Jeanie Bass was a typical high school student in the 1970s when she was once told that she would be on the women’s golf team. The problem was that Bass had never played golf a day in her life.

In 1972 Title IX was adopted. It was a federal law that, among other things, tried to level the playing field between men and women in athletics. Without a women’s golf team, Palisades High School in the Los Angeles area could not have a men’s golf team. Thus, golf for girls became a sport in the school, and in her senior year, Bass won the championship.

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Bass, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, like her father Jerry before her, now wants to give young women the opportunity to play athletics like she once did. In 2017, Bass became the owner of Women of Wrestling (WOW), an all-female professional wrestling promotion. Last year, the promotion announced a distribution deal with Paramount. WOW is returning to air this month through Paramount affiliated networks and streaming app Pluto TV, which are broader platforms than the promotion’s previous deal with AXS TV.

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Bass’ vision for WOW is an alternative for female athletes to pursue after college when there are few options at the professional level. She said she invested her own money in this project, which does not involve the Lakers.

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“What if you played field hockey?” Bass told Sportzshala about it. “You probably started when you were 10, 11, 12 years old. [years old] and sacrificed a big part of your life and now you’re just going to hang up? I wanted to create something [where] athletes will have the opportunity to perform in front of a large audience. Wrestling has always been very popular with the fans.”

Bass, 60, has never been a professional wrestling fan until recently. She disliked how women were portrayed as “side characters”. Her friend David McLane was the creator of the famous 1980s cult hit Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), which has since been dramatized on Netflix. McLain launched WOW in the early 2000s and relaunched it in 2012 as a modern successor to GLOW. But it took years for Bass to attend the event.

“I thought it was going to be mud wrestling or jelly wrestling or something else that I wouldn’t like,” she said. “After I ran out of excuses, I finally had to go to the show. As soon as I walked in and saw him, everything made sense. I was a kid who collected comics. I dreamed of being Supergirl or Wonder Woman. “

WOW has been making television recordings since the spring in Los Angeles. The idea, according to sources, is to release a show every week of the year. Bass and McLain brought in A.J. Mendez as an executive producer and color commentator. Mendes, known as AJ Lee in WWE, was once one of wrestling’s biggest stars and a three-time world champion.

Bass said she’s staying out of the storyline process – that’s the role of McLain – and you won’t see her take any punches in the ring anytime soon. Bass said she cringes and sometimes looks away when athletes make risky moves. But she’s proud to be a fan and investor in a product that she believes has been picked up by companies like Paramount thanks to the rising popularity of women’s sports and movies with female characters like Wonder Woman.

“People want to invest in women’s sports,” Bass said. “It has to be the right vehicle, the right platform for women to shine. That’s why I think wrestling and female athletes are the perfect combination. This is what I believe in. behind it. I believe in these women.”

Amberly Shaw, who competes for WOW under the ring name Kandy Krush, is exactly the athlete Bass and company were looking for. Shaw is a 2-0 professional boxer, but her Los Angeles gym closed during the pandemic. She decided to try herself in WOW – a place where she can combine her “athleticism and artistry” – and she did it.

Shaw now believes that a series of events “should have happened” and she enjoys interacting with Bass. In a video posted by Shaw on Instagram, she and Bass pose for a photo and both of them began shadowboxing. The boxer-turned-pro wrestler wrote, “Never in my life did I imagine I would fight a shadow” next to the “legendary” Bass.

“One of my favorite things in life has always been to empower other people, especially women,” Shaw said. Jeanie Bass is the best example of this. She is all rolled into one – beauty, strength, confidence. She is a real leader. she has succeeded, it inspires me to follow her example and just follow her.”

She said that Bass was just trying to pay up front, like the odds she got at golf and the ones her father passed on to her.

“I know my dad would be very proud of me,” Bass said. “He gave me the opportunity to be the best in the business. The idea that I’m taking that and empowering a new generation was who Jerry Bass was. He created a man like me, and I must pass him on to the next one. generation.”