-based sketch comedy—and showcased characters that were so artificial that they could never possibly exist outside the small theatrical realm they were created to be a part of. Not only that, but inasmuch as men’s professional wrestling already has its fair share of detractors and women’s wrestling even more—even if for no other reason than the obvious fact of wrestling having always been a male-dominated industry in the first place with women more or less relegated to such non-wrestling roles as ring girls, valets, backstage interviewers, and so forth—WOW is going to have more people still turning their condescending noses up at it simply because of its very entertainment-heavy, character-based nature. Being a more serious, less comical show than GLOW ever was might help, I suppose, but not by much, considering McLane’s reputation for not being able to fully let go of the programming model he’d used back in ’86 for GLOW in the first place. Already have I read one degrading remark towards Ms. Jeanie Buss and the upcoming WOW Girls behind-the-scenes reality show in response to the very article I’ve just referenced above, and quite frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach that people who criticize wrestling for being a sports-theater hybrid (i.e., “fake”) can’t at least show it enough respect by ignoring stories like this altogether rather than making it their business to expose their insecurities and leave bitter, snide comments about the apparent “stupidity” of certain financiers using their money to back a brand new or reviving company within an admittedly frivolous yet nonetheless once cherished industry. Honestly, didn’t I just post a poem on this blog not too long ago discussing this very thing titled something along the likes of Folks Who Won’t Let Go? With that in mind, then, all I have to say to those who still bash professional wrestling is this: Grow up and move on. Don’t like it? Don’t concern yourself with it. Disliking wrestling is one thing, but please, people, at least respect it enough not to insult it or anyone who does like it, especially on the Internet. After all, I myself don’t care for today’s pro wrestling scene, but that has far more to do with the poor management and booking of today’s promotions than it does with the idea of wrestling being a work—or with any one active competitor in the business today, for that matter.

Roxy Powers locks a half Boston crab onto her nemesis Slam Dunk.

So, again, I want WOW to succeed and give today’s wrestling fans one more alternative to watch aside from WWE, TNA/Impact Wrestling, etcetera, regardless of the specific niche it’d be filling in today’s market. Who knows? I might find my one-time love for the sport reignited upon watching this show. However, in order to appeal not only to me, but also to the many wrestling fans out there who have become disgruntled with the way wrestling has been in recent years, McLane and Buss need to reconsider their approach to the presentation of their soon-to-be-revived project. Henceforth, I found myself compelled to write to Mr. McLane this past March and express my feelings on the matter to him in an email very similar to the letter I’ve included below. By presenting you folks this letter, I hope to give you an insight on my own approach to women’s wrestling and, as a result, a small idea of what to expect from UWWX upon its official release. Will David B. McLane and Jeanie Buss take a similar approach with Women of Wrestling that I am suggesting here? All I can say is that I hope so. Otherwise, enjoy!

Jeanie Buss (right, with then-WOW champion Terri Gold), producer of the upcoming WOW Girls reality TV show and co-operator of Women of Wrestling: Hopefully, she’ll take these suggestions into consideration as well…

*****

March 12, 2012

Dear David McLane and Women of Wrestling Entertainment:

I would like to begin this letter by personally thanking you in bringing back Women of Wrestling—a wrestling promotion that, even if only in my opinion, was and still is very undervalued amongst today’s wrestling fans for at least giving an honest effort in representing the women in your promotion as athletes and not as glorified burlesque actresses the way Johnny Cafarella has done (and, as I’ve been told, still does) with the girls who work for his own project, Wrestlicious. Even though it is true that you did use the same formula to piece together your own organization that you used for the original—the real—Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, at least you were wise enough to try to take WOW down a more serious path and present your roster as being more or less a gallery of live-action comic book superheroines and supervillainesses rather than as living, breathing cartoon characters as you had with GLOW. Good ol’ “Johnny C,” on the other hand, simply copied the GLOW formula, from the television format (and not even that well, to tell you the truth) to the ring colors to the very form of the championship and, most importantly, several character archetypes such as Americana, Little Fiji, Attaché, and the Farmer’s Daughters. Not only that, but he also dumbed down the humor and made it raunchier than it had ever been before and even discarded much of the character development that GLOW had (especially when you, Mr. McLane, were still a part of that show) for the sake of blatant “T&A,” and all to cater to a narrower target audience with lower standards for programming quality who, for the most part, see women’s wrestling as more of a “joke” than anything else. In short, while I wholeheartedly apologize for starting off my letter with what I hope doesn’t come off like off-topic rambling, I want it to be known that I hate Wrestlicious with a passion—especially considering how most of the girls involved with that nightmare of a show were once respected wrestlers from the independent scene and, for the most part, solid role models for girls and young women who could have remained such, had they only stayed that way and not signed with Cafarella to become more or less the prostitutes of mainstream women’s wrestling.

Jacklyn Hyde getting the jump on Caliente

That being said, in spite of how I have far more respect for you and your efforts to reinvigorate the nowadays ailing women’s wrestling scene and empower female viewers by presenting them with women whom they can look up to and aspire to be like, I only hope that your own product stays on that path and proves the naysayers wrong. Believe me when I say that I have seen your product from back when it originally aired in 2000-01, and I could tell by watching the matches that the women of WOW put on back then that even if only for that short five- to six-month span, those women cared enough about the sport to work hard and give it their all to entertain the Great Western Forum crowd night in, night out. However, as much as I am looking forward to the day when WOW becomes available on national television (as opposed to its current local TV deal with KTNV in Las Vegas), I still have my concerns. You see, as much as I respect WOW and its women on the whole, even I have noticed some glaring flaws in its presentation from back in the day—flaws that have made it look like little more than GLOW 1.5 in the eyes of its many critics and as such dismiss it for what the show was trying to do. In fact, it is on account of these flaws that there are those wrestling fans out there amongst the so-called Internet Wrestling Community that honestly believe that your show made Wrestlicious—the schlockfest that I’ve just ranted about in the previous paragraph—look more like WWE, even though you at least tried to present a serious wrestling product with fewer comic relief characters and what had promised to be an actual bi-monthly PPV system and a year-round television schedule as well as a strong “girl power” mentality and a PG-rated product that aimed to appeal to fans of all ages and both genders rather than a strictly 18- to 35-year-old male demographic that, in the end, ended up hating Wrestlicious more than liking it. Needless to say, in order to make these critics eat their words and possibly even change their minds about your promotion, I sincerely hope that when you do come back on TV nationwide, you will see to it that the following changes are made to your original product.

The first and most important change I’d like to discuss is the need for smarter booking. No disrespect, but inasmuch as Vince Russo has become infamous for his lazy, haphazard, disrespectful, and outright terrible booking in WCW and TNA/Impact Wrestling, Steve Blance is, according to my own honest perceptions, even worse. It just seems to me as though his mind is forever stuck in the 1980s—particularly his glory days as GLOW’s head writer—and that he refuses to let go of that era. Even when he had slightly updated his booking style during his time working for you in WOW to incorporate certain post-1980s pro wrestling elements such as finishing maneuvers, ref bumps, and run-ins, he did so with so little flair and precision that he either looked like he was overdoing it (especially with all the ref bumps and outside interference) or that he was simply borrowing too heavily from either the WWE or other sources (e.g., Danger, Selina Majors, The Disciplinarian, Wendi Wheels, the girls from Caged Heat, and even Phantom, amongst others, using variations of finishers we wrestling fans had already seen before during the “Attitude Era” of the WWF). Not only that, but the matches tended to last much shorter than they ought to have had and were often punctuated with finishes that did more to discredit the action and the story being told than anything else. This was particularly the case with WOW Unleashed, which had already had more than its fair share of matches for the sole sake of fitting every single wrestler on the card, including those whose characters had little to no emphasis placed upon them in the beginning and were as such more like afterthoughts than as full-time players (e.g., Tanja the Warrior Woman vs. Jane Blonde and Nicky Law (w/Christy Order) vs. Hammerin’ Heather Steele). I’m sorry, but while there were a few matches on the WOW Unleashed card that received some sense of build-up, there were others that seemed to be simply thrown together at the last second because Mr. Blance otherwise didn’t know what to do with the women in them. Likewise, I truly loathed how “screwy” (for lack of a more appropriate and accurate term) some of the outcomes were, such as the tag team draw between the Beach Patrol and the randomly paired team of Farah and Paradise and the double DQ of Roxy Powers and Slam Dunk during their PPV match.

Even aside from your one and only pay-per-view, the TV show had suffered from some very ill-placed swerves that, while unpredictable, weren’t based on any kind of sound logic to speak of, such as Patti Pep becoming Patti Pizzazz and siding with Lana Star despite never having any heat with her former best friend and tag team partner, Randi Rah Rah, and the babyface turns of Ice Cold and Poison. Heck, I still don’t understand why Boom Boom was tag team partners with Caliente and Paradise with Farah the Persian Princess instead of the first woman of each pair (the two island girls) being a tag team and the remaining two women (the two dancers) being another team. The only reason I can think of in regards to this was the notion of each original pair having better in-ring chemistry together for one reason or another than the pairings I’ve just proposed may have had. Also, could you please help me understand the reason for booking Heather Steele to be such an unperceptive competitor? Honestly, I swear that I’d seen her perform the same spot, move per move, in three separate matches where she would catch her opponent in a drop toe hold and follow it up with a hammerlock, only to have said hammerlock countered by a snapmare from the other wrestler, whether that opponent be Jungle Grrrl, Mystery of the Daughters of Darkness, or Nikki Law. Most people would be wise enough to not resort to such predictable and obviously failed tactics in future matches, so why would Heather have done so herself? Granted, even I understand that she was more or less enhancement talent for the other girls, but even she (or at least Christina Tomaziesski Colby, the woman who played her) wouldn’t have succumbed to such redundancy in an unscripted contest. Oh, and don’t even get me started with the Hair vs. Hair tag team match between Ice Cold/Poison and Lana Star/Patti Pizzazz being the semi-main event of Unleashed and as such taking higher priority on the card over your tag team and even your singles championship matches. That move alone was an insult to whatever prestige either of those two titles either had or could have had.

Christina Tomaziesski Colby as Hammerin’ Heather Steele: Regardless of how smart she may very well be in real life, she was booked to seem like an unperceptive ditz by then-WOW head writer Steve Blance and company.

In short, if WOW is to succeed in the 2010s (as I hope it does), it needs better booking, and I sincerely doubt that Steve Blance is the man for the job. True, he is the one booker who is the most familiar with your product, but as I’ve mentioned before, he’s stuck in the past and is sloppy in his execution, and I don’t just mean in terms of what he has done for you people. His work as Cafarella’s right-hand man in Wrestlicious is testament of his lack of booking prowess as well, seeing as how the inaugural episode of that show has on its own account been torn to shreds on many a wrestling website and podcast for more or less the same flaws that have plagued not only WOW, but also (and more importantly) GLOW. To put it simply, he has yet to move on from the cheesy, unrealistic characters and plots and the lowbrow and often outdated humor that he has been accustomed to presenting (most of which nowadays runs parallel to the same kind of humor you yourself had walked away from, Mr. McLane, when you left GLOW in 1987 to found POWW), and as such, I strongly encourage you to find someone who has a much broader, updated, and respectful perception of the sport as a whole—particularly women’s wrestling—to take on the role of WOW’s head booker.

Additionally, there are plenty of other errors with your original product that I hope you will take into account to fix to make your product more appealing to today’s wrestling fans and hence help your show reach a wider audience. These changes I propose are as follows:

1.       Fewer gimmick-based characters.

Renee Intlekofer as Beckie the Farmer’s Daughter: Excellent wrestler among her fellow WOW women, but her gimmick is living proof that David McLane, no matter how hard he tried, could never let go of his initial women’s wrestling venture, GLOW.

In this day and age, wrestling fans have become tired of—if not, in fact, jaded by—the creation and utilization of personalities in pro wrestling that are unlikely to exist outside the small, secluded realm of “sports entertainment.” Most of these include comic relief characters such as Hornswoggle, who is hated by the IWC crowd for his unrealistic leprechaun gimmick and over-the-top antics in spite of what popularity he does have with the small percentage of kids who watch WWE. Also, the brunt—if not, in fact, all—of the characters in Wrestlicious fit this mold to a T. However, many gimmicks that aren’t meant to be comical fit this description as well, such as the Suicide character from 2008-09 TNA or Mordecai from WWE, both of which—just as was true with Wrestlicious’s characters—were poorly fleshed out for their time and were forced to live off their gimmick alone rather than by any sort of back story they may have had or any personality developments they were fortunate enough to experience. Simply put, these unrealistic characters come off as being the manufactured, unbelievable personas that they truly are, and while wrestling fans may have gotten behind such characters back in the 1980s and 1990s (e.g., Undertaker, Kane, any and all of Mick Foley’s alter egos), even back then, the most successful and memorable personas from those days were more along the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, HHH, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Hollywood Hogan, Golderg, and others who relied more on their own individual personality (or, at the very least, elements thereof) to get them over with the crowd rather than a fictitious alter ego, complete with costume. Even John Cena’s “Doctor of Thuganomics” persona from the WWE “Ruthless Aggression” era and Randy Orton’s “Legend Killer” character were believable for their time and helped them connect with the crowd, thus making them popular in the eyes of many, or at least once upon a time, no thanks, in part, to WWE’s overreliance on these two men in 2010-11, which as such turned off a lot of wrestling fans at that time. Simply put, the aforementioned personas are much easier for modern wrestling fans to recognize and identify with because of how much more organic and closely rooted they are to reality than more manufactured, gimmick-based characters, and in pro wrestling these days, suspension of disbelief is a key element to any promotion’s survival. If you still need to use the occasional manufactured character here or there (i.e., the women from your original roster), then so be it—just as long as such gimmicks aren’t over-the-top or reflective of either racial or cultural stereotypes the way that Jade, Lotus, Farah the Persian Princess, Boom Boom, Paradise, or Caliente are. This particular trend is especially dangerous to follow, seeing as people these days 1) oftentimes question whether or not there’s some semblance of racism or ethnic prejudice involved in the creation and/or portrayal of these characters and 2) can always look up who’s playing which character on the Internet and come to realize that a given wrestlers is not of a given heritage, such as with Rachel Iverson playing Caliente when she more likely than not hasn’t a single drop of Mexican or otherwise Latin blood in her body. Also, creating manufactured characters based off certain television shows that were either canceled or in their twilight by the time your product made it to the airwaves (i.e., Xena, Warrior Princess, Home Improvement, and Baywatch) or on certain one-shot characters from other TV shows (i.e., Paul “HHH” Levesque as the Disciplinarian from The Drew Carey Show) only comes off as a cheap copout that makes critics further question your ability to create strong, captivating personalities for your women.

Danger: One of the better gimmicks that WOW produced back in 2000-01, considering wrestler Elle Alexander’s background in Hollywood stunt work

Basically, what I’m saying is this: Be careful when it comes to creating your characters and make sure that at least most of them turn out to be more organic and believable than before, and don’t be afraid to let your women be themselves. The process is actually pretty easy, too; all you really have to do to create an organic wrestling character is to take an aspect of the actual wrestler’s life (e.g., athletic background, military experience, training/wrestling history, personality and outlook on life, etc.) and mold an in-ring persona around those traits. This makes the character more believable for your audience and therefore more likely for them to identify with and hence either get behind or rally against. Not only that, but most wrestlers have a much easier time portraying such personas than they do manufactured ones simply because organic characters are more or less part of them and thus easier to breathe life into, thus enhancing the fans’ ability to believe in them. Not only that, but unlike with manufactured characters, it’s much easier to mix and match wrestlers who work well together to form certain tag teams, as you aren’t as likely to have to pigeonhole certain performers into a faction based on whatever gimmick they have (e.g., Caged Heat, Harley’s Angels, or the Daughters of Darkness) or put together oddball tag teams that, based on character gimmick alone, seem a little off (i.e., Boom Boom/Caliente and Lotus/Farah). Trust me when I say, then, that the process that I’ve described here would be much more beneficial to whatever new WOW women you manage to recruit for your show than it would if you were to manufacture their characters as you had with your original roster.

2.       An updated in-ring product. As mentioned before, your booking back in 2000-01 was horribly outdated, and I honestly believe even to this day that your women—green though they were in the beginning of the show’s presentation—were capable of putting on even better matches than they were scripted to by Steve Blance and company. Even with the illegalization of the Piledriver during matches, which at least prevented many a possible neck injury, in spite of never being used as a story arc for future programming, the wrestling style wasn’t even that safe, considering such dangerous spots as Jungle Grrrl’s botched leap off the 20-ft. ladder to deliver that match-winning splash against Beckie the Farmer’s Daughter at Unleashed, amongst others. Don’t get me wrong; a little bit of spectacle can liven up a match like nothing else could if it’s implemented properly. The key here, however, is to balance spectacle with psychology and make the matches look realistic enough so that even educated fans can suspend their disbelief and buy into the action. After all, if there was one thing that had hindered the in-ring product of Big Vision Entertainment’s MTV-hosted venture from 2007, the oft-ridiculed Wrestling Society X, it was the fact that Kevin Kleinrock and company focused too much on booking life-risking high spots and less on safer, more believable, and quite possibly equally thrilling in-ring technical work. Then again, even when the wrestling was safely performed on your original show, so much of it consisted of exaggerated arm wrenches and headlocks and overdone Irish whips that many of the matches eventually became redundant and, dare I say it, boring. Likewise, the women’s signature moves, as I’ve mentioned earlier, either were already being or had already been used by certain wrestlers from WWF at the time. Worse yet, other finishing maneuvers, such as Boom Boom’s Samoan Drop, Bronco Billie’s Bulldog, Mystery’s Fisherman Suplex, Riot’s Powerbomb, Jane Blonde’s “Kick of Death” (missile dropkick), and Caliente’s Mexican Surfboard were all stock maneuvers that more or less every wrestler at the time—be they from WCW, ECW, the WWF, or the independent circuit—performed regularly and as such lacked the specialness that otherwise would have helped these women stand apart from one another in spite of their characters and, on that note, get even more over with the crowd than they already were. I will admit, though, that you were perceptive enough to give Farah a relatively original signature hold in the Persian Carpet and Riot a more or less equally original maneuver with her Corkscrew Elbow, which only Debbie Malenko is otherwise credited for using, at least to my knowledge, and I thank you for allowing those girls to use those respective moves. All the same, I still wish that you would have allowed the rest of the roster to do the same, as it really would have done more to develop their characters and make them stand out not only from one another, but also from all the other women who were in the wrestling business at the time.

Lynette Thredgold as Phantom: Despite having an impressive physique (and being an amazing violinist), her wrestling arsenal was all too focused on the whole ground-and-pound game and could have been expanded with the help of some more wrestling maneuvers (power moves being the most likely to add to her repertoire) to make her matches more interesting.

3.       More thorough training for your new crop of women. This is to ensure the elevated match quality from previous years. As I’ve said before, the women of WOW could indeed wrestle, but it took a handful of them a few matches or so before they gained enough experience and confidence to know for sure what they were doing in the squared circle. Lynnette Thredgold was especially a chore to watch as Phantom, seeing as how awkward she performed in the ring and how often she paused during her matches to taunt the audience. I don’t mean to discredit Selina “Bambi” Majors and Peggy Lee “Thug” Leather as trainers, but obviously, there was only so much they could do on their own to train these girls for the big stage, especially in whatever little time they were given. It isn’t just conditioning that wrestlers concern themselves with, after all, but also the quantity of moves in their arsenal and the quality of the way in which they execute such moves. One other thing, if push comes to shove, don’t be afraid to use women who have actual wrestling experience, regardless of whether said experience comes from WWE, TNA, ROH, Lucha Libre USA, or especially the independent circuit (e.g., ChickFight, Shimmer, WSU, Magnificent Ladies Wrestling, or GLORY) and have them help out the less-experienced wrestlers. Such is the only thing that Johnny Cafarella did right with Wrestlicious, even though his portrayal of such women as glorified sex objects and comedy acts has been utterly deplorable and little else than a spit in the face of whatever legacies those women have tried to establish for themselves as well as the legacies of future female wrestlers. I do trust you, though, to present such women with more class and dignity than Cafarella ever could, so long as you allow the women to just be themselves and wrestle how they’ve learned how to over the course of their careers and not have them play such ridiculous characters as Cousin Cassie, Bandita, Autumn Frost, Kandi Kisses, and so forth.

In addition to physical training, your wrestlers also deserve the chance to work on their ability to portray their in-ring personas, especially their ability to cut a solid promo. After all, with pro wrestling being the sports-theater hybrid that it is and with WOW in particular being a very character-driven promotion, people expect to see larger-than-life characters interact and develop before their eyes, even when said characters aren’t wrestling each other. Promos, therefore, are quite a significant part of a wrestler’s character, as they allow the wrestler to display his or her personality and define his or her role within the company’s product—assuming, of course, that such speeches are delivered properly and are given enough time to be just that. Believe me, nothing kills a character’s believability worse than the person portraying the character delivering a poorly executed promo against an opponent, whether such a speech is delivered with little to no emotion or in an over-the-top fashion or even riddled with stammers, stutters, a myriad of either vocalized or silent pauses, or the like.

Lana Star with a fan: Proof that people HAVE bought and WILL buy WOW merchandise–particularly if Women of Wrestling Entertainment markets its product properly to a diverse audience from around the world

4.    Greater use of multimedia outlets. You’re already off to a good start with your video channel on Vimeo.com and the videos that you transfer over from there to your main webpage, and you’ve even invited future WOW wrestlers to audition for spots on your roster via YouTube. Even so, why settle for just that when you can host a weekly recap show on your website as well with special bonus matches to boot? Such was one of the things that Big Vision Entertainment got right with Wrestling Society X, and truth be told, the matches that they showed via their WSXtra Internet show were arguably better than the brand’s televised matches, even if for no reason other than the fact that the WSXtra matches had better pacing and camera work and weren’t cut to fit the embarrassingly paltry thirty-minute weekly timeslot that MTV gave the main show. Additionally, your website could be a great host for an online store from which WOW fans can buy T-shirts, entrance theme CD or mp3 albums, past WOW episodes, and whatever other bits of merchandise you plan on selling to generate a little bit more income. Heck, you can even host an online forum similar to the one you had back in 2000, if you wanted to—anything to drum up more interest in your product.

Be honest with me, people: How many of you would recognize this woman as a professional wrestler just by looking at this one photograph of her?

5.       No more bikini contests. If the whole premise of WOW has always been to present women in professional wrestling as equals to their male counterparts, then the whole idea of including a bikini contest (or “swimsuit competition,” as you called it back then) is little more than counterproductive. I hope you’ll pardon my brutal honesty here, but whoever whispered into your ear and told you that the 2001 WOW bikini contest was a good idea clearly didn’t have the company’s interests as well in mind as he should have on account of his complete disregard for your promotion’s initial premise. If this contest was more or less a fitness competition rather than the unapologetic, personality-depleting “T&A” session that it turned out to be, then maybe I’d have let it slide, even back then. However, when you have a woman like Jennifer Lee Chan, a.k.a. Jade—an otherwise talented in-ring performer who never received the proper reward she deserved for her match performances—taking off her top and gazing back seductively at the camera, that alone tells me that this session was meant for nothing more than blatant sex appeal to attract the more perverted and chauvinistic amongst the 18- to 35-year-old male demographic at the time, and a failed attempt to do so at that. There was at least one other woman who pulled a similar stunt with her bikini bottom, as depicted in your own Vimeo video entitled “WOW! Unleashed,” which you yourself currently feature as your introductory video in the “WOW TV” section of your own home page. Seriously, if such smut is what it takes to get certain men to watch your show—which, for the record, was rated PG at the time and was meant for young children to enjoy as well as adults—then why bother trying to appeal to that demographic? Why not just stick with those 18- to 49-year-old males who were already watching your show right alongside the 17- to 24-year-old women and 7- to 17-year-old kids who clearly would have had no interest in such garbage? Honestly, this bikini contest only turned the women you wanted to promote as role models into glorified Playboy models, which completely killed their credibility as the former of the two. Not only that, but let’s not overlook the obvious factor in this whole competition, and that is the fact that all of the women in it were the typical, run-of-the-mill skinny variety, many of whom (e.g., Summer and Lana Star) were obviously surgically enhanced on top of being skinny.

Personally, I believe that if you had to have a swimsuit competition of any sort to appeal to more potential male viewers, then, as I’ve said before, why couldn’t you have made it more of a fitness competition, complete with such rules as 1) no plastic surgery of any kind, else the woman in question would be disqualified, and 2) no removal or teasing of the removal of one’s swimsuit, else the offending contestant would be both disqualified and suspended from the company for sixty days? Not only that, but you also could have at least allowed Boom Boom to be a part of the competition as well, seeing as she was one of only two full-figured women in your entire company (the other being Thug, whose main event position and managerial role of EZ Rider and Charlie Davidson more or less ensured that she would not have had to take part in the contest) and, to be perfectly blunt without being disrespectful to Thug, the only one who could have worn a bikini well. Seriously, your own webpage showcases a photo of her with a bare midriff, which was actually nice and tapered—completely devoid of the girth that poor Thug had had to endure around her own midsection at the time—and yet nicely complements the woman’s otherwise naturally robust chest and hips? You mean to tell me that Ms. Patty Bunya-Ananta, who was every bit as gorgeous as she was talented in the ring, wasn’t bikini-worthy material? If so, please regard the photograph you have of her on your very own website under the “WOW Girls” tab and reconsider.

Beauty and brawn combined! Patty “Boom Boom” Bunya-Ananta, the full-figured femme fatale of WOW, as featured on WOWE.com and in action against Harley’s Angels

As you look this photo over, please consider the confidence, coolness, and class with which Patty conducts herself while posing in the outfit you’ve had her model just as much as you do the proportions of her body and her nice, firm tummy, then try to tell me that she couldn’t have worn a bikini at the time of the competition. Heck, I myself am stunned by her beauty, and I’m the type of guy who’s usually offended by anything even vaguely sexy and as such does everything in his power to keep his sex drive in check. Add to that the idea of the angle you could have created back then that would have centered on such a move as putting Patty in the bikini contest. Surely, a plus-sized woman modeling a two-piece swimsuit in a competition otherwise involving an entire slew of cookie-cutter skinny women would have made some people sit up and pay attention, even after WWF’s own Miss Royal Rumble swimsuit competition from 2000 and the June 7, 1999 bikini contest between Nicole Bass and Debra Marshall from WWF Raw for the WWF Women’s Title, and it would have very much added to Boom Boom’s character. Who knows? Maybe people would have seen Patty—either as Boom Boom or as herself—as being every bit of a role model as she was a bikini model: a full-figured woman in a skinny woman’s world who could hold her own against the skinnies not only in the ring, but also in a competition that was generally geared far more towards their physical makeup than her own. Furthermore, who knows where such an angle would have led to—a breakup between her tag team with Caliente, perhaps, or possibly even a feud with such a beauty-oriented antagonist as Lana Star. This latter idea would especially have been perfect, considering how the two could have very well contrasted the other and would have thus given one another the best possible rub. After all, while Boom Boom was one heck of an athlete for both her size and her lack of initial experience in the wrestling business, she was never given the chance to develop any sense of personality on the show, especially outside her little tag team with Caliente. On the other hand, Lana—while she was about average as an in-ring worker at best—oozed plenty of personality and was arguably one of your greatest heels, thus proving how capable she could have been in getting Boom Boom over as a babyface. For further evidence on how great a heel Lana Star was, look no further than the fact that her two biggest rivals, Ice Cold and Poison, used to be heels themselves until her feud(s) with them began to take shape. Needless to say, the possibilities for Boom Boom’s growth as a character were there with the whole bikini contest angle, and though I apologize for shaming you in regard to this, the opportunity has since passed, and it has become a shame that such a woman as Patty Bunya-Ananta will no longer be recognized by the potential that she could have lived up to, be that as a wrestler or as a personality in general.

Lana Kinnear as Lana Star: More “diva” than any woman ever to grace the WWF/WWE and the ONE woman who could’ve been the perfect foil for fan favorite Boom Boom, thanks to her remarkable ability to rally fans against her

In short, if you ever—ever—have another bikini/swimsuit contest in WOW, at least let there be some sort of point to it and have a storyline such as the one introduced here so that the women involved are every bit as empowered in the way you had intended them to be. Also, at the risk of sounding redundant, I am fully aware of the whole “Who really has the power?” argument in regards to incidents like swimsuit competitions, strip teases, and so forth, but trust me when I say that I know all too well that that kind of empowerment was not the kind of empowerment that you, Mr. McLane, were originally aiming for.

To summarize quickly, these six areas—booking, organic versus manufactured characters, updated in-ring performances, more thorough training for your newcomers, increased use of multimedia outlets, and less contradictory presentation of your wrestlers (i.e., either a meaningful swimsuit competition or no swimsuit competition at all)—are the top six areas that I want to see addressed in the new and improved WOW. There are other areas to consider as well, such as stronger, smarter, more professional commentary and cleaner, crisper, more modern production values, but the six topics mentioned here are the biggest issues for me as fan of women’s professional wrestling and of pro wrestling in general. After all, as I’ve said before, I want WOW to succeed as a wrestling promotion in the 2010s, especially considering that every time I try to give up on wrestling as a whole, my die hard wrestling fan instincts only pull me back in and keep the sport and the industry on my mind for a lot of the time, no matter how hard the other companies disrespect me as a potential supporter of their products. WWE has oftentimes spat in my face, especially with how poorly it has booked its “Divas” division, even though the company as a whole seems to be slowly but surely improving in certain areas, what with WrestleMania right around the corner. Similarly speaking, TNA/Impact Wrestling has insulted me as a wrestling fan to the point where I refuse to even acknowledge it, ROH has been stale this past year and has thus left me worried about how 2012 will turn out for it, Lucha Libre USA never sticks around on television long enough for me to care about it as much as I want to, I have no interest in following either Micro Championship Wrestling or the hip-hop-themed Urban Wrestling Federation, and as I’ve said numerous times before in this letter, I absolutely despise Wrestlicious and everything it represents about women’s wrestling. Therefore, please take my considerations into account, and please accept my apology for any and all instances where I came off as though I were scolding you, because honestly, I mean no offense, and if presented properly, your brand of sports entertainment could very well remind me that women’s wrestling as I used to know it has yet to die as a mainstream venue. I thus look forward to seeing you folks again soon on national TV, and I thank you, Mr. McLane, for you time and consideration.

Dustin M. Weber

*****

One final WOW action shot: Referee Josh Milton takes the Danger Drop from Danger!

Whew! I know…pretty long read, huh—at least from this blog? Well, regardless, I hope this letter is indication enough of my outlook on and dedication towards women’s professional wrestling and how it relates to my upcoming novel. I’d like to extend a special thank you to all of you who have had the stamina to stick with this post from beginning to end, and I assure you all that my next post won’t be quite as wordy. Aside from that, though, if anyone has any feedback on this blog entry, please feel free to share it in a reply, especially if you are at all interested in reading more about my thoughts on women’s wrestling, past and present. Otherwise, it’ll be back to business as usual with product updates and weekly poetry submissions. At any rate, thank you all once again for checking out my stuff, and as always, happy reading, and keep your eyes open for future releases from me. Thanks!

Regards,

Dustin M. Weber

 

PS: All credit for the photographs used in this blog entry go to Women of Wrestling Entertainment and their official website, WOWE.com (c) 2012. All written material, however, is my own.

49 thoughts on “In Relation to My Work: Thoughts on Women of Wrestling

  1. I like your insightful writing. Brilliant work! I hope you release more. I will carry on reading in the meantime.

    • I appreciate the compliment. As for this particular blog segment, “In Relation to My Work,” I have already posted a second entry on June 30, and I plan on carrying on the discussion from that particular entry sometime soon this week–perhaps even tonight, if I get into gear.

      Also, if you really weant to see more of my writing, please visit my author page on Smashwords.com and check out the ebooks I already have there for sale. Currently until July 31, all three of my present works are 25% off the original cover price with the use of the coupon code “SSW25.” Plus, I plan on releasing my fourth book within the next couple of months, which is, believe it or not, about women’s wrestling. Check out the blog entry I subitted on May 30 for more information on that.

      In the meantime, thank you for enjoying my work, and please tune in next time where I’ll surely have more to say about writing.

  2. I agree. Women of Wrestling needs to change with the times and let their women rely on their own unique personalities to help them get over with today’s wrestling fans rather than have some idiot in a blue tuxedo with pink bowtie and cumberbund (i.e., Johnny Cafarella) create their characters for them (i.e., slap a fetish on them) and have them parade around the ring like a bunch of trampish buffoons. Good luck to DBM and Jeanie, though, for personally, I found WOW to be at least an improvement over GLOW, if nothing else. Sure, they should’ve taken longer strides forward with the product rather than mere baby steps, but hey–at least they were better than that smutfest WRETCH-alicious ever could be.

    BTW, what’s your opinion of the 2012 reincarnation of GLOW?

    • Personally, I haven’t seen the new GLOW, but to tell you the truth, I don’t have it in me to check that show out–not after finding out that Steve Blance was their head booker, leastways. Sorry, but I just don’t trust Blance’s booking. Every time I’ve witnessed his writing in action (GLOW, WOW, etc.), I’ve never been impressed. The constant “Battle Royales” for the company’s top championship rather than actually BUILDING the characters towards the title, the constant stream of characters that he keeps recycling from GLOW et al. (“farmer’s daughters,” biker chicks, cowgirls, island girls and other ethnic stereotypes, etc.), the outdated to outright tacky humor he’s used time and again…the guy has ticked me off in very much the same way Vince Russo has with his booking in WCW and TNA. Hopefully, for the sake of the GLOW Girls today, he’s cleaned up his act and has forgone his usual routine to try something new, fresh, and innovative, because trust me–the wrestling business, at least from MY perspective, NEEDS some freshness and innovation. Not only that, but the more talented performers need to be “handed the ball,” so to speak, so that they can help bring the industry up to heights that are at least comparable to those of the late 1990s. The problem, though, is that Blance had proven to me back in 2008-2010 with Wrestlicious that he–like fellow former GLOW colleague/Wrestlicious founder Johnny Cafarella–can’t let go of the past, and even today, I honestly believe that he’s too set in his ways to dare try anything new, which disturbs me to no end.

      Oh, and BTW…yes, Wrestlicious was indeed a cruel, misogynist joke that was played on the wrestling industry and as such had no business existing, period. All it did was make Jonathan Vargas’s pockets lighter and dozens of talented female wrestlers look like sellouts and prostitutes for degrading themselves in the name of an increased personal cash flow. Personally, if the man whom we would eventually know as “J.V. Rich” TRULY wanted women’s wrestling to move FORWARD instead of backward, he would have done some research, given good old “Johnny C” and company the “Talk to the Hand” treatment, and invested his money either in the TNA Knockouts Division (which was smoking hot back in 2008 with the likes of Roxxi Laveaux, Melissa Anderson, Awesome Kong, ODB, Taylor Wilde, and even Gail Kim, just to name a few) and helped them earn their own show with their own booking staff and all or in a wrestling promotion such as Shimmer, ChickFight, Women’s Superstars Uncensored, or the like that actually presents its women as athletes rather than as glorified burlesque actresses and bikini models. Unfortunately, the damage is done, and all we can do is hope for something better around the corner, such as a new and improved WOW or a wrestling show dedicated to empowering women rather than making them look like incompetent idiots in a male-dominated industry. Here’s hoping that that day comes, and if it’s any consolation to people like you, I do indeed have every intention of presenting MY idea of how women’s wrestling should be presented via my novel UWWX: The Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment. I was hoping to have had the book published already, but I’d clearly underestimated the amount of editing I’ve had to do to on it. The project shouldn’t take too much longer, though, and if I can’t get it out later this month as per my initial intentions, at least it’ll be out sometime later this year (no later than that, though).

    • GLOW 2012 was a train wreck, from what I’ve read. Three matches between experienced wrestlers playing crappy, run-of-the-mill GLOW-esque characters that all ended with crappy finishes and a GLOW Battle Royal which was the only match that ended decisively (Hollywood won, BTW, in case you or anyone else cares.). Guess what, too: Steve Blance was the head booker of that crappy show, too! Go figure, huh? It’s like this dirty old man has been trying to sabotage women’s wrestling since 2000 when he was the head writer for WOW. To think, too, that this jackass calls himself THE “creative force” behind GLOW and WOW when all he did in WOW (and CRUSH and WRETCH-alicious as well) was recycle GLOW gimmicks and plagiarize characters from popular TV series that were wither past their prime or already on their way off the air. What an egotistical, misogynist douche.

      Be glad GLOW 2012 didn’t take off, else we’d only be further subjected to Blance’s worse-than-Russorific booking today–assuming, of course, that McLane was dumb enough to reinstate him as WOW’s head booker. Granted, Battle Royal Blance wasn’t the only one who ruined the show for the fans, but you’re better off looking up the story for yourself, should you have the time and care enough after the four years that have passed since then.

      Personally, I think that this outdated, schlocky, insulting form of “sports entertainment” needs to die and make way for a newer kind of professional wrestling to take its place and help revitalize this dying industry. There’s just no room for this degradation in pro wrestling today. It’s been revived three times now (almost four times, what with Matt Cimber’s Femme d’Action thankfully never seeing the light of day following its 2013-14 birth) with little to no variation between the original GLOW and CRUSH, WRETCH-alicious, and GLOW 2012, and NONE of these attempts have been successful, much to at least my own personal relief. Good riddance to all three of these brands, then! Let’s all move forward from here on out, people!

      • I can’t help but agree. Steve Blance is such a terrible booker that he makes Vince Russo–hated as he is–look like Gabe Sapolsky in comparison. He can never get with the times, makes little to no effort to update his booking style, thinks that “character development” means slapping a gimmick onto a woman and have her act in a ridiculously cartoony fashion in an effort to sell the gimmick, and apparently has to rely on screwy finishes to make women’s wrestling seem “interesting.”

        I don’t blame you for your way of thinking, and quite frankly, I hope Blance has NOTHING to do nowadays with the current WOW product. If he does, then it’s only more evidence to the theory that David McLane hasn’t moved on or evolved with the times as a wrestling promoter, much to my grim expectations.

        Thanks for your feedback in the meantime, though!

  3. Great blog you have here! I really enjoyed reading your ideas in this article and hope, too, that David McLane and Jeanie Buss will take at least SOME of your ideas into account with their wrestling show. So many people in the IWC really tick me off with their shrill screaming and indignant, self-righteous attitiude toward the way pro wrestling is presented today, but at least you’re mature enough to give the company/companies you support constructive criticism when they truly need it. Keep up the good work, and good luck to you with the rest of your blog!

    • Thanks for the compliment! 🙂

      Also, I agree with you about the Internet Wrestling Community; it’s quite a mixed bag. Some of the commentators are pretty knowledgeable for people who exist outside the wrestling business and have some very respectable opinions on this crazy industry called pro wrestling/sports entertainment, but in order to get to them, one has to swim through a sea of marks, apologists, trolls, and other fools who do little more than whine and complain about every negative aspect about the industry and/or bash the promotions they don’t support in a counterproductive and therefore feeble attempt to make their favorite promotion look good. Don’t get me wrong, either; there’s plenty of garbage within the business that needs to be flushed out of it, but to ignore whatever little good there is left in it is nothing short of foolhardy.

      The bottom line is this: Professional wrestling needs to move forward, and only if we all work together to help it do just that–whether we be fans of pro wrestling or actual insiders (wrestlers, promoters, TV broadcasters, etc.)–can we make it happen. Such is how I feel about David McLane and Jeanie Buss and their project, WOW, as well as with all other wrestling promotions I’ve seen and liked within recent memory. Bashing certain promotions and/or the wrestling business as a whole isn’t going to do anyone any good.

  4. Wonderfully worded and very informative. I wish other wrestling fans would approach the topic of WOW like this. I’m definitely looking forward to this upcoming reality show of theirs, that’s for sure. Best of luck to them. I really hope they succeed this time around!

    • Thanks for the compliment. Yeah, I hope WOW succeeds, too, and that the IWC wouldn’t be so volatile towards this or any other wrestling show that they tend to dislike. Sure, the original WOW had sloppy booking and outdated production, amongst other hard-to-ignore flaws, but there was still a good idea behind it, even if the execution of said idea left much to be desired. Here’s hoping, then, that David McLane and Jeanie Buss have learned from their mistakes from the original WOW and are willing to put their best foot forward with this new version of their prized wrestling show. After all, pro wrestling has been in such a slump for so many years that it needs all the help it can get these days.

  5. Hi there! I just became aware of this blog through Google, and to tell you the truth, I found this article to be very informative. You should write more wrestling articles in the future. If nothing else, at least you can approach a topic in a relatively calm, mature, rational fashion.

    • I appreciate your compliment. To tell you the truth, though, I don’t know for a fact if I’ll write any more articles about pro wrestling on this blog or not. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. It depends on whether or not I feel like writing another article on the topic.

  6. Fantastic info and well written. Best of luck to WOW when they finally launch nationally. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for them, that’s for sure.

  7. Absorbing info and nicely written. I’m now keeping my own fingers crossed for WOW’s success in the not-too-distant future. Keep up the fantastic stuff, and please let us know your thoughts on WOW once it finally debuts on national TV. In the meantime, cheers!

    • I appreciate the compliment. Yeah, I’m looking forward to their debut, too. I’ll make a note to keep my eye on when they debut and which network they’ll be on, and I do intend on seeing at least the first episode of their new show. Who knows? I just might check out their behind-the-scenes WOW Girls reality show, too, just to show my support for the promotion and the gals in it. Will I be able to post a review/reaction to WOW programming, though? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. It’ll depend on how deeply engrossed I am in my own work. Regardless, I’m hoping for nothing but the best as far as Women of Wrestling is concerned.

  8. Hey, sweetie!
    From a girl who happens to be a big fan of women’s wrestling, I’d just like to say thanks for giving gals like me a heads up on this once great and criminally underrated wrestling promotion. I sure know I’m looking forward to its 2013 revival. in the meantime, keep up the good work on this awe-inspiring website!

    • Thanks for the compliment! I just wish those sarcastic lowlives over at TMZ felt the same way. “GIRL FIGHT!” my foot. Those idiots really need to grow up and get over themselves. They treat the majority of their news stories with such a snide, unprofessional attitude, and not once have they ever been cute or funny in the slightest on account of it.

  9. I just want to say that as an aspiring blogger myself, I’m really enjoying your website so far. I defiitely plan on bookmark this blog of yours simply to see what else you can provide us with in the future. This “In Relation to My Work” segment in particular is actually pretty fascinating, and I encourage you to provide us with mfurther installments in the months to come. Kudos for developing this blog and giving people like me something to check out every now and then during the workday lull, and good luck in the future with it!

    —Burton

    • I appreciate you compliment. Don’t worry. I definitely plan on continuing this segment as soon as I’m able to finish my current work, UWWX: The Underground Women’s Wrestling Xperiment. It shouldn’t be too much longer, thankfully, and I’ll be sure to announce the book’s release date once things settle down here for me.

  10. Wow! (No pun intended, of course…lol.) What a great article. I wish I’d found this sooner, but I’m glad I came across it when I did, what with WOW’s redebut coming just around the corner and all. I’m also glad that there are people like you out here on the Internet who are willing to give this promotion the support it deserves as well as constructive criticism when such a thing is warranted. I hope David McLane and Jeannie Buss take your advice into account, too, because you seem to have some pretty good ideas on how Women of Wrestling can improve for 2013, and believe me when I say that I want WOW to succeed in very much the same way you do.

    Well, then, good luck to you with the rest of this blog. I’m looking forward to whatever other articles you have in store for us. 😉

    • I appreciate the feedback. If you’re interested in more of what I have to say about women’s wrestling these days, please check out my article from November 15, 2012, to read my more recent article about the top three things about women’s wrestling that have been bugging me. Until then, thanks for your support!

  11. Hi there! I just came by to say that even though this article is already half a year old (or getting there, leastways), I still have to say that I’ve learned more about David McLane and his Women of Wrestling promotion from this one article than from anywhere elseon the ‘Net, save for the company’s own website. Very impressive stuff you’ve got here.

    Just out of curiosity, though, speaking of wrestling promotions that were unable to live up to their full potential, what’s your opinion about Wrestling Society X? Obviously you’ve heard of it, seeing as you’ve brought it up a good couple of times, so I’m anxious to know if you thought it was the abomination that most other diehard (i.e., Internet-frequenting) wrestling fans say it was, or did you see any merit to it when it was on MTV all the way back in 2007? Let me know if you’re able to, for I’d love to hear back from you.

    • To tell you the truth, I do think that WSX could’ve been handled much, much better than it had, and not just by MTV, either, but also by Big Vision Entertainment, the production company that was responsible for the show. I do appreciate the whole “underground fight club” theme of the promotion, I’ll tell you that much, and I feel bad for all the wrestlers who were involved with that show, seeing as WSX is so frequently accused of having “bad” wrestling that, in all actuality, wasn’t the wrestlers’ fault. If anything, the show’s booking is to blame, seeing as it focused so much more on spectacle than psychology, and I honestly believe that if the bookers (Kevin Kleinrock and Cody Michaels) didn’t have their heads so far up MTV’s corporate poop shoot at the time, they actually could’ve given the wrestlers some more compelling material to work with. I’d go into further detail, but hopefully down the line, I might be able to write up a retrospective on this blog about this heavily despised wrestling promotion.

      In the meantime, thanks for your interest! 🙂

  12. Pretty impressive info you’ve got here. I’ll admit, I’m no expert on pro wrestling myself, women’s or otherwise, but the discussion you’ve provided here is definitely worth following and is enough to make me want to bookmark this website. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it. 🙂 Feel free to subscribe via email, too, if you’d rather receive email notifications on every post I add to this blog.

  13. Unfortunately, not everyone’s keeping their fingers crossed for WOW to succeed the way you and so many other people here are. Just check out this comment that I read in response to one of the videos on WOW Entertainment’s YouTube channel (Wowentvideos):

    Oh, boy! Cheap T & A and poor wrestling. I give it about 2 weeks, based on McLane’s last venture. Shimmer it ain’t!”

    Typical IWC/YWC “smart mark,” IMO. What a loser.

    • I’ve seen the video you’re referring to myself. Apparently, the person you’ve brought up didn’t pay attention to Mr. McLane at the 1:35 mark when he announced that he and the rest of WOW management would indeed be bringing in some of the experienced women from the independent scene. Sure, DBM never mentioned any names, but hey, at least there’s hope that the WOW originals will be facing off against some high caliber women once the promotion starts. Who knows? There could be a number of gals from the commenter’s beloved Shimmer jumping on board, thus further damaging the credibility of the statement you’ve quoted. Let’s just hope, then, that McLane hired a decent booker who will allow such women to perform the way they know how and not force them to water down their wrestling style the way Steve Blance did with the girls who were a part of Wrestlicious. If nothing else, at least WOW actually tried presenting themselves like a girl’s action comic book come to life and not like a poor fan’s version of GLOW.

      Speaking of Wrestlicious, let’s discuss the reference made about WOW lasting only a couple of weeks “based on McLane’s last venture.” I’m guessing the individual’s referring to Johnny Cafarella’s 2010 train wreck, which McLane himself had no part in whatsoever. Maybe a handful of the WOW women did (i.e., Delta Lotta Pain, Loca, Lotus, and Lana Star), but trust me…if McLane can walk away from the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling–his own creation–after its first season on account of a content dispute with then-GLOW director Matt Cimber (wrestling show vs. “action comedy”), then I think it’s safe to say that McLane would much sooner walk barefoot through pig manure than have anything to do with Wrestlicious or any other wrestling show similar to it.

      Personally, I’ll give the new WOW a chance before making snap judgments. Hopefully, it’ll turn out to be an improvement over the product we wrestling fans had received back in 2000-01. If, however, it does indeed turn out to be garbage, then hey, I’ll freely admit that myself. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though, in hopes that McLane and company have learned from whatever mistakes they’d made during WOW’s initial run. Maybe they’ll prove the naysayers wrong, maybe not, but let’s all wait and see what develops first.

  14. When are you going to post another women’s wrestling article? You’re really inform a lot of people here with this kind of stuff, especially newcomers to the women’s wrestling scene like me. You’re one of the few wrestling fans on the Internet who isn’t a biased loudmouth, which I really appreciate.

  15. Good write-up, bro. I actually learned somthing about this promotion just by reading this article. Keep producing material like this, and I’ll be sure to carry on following you down the road.

  16. It’s hard to find knowledgeable, unbiased people on this topic, but you sound like one of the few who fit that bill. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post. I’m actually kinda surprised that I hadn’t come across this sooner.

    I hear WOW will begin hitting the airwaves this coming Saturday. If that’s the case, then hopefully, they’ll deliver something worthwhile to make up for all the garbage that had gone on with it back during their initial run. Hopefully, they’ll make us all forget about that smutfest WRETCHalicious, too. BLECH! Good riddance that THAT joke of a promotion.

  18. It’s nice to read about someone talking about a topic like professional wrestling–which most people see as being a particularly lowbrow venue, what with how the industry has apparently been in over a decade–in a mature and intelligent fashion. I tip my hat to you, good sir. You truly deserve praise for your approach.

  19. I hope I’m not being rude here, but if you want to support a GOOD women’s wrestling product, stick to Shine, Shimmer, WSU, ChickFight, MLW, Glory, Pro Wrestling EVE, etc. David McLane is little more than a kinder, gentler, less obnoxious/perverted yet equally dimwitted Johnny Cafarella. He doesn’t get it, and he never will. Just look up the results of WOW’s January 19 show for more on why I say so.

  20. Sorry to come across this post as late as I have, but Dustin, I just want to tell you that if you by any chance still believe in what you’ve said in this blog post from seven months ago or so, I recommend that you change your mind before you regret it. I actually saw WOW’s January 19 show, and it SUCKED! Maybe if good ol’ DBM and company didn’t waste their time frocking the girls up in stupid costumes and having them play “superheroes” and instead spent more time TRAINING them, the show would have been decent, but sad as it is to say, that wasn’t the case. Then again, the booking didn’t help, either. As much as you hate Steve Blance for being a sucky booker (and with good reason; the guy has NEVER been a good booker–not in GLOW, not in WRETCHalicious, not even in the old WOW.), you would’ve surely RAGED at how sloppy and nonsensical WOW’s current booker was with this show. I swear, Blance must me back in WOW, what with Caged Heat losing their WOW Tag Team Championships to a couple of glorified, randomly paired jobbers from the indies and that no-talent bimbo Lana Star squaring off against one of the new girls already for the WOW championship–which, by the way, Lana won back in 2002 against Terri Gold after Terri was forced to relinquish the belt after the company had folded the first time. WOW wasn’t even back up and running, for Christ’s sake, and yet, Lana is allegedly an eleven-year WOW Champ? Oh, and don’t even get me started about her having a furry in Kitty as her “personal assistant.”

    Face it, my friend; McLane blew it on January 19–arguably his BIGGEST DATE since February 4, 2001, when he literally “unleashed” upon the world the botchfest known as “WOW Unleashed.” Honestly, 1/19/13 was the one day that he could make up for feeding us that Blance-booked pile of dreck, and he failed…BIG TIME.

    As for that women’s wrestling book you’ve brought up earlier in this post, good luck with that. I applaud you for having the guts to show some conviction and try to write and market a book on this topic, but without any interest being invested in pro wrestling in general, much less WOMEN’s wrestling, you’re more or less fighting an uphill battle. Even with women’s wrestling being as big a joke as it is in the mainstream right now (and having been so since the supposed era of Trish Stratus and Lita in WWE coming to an end in 2004 and the TNA Knockouts being treated like crap since 2010), you’ve got to be kidding yourself if you think people are going to get upset enough to look for an alternative in literary form, especially since so many wrestling fans don’t care about books in the first place. I hope I’m wrong in saying all this, but at any rate, as I’ve said before, good luck.

    Oh, and for the record, DON’T SUPPORT WOW! WOW SUCKS!! Hope for WSU or ChickFight or Shine to get a TV deal before you even THINK about supporting a senile old codger like David McLane and his painfully outdated and poorly booked promotion.

    • Yeah, so I’ve heard. To be brutally honest, although I won’t deny that I sincerely wanted WOW to succeed when I first wrote this article once upon a time, I’ve since changed my mind after viewing their YouTube page and seeing that DBM and company were more or less planning on putting on the same doggone thing that they had back in 2000-01, which I strongly doubt will work for them in 2013. Even if it does, I won’t be supporting it, as doing so would only be me condoning a lack of progression in pro wrestling as a whole. Needless to say, then, anyone expecting me to discuss Women of Wrestling ever again–at least positively–is only wasting his or her time. If that seems too gruff, I apologize, but really, I’ve been let down by too many wrestling promotions these past four years or so to care to invest in any current product. My own wrestling books may be a different story, but that’s about it.

      Also, thank you for wishing me luck. I truly appreciate your support.

      • Good for you, Dustin! I’ve had the misfortune of seeing the post-2012 WOW product myself, and trust me when I say that it’s worse that it ever was in 2000-01. Here are my reasons for saying so.

        1. Only a small handful of the original WOW gals come back (Jungle Grrrl, Jade, Lana Star, Paradise, Thug, Selina Majors, and Caged Heat), with no additions to the roster following 2012-13 when the federation finally came back, save for maybe Abilene Maverick and Jesse Jones (who both suck in the ring, BTW) and Candice LeRae, of all people who–at least in MY opinion–is FAR better off in the indies doing what she does best or even in WWE crossing paths with the likes of Bayley, Aska, “Blue Pants” Leva Bates, and the rest of the gals on the NXT roster.

        2. Santana Garrett and Amber O’Neal were HANDED the titles in their FIRST MATCH on the WOW roster against Caged Heat after the tag titles had been DEACTIVATED until the show (meaning that Caged Heat had been handed the titles themselves upon coming out of retirement) and have held the titles since then with little to no change in whom they have to challenge them for the straps.

        3. The Lana Star situation with her being handed the WOW singles title in 2002 against Terri Gold in a WOW-sanctioned match that no one outside of the company had known about until the promotion’s relaunch, defending the title from Terri by defeating her AGAIN in a SECOND match in 2002, holding the title for ELEVEN YEARS as a PAPER CHAMPION (not even defending it on the independent scene, either), working for Cafarella’s fat ass in CRUSH and WRETCH-alicious during her supposed title reign losing it to Jungle Grrrl in 2013 (THANK GOD!), and winning the strap back from her in 2014, when she’s held it since up to now.

        4. The product as a whole is just bland, boring, and utterly forgettable with pretty much no title changes at all aside from the ones I mentioned earlier, a 27-mmber roster that ALMOST NEVER rotates, no major turn of events at all, little to no character development, wrestling that’s forgettable at best, more cheesy characters…you get the point. Just no excitement whatsoever. Hell, there’s not even a freaking MID-CARD TITLE for the mid-carders to vie for, for crying out loud!

        Honestly, dude, I don’t blame you for no longer being a WOW fan. The booking sucked then back in 2000-01 (Thanks a lot, Steve “Battle Royal” Blance!), and it’s only been worse since it came back. I REALLY hope this joke of a promotion dies soon because it’s nothing more than a waste of time, effort, and money. It’s not creating that many new jobs, its story telling sucks, it hasn’t created that much buzz amongst wrestling fans since coming back, and its audience isn’t even big enough for anyone to take into consideration. Say what you will about Ring of Honor and Lucha Underground, but at least ROH has been around the block for just over fourteen years and at least has a somewhat decent TV deal on Destination America, and LU has at least created enough buzz around it since its inception back on October 27, 2014. I mean, come on! The only promotion to have been possibly worse that WOW either back then or nowadays has to be CRUSH/WRETCH-alicious, which may be two separate promotions in theory, but in reality are practically one and the same.

        Thanks for nothing, DBM! Thanks…for…NOTHING!

      • Yeah, so I’ve discovered myself. Oh, well…I’ve had other things going on in my life than to preoccupy myself with WOW. As far as I’m concerned, if the promotion succeeds with what it has, then so be it. If it fails, then I won’t be surprised. I haven’t been watching the show either way, though, nor do I plan to at all in the future…lest, of course, something exciting happens. I’m not holding my breath, however.

        Oh, and thanks for reminding me about WOW‘s lack of a mid-card championship! I honestly should have thought about that when I first wrote McLane back in March 2012. The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much of a missed opportunity that would have been for the federation back then with the inclusion of such a belt. Boy, do I feel ignorant now for not thinking of that until now!

        Again, thank you for your interest!

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