GLOW originals Hollywood, Lightening and Royal Hawaiian recently took the time to speak with Wrestling Inc.'s own Nick Hausman as a part of our WINCLY Podcast During the interview, the "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling" revealed just how accurate the Netflix show was to what happened in real life.
Hollywood and the other GLOW originals were excited to hear about the Netflix series that was being developed based off of the promotion; however, they were sightly disappointed to learn that they wouldn't be much involved in the show.
"When we found out that [the Netflix show] was happening, I was like, 'Oh my gosh! This is so cool!' This is going to be a cool thing. And of course the next thing, what's the next thing we all thought about? Are we gonna be involved? We thought of that. Yeah, are there cameos for the GLOW girls? All I can say for the last two-and-a-half years, this has reignited GLOW, our brand, and I think anything that reignites that for us is tremendous because we've done quite a few conventions," Hollywood said.
Since the show started gaining traction, Lightening has noticed how people in her everyday life are starting to interact with her different than before.
"People that know me and have known me for a long time have been coming up and they're like, 'You're a GLOW girl?'" Lightening said. "It's really weird because they have known me for so long. They knew I was involved with wrestling and that's pretty much what they said. 'I knew you had a wrestling background but I had no idea you were a GLOW girl.' They were totally fanboying on me, which cracks me up because I know them."
Royal Hawaiian was one of the original girls that signed on to GLOW, and she spent a lot of her time with the company training the girls that came in before season one. Lightening remembers Royal Hawaiian and Hollywood as being two of her favorite trainers when she started her GLOW journey.
"The pilot was where Jeanie and I started, and we were trained by Mondo Guerrero , and then from there, we went to Vegas, and then I was one of the first trainers to train the new girls that were added for season one," Royal Hawaiian said. "It was myself and Americana who were the trainers who trained the original season one girls. I was at the beginning but then people lost track of me because after season one, I got hurt and I left so then the seasons 2, 3, and 4, I didn't know all of those girls except the originals that were in season one.
"I'll tell you right now," Lightening added. "When I got there and we were training or whatever, I kept looking towards all my favorites and Hollywood and Royal Hawaiian were two of my favorites. I was a total fan of both of there's before I even got there."
Royal Hawaiian was shocked to discover that none of the ladies would be involved with the Netflix version of GLOW, especially Lightening and Hollywood, who have since continued careers in film and television.
"It was exciting to hear that the Netflix show came out, and of course we though, oh, are we gonna be asked to do cameos or will we even be asked to - like, for me, I was a trainer - would I be asked to help?" Royal Hawaiian asked. "Cheryl [Lightening] is a trainer and a stuntwoman, so, would any of us be consulted? Would we be consultants on the show? But nope, none of us got anything and everyone was really surprised... Hollywood and Cheryl are both still wrestling today, still involved in the entertainment industry and worked... I'm an early retired person because of medical issues, so, I'm kinda just the gopher."
Royal Hawaiian is happy for any representation of GLOW that's put on television. She did point out, however, that some of the details in the show were embellished upon to create added drama. The use of drugs and alcohol were also apparently exaggerated, as using while working for GLOW resulted in an immediate firing.
"I remember when it first came out, I enjoyed it and a few of the other ladies did, but there were other girls who didn't like it and they were comparing it, obviously, to our show," Hollywood said. "So, there are similarities and there are not but at the end of the day, what we're talking about here is Hollywood, and no pun intended because you have to make things bigger, or better, or stretch the truth a little bit because if you don't do that, how are you going to get your reoccurring fans?
"You've got to have drama, so, they have to create more, and I get that and so does Cheryl because being actresses, stuntwomen in the industry, its just the more the merrier, and a lot of the girls didn't dig it at first," Hollywood continued. "They were putting people down and it was ugly, I have to be honest with you. It was kind of disappointing to see some of them [react that way], and maybe they felt disappointed going, 'No! Our director was never like that.' No, we didn't do drugs. And I'll tell you right now, if you were caught drinking or doing any drugs, you were fired immediately."
Royal Hawaiian feels similar about GLOW getting some exposure and she's proud to see the brand they helped create being re-purposed through Netflix. One difference she specifically noticed between the Netflix show and the original GLOW brand was how the show on Netflix is not family-friendly whatsoever.
"When it came out, I was excited just for the fact that it was there. A show was now being produced about our show 30 years ago, and it was exciting just to have that out. And then to watch the show, like Hollywood said, yes, there are things that are going to be done and for the most part, the idea of the show was there," Royal Hawaiian said. "Our show was a family show. Every Saturday, when we filmed in Las Vegas, we had kids all over. They would wait to see us after the show and shake our hands, and get autographs, and what-have-you. So, the Netflix show, you can't have kids watching that. But guess what? Netflix knows how to get viewers."
Royal Hawaiian thinks that a lot of the ladies involved with the original show may have been left with a bad taste in their mouth because the Netflix show never reached out to include them. She points out that without Glow's success in the 80's, there would be no divas, women's revolution, or WrestleMania 35 main event.
"The girls that didn't really like it, I think a lot of it also had to do with the fact that we weren't asked to participate, so that kind of was a stab in the back thing. But I look at this as hey, any publicity and anything that's going to promote the brand, it's good," Royal Hawaiian added. "It's brought us back alive and the resurgence is great, and because of us back in the 80's, if there were no GLOW girls, there'd be no divas, there'd be no revolution, there'd be no WrestleMania 35. You got to look at the big picture we would like to make sure the GLOW brand is represented in a positive."
Lightening found the initial episodes of the series rather difficult to become invested in but she eventually grew to enjoy the show. She thinks that the creators are just trying to add an 80's vibe to the story they've already created, hence the added drama and drug use. Lightening mentioned how, in reality, there were hundreds of girls at the first audition for GLOW in the 80's.
"When I watched the first four episodes, I thought they were kind of draggy and slow because they were trying to establish everything, and I had to force myself past those first four episodes," Lightening stated. "But after that, I loved it. I think that they're just trying to mix in the feel of the 80's with GLOW. Everybody has kind of like this nostalgia thing, like the old West, everybody wasn't running around town gun-slinging. They glorify it, and they glorified the 80's but it's fun. It is a lot of fun.
"Even though they didn't consult with any of us, they hit here and there on stuff that actually happened or gave a feeling of the time, the era, which is interesting," Lightening continued. "And the whole thing with the first audition, they've got a bleacher with just a couple weirdos on the bleacher or whatever - it's not a lot of them sitting in the bleachers, that's the first thing I noticed right away. The first audition for GLOW there were, like, hundreds of girls, and they did up and walk out when they found out it was involved with wrestling. Half of the girls just walked."
GLOW originals Hollywood, Lightening and Royal Hawaiian will be taking part in 80's Wrestling Con on April 27th in Rahway, NJ. They will be signing autographs, taking photos and participating in an on-stage panel. Tickets and info for 80's Wrestling Con can be found at 80sWrestlingCon.com.
The full audio from our exclusive interview with these GLOW originals was included in a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard in the embedded player below. In the full interview the women discuss how they feel about the renewed interest in GLOW thirty years after it's debut, the accuracy of the GLOW - Netflix series, how Vince McMahon felt about GLOW, resentment they encountered from independent wrestlers, their role in the women's revolution in pro wrestling, Lightening's memories of working with Jim Carey on Man On The Moon and more.
You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here.