If you’ve been living under a rock and somehow haven’t heard our synth-backed squeals of glee, June 23rd will be the debut of Netflix and the creative team behind Orange is the New Black‘s re-imagining of the GLOW, starring Alison Brie, Marc Meron, Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim, singer Kate Nash and former WWE star Kharma.
That’s the greatest batch of words and hyperlinks we could imagine. If that’s not enough to sell you, here’s Alison Brie giving you the finger with her tongue.
Aside from some brief teaser clips and vague synopses, we’re still not sure if GLOW will be a total re-imagining of the story behind the original show, or if it’ll work in some of the most memorable and recognizable Gorgeous Ladies. A lot of you may not be familiar with the O.G. GLOW: Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling — which ran from 1986-1989 — so we’re taking a look back at nine of the characters we hope show up across the ring from pro graps Annie Edison.
If any character from the real show is confirmed, it’s gotta be Mt. Fiji, GLOW‘s answer to the question, “What would it be like if Andre the Giant was a really nice Samoan lady?” Look at that flexed arm in the Netflix teaser. Look at that yellow sleeve! That’s a Mt. Fiji arm.
At 350 pounds, Fiji was the star of the show. She feuded with the only person nearly her size — Matilda the Hun — for seasons one and two, then developed a feud with the still-not-as-big-as-her Big Bad Mama in season three and four. She even had a little sister, “Little Fiji,” who was mostly around to get beaten up. Fiji never lost a match in the history of the promotion, and for some reason had a recurring dream sequence comedy segment where she dressed up like Carmen Miranda and gave lucid advice.
Let’s hope the Netflix series is a gritty, realistic drama about the hardships of literally hurting yourself and the people you love to make it in the entertainment industry, paused every five minutes so the characters can look at the camera and make a bunch of puns.
For Wrestling Fans: You think it’s bad that Roman Reigns and John Cena don’t lose as often as you’d like? Imagine if they never lost. Now imagine if they spent years having never even been knocked down. Now imagine that they were likable enough that you liked it. That was Mt. Fiji. A happy, giant, occasionally dancing lady Samoa Joe who mostly just picked up her opponents and flung them out of the ring.
A personal favorite of mine, The Widow was — get this — a woman whose husband had died. What a wrestling gimmick! The suggestion was that she killed him, because she was a master of poison, which never actually explains why (1) she’s a pro wrestler, or (2) why she’d draw so much attention to the fact that she’s a widow if she caused the widowing herself. I love it. She’d start her matches by offering her opponent a drink, then blatantly poisoning it in front of everybody.
Another fun part of any original Gorgeous Lady of Wrestling is that they rapped. All of them. Even if their character was MURDER WOMAN. Here’s the Widow trying to kill a cheerleader. With BARS.
“Vicky, you must be a FOOL! You actually trust a WIDOW?”
One half of the “Park Avenue Knockouts” with Roxy Astor, Tiffany Mellon was an entitled, blonde social climber who was also a recurring gossip columnist (?) and was the reporter any time GLOW went outside the ring and needed a reporter for some reason? This show was considerably weirder than actual pro wrestling, which is saying something.
To understand the value of Tiffany Mellon, you have to hear the voice she chose to use for the character. Here’s her rapping, of course, followed by her “predicting” someone’s about to get slapped before slapping them in the face.
Mellon would actually be a great character for the “real life” story of the show, as she left GLOW in 1989, claiming management harassed her when they suspected she was a lesbian. Then she got into porn — I’ll let you google Tiffany Million on your own time — dated porn legend Jill Kelly, and is now a bounty hunter. That is a life fully lived, folks.
By the way, if that image of Tiffany looks like she’s in a gynecological office, she is. GLOW loved its puns, and was not above punning below the belt.
What if Rusev and Lana were the same person? That’s the question GLOW asked 20 years ago with Col. Ninotchka, a cigar-smoking KGB agent who wants to bring down the American empire for the glory of Mother Russia. Surprisingly she was not involved that time Donald Trump showed up on GLOW.
Ninotchka was one of the MVPs of GLOW, as she had experience as an actual pro wrestler. Here she is as “Lori Lynn” in the AWA:
In contrast, here she is having a U.S. flag waved in her face and getting mad at her undercover agent Vladimir for not knowing how the American military works.
Melody Trouble Vixen
What would happen if you had a person who hadn’t listened to music in 30 years come up with a modern music gimmick? You’d get Melody Trouble Vixen, aka “MTV,” who looks like Cyndi Lauper but doesn’t have any references more recent than, “Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!” I take that back, she does parody Don Henley lyrics when she faces Mt. Fiji in a “dirty laundry” match.
If you think it’s funny to want a wrestler named MTV and not come up with anything better than “Melody Trouble Vixen,” please remember that WWE created “Montel Vontavious Porter” and called him MVP.
Here’s MTV being canceled by an incredible high-flying move from Babe the Farmer’s Daughter.
COUP DE BABE!
Note: An updated MTV gimmick would have to be a disinterested teenager on her phone, obsessed with youth-based reality TV programming.
My very favorite GLOW character of all, Beastie was a post-apocalyptic “road warrior from down under” who didn’t even attempt an Australian accent but RAN A BEAN RESTAURANT — “Beastie’s Beanery” — and hit people with a morningstar. Or is that a mace? I don’t even know. All I know is that Netflix should’ve cast Angelus Layne as Beastie a year ago.
The other interesting thing about Beastie is that … okay, you know how the comic book character Power Girl has a boob window? Beastie has a butt window. It’s hard to explain, so here it is in action.
You’ll spend most of her matches wondering if you’re seeing actual butt or like, tan fabric.
For WWE fans, The Housewives (Arlene and Phyllis) were Enzo Amore and Big Cass before Enzo and Cass.
Don’t believe me? Watch this clip of them rapping from the 100th episode intro and tell me you can’t imagine Enzo and Cass doing this exact same promo.
Big Bad Mama
Finally we have (in my opinion) the greatest rival for Mt. Fiji, the bone-wielding, house dress-wearing voodoo queen (?) Big Bad Mama. She looked like a child’s doll got transmographied with a Star Trek alien. She was the main heel of the program for the third and fourth seasons, but was also kind of lovable, like when she ran for mayor due to a sanitation dispute. I’d type another parenthetical question mark, but you know the drill.
She WAS there for the Donald Trump segment, by the way. She also once squashed Al Bundy, literally, so including Big Bad Mama is the best possible way to get Ed O’Neill and the President of the United States of America on your throwback wrestling show.
Here’s the Married … With Children moment, by the way, presented in the only way it can be: with a Collective Soul soundtrack