It’s been an interesting couple of years for women in the world of wrestling, both within WWE and without. A big part of the raised profile for women in wrestling (beyond WWE’s “Women’s Revolution”) was the success of Netflix’s GLOW, the dramedy from Jenji Kohan starring Alison Brie and Marc Maron. Now, as GLOW gears up for its second season next week, it has been announced that the real-life version of GLOW has made a major TV deal. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Women of Wrestling, or WOW, made a deal with MGM and Mark Cuban’s AXS TV to move their programming off of Youtube and onto the live-event and music-themed network. The move comes in light of both GLOW’s success as well as that of female-driven media like Wonder Woman.
The similarities between WOW and GLOW go beyond the sort of wrestling they feature. WOW was founded by David McLaine as a successor to GLOW, the company he founded in 1986 to bring his vision of fun female wrestling to the masses. WOW bears strong similarities with its parent program, retaining the highly gimmicked characters that were the hallmark of 80’s wrestling. Even as WWE and IMPACT have moved their product into more realistic waters, WOW has kept the campy and colorful “superheroes” with names like Jungle Grrl, Persian Princes, and Beckie “The Farmer’s Daughter.” Alumni of WOW include current WWE NXT superstar Candice LeRae (who wrestled for WOW as Candice Dawson), Lucha Underground’s Beautiful Brenda (Kitty in WOW), and independent wrestlers Santana Garret and Amber Gallows (wrestling as the tag team All-American Girls).
The new deal was made between Jeanie Buss, an owner of the LA Lakers as well as WOW owner, and MGM President, Mark Burnett. AXS already broadcasts New Japan Pro Wrestling, but as NJPW lacks a women’s division, WOW is filling a niche on the service. As part of the cable, satellite, and telco distribution deal, AXS will start broadcasting WOW events from LA starting early next year.