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WOW Unleashed

by Scrooge McSuck

WOW Unleashed

February 4th, 2001

- I hate to start a recap pooping on a good show (Evolution was above expectations), but I must go back to the point where WWE blatantly pushed the show as the 1st all Women's PPV, and not just under the WWE umbrella. There's been a fair share over the years, but today, I'm covering the FIRST one I've ever discovered. In the earliest days of the year 2001, I discovered WOW! (Women of Wrestling) after staying up late to watch an episode of WWF Metal (after about a month of only seeing matches with Essa Rios and the un-pushed era for Too Cool, I quickly gave up). At the time, I was only 15, and other than vague knowledge of GLOW, I really didn't know anything about David McLane or any details of any of the promotions he tried putting together over the years. All I knew was what I saw: a lot of stereotypes and bad wrestling (to be fair, the women's wrestling in WWF at the time wasn't much better). I watched enough episodes to remember them hyping a PPV, which I (along with many others) didn't order for obvious reasons (it was going to suck). All these years later, here we are, recapping it for your enjoyment and my suffering.

- Presented on February 4th, 2001, from the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, CA. Lee Marshall and Bobby Heenan are on hand to call the action, with an alleged 9,500 in attendance (or about 1,000 people short of the legit attendance for WWE Evolution). I'm assuming Marshall was let go in a cost-cutting measure, too, since we knew Heenan's contract with WCW was already terminated at this point. McLane drops the line "1st-ever all-Women PPV" 30-seconds into the show and runs down the card with sloppy cuts and second-rate graphics plastered on the screen.

- Harley's Angels (I'm assuming they're not working underneath Harley Race) ride-in to cut promos on a show that's already purchased.

Jacqueline Hyde (w/ Dr. Sarah Bellum and Nurse Mercy) vs. Randi Rah-Rah:

Heenan's first line: "this is very interesting." I use the word "interesting" when I find something off-putting or outright terrible. Rah-Rah is a one-eyed cheerleader (correction, she's selling an injury via broken mirror), and if the name doesn't give it away for her opponent, then you probably won't get the subtlety of other gimmicks we're going to see. Lockup and Rah-Rah grabs a headlock. Cartwheel and a splash for two. Hyde counters a hammer-lock with a snap mare and hits the world's worst rolling neck snap (think what Hennig did, but the dirt worst version). Hyde drops a pair of legs across the midsection and plants Rah-Rah with a scoop slam. Hyde climbs the ropes but Rah-Rah trips her up. Charge into the corner and Randi with a twisting body press for three at 2:24. Heenan tries to get a word with her, but the microphone doesn't work. She promises Lana Starr she "has her eye on her." HAR HAR (get it? It's RAH RAH BACKWARDS). Heenan then "gets" the joke, making it even dumber.

Farah the Persian Princess & Paradise vs. The Beach Patrol (Summer & Sandy):

Is it wrong I hope we get to see Beirut, the Mad Terrorist? Farah does a sorry belly-dancing gimmick, and Paradise is from Tonga, but doesn't seem to have any character traits to go along with that. She's not even wrestling bare-foot! Beach Patrol are two blonde bikini babes who are probably getting the babyface pops for their attire. Paradise starts with Sandy and they immediately botch a leap-frog. They do a sloppy counter next ending with a short-clothesline. Sandy hits both opponents with a body press for two. Summer gets laid out with a double clothesline, followed by a double suplex. Whip and they botch a rolling school boy. Sandy gets the world's coldest hot tag and hits a twisting body press that was telegraphed by eight days (a week). Farah ties up Sandy but Summer saves with a basement dropkick ("that's a receipt", whatever that implies). The world's softest dropkick leads to referee Jesse Hernandez bumping out of the ring. We get a double pin on a double sunset flip spot at 2:47 because it's the second match and we're getting Vince Russo nonsense. It's officially ruled a draw. Want to know what's sad? NWA-TNA recycled the double-pin gimmick MULTIPLE TIMES in the next few years. The crowd chants "Bull-sh*t" for a show they probably are attending free.

Jane Blond vs. Tanja, Warrior Woman:

Jane Blond is introduced from "her majesiy's secret service, Blond, Jane Blond." If you know do the gimmick, again, don't bother reading further. Her hype video shows her blowing up a dude for threatening her with a plastic ninja star. Tanja is a knock-off Xena, or that's my best guess. 2001 was a long time ago. Tanja attacks with a Thesz Press. Whip is reversed, and she hits a soft shoulder tackle. We get ANOTHER blown leap frog and then a sloppy transition into an arm-bar. Tanja with an enzuigiri that barely reaches Jane's lower-back. We get the worst scoop slam (so far) and her second enzuigiri misses (but to be fair, that was the spot). Whip and JANE BLOND with a one-foot dropkick. They do a decent bridge-up out of a cover and fight for a back-slide, won by Jane Blond. Blond throws a decent dropkick, climbs the ropes, and misses a missile dropkick. Tanja with the BIG SWING (only three twirls) and an AWFUL heel kick finishes at 2:51. At least these matches are short, but this one was somehow worse than the previous match.

- Have I mentioned there's a "Bikini Contest" for fans to vote on at the defunct WOWE.com (WOW's website) where we get constant clips that makes this a border-line softcore porn PPV? Well, there is, and gratuitous clips of women in skimpy bikinis are peppered between every segment.

Hammerin' Heather Steele vs. Nicky Law (w/ Kristy Order):

What, did someone not think of the name Mar C. Hammer for our tool-person? "Bob Vila never looked this good." Nicky Law and Kristy Order are known as "Law and Order." Get it? Law attacks before the bell but Steele surprises her with a roll-up for two. Whip and Law with a clothesline. The camera makes sure to get a clean shot down the cleavage of Steele as she lay on the canvas waiting to take an elbow. Law with a double under-hook suplex for two. Steele with a drop toe hold into a HAMMER-lock. Law counters with a snap mare as the camera man is clearly inspired by Kevin Dunn's work. Law with a hangman's neck breaker for three at 2:01. Lee Marshall calls this her "debut", so I'll take his word for it. Post-match, they bust out the handcuffs for some old-fashioned hard time. I'm pretty sure there was a good foot or two between Steele's body and the nightstick.

Boom Boom & Caliente vs. The Asian Invasion:

Boom Boom comes out tossing leis to the crowd and wearing a grass skirt. She's not big like Mt. Fiji or Machu-Pichu, though. Caliente is a "firey Latina" that salsas her way to the ring while Heenan says she's got his temperature up to 108 and Marshall calls her a human habanero. The "Asian Invasion" comprises of Jade (who has become discouraged because she loses all the time) and Lotus. I'm disappointed we didn't get Fortune Cookie to show up. The Invasion of Asian start with double dropkicks, so Boom Boom responds with a double clothesline. Whip and a power-slam gets two despite Jade being under the ropes. Boom Boom with an avalanche, which seems less impressive when she probably weighs no more than 135. She misses a second and Jade rolls her up for two. Jade shows off a decent spinning head-scissors and Lotus hits Caliente with a body press for two. She hits THE WOLD'S WORST MUTA HANDSPRING ELBOW. Nothing else comes close. Caliente easily counters the second attempt and hits a flying body press for two. Heenan makes racially questionable Chinese food jokes as we get another body press. Boom Boom with a "big" splash for two, although it looks like a phantom kick-out. Jade with the flying head-scissors to a legit pop. Boom Boom with ANOTHER avalanche. THEN ANOTHER. Banzai Drop connects but Jade saves. Jade with a victory roll for two. Boom Boom counters the second try with a face-buster as Marshall mistakes Japan for China. Hawaiian Drop finishes at a marathon-like 4:44 to keep Jade's losing streak intact. Jade flashed some decent athleticism, and the work wasn't awful, unlike the commentary, which was both stupid and racially insensitive.

Bronco Billy vs. The Disciplinarian:

I'm not typing "Disciplinarian" over and over, so she's just Evil Teacher. We get quick shots of her sternly looking and pointing at kids to emphasis how EVIL of a DISCIPLINARIAN she is. Bronco Billy is your typical lasso-twirling cowgirl (introduced as (B-B-B-B-Bronco Billy) who's recently lost the ranch to the evil banker. The bell starting the match seems to interrupt Marshall like skipping a cut-scene in a video game. Bronco Billy with an arm drag and wrist-lock. Evil Teacher counters with a flip but Billy comes off the ropes with a body press for a two-count. The DISCIPLINARIAN pops up for a clothesline and hits a fisherman suplex for two. Billy sweeps the legs and tosses Miss Disc. With a sling-shot. The Bronco Bulldog is countered with a back suplex. They seem to have trouble with a back drop and the Disciplinarian hits a splash for two. Back slide for two. Whip and Billy comes back with a dropkick. They botch a bulldog so badly that the crowd openly boos. Disciplinarian no-sells and plants Billy with a slam. Billy avoids an axe-handle and hits another bulldog (still sloppy as hell) for two. Disciplinarian with a boot and knee to the face, followed by the PEDIGREE, but Billy gets a foot on the rope. Way to kill Hunter's finisher! She celebrates, allowing Billy to roll her up for three at 3:57. The ring announcer announces the Disciplinarian as the WINNER of the match. She makes sure to get her heat back by announcing she's the one who bought the ranch. SWERVE! Looks like people are getting more time, but this dog died as soon as they screwed the pooch on that bulldog.

Slam Dunk vs. Roxy Powers:

This is a "special challenge match." Slam Dunk comes to the ring in football pads and carrying a hockey stick. Clearly, I'm full of crap. I have no idea what Powers is going for. Just a generic tough girl, I guess. They get into a shoving match. I guess Dunk is wearing gold and purple to represent the home team of the Clippers. I've given up on taking this show seriously, so I'm just messing around now. Powers grabs a side headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Dunk actually pulls off a leap frog, but Powers ruins it with the show's worst body press (so far). Slam Dunk with a leg drop for two. Dunk is tall, so she not only stepped over the top rope, but uses the Kevin Nash foot-choke. Powers corpses running into a soft boot. Dunk drops another leg, but showboats instead of covering. She raises the roof and misses the flying leg drop. Powers accidentally hits the referee with a clothesline. Dunk with the "monster dunk" (a choke-slam), and she counts her own fall with the referee still dazed. She grabs the referee and hits him with the Monster Dunk, too, and he takes the best bump of the night! Roxy with the super-Kick and another referee comes out, only to get pulled out by THE ORIGINAL REFEREE, and it's a Double DQ at 3:39 as the referee takes another choke-slam. We get an audible "bullsh*t" chant. The Wikipedia page (probably written by McLane, based on the absurd entry) lists, and I quote, "Roxy Powers defeated Slam Dunk ended in a double disqualification." Even 17 years later, the show is producing botch-a-mania.

Riot™ vs. Wendi Wheels:

This is a Hardcore Match, so expect a non-finish. Riot™'s name on the screen includes a giant trademark symbol. I'm sure every name has had it, but this was the first to pop out at me. She cuts a promo and makes a durpy face for the camera. Wheels likes motorcycles, but they could only afford a shopping cart for her to bring to the ring, and apparently not a trademark, because her name is trademark-less. Riot™ tries to attack but gets put in the cart and knocked over. She quickly recovers and whacks Wendi with a serving tray. Into the ring, Wendi bounces off the ropes for a diving clothesline. Riot™ hits her again with the tray, with each shot weaker than the last. Next weapon of choice, a water bottle. NOT THE WATER BOTTLE! Wheels counters a piledriver with a back drop and hits a clothesline from the apron. Wheels comes in from the apron with a sunset flip for two. Riot™ with a whip and elbow. SHE'S HARDCORE! SHE'S HARDCORE! Yes, I'm aware the joke from 1996 is probably falling on deaf ears. Marshall deems this "all the way hardcore." Sunset flips and clotheslines are as hardcore as it gets, I agree. Riot™ with a corkscrew elbow from the top for two. Even in WOW finishers are killed in every match. Wheels "hits" Riot with a mop handle, then hits her even less for a two-count. Riot™ weakly bops her with a "stop" sign and grabs another refreshing beverage to toss on Wendi. Wheels responds with more plunder shots. Riot hits the most awkward arm-scissors that legit looks like it could break the arm and hooks a Crossface, but Wheels fights to the ropes. There's no rules, but whatever. Marshall makes a bad Dominos joke because a pizza tray is used as a weapon. It becomes a running gag. Riot™ fans Wheels off with a trash can, then dumps it over her head, UNLEASHING the litter. This. Match. Won't. End. For the love of God, somebody stop the damn match! Riot™ with the Powerbomb to end the turkey at 9:44. That's 10-minutes of my life I won't get back.

- At this point, I've probably skipped over 12-minutes of "WOW Stars in Bikinis" videos, and I'm finally at the half-way mark of the show. Like I said, practically Softcore Porn. They even advertise matches over clips of the ladies in their skimpy bikinis.

Jungle Grrrl vs. Beckie, the Farmer's Daughter:

This is a special "Splash Match", where the winner must do a splash from the top rope. No, I didn't misspell "Grrrl", that's their own dumb idea. Good to see the wrestling industry keeps giving chances to daughters of farmers around the world for the last 30-years. Beckie wastes little time using the "Farmer's Roll", but Jungle GRRRL escapes with her "animal strength." Crisscross and Becky with a body press for no count for obvious reasons. Jungle GRRRL catches her second attempt and counters with a back breaker. Beckie avoids a charge to the corner and takes Jungle Grrrl over with a hip toss. Jungle Grrrl with the sloppiest slam of the night, followed by a Michinoku-Driver. She goes to the top and the Splash hits Beckie's face. BECKIE GETS UP FIRST. I guess you must pin your opponent, too. Beckie with a slingshot that sends Jungle GRRRRRRL over the top rope. Beckie follows with a body press from the apron. Back inside, Beckie with a push-off dropkick and slam. She makes the trip to the top rope and meets the knees going for a splash. Jungle GRRRRRRRRL with kicks in the corner and a clothesline that turns Beckie inside-out. GRRRRL with a missile dropkick. She showboats, allowing Beckie to surprise her with a springboard dropkick. Jungle GRRRL regains control, bringing Beckie back in with a suplex. They do a series of counters, with Beckie getting the better of the exchange. She comes off the top with a missile dropkick. She gets straddled across the top rope taking too long going for a splash. Jungle GRRRL with a Super-Plex. She sets Beckie up again and takes her down with a belly-to-belly suplex. Jungle GRRRL produces a ladder, sets it up outside the ring, and comes off the top with a splash that misses everything but a little bit of leg, but f*ck it, that still wins the match at 9:46. Well, Jungle Grrrl's "best" splashes were terrible, but this is easily the best match on the show (although it's not saying much considering the rest of the field).

WOW Tag Team Championship Match (Vacant):
Caged Heat vs. Harley's Angels (w/ Thug):

Harley Race's Angels are represented by Charlie Davidson and E.Z. Rider. Caged Heat are Delta Lotta Pain and Loca, a.k.a. the answer to "how can we make a team more racially insensitive than Junk Chain and Welfare Queen" by dressing up two minorities in orange jumpsuits. Caged Heat hit the ring and hit a double X-Factor. The bell rings and Thug attacks them, and amazingly, a DQ isn't called. Rider gets brought in from the apron and "tossed" by the hair. Davidson tries her luck but Loca lays into her with a clothesline. We get inmate miscommunication, allowing the biker chicks to take control. EVERYONE is literally sitting on their hands, not reacting to this match. What are we, 9 matches deep? Yeah, I'd be bored with the product, too. Davidson with a running dropkick, knocking Loca into the corner. She adds a Bronco Buster, with extra gyrations. Delta Lotta Pain gets to tag in because WOW doesn't understand what a "hot tag" is. Pain lands on her ass missing a senton from the top rope, but a second Bronco Buster is countered by Loca. Smooth transitions appear to be a problem too. The referee takes a weak bump, but then Thug makes up for it by drilling him on the floor with a clothesline. Pain comes back with a double DDT. Loca with a flying Hart Attack, but Thug runs in and plants her with a choke-slam, then puts Rider on top. BUT WAIT. A THIRD member of Caged Het comes off the top with an elbow, rolls Loca on top, and that gets three at 5:44. The mysterious inmate slams the massive Thug. "That's what I call jailhouse justice." The referee gets tossed over the top rope, because this poor kid is being paid by the bump, I guess. This was more of the same.

WOW Championship Match:
Danger (c) vs. Terri Gold:

Gold doesn't have any particular gimmick, which makes her more relatable than everyone else on the show because a dumb character doesn't define her before we even get a chance to see her. Danger does the Triple H water spit in her entrance... and has no defining characteristics, other than "she wears black." I smell lame-duck Champion, especially since this is her first defense since taking the belt from Gold. Lockup and Danger tosses Gold to the canvas. Gold counters a uranage with a sunset flip for two. Springboard body press for two. Danger side-steps a dropkick (what a surprise) and plants her with a deep scoop slam for two. They do an awful counter spot, then follow with a less-awful (but still awful) arm drag. Gold does another arm drag, giving me proof she didn't know how to properly execute the move. Danger with a crummy swinging neck breaker. Whip and a side slam. Come on, stealing DINO BRAVO'S MOVE?! HOW DARE YOU! Gold comes back with the Muta handspring elbow. It's better than the last girl to do it, but not by much. She tries it again, and misses, just like the last girl did. The referee gets bumped, AGAIN, and Riot™ runs out to get shots in on Danger for taking her out of the match where Danger won the belt. She clears a table and... drops Danger on her head trying a Powerbomb. Danger flails at her to salvage something out of it and a Powerbomb is executed on try number two, but the table doesn't break. Gold with the Asai Moonsault for three at 4:23 to become a 2-time WOW Champion. Almost every spot looked botched, and as I expected, IT'S THE SAME REFEREE THAT KEEPS GETTING BUMPED.

Lana Starr & Patti Pizzazz vs. Ice Cold & Poison:

Loser gets their hair cut. Will they follow through with the promised stipulation? Starr comes out on crutches, but she's called out for faking it and is forced to compete because unlike the other promotions, WOW follows through with their advertised matches. "Snowflakes" fall from the rafters for Ice Cold's entrance. I wonder how much that trick set their budget back. McLane gets bumped as Ice and Poison double-team Starr while we anticipate her partner making an appearance. Starr makes her own comeback, hitting Poison with a push-off dropkick. I'm not knowledgeable with the WOW product, but Starr is clearly a chicken-sh*t heel, but the match is booked to make her sympathetic. Poison with a slam and knee drop. Ice Cold misses an elbow drop from the top, but barely sells it long enough before getting back to the apron. Starr with a bulldog on Poison, but Ice Cold nails her from behind, again. Poison with the world's weakest spear (is she a tackle on the 2018 Tampa Bay Buccaneers?). Ice Cold with a Michinoku Driver. She climbs the ropes and "hits" the elbow, but really misses by a good two-feet. They manage to botch a ROLL-UP. Then they botch a swinging neck breaker. How did THIS get "top billing"? Starr with a DDT, then Poison with a reverse DDT. Poison accidentally whacks Ice Cold with Starr's crutch, allowing Starr to cover for three at 4:16. Nice of Poison to just stand there instead of attempt to break the cover. They strap Ice Cold into the chair for the haircut, but the electric razor sucks and they do a hatchet job (Ice Cold already had short hair to begin with). No sign of Patti Pizzazz, by the way, and a wretched match.

Steel Cage Match: Selina Majors vs. Thug (w/ Harley's Angels):

We finally reached it... the FINAL MATCH OF THE NIGHT. THANK GOD. Selina Majors has experience in professional wrestling, working in a prior McLane promotion (POWW) and elsewhere under the name "Bambi", while Thug worked throughout the 80's and 90's under various names with "Peggy Lee" attached (and even worked WWF shows, teaming with Wendi Richter before Richter's big push). The cage is legit 20 feet tall here. Terri Gold comes out, by the request of Selina Majors, as the "special enforcer" so the Angels don't interfere. I guess this was the angle they've teased all night in segments I didn't bother to recap. Majors "rushes" Thug and takes her down with a Thesz Press. Thug tosses her out of the corner but gets taken down with a bulldog. Majors with a wrecking ball dropkick. Thug reverses a whip, sending Majors into the cage, then using her head as a battering ram. MEANWHILE, Ice Cold gets her head shaved backstage. Back inside, Thug pounds away and drops a leg for two. MEANWHILE, Ice Cold CONTINUES to have her head shaved. Majors is "busted" open, and either it's fake, or she cut herself so poorly that Thug has whacked at the cut to try and draw blood from it. Whip to the corner and Thug follows in with a clothesline. MEANWHILE, THE BARBER CLEANS UP AFTER A JOB WELL DONE. To the floor and Thug sends Majors into the cage via slingshot. Her blood is already dried up, and then she hides under the apron again, a sure sign of shenanigans to get more (fake) color. This is dragging with no end in sight. For reasons unknown, MEANWHILE, Ice Cold shows up at ringside to scream on the headset at David McLane, saying he's a dead man. Thug uses a chair on Majors. The referee gets bumped with a clothesline (yes, the same referee!), but he's back to his feet, only to get sandwiched against the cage. He survives THAT bump and climbs the cage, only to get jerked down. He climbs again, ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP. Majors follows him because Vince Russo is booking (no, not really, but I can imagine him approving) and KNOCKS HIM OFF, THROUGH A RINGSIDE TABLE. Hope it was worth your $20 payday. AND HE BLADED. This match IS STILL GOING ON. Majors with a Stone Cold Stunner but there's no referee. She pushes Gold around for not counting the fall, allowing Thug to recover and weakly smack her with a chair. Thug rolls Gold into the ring, and she reluctantly counts three at 14:55. Post-match, Majors snaps and attacks Gold, setting up an angle that's never followed through with because the last episode of WOW broadcast less than a month later. Terrible match that was overbooked like it was Vince Russo's wet dream.

Final Thoughts: If you expected a good wrestling show, you're crazy, especially if you know the reputation of the product David McLane has produced since the mid 80's. There's a lot of campy characters, a few racially insensitive ones, and a lot of barely-trained women. Judging the booking is a different story. Too many matches featured referee bumps, and the limited training meant a lot of the women used the same spots throughout the night, which made me tired of the product half-way through a 13-match card. As much as the camp of GLOW was watchable, WOW didn't have that same effect, and was dead a month later (but has somehow revived years later, and is currently in business, AGAIN). Was it an embarrassment to wrestling, though? Considering at the time the WWF booked women to be paralyzed in the ring in an era where legit injuries and death took place IN THE RING, and forced a woman to bark like a dog and strip to their underwear in front of approving fans, I wouldn't say it was any worse than the WWF's treatment of women, and you could even argue the match quality was about the same. I'd recommend watching old GLOW if you can find it, or better yet, watch GLOW the TV series on Netflix if you want characters you can get behind.

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