More details have arrived following the surprising news that former WWE Divas champion AJ Mendez (fka AJ Lee) is returning to the world of professional wrestling with the syndicated women’s promotion WOW.
Mendez herself spoke at the Oct. 6 press conference, explaining why she’s joining owner Jeanie Buss’ WOW team.
“But my goal after wrestling, was to create those characters for the next generation. So every little girl could see themselves on TV and know that nothing was impossible.”— WOW (@wowsuperheroes) October 7, 2021
We’re not crying… you are, from the words that AJ Mendez spoke at the press conference! pic.twitter.com/l1NFZpRJMl
The press release also tells us more about Mendez’s role - she’ll executive produce and provide color commentary on each episode - and WOW’s deal with CBSViacom.
VIACOMCBS ANNOUNCES MULTI-YEAR DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT WITH JEANIE BUSS-OWNED “WOW - WOMEN OF WRESTLING”
ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group Provides Women’s Wrestling Its Largest Media Footprint in Sports Entertainment History
LOS ANGELES – Oct. 6, 2021 – ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group announced today a new multi-year distribution agreement with WOW - Women Of Wrestling (WOW), marking the return of the world’s leading women’s wrestling league. This historic and exclusive media rights deal gives WOW the biggest distribution opportunities for the U.S. and abroad in the history of women’s professional wrestling. WOW is owned by Jeanie Buss and was created by David McLane, founder of women’s wrestling’s original hit series GLOW.
New episodes of WOW will launch in weekend syndication beginning in the fall of 2022. ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group has already secured clearance in 160 markets, representing 70 percent of the United States via licensing agreements with deals that include CBS-owned-and-operated stations and Sinclair Broadcast Group. Historical seasons will be available on CW Seed and Pluto TV platforms, expected in December 2021.
“We are thrilled to partner with Jeanie Buss and David McLane to create a significant global footprint for WOW and expand our diverse, world-class content portfolio,” said Dan Cohen, President of ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group. “This series offers audiences unique, compelling and creative entertainment that features female ‘superheroes’ in the ring, behind the cameras and in all aspects of the business. Both in the U.S and abroad, we believe this is an event program that will make some noise in the marketplace.”
Former WWE world champion and New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Is My Superpower AJ Mendez will provide color commentary during each broadcast, which will feature the return of WOW World Champion The Beast and former world champion Tessa Blanchard to the squared circle.
“Wrestling’s presentation of women has long been very important to me, and we now are presenting the epitome in sports entertainment that will highlight the athleticism of these superstars as we reintroduce WOW,” said Jeanie Buss, Owner of WOW. “Our partnership with the entire ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group family allows us to continue our mission of providing wrestling fans and WOW Superheroes what they have all deserved: a global platform for a dedicated women’s wrestling league.”
Buss and Mendez will serve as executive producers, while WOW creator and founder McLane is the executive producer of the production, along with two-time Emmy Award nominee Nick Staller. ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group distributes the series in the U.S. and internationally.
It’ll be a while until any of this becomes a product we can judge on its own merits, but news of how this came to be will be circulating before too long. Stay tuned.