|Season 1 & 2 GLOW Girls|
|The Amazing Roxy Astor|
The third week, I got up early to watch cartoons. I flipped through the channels and saw a commercial for The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and I guess, by luck, an episode of the show actually started. It was on the same channel, WPMI channel 15, but at an earlier time. I was excited and transfixed. The show featured girls of all shapes, sizes and appearance wearing some of the coolest and craziest outfits in bright colors. Some of the girls had brightly colored makeup and others had a massive amount of glitter on their faces, bodies and in their huge 1980's hair. This was a show that could have kept the Aqua Net and Rave hairspray manufacturers busy. They sang, they fought and they even did comedy skits. This show was hysterically campy and theatrical and I loved every minute of it. The last match of the episode was "FOR THE GLOW CROWN" and featured Tina Ferrari against the Russian Ninotchka. Tina looked amazing in her purple costume with silver glitter and Ninotchka looked...well...Russian. The match was like riding a 20 minute roller coaster, both ladies were great when it came to selling pain. I didn't know if wrestling was real or fake but this match looked real. The announcer kept mentioning the US vs. Russia element and for all I knew, this match could have been the beginning of a war between the US and Russia, I was a kid and didn't know any better. The outcome was not so much a proud patriotic moment, Ninotchka won the crown and the show was over. The following week, I tuned in again in hopes of seeing a rematch but it seems it was replaced with something else. I grabbed the TV Guide, read it from front to back and found no mention of the show. I did find a couple of videos in a video store in Pensacola called GLOW 1 and GLOW 2 which featured the pilot episode as well as other matches from season 1 which I became obsessed with.
|Season 3 & 4 GLOW Girls|
|Beastie the Road Warrior|
As season 3 progressed, new characters were introduced and some older ones were totally phased away. Vine appeared once, Little Fiji came back for one match and then she was gone again. One of the strangest character changes happened with Dementia. For those of you that didn't realize, Dementia from season 1 and 2 was a totally different woman. Season 3 Dementia, played by Nancy Daley, seemed to have a second personality that surfaced halfway through the season known as the Widow Woman, also played by Nancy. From what I have been told, the appearances of Dementia during season 4 were actually taped during season 3. The final episode of season 3 ended with Cheyenne Cher winning the GLOW crown after beating Godiva thanks to interference from Roxy Astor. To this day, Godiva and Roxy are still holding this grudge. ;-) After this episode, I waited patiently for season 4 to begin but the stations in my area opted not to air season 4. The closest station to me that aired season 4 was in Mississippi at 2am on Saturday nights/Sunday morning. We got NO signal from there so whatever became of the show after Cheyenne Cher won the crown became a mystery to me for years until I hooked up with GLOW fans on Facebook and YouTube.
To fill the void of no GLOW show, I tried to watch other wrestling shows but nothing came close to the entertainment value I found in GLOW. After GLOW, ESPN in it's still early days, aired a ladies wrestling show really late on weekend nights but it was gritty and the production value was poor and eventually dropped from the lineup. I got REALLY into WWF for a while and my next door neighbors took me to see some of the matches that were held at the Pensacola Civic Center. Men's wrestling seemed to appeal to me more at this point, puberty kicked in and I was a muscle loving twink. After attending the live WWF show, I was a bit disappointed because what I saw looked nothing like what I saw on TV, everything looked practiced and the wrestlers just couldn't sell pain but I kept watching WWF on TV until Doink the Clown made his first appearance and I was done.
|Doink the Clown|
The fans of GLOW are probably as unique and fun as the girls themselves. Michael Karr, Richard Hughes, Adam Soper and GLOW fan Mike Rand are just a few names that you'll most likely see on many of the girl's pages. Mike Rand's YouTube channel is chock full of GLOW moments. Some of these fans have been turned into GLOW girls via the creative artwork of Gener de Vera.
Shortly after I began speaking to Beastie, she shared an idea of a television show that she wanted to kick around and get produced. I was all ears and ideas and helped her further develop the concept. I spent a week at her home in Tennessee writing the package for the show which would star not only herself, but 8 or 9 other GLOW Girls including Daisy, Roxy Astor, Ashley Cartier, Hollywood, Lightning, Corp Kelly 2, Little Egypt and Evangelina. Unfortunately, the show's concept was not well received. We first pitched it to Matt Cimber, the original director of GLOW, who in turn turned us down. The concept was great for the time but the truth was that we were pitching a show that had a theme similar to other shows that were on the tail end of a fad which seemed to be winding down. Though the show never happened, the fact that I was able to work on something related to a show I loved as a kid was awesome in itself.
So I guess all of the above can be considered the answer to the first part of Roxy Astor's question...How I became a fan of GLOW. The answer to the second part of the question is much shorter but nonetheless, complicated. What GLOW meant to me? For the most part, you will hear the girls speak of their involvement with the show as empowering, not only for them but also for young women in general. What the GLOW girls didn't realize was their power of empowerment wasn't limited to just women. I was a shy, nerdy kid that had no creative or assertive bone in my body and I was bullied and made fun of. I didn't really learn any effective fighting moves...the closed fist rule doesn't apply to real life fights, the Buckingham Bounce doesn't work when you've got no turnbuckle and a sunset flip ends before it starts when someone kicks you in the balls. The theatricality of the skits and matches opened up my mind to accept "out of the box" entertainment. Had it not been for GLOW, I probably wouldn't have been as receptive to musical theatre in my teens. The bright colors and even the GLITTER, which I'm still obsessed definitely show in my current creative and artistic abilities. The show's mix of oddball characters made me realize that it was OK not to live an existence of trying to blend in and fit into what others believe to be as normal. If you take a look at the other fans of the show, you will see this is a common trait we share, most of us have strong personalities.
|Beastie and I in the truck on the way to Knoxville.|
BTW check out the amazing documentary GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. It's on Netflix, Amazon, Vudu and pretty much every online streaming movie place. It's definitely a great little blast from the past and gives some amazing insight on the inner workings of the show that we didn't get to see as viewers. Babe the Farmer's Daughter aka Ursula now owns the rights to GLOW. She's tried to get the promotion started back up but it seems the stars have not yet aligned for it to happen. Over the years, Babe has been released DVD's featuring episodes from each season but unfortunately she doesn't have access to the complete archive of GLOW footage...yes it does exist and maybe one day an arrangement can be made to get them all out on DVD as complete season releases or even on Netflix or Hulu.
Many people may remember GLOW as an 80's cheese fest or a T&A show. Some people just didn't get it, my partner is one of those people. For me, as well as a few others, GLOW became a part of who we are. Not as wrestlers, though I did a little pro wrestling training. GLOW gave us the power to transform and bring the oddball characters we knew we were on the inside to the outside. So that's it, my long and drawn out story of how I became a fan of GLOW and what it meant to me. Call me a freak, I don't care, no matter how many years have passed, those 4 seasons of GLOW are still magical to me. I could ramble on for days and it seems that I already have. So which GLOW girl was YOUR favorite?