Women's of Wrestling (WOW) first began in 2000 but its initial run lasted just about one year. After being dormant for close to a dozen years, it relaunched in 2012 but didn't have a steady television deal.
That all changed in June 2018 when WOW contracted Mark Cuban's AXS TV to broadcast their events starting in early 2019. The owner of WOW, David McLane, joined our WINCLY podcast where he discussed relaunching the promotion and why wrestling fans should tune in.
"An alternative to the wrestling product out there," McClane responded when asked what we could expect from WOW.
McClane then spoke about the history of the promotion and how it had a syndication deal. However, after the tragic events of 9/11, McClane couldn't keep up with the costs of syndication and left for almost 18 years. He and Lakers' owner Jeanie Buss then did some test marketing and found that fans wanted wrestling to be fun and that spurred their interest to revive WOW.
"If you're a fan or pro wrestling, if you're a fan of GLOW back in the day, and you want to see great, if not the best women's wrestling with the fun put back into wrestling…then tune in Friday night Jan. 19 at 9:00 EST on AXS TV," stated McClane.
Since early 2015, AXS TV has also been home to New Japan Pro Wrestling and WOW gets the luxury of following NJPW's programming on Friday nights.
"We were so fortunate to be able to follow New Japan Wrestling. They've been a hallmark at AXS TV and have a great following domestically because of AXS TV. We're just lucky to follow them on Friday night's lineup," stated McClane.
With two wrestling promotions airing back-to-back on the same channel, one has to wonder if a crossover event has been discussed yet.
"No, not at this point," said McClane about WOW working with New Japan."
AXS TV's chairman is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and McClane discussed how Cuban got involved in WOW.
"It's a triangle…Jeanie Buss had the executive of MGM Studios at one of our live events who were the producers of Lucha Underground," stated McClane. "Subsequently, during last year's Super Bowl, [MGM Chairman] Mark Burnett ran into Mark Cuban. It's the triangle effect. He mentioned you should take a look at this property called WOW. Jeanie Buss is the owner with David McClane. Immediately we got the call and within five days we were meeting."
In terms of landing a television deal, McClane then says he wasn't going to do what he did in the past in accepting the first TV offer he got.
"I wanted to strategically align ourselves with a television partner that was going to help grow the brand and had a passion for wrestling," said McClane. "Vis a vis that, Mark Cuban loves pro wrestling. He has an interest already with New Japan and it's performed well for his network. He thought it was a no-brainer, so we put the paperwork together and secured AXS TV."
One of the planned centerpieces for WOW is Tessa Blanchard who just happens to also be signed to Impact Wrestling. McClane talked about meeting Blanchard and why Impact is letting her be involved in WOW.
"I was at a wrestling show and I ran into Tessa Blanchard," said McClane. "Our wrestling trainer, she told me four or five years ago… that the girl to watch is Tessa Blanchard.
"There's a LeBron James of wrestling coming. Theres a Kobe Bryant of wrestling coming. I stored the name in the back [of my head]."
McClane then mentioned that in wrestling circles you hear things about certain individuals and that is usually due to jealousy. He said he hadn't heard many great things about Tessa Blanchard.
"I walked away from that meeting and told the trainer, Tessa Blanchard will be wrestling in WOW. She responded, 'How? She just signed with Impact Wrestling two or three weeks ago?'
"I said I don't know how but we're going to make it happen. She's great. She has a dedication to the sport of wrestling like no other. She's got a vision to grow women's wrestling that matched our vision. It's like putting two peas into mashed potatoes – they taste better," stated McClane.
"McClane talked to Impact's VP Scott D'Amore who also wanted to see women's wrestling grow so they reached a deal regarding Blanchard.
"They permitted, contractually, us to sign Tessa Blanchard to a long-term deal. Hats off to them. Hats off to everybody because the winners at the end of the day are the wrestling fans," said McClane.
Wrestling Inc's full, exclusive interview with McClane can be heard as part of this week's WINCLY podcast. In it he talks more about the resurgence of GLOW, resurrecting Women of Wrestling, working with Mark Cuban and more. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc Audio on iTunes to get every podcast from Wrestling Inc as soon as it's released. You can listen to the latest episode of the WINCLY in the embedded player below: