As TV began, people imagined a grand concert hall – orchestras and opera stars and such.
Or not. Viewers often prefer o see angry people crashing into each other.
Now we’re sort of re-entering that era. That starts Sept. 7, with Tessa Blanchard (shown here) defending her WOW title; wrestling will be expanding on cable and even returning to the broadcast networks.
And yes, we’ve been here before. Flash back 70 years, to the fall of 1949. In primetime, viewers had:
— Tuesdays: Wrestling on the DuMont network.
— Wednesdays: Wrestling on ABC … at the same time as boxing on CBS.
— Thursdays: More boxing on CBS.
— Fridays: Boxing on DuMont … and the roller derby on ABC.
— Saturday: More wrestling on DuMont, more roller derby on ABC.
Most of that would soon be replaced by cowboys and comedians and such. The wrestlers returned in the early days of cable … faded again … and now return, as networks scramble for something that we won’t time-shift.
The first step comes Sept. 7 on AXS, the network (strong on rock music) created by Mark Cuban. It has the season-openers of “WOW: Women of Wrestling” and “New Japan Wresting” at 8 and 9 p.m. ET, then keeps repeating them until 2 a.m.
And just to make sure we know these people, it reruns last season from noon to 8 p.m. ET. We’ll get to know WOW champion Tessa Blanchard, plus The Beast and Havok the Monster of Madness and others who clearly are not emulating Gidget or the Brady Bunch.
A month later, TNT debuts All Elite Wrestling on Oct. 2 and Fox returns WWE to prime time on Oct. 4.
All of these will work on developing their own stars; I’ll have more on them as the start approaches.
On Tuesday, WOW introduced its star-in-training, Teal Piper. She turns out to be bright and articulate … just as her dad, Rowdy Roddy Piper, was.
Earlier this summer, Fox brought out one of its stars, Charlotte Flair – the daugher of Ric Flair. For that matter, Blanchard is the daughter and granddaughter of pro wrestlers. Maybe it’s time to search for any offspring of Gorgeous George and Andre the Giant.