wrestling / News

New Details on Tessa Blanchard-WOW Issues, When They Began

May 19, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WOW - Tessa Blanchard Image Credit: Viacom/CBS

A new report has some additional details on the report of issues between Tessa Blanchard and WOW – Women of Wrestling. As you may recall, it was reported earlier this month that Blanchard had a “falling out” with the company as it prepared for its relaunch tapings, which took place this past week. Fightful Select has a new report that notes Blanchard is not figured into the company’s plans, though there is no word that she has been officially fired. AJ Mendez was at the tapings doing commentary, and Blanchard did not appear in any capacity.

According to the report, those that the outlet have spoken to have said they saw friction between the two sides as early as January and that Blanchard was “livid” after a planned tryout that month was canceled by CBS, which is WOW’s broadcast partner. The tryout was canceled due to COVID, and had been advertised. Blanchard was said to have believed they could have done the tryout either via Zoom or at an isolated school, and David McClane got the finger pointed at him. The situation is said to have ended up wasting a lot of money.

The company, talent, and staff have often gone silent when asked about Blanchard, and several people reached out to Fightful after the initial report to say that it was suggested there could be legal recourse between the two sides and had been concerned about potentially being involved in it. According to the report, sources in the company said that WOW was able to get some talent who had vowed never to work with Blanchard again to come back, and they ended up seeing “more of the same.”

The company is said to have had a very different approach when initially ramping back up than the current form; the original plan involved offering big money (by the company’s standards) to free agents with global exposure in order to get the major partner. It was also intended to serve as a rehabilitation project for Blanchard, as David McClane has been a fan and protective of her for a long time and there was no interest from WWE, AEW, Impact or ROH at the time.

That said, a lot of talent associated to the company have spoken with the outlet on the record about their issues with Blanchard including some issues that have stayed present or come back. WOW’s business strategy is also said to have shifted in a major way around August of September of 2021 and the focus was put on bringing in AJ Mendez. The focus at that point moved to Tessa Blanchard being the in-ring face of the company and Mendez as the veteran face of WOW. The idea was to supplement that with very low-cost talent that could be trained to fit the necessary roles.

According to one source, the relationship between McClane and Blanchard has to have become very bad because he stayed on her side for years and through multiple issues.

Finally, the report notes that a company-wide email was sent out after the tapings to tell staff that the next tapings, scheduled for early June, were postponed because of a positive COVID-19 test.