Women of Wrestling, aka WOW!, is a professional wrestling promotion founded in 2000 by David McLane, previously the founder of Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. It was based in Los Angeles, California. Using a similar format of character driven performers, with names befitting a comic book series, such as Jungle Girrrl, an inmate tag-team complete with orange jump suits named Caged Heat and the Persian Princess, WOW launched a series of syndicated programs in the 2000-01 television seasons in 102 TV markets. The programs quickly became the highest rated wrestling shows in the markets of New York and Los Angeles and demonstrated ability regardless of the region, market size or time-period to grow each television stations audience. With its headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, WOW held its live events which were taped for broadcast from the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The organizations first live event attendance was a mere 400+, but its audience grew to over 5,000 customers over the period of only six events and its website peaked in one month with slightly over 10 million unique visitors. Los Angeles Lakers Sr. Vice President Jeanie Buss who is a business partner of Mr. McLane's appeared regularly on WOW programming, although not as an in-ring participant.
WOW programs were able to stand out from other wrestling programs by offering television viewers and live event audience an all female troupe of performers who played campy villains and heroines in all sizes and nationalities. By being the only entertainment source of its kind, WOW captured a strong adult demographic following with its primary audience, the male television audience (18–49 years of age) generating 25% higher ratings than its secondary audience of young women (18-24), teens, and tweens (7-12).
Due to the ever soft and declining advertising market during this time, WOW wasn't able to take advantage of its momentum and ceased production after completing 24 original episodes and one live pay-per-view event. WOW, although off the air in the United States after 2001 continued to exist through international distribution deals with the markets of Israel, Russia, India, Canada, South Africa, Kenya, Middle East, Turkey, Malaysia, the Dominican Republic and other countries airing the WOW shows.
In December 2010 the WOW website underwent construction with a cover page of Jungle Grrrl appearing to fly over the skyline of Las Vegas, thus giving the impression the WOW promotion is set to return with live events from Las Vegas. Starting in July 2011, the website reported the show is airing on KTNV in Las Vegas.
On May 29, 2012, McLane and Buss announced their intention to produce new episodes of the series. Partnering with 44 Blue Productions, the series will be preceded by a reality television show called "WOW Girls" documenting the process.
Once again following a similar formula that he created for GLOW, McLane hoped WOW would be the women's wrestling league that finally got the respect he felt it should deserve. Similar to McLane's earlier promotion, WOW depended heavily on kayfabe and presented gimmicks that were fantastical, especially compared to the darker fare being promoted by other wrestling companies. WOW talent (or individuals claiming to be such) would actively post to the company's message boards (now defunct) in-character, leading to such amusing incidents as the members of "Caged Heat", an inmate-themed tag team, claiming that they were accessing the internet from the prison library.
WOW programming was aired in first-run syndication, often late at night and packaged with other sports-entertainment programming like Thunderbox. The promotion aired about twenty four original one-hour episodes, fielding a single pay-per-view, WOW Unleashed.
The majority of WOW's performers were rookies to the business, recruited from backgrounds in modeling, acting, stunt work, and martial arts. Selena Majors (who wrestled as "Bambi") and Thug (who wrestled as "Peggy Lee Leather") were the trainers for the company.
WOW aired for two seasons from 2018 until 2020 at 8pm eastern time Saturday nights on AXS TV.
- WOW World Championship
- WOW World Tag Team Championship