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 GLOW originals revealed how they were treated in the pro wrestling industry during their time with the all-female wrestling promotion.
Royal Hawaiian admitted to the WINCLY that Vince McMahon wasn't a big fan of GLOW when it debuted back in the 80's. At conventions, McMahon would make it a note to all of his performers that they weren't allowed to speak to the GLOW girls.
"Vince McMahon pretty much hated GLOW," Royal Hawaiian said. "We were at the NATPE Convention going to sell our show for syndication, and WWF at the time is on one side and GLOW is on the other. Vince is telling his people, 'Don't go over and talk to the GLOW girls,' and he just did not want anything to do with us. And it's interesting because there's all these other shows and conventions, and you will get all your legends, your 80's legends who said we weren't supposed to watch it but knew exactly who you were."
Royal Hawaiian remembers one funny occurrence that took place at one of the conventions they attended. Despite being told otherwise, Jesse "The Body" Ventura still went out of his way to speak to Royal Hawaiian.
"Here's one story about me and Jesse "The Body" Ventura," Royal Hawaiian continued, "He's walking towards me and I'm walking towards him at the convention, and I'm thinking, I was just told we were not supposed to talk to each other. He goes by me and I look at him and he goes, 'Hello' and I go, 'Hello', I said, 'We're not supposed to talk to each other.' And he goes, 'I know, but who cares?' It was just weird. Things were different, [and] were not really socially accepted back then. All women in a ring wrestling?"
Apparently, people on the independent circuit held a similar mindset and would avoid interacting with the women of GLOW. They believe it had something to do with their flashy outfits and over-the-top gimmicks, however, they never intended on giving the impression that they were making fun of pro wrestling.
"I know the independent wrestlers, the lady wrestlers didn't like us either," Royal Hawaiian said. "We're on TV wearing our bright colored outfits and our glitter - and I think a lot of people thought that we were making fun of it. We were not making fun of wrestling. We will always honor the legends before us, because without them, there wouldn't be GLOW... We were never trying to make fun, we just had a show that was a little bit different."
Hollywood would chime in, mentioning how grateful she is that women in pro wrestling are getting opportunities that the GLOW roster never thought fathomable.
"It's good to hear today that [the women] are being recognized because we didn't get that early on in the 80's," Hollywood said. "And then in 2017, the Cauliflower Alley Club honored us and we were awarded for the first all-women's wrestling league. That was awesome to receive, and people are realizing if there wasn't GLOW, there wouldn't be divas. There wouldn't be an evolution going on."
Royal Hawaiian chimed in, asking if part of their recent success is based off the Netflix version of GLOW.
"Here's a question: would we have been honored if GLOW Netflix wasn't on TV?" Royal Hawaiian asks. The ladies responded with "maybe" or "no".
"Because of the documentary is how it was discovered," Hollywood mentions. "Someone showed them the documentary and then that's how the producers of Orange Is The New Black saw it and said, 'Hey, let's do a show about that show.' That's kind of how it happened. So, I'm sure we have videos, some of our matches are on YouTube and stuff like that. We're still trying to get - the fans are always asking, can't we somehow just rewind to the 80's and put [GLOW] on a cable channel, or a whatever channel, something that is acceptable from the fans, to play GLOW from season 1-4 and run it like it was 1986."
Hollywood notes how children now-a-days may come across some of their content on YouTube, but no one is able to experience an episode of GLOW in all of it's original glory because the tapes are unavailable.
"A lot of our fans today are children of original fans from the 80's, so all they know is what their parents told them," Hollywood explained. "Or, because they've been a men's wresting, or WWE fan, it's had them get so interested in the wrestling that they go on YouTube, and as a result, they've crossed all of the GLOW videos, and matches, and what have you, but they've never seen a full episode of GLOW that has the skits, the music, all the interaction with all the different girls, and the live shoots, and all that. And that's what the younger generation hasn't seen. We're looking for someone - we need to find someone who wants to bring back GLOW, the whole show, to just run reruns. That's what people want."
WWE apparently reached out to one owner of some GLOW tapes because they needed to use them for Ivory's Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Hollywood also noted that Ursula is in possession of a handful of the original tapes.
"WWE was the one that requested [the tapes] because they needed the footage for Tina/Ivory... Ursula has, like, nine tapes. I saw the tapes personally because I went and had them looked at. I went over to a studio where they look at stuff to find out how damaged it is. They said, 'Put these in climate control immediately," Hollywood said.
"The tapes are in two different locations and they can't cut a deal together," Lightening added.
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 www.80sWrestlingCon.com.
"Anybody who goes to [80's Wrestling Con], we're going to have a GLOW panel," Hollywood said about the convention. "So, all of those questions and everything that people are listening to - we do really good at those."
The full audio from our exclusive interview with these GLOW originals was included in today's 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.