A look at the first attempt at a NWA Women’s PPV

Jay Cal talks about the first time the NWA tried to produce an all-women’s pay per view.

EMPOWERRR is scheduled to kick off the NWA 73rd Anniversary Weekend. This event is being celebrated as the first-ever NWA All Women’s Pay-Per-View. However, this is the first time the National Wrestling Alliance has efforted to present an all-women’s pay-per-view. In late 1999, the National Wrestling Alliance agreed to partner with Tor Berg to form the Women’s National Wrestling Alliance. Berg was the promoter of the Ladies Pro Wrestling Association from 1989 until 1992 when the promotion closed. The plan for WNWA was to tape wrestling events in Las Vegas, Nevada, and to distribute the footage as a bi-monthly pay-per-view with Viewers Choice. The initial event was title Superladies Untamed, but the event never took place.

Ladies Pro Wrestling Association, described by many as the more wrestling-oriented version of GLOW. The show was more focused on in-ring competition than skits like its earlier counterpart. Some talents from GLOW jumped to LPWA. Even so, both promotions closed in 1992. Some seven years after the fact, Berg efforted to bring the spirit of the LPWA back with the rich historic tradition of the NWA.

This has been really difficult to set up because even though professional wrestling popularity is at an all-time high a double standard kicks in when you mention an all woman event. Programers like a sprinkling of women in mens events but, they shy away from an all womens event. Women programmers think that the women are being taken advantage of [no one bothers to ask the wrestlers their opinion] and male programmers think that their wives, sisters, girlfriends, etc. should be doing “woman” kind of things and not throwing each other around a wrestling ring [once again, no one has taken the time to ask the wrestlers what they think] fortunately for us Viewers Choice has a liberated programming department and a agreement could be reached directly with them without to much difficulty.

Tor Berg from the 1999 Press-Release


Photo from NWA-Wrestling.com 2000

The initial roster would showcase talents who had worked with LPWA, GLOW, the AWA, and the WWF. Susan Sexton, Bambi, Cheryl Rusa, Ami Action, Raya Riot, the 1998 Female Rookie of the Year Strawberry Fields, Jan Flame, Hollywood, and the legendary Sherri Martel. But the biggest name they were looking to land was none other than Debbie Malenko. One of the toughest gaijins of All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling. She received training by all three members of the Malenko family and made an honorary member.

Unfortunately, issues continued to come up for the partnership. The August 29th, 1999 Pay-Per-View would be postponed. The rescheduled dates for 2000 included February 20th and April 30th would also need to be postponed. Berg also expressed difficulty in working with the Las Vegas Athletic Commission. After numerous attempts to get the show off the ground, it quietly disappeared without a trace or any fanfare. Ironically, the National Wrestling Alliance will present its first all-women pay-per-view literally one day before the company’s first plan twenty-two years earlier.

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