Netflix recently released GLOW Season 3 for the internet to consume and comment on. Full of 1980’s nostalgia and laughs, GLOW has become a phenomenon of streaming media, but how many viewers who love Alison Brie and Marc Maron remember the original series that inspired the current incarnation? Allow me to take you back to the days when G.L.O.W. aka Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was body slamming our eyes on network TV and beyond.
Beyond? Yes! Because in the late 1980s, the hype machine for G.L.O.W. was as loud as their sparkly spandex leotards, pushing these larger than life grappling girls onto sitcoms, talk shows and even movies. As a kid who couldn’t get enough of their comedically violent antics, every mention of or appearance by the G.L.O.W. girls outside of their own show was a thrill that I instantly catalogued in my brain. So here for your viewing pleasure are best moments of G.L.O.W. On Other Shows!
We Got It Made
A sitcom absolutely no one remember, We Got It Made was as generic as they come, gaining notoriety mostly for the appearance of its cute, blonde star Teri Copley as Mickey. But when they invited the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling on the show for a 1987 episode called “On The Ropes” there was finally a reason not to change the channel.
In this story Mickey is tricked into attending an open audition for G.L.O.W. by her friend and the gals find themselves meeting up with the main roster of gorgeous grapplers. Taking it to the mat are the evil Russian Ninotchka, The Cheerleaders aka Susie Spirit and Debbie Debutante and the nasty duo of Hollywood and Vine, who Mickey mops the floor with in a “shoot” or real wrestling match. Not a high profile appearance, but certainly one of the most prominent cameos by the G.L.O.W. girls.
When Vicki Lawrence spun off her own sitcom from a skit on the Carol Burnett show, she probably never imagined ending up in a bee costume at the center of a wrestling ring, but it happened on the 1987 episode “Mama Mania” which featured 2 Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling hiding their faces as The Masked Mabels.
In this story a friend who is now a tag team pro wrestler is injured, which means Mama and Naomi have to fill in on that night’s bout against Mabel #1 who was actually the dastardly Matilda The Hun aka Queen Kong and Mabel #2 was the lovable Mountain Fiji. Mama makes short work of the behemoths by turning their ski masks around and gets the pin, proving brains over brawn win every time.
Saved By The Bell
Even when G.L.O.W. wrestlers weren’t seen in an episode of TV, they were often used as a punchline since in those days the idea of “lady wrestlers” was seen as a ridiculous novelty. This was the case in a 1st season episode of Saved By The Bell when Zack and Screech hide a microphone at Jessie’s slumber party. To get back at the snooping boys, Kelly makes up a story about a violent psychological disorder that make her hurt any boy she starts to like. The scene then plays out like so.
Screech: I’m worried about you, Zack.
Zack: Come on, Screech. She’s just a girl.
Screech: But girls can be brutal. Haven’t you seen Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling?
One of the more famous appearances by G.L.O.W. wrestlers was on the FOX sitcom, Married…With Children. In the episode where the Bundy’s go to Las Vegas, Al ends up entering a competition to win a cash prize if he can beat one of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in a match.
He initially sees Hollywood and Babe, The Farmer’s Daughter whom he thinks it would be a pleasure to roll around in the ring with. Unfortunately Al ends up facing the large and in charge, Big Bad Mama who pummels the shoe salesman into oblivion. But this wasn’t the only G.L.O.W. appearance on the show.
During a fantasy sequence Al finds himself waking up next to a scantily clad Pamela Anderson and can hardly believe it when another beautiful lady shows up. And who is this gal? None other than Beckie Mullens aka Sally, The Farmer’s Daughter who was the sister of Babe, who Al saw in Las Vegas. Both vying for Al’s affection, the chauvinist invites them to wrestle over who gets to be with him. Which they do as Al takes pictures. This bit from the show has not aged well, but for the sake of completion, I’ve included it here.
Home sick from school one day my spirits were lifted when I noticed the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling being interviewed but the white haired man on the mic, Phil Donahue.
Throughout the course of the show the girls wrestled matches, took questions from the audience and Phil even got the Al Bundy experience by getting clobbered by Big Bad Mama. It was a truly unexpected treat for a kid who thought he was going to have to settle for reruns of Too Close For Comfort. Proof that the G.L.O.W. girls were everywhere during the show’s short run in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Surely one of the most unique appearance by the ladies of G.L.O.W. was on an episode of the game show Family Feud. It was truly a surprise for the viewers at home. Survey Says: RADICAL!
Set up with a special wrestling ring set and billed as a Battle of the Sexes, the two teams consisted of male wrestlers from WCW aka World Championship Wrestling including their world champion, Sting and the G.L.O.W. girls of Hollywood, Godiva, Justice, Mountain Fiji and Jackie Stallone (yes, Sylvester Stallone’s mother was a manager on the show). Although the gals lost the competition that day they surely won the hearts of the audience with their charm and poise on the mic, which the men very much lacked.
Roseanne Barr’s first starring film role for Orion pictures was alongside Meryl Streep in the movie She-Devil. Yes, there was a time when Meryl Streep would be in a movie with Roseanne Barr (the 80’s were very strange indeed). Roseanne plays a frumpy woman who is left by her husband for a more elegant lady and in one scene her kids are watching an episode of G.L.O.W. on TV.
Interestingly enough, the first bout shown is Liberty and Justice vs. Sarah and Mabel in a tag team match, then the next cut is to Beastie delivering a piledriver to Tiffany Mellon. Either way, this is the first appearance of G.L.O.W. in a major motion picture to my knowledge, but was it the last?
By 1993 G.L.O.W. was long gone from TV, but the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling still found work grappling on the big screen in the Pauly Shore movie Son-In-Law. In one scene Crawl (Shore’s character) takes his friend Becca to a Mud Wrestling bar where the 2 combatants are called Hollywood and Lightning.
Yep, they are the same Hollywood and Lighting from G.L.O.W. now getting down n’ dirty in the muddy ring. By using their classic wrestling personas, this definitely makes the scene a G.L.O.W. crossover.
After the first match, Crawl is called in to wrestle “Thumper” a much larger gal who lifts him up over her head and drops him in the muck. Missing her trademark Hawaiian garb, but at least this time without a mask, it is plain to see that this is the grinning face of Mountain Fiji turning Pauly Shore into a muddy pancake.
So there you have it, 7 fun appearances by the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling on shows other than their own. Did you catch any of these G.L.O.W. cameos back in the day? Were there some that I missed? Sound off in the comments below.