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‘WOW- Women Of Wrestling’: The Beast Talks Representation, Jeanie Buss & What’s Next

Wrestler The Beast has been a dominating force within WOW- Women Of Wrestling. However, that doesn’t mean the powerhouse hasn’t been without her setbacks. The first African-American world champion had to relinquish her title in 2022 after suffering a devastating leg injury.

Since then the chiseled and imposing figure has been on the comeback trail, looking to reclaim what she lost. Through this journey The Beast, real name Twana Barnett-Ferguson, has been at the forefront of promoting the brand. She has appeared alongside Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Lakers president and WOW – Women Of Wrestling co-owner, promoting the brand at Comic-Con and shows like The Talk.

We caught up with the trailblazer on what it means to represent WOW – Women of Wrestling and her hopes beyond growing their syndicated weekly series.

With this being Black History Month, how do you look back on winning the WOW- Women Of Wrestling championship? 

The Beast: It’s surreal because you put so much of yourself to get to that point. Your blood, sweat, and tears. I’ve had so many bumps and bruises. To get to that point where you are recognized as the best of the best. You’re standing there and people are chanting your name. It’s like time slows for a moment. I’m so proud, and I took the time to enjoy that moment. Sometimes we’re so busy getting there that we can often forget to enjoy the moment. It’s a big deal when they put the title around your waist. It’s one of my top accomplishments that I will cherish forever.

How do you take being entrusted to represent the brand? To be their franchise player. 

I’m proud of that. It feels scary but good. Sometimes the moves you make you don’t realize people are watching you. That something you do is going to help to spark something in someone else. To encourage someone else. There is a ripple effect. Maybe I spark something in a young girl to become bigger and better. Then she does it for another generation. That is what we need now. I don’t think we have enough role models. We don’t have enough people being highlighted that represent the good we need around the world.

How would you describe your relationship with Jeanie Buss? When it comes to WOW- Women Of Wrestling, she has really put her money where her mouth is as the company’s biggest fan and strongest supporter. 

She is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t even explain to you how being in the same room with this woman is almost overwhelming. She saw a need for women to be highlighted. She saw and recognized and, like you said, put her money where her mouth is. She put her reputation and energy there, too. We all respect her and are so grateful for that. Women need to be highlighted and showcased for how strong they are. With WOW, you have so much diversity with women. There is every ethnic background. Every shape and size. To even our backgrounds professionally. We have blue collar, white collar. We have teachers, lawyers, all of those things that make up what WOW is. Thanks to Jeanie we have a voice and platform. We are showing little girls know they can be all these things and look any way they want to look and still be beautiful. I always said I never saw a firefighter who looked like me until I went to the fire academy. That’s too long.

The Beast

Who has been an inspiration for you?

It was when I was introduced to Florence Griffith Joyner.  Flo-Jo was a beautiful woman. Her fashion sense was controversial at the time. I remember when people talked about her it was why is she doing this with the nails, the makeup, the hair. They tried to overshadow who she was. But when it was time to step up to the plate, she knocked it out of the park every single time. She showed she could be uniquely her and still do what she came to do, which was to dominate on the track.

We’ve seen different iterations of WOW – Women Of Wrestling over the years. How would you compare this run to the past versions we’ve seen? 

It’s a good time to be a WOW fan. We’re ever-growing the roster, so you’re always getting new energies and people and personalities. WOW is now even a bigger fish bowl. The talent is unsurpassed and sisterhood is where we feed off each other. As a fan, it’s something you can stand behind and grow with. We want the fan base to grow with us.

Your injury forced you to relinquish the WOW – Women Of Wrestling championship. Then came back and had another setback. What does that do to you mentally as you make these returns to the ring? 

During my downtime the biggest thing I wanted to do was make sure that when I came back, there was never this fear. I’m a firm believer that fear and doubt are liars. This is something we make up in our brains. If we let it feed inside of us, it becomes like this cancer. I always try to get those things out of my head. As I come back, I want to tackle those issues head-on. I pushed myself in training. Once you take the cast off your leg, it’s not over. That is what I learned. These injuries were wake-up calls. They taught me who I was. Life knocked me on my butt. It became a matter of how I would get up. When I came back to the ring, there was no fear. Either you do it or don’t. I chose to do it.

I feel like with WOW – Women Of Wrestling, you’re their special attraction. We don’t see you every week, but when you do appear it’s impactful.

I never saw it that way. I’m so excited when I get in the ring. That’s all I focus on. I just keep my head down, stay laser-focused, and it’s go-town. I never think about what goes on behind the scenes. That goes above my pay grade. Just tell me who I’m going to beat up. That’s what I’m all about.

A topic of conversation right now is women in wrestling and being in a safe environment. Things have changed compared to decades prior, but we’ve seen these skeletons come out of the closet elsewhere as people come forward with their stories. What’s your feelings on the subject? 

I can’t imagine. At WOW, our safety is first and foremost. We also have the best medical team. Our training is super safe. I can’t imagine having to go through that. I would say to those women, speak up. Advocate for yourself. I invite women to come to WOW. It’s a safe place to be.

We aren’t seeing you wrestle elsewhere. What is the reason for not really taking bookings outside of WOW – Women Of Wrestling and their tapings? 

At the end of the day, I want to be the best of the best. And to be the best of the best, you have to beat the best of the best. I see that place being WOW. I’m happy where I am. Things are going great there. I have a title to win back first and foremost. Let’s not lose sight of the prize here. I was never beaten. I was a fighting champ, and at the time, I couldn’t fight. Even though it hurts deeply, it’s time to pick up what’s mine.

Anything you can tease about your future appearances? 

I would say to just tune in. I would say don’t miss an episode because you never know what The Beast is going to do.

WOW – Women Of Wrestling is doing well in the ratings where the show is often beating other companies like AEW and TNA. Yet it might get highlighted as much. Does that put a chip on your shoulder? 

Not a chip on our shoulder per say, but we do this because we’re passionate. The hope is for young girls, young women, and young people to see us and become inspired. Of course, you want more exposure. But we’re going to keep doing what we do at the end of the day. We want to keep going out there and putting on great shows. Hopefully, everyone will catch up to what we already know.

The Beast & Adriana Gambino

How close are we to WOW- Women Of Wrestling touring and a return to pay-per-view?

I would hope it’s coming sooner than later. It’s my hope and dream that WOW gets to have a global footprint. My hope is to take that into live shows and continue to go global. More people deserve to see this live. Seeing this show live could be life-changing for some people.

What’s one thing about The Beast that would surprise people? 

That I used to be a high school cheerleader. Maybe that’s where I got this obsession with picking up people and throwing them around. Against better judgment, I have started playing video games recently. There is this game called “Helldivers.” That has a chokehold on me now. I’d love to go around and shoot these alien bugs. When you get a chance, play it.

Do you see yourself venturing outside of the ring and into other realms of entertainment? 

I never say never for an opportunity. I’d love to play a superhero or supervillain. If anyone wants to give me an opportunity to be on the big screen, or small screen, I would definitely say yes.

I can see you as an American Gladiator if they ever brought that back. 

I would be the first one in that audition room. Are you kidding me? Physical contact and competition. I love that. I grew up watching that show and wanted to be on it so badly.

Where is your hope for WOW – Women Of Wrestling in 2024? 

I just want to see WOW keep growing because it’s not like any other wrestling show. You can’t compare it to any other promotion. What we bring to the table and offer is something different. I truly believe in the message WOW is trying to spread. Integrity, women’s strength and power, and love to see that spread more. It’s needed in the time right now.