In the golden days of pro wrestling, managers were just as popular as the men and women they represented. Colorful characters like Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan, Captain Lou Albano, Jimmy Hart, Slick, Miss Elizabeth, and ‘Classy’ Freddie Blassie were all the rage.
Today, the classic manager is all but gone. Sure, we have Paul Heyman and Zelina Vega, among others, but even they aren’t billed as managers. Titles like advocate and representative have replaced the manager moniker, but there is still some big-time star power playing that coveted, albeit evolved role.
Look no further than WOW, the all-women’s wrestling production run by GLOW creator David McLane. Along with dozens of exceptionally talented wrestlers, WOW also features Sophia Lopez, The Greatest Attorney In The World. Lopez is the modern-day manager extraordinaire, but also a lawyer, so she is able to help her wrestlers get out of jams in and out of the ring. The talented Leslie Garza brings Lopez to life and the character is reason enough to tune in to WOW as much as possible.
The dynamic Garza does it all. She’s a CPA, actress, teacher, businesswoman, and a mom, but she’s known in the wrestling world as Sophia Lopez, the mastermind behind many storylines. She’s now one of the most popular WOW Superheroes, but her big breakthrough into the wrestling world was pure serendipity.
“I went to an audition, they were looking for outgoing girls that like sports and dance and perform,” Garza told Breitbart Sports. “They didn’t mention wrestling, so when I showed up and I realized it was about women’s wrestling, I wanted to run away, but David McLane and Selina Majors (WOW wrestler) talked to me and they explained what it was about and they asked me to give it a try, so I did. I was scared, but I fell in love with the wrestling world and I became Sophia Lopez, The Greatest Attorney In The World.”
After the initial trepidation, Garza became hooked on wrestling. WOW was the perfect fit. “At the beginning, I was very concerned about getting hurt,” Garza said. “My daughter London, who we now call ‘Mini Lopez’ was only one year old and I kept thinking I can’t afford an injury. If something happens to me who is going to change her diaper or rock her to sleep or feed her? But little by little, I realized that I couldn’t live without wrestling. It’s amazing. It’s an addiction, so much adrenaline. When you are inside that ring you are free. You become a different person and that is priceless.”
Sophia Lopez is a priceless cog in the WOW machine.
“I am a lawyer, but not just any lawyer, actually ‘The World’s Greatest Attorney’, said Garza. “I am a manager and I am extremely influential. I make the impossible, possible.”
She sells with Ziggleresque believability and enthusiasm. But in her unique position, it’s the wrestlers she represents that she really puts over. “I love my role because I realized that the wrestlers needed an extra voice to get to the next level, someone who believes in them and will do everything for them to succeed,” Garza said. “I fight with strategies, while my clients fight inside the ring.”
Right now, loyal WOW fans are missing their beloved Superheroes. Everything is on hold due to the Chinese coronavirus. It’s too bad, because the weekly series was red hot this past season.
“I think WOW has done amazing,” Garza said. “People out there have no idea what we’ve been through. When you think everything is ready, something happens, like now with the pandemic. We had plans on touring, filming more episodes, and doing live shows, but we need to wait and pull through this. We will never give up because we are fighters. We are WOW Superheroes.”
Weekly WOW episodes are filmed in California, but public demand led to the idea of a tour through multiple cities. That plan is still in the works, but details are delayed due to quarantine life.
While WOW features high-flying athletes, there is also that classic GLOW element to the product. Each wrestler is a larger than life character. Basically, the in-ring work is more 2020, while the presentation has a wonderful old school flair. No matter the era, fighting puts people in the seats and eyes on the screen. The difference is, those eyes are now on women.
“If we start with the gladiators back in the days, we realized that there was no way a woman could have that role,” said Garza. “Nowadays we are holding titles and that is incredible. Personally, I think it goes beyond the muscles and the strength. It’s perseverance, discipline, and sacrifice. I love men and I respect them so much. I don’t like to compare us to men, but I can say that we earned a place in the arena, in the ring, in history, and I am so proud of it.”
Her family is proud too. Each member shows it in their own way.
Garza breaks it down like this:
My mom- “You are crazy, you are going to get hurt.”
My hubby- “So proud of you baby.”
My kids- “It’s so cool mom.”
Siblings, cousins, and the rest of the family- “You are so brave”, “Only you “, “How can you do it?”, “We love it”.
GLOW wrestlers brought us the first all-women wrestling show in the 1980s. They were the pioneers that opened the door for WOW. “To start, David McLane was the creator of GLOW and also he is the creator of WOW,” Garza said. “The core of these projects in my point of view is the diversity. He brought the best of each wrestler, background, and at the same time he has broken stereotypes, and I love it.”
If you meet any WOW Superheroes you learn quickly that these women aren’t only talented, but some of the nicest athletes in the world. WOW wrestlers seem to always stop for fans, young and old. They truly appreciate the support of the fan base, and it shows. When it comes to The Greatest Attorney In The World there’s a reason for that genuine attitude.
“I would say that it is because I have Jesus in my heart,” Garza said. “He said love one another and I am trying to never forget that. In a different way, Selina Majors, during training taught me the same thing with different words. She said if you make your partner look good, you look good, and I have done it. I try to put others before me, because we are all important.”
Garza has mucho respect for wrestlers of the past as well as current stars. “I grew up in Mexico, so my favorite wrestlers of all-time were El Santo and Blue Demon,” she said. Now, it’s so hard to say because we have so many great wrestlers and I enjoy watching them all. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns. We have great talent today.”
While Sophia Lopez, The Dagger, Tessa Blanchard, and the entire WOW roster inspire women everywhere, these athletes are well aware that little girls are watching too. Some will be the stars of tomorrow. Garza tells them to go for it.
“Don’t wait, start young,” she said. “Gymnastics are great and helpful. If this is your dream, be ready for many sacrifices, but never give up. If life changes your destiny, proudly you would be able to say, it wasn’t on me. I did my best, no regrets.”
Valuable, pro bono advice from The Greatest Attorney In The World.
Follow Kevin Scholla on Twitter @kevinscholla