WOW Magazine (World of Wrestling Magazine) was a professional wrestling magazine which existed from 1999 to late 2001. It was originally launched with its debut issue in March 1999 by Mike Morris and H&S Media. It promised to cater to the smart population of wrestling fans; breaking kayfabe, writing about backstage events, wrestling politics, and not treating storylines as real.
WOW was the first publication of its kind to use insider terms – such as “mark” and “shoot” – and also conducted out-of-character interviews with wrestlers from the WWF, WCW, ECW and the independent circuit.
Other magazines available during this time period, which covered wrestling storylines and feuds as legitimate, have earned the moniker “mark mags” or more specifically, “Apter mags,” in reference to the man, Bill Apter, who was the Senior Editor of such periodicals. A few examples of these magazines are Pro Wrestling Illustrated (or PWI) and it's family of magazines that included The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling and Sports Review Wrestling.
In late 1999, Apter left his job with the aforementioned mark mags and took over the position of Editor-In-Chief of WOW Magazine. As a result, the publication appeared to gain more notoriety, due to Apter’s 20+ years of experience. In addition, longtime Senior Writer and cartoonist Steve Anderson followed Apter to become a staff writer with WOW. Many industry insiders felt that WOW’s initial appeal as a cutting edge, innovator of wrestling journalism was lost when a couple of issues seemed to make WOW the latest incarnation of mark mags, only with glossy, full color pages. However, reader complaints and staff dissatisfaction led to WOW's quick return to its previous "insider" style.
In the summer of 2001, Kappa Publishing Group – who just happened to be the longtime publishers of PWI and thus Apter's and Anderson's former employers – assumed the rights to WOW Magazine from H&S Media and folded the publication.
WOW had two sister publications: ECW Magazine, which featured columns, show reviews, and interviews with wrestlers working for the Philadelphia based promotion, Extreme Championship Wrestling, and WOW Xtra, a bi-weekly publication.
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