Ever since The Wrestler was successful at the box office, there have been plenty of rumors of wrestling-related television shows being in development. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been attached to more than one of them. Legendary show-runner Norman Mailer once had one in development, which Diamond Dallas Page was rumored to be working on. Billy Corgan nearly had one on the AMC programming schedule, a reality show giving a behind-the-scenes look at his Chicago-based wrestling promotion.
While entertainment industry trades have known about this for months, I have not seen this news mentioned recently on any of the top wrestling websites: Netflix has a wrestling-related series in the works. G.L.O.W. is inspired by the “Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling,” a female-centric wrestling promotion that was around in the 1980s. G.L.O.W. had a serious cult following, which was the subject of a recent documentary, G.L.O.W.: The Story Of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The promotion was further immortalized by being part of an episode of the classic sit-com Married With Children.
At the helm of G.L.O.W. appears to be creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch and executive producer Jenji Kohan; Kohan was one of Netflix’s first success stories as the creator of Orange Is The New Black. The show currently has an order for 10 episodes and its casting appears to have been completed. Currently attached to the project are Alison Brie, Marc Maron, Kimmy Gatewood, Rebekka Johnson, Kate Nash, Sunita Mani, Kia Stevens, Britt Baron and Jackie Tohn. Wrestling fans may recognize Kia Stevens as having been Kharma in WWE and Amazing Kong in TNA. Marc Maron is the award-winning host of the WTF? podcast, which has hosted Colt Cabana and CM Punk in episodes early on. Kate Nash, interestingly, is a prominent singer/songwriter.
G.L.O.W. is reportedly set in Los Angeles in the 1980s, focused on the fictionalized story of Ruth, as played by Alison Brie. She is a struggling, out-of-work actress that becomes a wrestler as a means of earning fame. With that sort of synopsis in place, it is unlikely that the series is intended for wrestling insiders or diehards. However, The Wrestler — which was not entirely about wrestling, as it was undoubtedly full of symbolism and metaphors — was such a well-written film that it got people talking about wrestling. At the very least, it got everyday people to realize that there were real human beings behind the in-ring competitors. If done well, G.L.O.W. has the potential to remove some of the stigma that comes with being a wrestling fan.
If successful, G.L.O.W. could also show networks, production companies and other content producers that wrestling is a subject that intrigues all sorts of people. In turn, that additional attention could help bring more eyes to WWE and other wrestling leagues, leading to more great wrestling. Or better yet, it can help emphasize to wrestling promotions that women’s wrestling can draw. Whip It did not exactly accomplish this for roller derby, but then again, there was not a major roller derby promotion with an international television deal — or multiple leagues, for that matter — when that movie hit theaters.
So whenever G.L.O.W. is set to hit Netflix, do the wrestling industry a favor and watch the first episode. Best case scenario, it is a new series that is both funny and interesting. Worst case scenario, you supported the business and can jump in about all the inaccuracies. Either way, fingers remain crossed that Dwayne Johnson’s wrestling series — a collaboration with Will Ferrell’s team — is also on its way into immediate production.