Women of Wrestling recap & review: Be like a Blanchard

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Last week Tessa Blanchard won the WOW Championship with an assist from The Beast. She pinned Jungle GRRRL for the 1-2-3 breaking her 18 year unpinned streak and claiming the gold. It was exciting and left me wanting more.

Unfortunately, while this week’s episode opened with an excellent promo from the new champion and ended with a Beastly squash everything in between fell flat and felt hokey.

Finding Gold

Sometimes I forget that Tessa Blanchard is only 22 years old because she is SO DAMN GOOD. In a short, but sweet promo she opened the show proclaiming “I am Blanchard. Everywhere I go I find gold.”

She reinforced the idea that she got to where she was on her own (not with the Beasts help) and that whether the crowd like it or not she was their champ.

My favorite thing about Tessa’s promos in WOW is how much her voice drips with disdain for McLane. If you’ve read my recaps before you know that my least favorite thing about the show is McLane (and boy howdy was that reinforced this episode by his truly awful commentary) and watching Tessa rip a mic away from him makes me pop every time.

Tessa’s a star and if this week proved anything, this show needs stars.


Tessa telling McLane what’s what.
WOW

Don’t let the mask wear you

The Norwegian Nightmare, Nikki Krumpus debuted this week…in a tank top and leggings. You know what makes a scary Krampus mask not so scary? LEGGINGS and fuzzy Ugg boots.

Her gimmick is kind of like a scary back woods Norwegian murderer, but it reads like a foreign exchange student that didn’t know what to do for Halloween and pulled some nonsense out of her closet.

The mask itself was really cool – even if it did inspires some lame Gene Simmons jokes from Mclane and the commentary team – but there was a disconnect between the performer and the mask. Not to get all theatre-y, but she didn’t become the character when she put on the mask, she just wore a kind of cool mask to the ring. And then was in leggings.

Needless to say, it did not work for me.

Krumpus fought “fan favorite” Stephy Slays, so immediately we all knew that Krumpus was going to win. It’s not that I mind knowing the finish – you watch enough wrestling you understand that many debuts end in W’s and that underdogs gotta lose – it’s just that I’m not invested in Stephy Slays to care enough. McLane basically kept screaming the phrase “fan favorite! Fan favorite!” but I don’t feel that. I am intrigued with her ongoing story line with Abilene Maverick and the backstage drama around Slays, but her in ring work is just to obvious to get me on her side.

The match itself was not very good. Lucky for Krumpus Stephy knows how to sell, because while she is supposed to be a powerhouse she looked physically very weak. The match ended when Krumpus barely caught Stephy in a crossbody followed by an unsteady side walk slam.

After the match Krumpus cut a promo in Norwegian – which is a surprisingly intimidating language – and let the locker room know she was coming for them one by one. It was fine, but it’s hard to get excited for another bruiser when (a) they weren’t very impressive on their debut and (b) the roster already has The Beast, Jungle GRRRL and Jessicka Havok. Another bruiser we do not need.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Yikes, Yikes, Yikes!

The Princess Aussie gimmick is just so tirelessly offensive that I could barely focus on anything else in this match. It’s doubly offensive too because, frankly, Princess Aussie isn’t a good enough wrestler to have a terrible gimmick. It’s a corny show right (I mean that in a good way), so why not just play up any other stereotype about Australians other than white savior? It’s so uncomfortable and it immediately pulls me out of the match.

Also McLane fought way to hard to talk about her “sticks” on commentary. He kept saying, “They’re really important. I’ll talk about them later.” Just talk about them my dude!! He didn’t say anything until after the match had started! Like, an obvious story inspired by a fable (one stick is easy to break, a bundle is not) is not worth all the hype and is not worth taking our focus off the match!! He is worse than Josh Matthews on commentary. A thing I never thought I would say.

Thankfully, Holidead was there to try and salvage this mess. Now, I know her gimmick is carried over from her work in the indies, but her gimmick is the best kind of over the top. It doesn’t read as silly, she’s 10000% committed to it and she brings it into the ring when she wrestles. WOW has some homegrown talent that have strong gimmicks, but some – like Princess Aussie are really bad – because they lack this authenticity (also because it’s racist).

Oh, also, commentary said that Holidead had “a baby tongue.” Yeah, I don’t know what that means either. A BABY TONGUE! WHAT?

The match wasn’t anything special, mostly Holidead doing the heavy lifting. Princess Aussie won with a sloppy frog splash, but her celebration was cut short when Voodoo Doll teleported into the ring and punched her in the face.

S A T I S F Y I N G

She then made eyes at Holidead before leaving the ring. Gods, I pray they are a tag team! Their gimmicks are similar but also very distinct. It would be fun to watch them work their mysticism together into one gimmick.

Tag Team Tease

Last season on WOW Keta Rush decided to leave the company only to be ambushed by The Dagger and The Temptress. Naturally, instead of inspiring her to definitely leave, it brought her back with a vengeance.

Keta Rush has an inspiring background and the crowd is in love with her. Which is great because it immediately made Dagger a capital H heel which she needed because earlier in the night they showed a bio package where she came off as 100% a face. Like, “look at me and my happy children” kind of face. But in the ring, bad guy…fine, whatever.

To be honest, I couldn’t really take this match seriously. I hate The Temptress (Katarina) so much and The Dagger looks like a competitor in one of those cosplay competitions where they do dances with light-sabers. I get the metaphor – my body is a weapon – but the props are silly.

This match was pretty good, Keta is obviously the better wrestler and I look forward to her wrestling someone with a little more skill, but Dagger did a good job telling the story. Temptress on the outside tried to interfere, but Keta finally got Dagger in an arm bar for the win. Temptress tried to get involved again, but found herself in an arm bar. There was almost a two on one beat down but Fire came out to help Keta scaring off the heels. Fire then declared her love (yep) for Keta and I * think * they started a tag team.

LOOOOTS going on in this match, but Keta and Fire teaming up is going to be a blast.

Squash me like it’s hot


The Beast destroys Azteca
WOW

The Beast cut a bad ass promo explaining her actions and calling out Tessa.

“I am the biggest. I am the baddest. I am The Beast. I am coming for what’s mine.”

She then closed the show out making an example out of Azteca in a beastly squash. Was a little bummed that Azteca had to eat the squash instead of someone less traditionally “good” but it also made The Beast look strong winning over one of the best women on the roster.

But what goes around comes around and while The Beast was celebrating her victory Jungle GRRRL jumped her from behind. I love when a show ends with a good old fashioned beat down!

The three way story they are telling with The Beast, Tessa Blanchard and Jungle GRRRL is great.


Overall, this week’s show was not great. It started off good and ended hot, but the middle was kind of a mess, but I think once they introduce some more gold, and start setting up some secondary story lines it will feel less messy. I just hope they do it sooner rather than later.

I also hope they put a muzzle on McLane.

Grade: B-




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