Netflix True Story Drama Shows A New Side To The Oldest Sport

By April Ryder | Published

Created by Liz Flahive (Nurse Jackie) and Carly Mensch (Orange is the New Black), GLOW tells the true story (in a dramatized way) of some of the first women in the sport of wrestling. The show familiarizes audiences with the 1980s syndicated women’s professional wrestling circuit, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (or GLOW) which was founded by David McLane. 

Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling

alison brie glow

GLOW stars Alison Brie (Community), Betty Gilpin (The Tomorrow War), Sydelle Noel (The Clearing), and many more talented stars. Sam Silvia plays the weird and passionate Marc Maron, creator and director of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Even English singer/songwriter Kate Nash plays a significant role in the series as one of the “gorgeous ladies.” 

Alison Brie Takes The Lead

The storyline of the show GLOW is set in Los Angeles in 1985. Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) is a struggling actress looking for any break she can find when a friend tells her about a unique auditioning opportunity. GLOW utilizes the traditionally driven part of Ruth’s character to present the main struggle of the show. 

When Ruth and the cynical Sam Slyvia continuously clash, GLOW viewers are left to struggle with the question of whether the league is empowering or exploiting the women. The series follows the lives of the women chosen to be in the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling and all of the trials they faced as they navigated their way through the 80s and paved a new road for women of the future. 

The Real Story Of GLOW

The original women’s wrestling group set a precedent for women in wrestling today, and David McLane was the wild man who took a chance on the women. In the mid-80s, just after the rush of women’s liberation in the 70s, McLane’s higher-ups in the World Wrestling Association thought that people wouldn’t pay to watch wrestling promotions that were predominantly populated with female wrestlers. They called it an unprofitable novelty. McLane took off on his own, created GLOW, and proved them wrong. 

Sylvester Stallone’s Mother

The first audition was a striking success, and more than 500 women showed up to be a part of the new project. McLane hired professional Mexican wrestler Mando Guerrero to train the women in the ways of the wrestling world, and after only six weeks of training, McLane began putting the show together. 

GLOW TV was officially introduced to the world at the 1986 NATPE Convention, and it quickly sold to 30 major television markets in the United States. McLane soon brought Jackie Stallone (Sylvester Stallone’s mother) on to manage the “good” girls in the group and Kitty Burke to manage the “bad” girls. GLOW TV ran for four successful seasons. 

Wildly Successful On Netflix

The Netflix series GLOW ran for three successful seasons. The show was originally approved for a fourth season, but Netflix withdrew the offer after the onset of the COVID pandemic shut things down for a while. 

A Hit With Everyone

GLOW was a smash hit with critics when it was released, and you can find all three seasons streaming now on Netflix for those with a subscription to the channel. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show a 93 percent approval on the Tomatometer, which is excellent. The site has a critical consensus section on the show that reads,  “With spot-on 1980s period detail, knockout writing, and a killer cast, GLOW shines brightly.”