Everything Is Festival is going on right now at Cinefamily and, as part of it, last night they screened Glow: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Of course, it sold out. We were able to catch the encore screening at 11 p.m. which may not have sold out, but was really full. Obviously, everyone still loves the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. I know I do. Fortunately, so does my boyfriend.
My dad was really into wrestling, both Olympic style and the professional stuff, so I watched a lot of it as a kid. Wrestlemania was a big event for us. I grew up knowing who all the wrestlers were, what their schtick was and everything. It wasn’t just the wrestling that captivated me. It was the spectacle. But, wrestling was almost always the boys’ arena.
Then GLOW happened. I don’t remember the first time I saw GLOW, but I know we watched it every weekend. GLOW was family TV time in the Ohanesian house. We would cheer for Mt. Fiji. My sister and I would boo Matilda the Hun, but my dad always liked cheering for her. I liked the wrestlers with shiny, glittery costumes. Tina Ferrari, Ashley Cartier and Hollywood & Vine were amongst my favorites. I also like The Housewives a lot because they were hysterical.
More than the athleticism, I liked the characters and the comedy in GLOW. It was the most brutal physical comedy I had seen that wasn’t animated and it was all girls doing it. That was impressive. As I got older, it dawned on me that maybe girls wrestling was more for the guys and maybe, possibly, I was a fan of something totally sexist. Nah….
The documentary, made by the team who did The Rock-afire Explosion, the Showbiz Pizza Place documentary, focuses on the “girl power” aspect more than anything else. There’s a lot of heart to the story. You basically had a group of young women, many of whom had never wrestled before GLOW, thrown into the ring together. They lived together, worked together, stayed in character the whole time. That’s kind of amazing. The documentary also talks a little about the physical challenges of wrestling. Mt. Fiji has been in ill health and knee problems have left her unable to walk. Matilda the Hun and Big Bad Mama also appeared in mobility devices. The women recounted so many injuries, proof that professional wrestling isn’t quite fake.
If you have the chance to watch this documentary, do it. This is a sweet behind-the-scenes look at a show that meant a lot for us children of the late 1980s.
GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is playing the film festival circuit right now. Check their website for upcoming screenings across the country.