Los Angeles Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss is also the co-owner of WOW – Women of Wrestling and the NBA boss shockingly claims she is willing to do whatever it takes to grow the brand, including having an on-air role with the wrestling promotion.
While many sports fans link Buss with her position as the President and top decision-maker with the legendary Los Angeles Lakers, not many realize she is also an influencer in the wrestling business. The 61-year-old is the co-owner and co-founder of the all-women’s wrestling promotion WOW, which began its second season on Saturday.
Yet, her involvement in the company isn’t a business venture while the industry is in the midst of a major upswing. No, this is a passion project for the NBA executive who has been a fan of this unique form of sports entertainment since the “Rock and Wrestling” days of the 1980s.
Unsurprisingly, WOW – Women of Wrestling’s current product mirrors the era of wrestling she fell in love with by promoting a family-friendly offering that features “Superheroes” instead of wrestlers.
Jeanie Buss hopes Women of Wrestling can develop future stars in WWE and AEW
However, just like the Lakers, WOW is a business with a specific strategy built to make the most out of Buss’ financial investment. But unlike her popular NBA team, the goal is not for WOW to compete with the powerhouse of the wrestling business, but instead to identify and develop the performers that will one day be stars in WWE and AEW.
“I would love to be what would be considered a feeder league into some of the more widely known wrestling [promotions],” Buss told Sportsnaut. “What’s important to me is WOW is a self-sustaining operation. I want this brand to live long after I’m gone. Because this is the only wrestling that features an all-female cast, and I think it’s an important message.”
WOW – Women of Wrestling is not the first all-women’s wrestling league and is continuing a tradition first started by David McLane when he created Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in the 1980s. McLane is also the co-founder of WOW and part of the team trying to deliver a product with long-term upside. While finding future stars is key, adding established names could be very helpful to the brand as well.
When asked if she would be open to investing big bucks in wrestling free agency, Buss admitted she is willing to go that expensive route to boost WOW’s brand recognition in the future.
“Absolutely we would be open to [signing a big name in free agency], as long as the wrestler understands what we’re trying to do,” said Buss. “That recognizes the brand and it is about empowering women.”
Could the Los Angeles Lakers boss soon play an on-air role for WOW?
The Los Angeles Lakers boss is one of the few female owners and executives of a professional sports team in North America. That is why she has a unique role in the athletic world and her name holds serious weight due to her family’s long-term ownership of the team. Which begs the question: Would Jeanie Buss be willing to play an on-air role to help grow WOW – Women of Wrestling?
Wrestling fans have seen owners and real-life authority figures play characters for their promotions for years. WWE founder Vince McMahon is the best example as he will go down as one of the best bad guys the wrestling industry has ever seen as he played the foil to legendary fan-favorite “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
However, those individuals did not have other roles leading one of the most recognizable sports brands in the world. Yet, Buss’ passion for the industry and her wrestling company is serious, and her answer to the aforementioned question may surprise some.
“Anybody that knows me knows that I’m willing to stand up for this brand and do whatever it takes to be successful,” she said. “So if there is a compelling reason for me to be on camera and be part of a story then absolutely. I would do anything to make sure that WOW is successful.”
WOW – Women of Wrestling airs in syndication around the United States but can also be streamed on Pluto TV and VICE TV.