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The Low Down

The Sad Story Behind The Real Life GLOW Promotion

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Netflix’s original series GLOW has helped bring light to the once dominant wrestling promotion of the ’80s. GLOW’s influence on women’s wrestling influenced current promotions like Shimmer and WSU. While the show portrays GLOW in a fun light, things weren’t always so bright in those times.

Women’s Wrestling Is Our Game

When David B. McLane started Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, many wrestling promoters laughed at the concept. Despite the hate, the show found some footing in Hollywood and McLane moved the entire property over to Las Vegas. In a matter of months, GLOW became a hit and landed TV deals with several major markets.

Our Style Is Wild

While the company was riding high, many of the ladies were barely getting by. “We never made any money off GLOW. We were all broke. The most we made was $600 a week,” stated GLOW alumni Lori Palmer. Many indie wrestlers around that time were making nearly double that amount.

Big Bad Battles In The Ring

When it came to the show’s safety, the ladies were dealing with virtually no safeguards. “Girls were hurt frequently, [but] we just wanted to survive for another week, so our characters were able to have more exposure on TV,” Angelina Altishin stated. Altishin competed under the stage name Little Egypt.

It’s The Wrestling Jam

One of the most horrendous parts of working for GLOW was show director Matt Cimber. His behavior caused many ladies to suffer from emotional problems. One incident with Cimber caused alumni Christy Smith to cut her wrists. “He told me, ‘I don’t know why we should keep you, you’re not good enough,’” she said.

Do Our Own Thing

While the ladies suffered through difficult moments, they still see the good in their time spent on GLOW. News of the Netflix series hurt since they weren’t seeing a dime from it. Palmer saw things in another light: “Are you going to be bitter, or take this crumb that ‘GLOW’ gave us and go on to do good things?”

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